Friday, October 4, 2013

oops i did it again

well it looks as though we have one or two problems with the new menu, mostly regarding my attempts to use my elderberry jam and free apples. the apples are fine and i'll be picking some more now but, as usual, my crumble mix (vegan and gluten free) will take some more work. the lack of gluten means that is goes a little powdery so I need to add some more fat I think. as for the elderberries, I though it would be nice to add them to our vegan custard; it certainly tasted nice but purple custard appears to be quite off putting. solution, leave custard as nature intended, yellow, and thin the jam down to make a syrup that can be liberally squirted over the crumble and custard. job done (badly). hopefully everything else will go ok.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Recipes for Mr and Mrs Turner

so last night I was working and Mrs Turner asked for a couple of recipes, these are those. Italian filo pie the filling for the pie is a mix of roasted vegetables, herbs and caponata. caponata a southern Italian accompaniment, chop a couple of onions and sweat until soft. add some chopped parsle, root and all, and some finely chopped garlic and add to the onion. allow to cook out for a few minutes then add a sprinkle of chilli flakes, a dash of wine vinegar and a sprinkle of sugar and allow the vinegar to reduce. throw in a couple of punnets of sweet baby plum, or cherry, tomatoes and cover. cook over a low heat for ten to fifteen minutes to allow the tomatoes to pop a little. take off the heat, grate in the zest of a lemon and the lemon juice and add a few tablespoons of chopped capers and a 100g or so of chopped olices. season, taste and allow to cool. dice a couple of good sized aubergines, season and mix with oil and roast at 180C until browned. do the same with a decent sized butternut. take a couple of courgettes and cut into large dice. bring a slick of oil to a high heat in a flat bottomed pan. in batches fry the courgettes until browned. drain on kitchen roll. add the courgettes, aubergine and butternut to the caponata and mix together. chop a bunch or parsley, basil, chives and mint and add to the vegetable mix. if the mix is too oily then add some breadcrumbs. brush some filo pastry with oil and make a parcel three or four layers thick. place some mix onto the filo and shape as desired. in the restaurant we make pasty shapes but if you're cooking for a few people make a swiss roll shape and let everyone dig in. baked nectarines. the most important ingredient is fresh nectarines, halved and de-stoned. to make the filling you will need some vegan ricotta, made from cashew nuts blended with soy milk, lemon juice and a little salt. it should have the consistency of ricotta, so quite thick. sweeten with agave nectar and add a handful of chocolate chips and some chopped biscotti. top the halved nectarines with a spoonful of the mix and bake in an oven pre-heated to 160C. cook until lightly browned. Some biscotti recipes: My basic recipe for biscotti is pretty foolproof and you can add chocolate chips and chopped fruit if you like. 335g of self raising flour 165g of caster sugar 100g of chopped almonds 2 medium eggs 50ml of vegetable oil One teaspoon of almond extract Place the dry ingredients into a bowl. Put the eggs, oil and almond extract in a jug and mix well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Knead the dough together. At first it will be quite dry but continue working and the sugar will start to dissolve and it will come together. Cut into three equal pieces and place on a floured surface. Take each piece and form into a ball. Now take the ball and roll into a sausage shape, roughly 10” in length and place onto a flat pan covered in baking paper. Once you have rolled all three, place the tray into an oven pre-heated to 180C. bake for 10-15 minutes until browned and risen. Take the cooked sausages and place onto a cutting board and cut into individual biscotti. It’s best to work when the sausages are hot, so watch your fingers or use a tea towel to hold the biscotti. Place the cut biscuits back on the baking paper and place the tray back in the oven for a further 5 minutes. Take out and allow to cool, and store in an airtight box.   Vegan and gluten free biscotti: when we need to use biscotti in desserts, for example baked nectarines, we tend to use a version that is suitable for all our customers. This recipe works pretty well. 100g cornflour 100g polenta 120g doves farm gluten free bread flour 1 tsp baking powder 150g golden caster sugar 150ml soy yogurt 50ml veg oil 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp almond extract 80-100g chopped almonds Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, then bring together and form a dough; it should not be too sticky. Using some more flour split dough into four and roll into sausage shapes. bake at 180C for 20 minutes or so on greaseproof paper, until still slightly soft. Remove from the oven and cut each sausage at an angle to make biscuits. Place back on the greaseproof and bake for a further five to ten minutes, turning the biscotti once. This will dry them and lightly brown the sides.   cheers wayne

Friday, July 26, 2013

well it finally happened

much to everyone's lack of surprise, it finally happened. last night was the first night since our opening weekend that we had no bookings and we closed the restaurant at seven. at 6:10 we had one booking and were ready for service; we weren't going to set up, but were going to take the food out as needed and then a phone call. hooray. i poured the boiling water onto the rice, ready to start cooking and leanne joked that it would be a cancellation. one minute later, with the rice cooking, she was correct, our table had cancelled and the rice was not required, nor the poppadoms nor the ..... if you don't laugh you'll lose your hair, oh christ i am ...... aargh

Saturday, January 19, 2013

much more majestic and a bad backscattering

many thanks to majestic who responded very quickly to the problem that i brought up in the last blog; it looks like we have vegan wine again. on a more serious note we noticed some serious backscattering last week. this is simultaneously not as bad, and worse, than it sounds. a problem became apparent when i accessed, as did leanne, our bookings page. what we found were 100s of rebounded emails that had been sent from our account. of course they had not but the account had been hacked and the undelivered mails were bounced back to us; backscattering. the account has had to be suspended, at least for outgoing mail and the webmaster is on the case. you should be able to book but we'll reply from a different account. many apologies to anyone who was affected. cheers wayne ps ian, you couldn't spare us 5 minutes to press buttons on our phone again. now the answer machine isn't working. usual rates apply

Thursday, January 10, 2013

bloody majestic

as you may be aware we use majestic wines for our wines. the reason; they give more information about provenance than any other supplier. so we opted for a vegan wine list, or so we thought. apologies to the couple who ordered the chenin blanc, still advertised as vegan on the website, who discovered that is contains traces of milk products. i've emailed majestic to complain, expect nothing to be done but will change the white wine tomorrow. cheers wayne

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

thanks to keith and chris

we are always surprised when customers come back to the restaurant after our one week christmas break. we decided to take that break because we had no bookings for the period between new year and christmas in our first year of business and it has stuck; it's also very nice to have a week with no cooking. this year was special because, in the past we have had the odd booking in the book, we had no bookings. we went in on thursday to start the prep for the weekend and still nothing. the menu started to take shape, 1 o'clock, 2 o'clock, 3 o'clock and still nothing. on friday we had three tables and the same on saturday but it looked like being a flat thursday. at 5.30 the phone rang and we had a booking, for just two people, but a reason to make a pie or a risotto cake. it stayed at two and leanne and i were done by 9:15, but we were off and running and a restaurant again. the reality contrasts starkly with what people think. we regularly get emails that ask for tables weeks ahead who ask for a specific time but will take whatever is available; the restaurant is usually available.