Tuesday, 19 May 2015

National Vegetarian Week 2015

Best thing about working at The Nook is the freedom to change the menu each week and highlight all varieties and traditions of food.
This week is National Vegetarian Week which is all about sharing and enjoying delicious veggie food with your friends, family, colleagues, neighbours and community.
It’s a great way to connect with those around you and explore tasty meat-free food together.

Below are just a few of the many vegetarian dishes that have appeared on The Nook's lunchtime menu in the past few months. Always tasty and a lovely alternative to meat. Give them a go!

Parsnip & Horseradish Pate -  Recipe Here.

Parsnip and Horseradish Pate
The Greek Omelette - Containing Feta, Olives, Tomato & Onion

The Greek Omelette

Caprese Style Portobello Mushrooms filled with mozzarella, tomato and basil and served on toasted sourdough and rocket.

Caprese Style Portobello Mushroom

Roasted Squash, Beetroot and Feta Salad - written about HERE

Roasted Squash, Beetroot and Feta Salad
Our famous quiches always have a vegetarian option. This month we have English Asparagus and Gruyere Cheese served with celeriac and apple slaw and fresh salad.
Asparagus and Gruyere quiche

Linking up with Tasty Tuesdays 


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Chocolate & Strawberry Trifle

Known as a timeless, and traditional, English dessert Trifle is made from thick custard, fruit, sponge (often soaked in sherry), jelly and whipped cream. All ingredients are usually arranged in layers.

I can remember a previous employer screaming at me that I hadn't made trifle properly when I worked for him but I always like to put my own twist on English foods when I cook so, this week at The Nook On The Square, I've made my own version with chocolate and strawberries.
Gorgeous results and I love to serve desserts in our vintage china cups and saucers.
I've made these before at a previous establishment and they flew out so I'm hoping for the same reaction at The Nook this week.
Recipe can be found Here

Chocolate & Strawberry Trifle
Linking up with :
Tasty Tuesdays
Foodie Friday And Everything Else

National Sandwich Week 2015 - May 10th - 16th

This week is National Sandwich Week so I investigated a little into where the humble sandwich originated from.
The story is that John Montague, the Fourth Earl Of Sandwich, was such an enthusiastic gambler that he didn't like leaving the gambling table whilst playing. So, instead of breaking for dinner, he asked that someone bring him some meat between a couple of slices of bread. Later on, others would do the same saying something like "I'll have what Sandwich is having" and, eventually, people would just ask for a "Sandwich"

Nowadays the humble sandwich has become big business in the catering industry and fillings and bread types have become far more  adventurous than in the days of The Fourth Earl Of Sandwich!!

At The Nook On The Square , because our daily lunch menu changes each week, I am always changing our sandwich fillings to keep things interesting for the customer and, also, because it keeps me on my toes always looking for new ideas.
Below is just a small selection of what we have produced the past year.

Our take on the New York Reuben -  home cooked beef pastrami, sauerkraut, pickles and Russian dressing all served on toasted sourdough.    

The Nook Reuben
National Sandwich Week

The breakfast ciabatta with old English sausage, best back bacon, chestnut mushrooms and roasted tomatoes. 

The breakfast Ciabatta
National Sandwich Week

Grilled halloumi and roasted veg on red onion focaccia.

Grilled Halloumi & Roasted Vegetables on Red Onion Focaccia
National Sandwich Week
Always popular - mozzarella, tomato and basil.

Mozzarella, tomato and basil focaccia
National Sandwich Week
Our own home cooked ham with rocket and tomato on red onion focaccia.
Home cooked ham , rocket and tomato on focaccia
National Sandwich Week
Our Mexican BLT ciabatta - bacon, lettuce, tomato and guacamole.
Mexican BLT
National Sandwich Week
And this weeks special - goats cheese, basil and roasted balsamic strawberries.

Goats cheese, Basil and Roasted Balsamic Strawberries
National Sandwich Week
So what's your favourite filling?

Linking up this week with:
Tasty Tuesday
Foodie Friday and Everything Else

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Rhubarb & Apple Chutney Served With Smoked Mackerel Pate

The sun is still shining at The Nook On The Square this week and our fine lady gardener informed me that there was Rhubarb at the end of the garden if I could use it for anything.
Cooking is certainly a passion, but to actually cut produce grown in your own garden and create a recipe for the public to eat and enjoy certainly takes passion to the next level.

Rhubarb In The Nook Garden
Always up for the challenge, I immediately got onto google for ideas and found a few recipes that put rhubarb and smoked mackerel together. Sounded lovely!
Straight away I got some smoked mackerel in and got Eli, my super assistant, to make pate whilst I attempted a chutney to accompany it.
I chopped about 4 sticks of rhubarb and put in a pan with some light brown sugar (about 75g), big handful sultanas, finely chopped red onion, 1 inch grated ginger, salt, pepper, zest and juice of an orange and 5 tbsp white wine vinegar and put on the stove.
I left all ingredients to come to the boil, then let simmer.
If I'm honest I didn't measure the vinegar and put a little too much in and the rhubarb seemed saturated which is where I had the idea to skin, core and chop a couple of apples and add to the pan.

