Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Turning A Kitchen Disaster Into A Specials Board Success

 I have realised that my mind constantly churns for several hours each day about new, and enticing, dishes for The Nook.
As well as scouring the internet for recipes I always try to think outside the box for new ideas.
This week my mind is filled with pate flavours!! 
 The various vegetable pates I often have, on the ever changing menu, are always popular so I thought I'd attempt a tomato based one for our new, Italian themed menu.
I think I knew straight away it wasn't going to work but I persevered to see what happened.
I used the same method as my other recipes and sweated off chopped red onion and garlic in tons of butter! Then I added chopped tomato, basil and tomato puree.

Caprese Style Sauce Ingredients in Pan
At this point I maybe should have reduced the moisture in the mixture more but I rushed the process and added chopped Buffalo Mozzarella to the pan only for the mixture to go stringy and start sticking to the pan. 
Sometimes I kick myself for not having any patience but I still carried on with the mixture and whizzed it in the processor with a little cream cheese, salt and pepper.
It all went into the fridge then, and I prayed for a miracle!!

Unfortunately the miracle of setting into a pate when cold didn't happen and I was left with a semi solid sauce that tasted gorgeous!
My mind went into overdrive thinking in what way I could use the sauce and then I had eureka moment based on a dish I served many months ago.

Into the oven went 2 Portobello mushrooms with Italian Taleggio cheese tucked in the top while I toasted some sourdough, which I then topped with some of the warm sauce. When the Taleggio was melted I put the mushrooms on top of the sourdough.
The waitresses' mouths were watering so I let then taste the trial dish and asked for their verdict.

Bloody amazing apparently!!!!!
Great praise indeed!
Straight away onto the specials board and what a hit today is was!!
Amazing how something can go wrong but turn out soooo right!

Linking up this week at:
Foodie Friday and Everything Else
Simple and Sweet Fridays

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Tapas Theme Night At The Nook

Early December was our monthly supper club at The Nook On The Square. This month was Tapas.


The front room looked lovely with a few Christmas decorations 
We offered a small selection of bread