Fresh Chopped Rhubarb

As the mixture reduced I removed from the stove and put in small dishes to accompany the pate.
Served on our rustic wooden boards with toasted sourdough this dish has proved to be another winner on the menu this week.
Smoked Mackerel Pate served with Rhubarb & Apple Chutney and Toasted Sourdough
Linking up with Foodie Friday And Everything Else Party  and have also just discovered Tasty Tuesday to join in with.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Sweet Potato And Salmon Fishcakes With Chilli, Lime And Coriander

Summer has arrived at The Nook!
This week the sun has shone, new bunting hung and the garden has opened for our customers.

Summer at The Nook On The Square
So with the hot weather comes some new summer menu ideas.
This week I've made these lovely Sweet Potato & Salmon Fishcakes served with a fresh summer salad, topped with apple, avocado and mango, for the specials board and they have proved to be a huge hit.
About half hour to prepare and 15 minutes to cook they are ideal as a weekday meal for the family.
If you fancy giving them a go the recipe can be found below the photo.
Linking up this week with Foodie Friday and Everything Else blog hop.

Sweet Potato and Salmon Fishcakes with Chilli and Lime

1lb Sweet Potatoes (cooked and mashed)
1lb White Potatoes (cooked and mashed)
14oz Cooked Salmon Fillet
Zest and Juice of 2 Limes
1 Red Chilli (finely chopped)
Handful Chopped Coriander
Salt & Pepper to taste

Small Bowl Plain Flour
2 Eggs (beaten)
Small Bowl Natural Breadcrumbs

1. Combine the 2 sets of potatoes. Flake the salmon and stir into the potato mix.
2. Add all other ingredients and mix.
3. Mould into small fishcake shapes.
4. Dredge each cake with flour, dip and cover with beaten egg then cover with breadcrumbs.
5. To cook, heat a small amount of oil or butter in a frying pan and add fishcakes. Cook for few minutes and turn in the pan. After another couple of minutes transfer to a baking tray and place in oven heated to 180C for 10/15 minutes.
6. Serve with your choice of salad and dressing.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

The Italian Festival Chicken Sandwich

On todays menu at The Nook On The Square I have put the Italian Festival Chicken Sandwich, served in award winning red onion focaccia, created by The Revel Bakery.
Based in the small Warwickshire village, Stretton-under-Fosse, The Revel Bakery specialises in artisan bread and patisserie made with good ingredients, time and no additives resulting in, what they believe to be, great tasting products.
Their focaccia breads take up to 16 hours to make and the red onion flavour won Gold and overall category winner in the Tiptree World Bread Awards 2014.
Todays sandwich contained rocket, red pepper, chicken, prosciutto, grated parmesan and pesto mayonnaise. Absolutely scrumptious!

The Italian Festival Chicken Sandwich at The Nook On The Square
The Revel Bakery also supplies The Nook with Artisan sourdough, Panini's, cinnamon buns, fruit buns and they were the creator of our breakfast 'square' muffins.
Find out more about the bakery through this link http://www.revelbakery.co.uk/

The Revel Bakery
This week I've entered this post into a link up party at Rattlebridge Farm blog. Pop over and see what lots of other bloggers have been up to this week http://designsbygollum.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/foodie-friday-and-everything-else.html#more

Friday, 27 March 2015

The Nook On The Square

In March last year I was one of many to watch a very interesting series of programmes called The Restaurant Man where chef Russell Norman followed the journeys of people who packed in their day jobs to follow their dreams of opening a restaurant, despite having no catering experience.
For me, having been in the trade since leaving school 30 years ago, it was a very interesting set of programmes, especially as the final episode was a new cafe opening just 12 mins drive from my home.
Sisters Kate and Alex had a dream of transforming the ground floor of Kates house in the small village of Dunchurch, Rugby into a quaint, shabby chic cafe - The Nook On The Square.
In the program we saw the sisters taken to a top London hotel to learn about the etiquette of afternoon tea service, and to a transport cafe to experience the pressure of fast paced service and finally to France to be shown how to create beautiful square quiches.
Russell felt that being in a quiet village The Nook needed a signature dish to bring in regular customers and the quiches would be that such dish.

The Nook On The Square, Dunchurch, Rugby
Word spread about the cafe and it's involvement with the BBC 2 series and, on opening day, there was a queue down the street of inquisitive customers. A couple of months later the program aired and custom again went through the roof. It was far busier than either of the sisters ever envisaged.
Alex eventually left to return to nursing and a new manager was employed, along with several more staff.
And me? Well out of the blue last August I spotted an advert for a head chef for The Nook On The Square and, having been very unsettled with my job at The Red Lion for quite a while, I had no hesitation in applying for the job!
On August 28th, 2014 my new journey began!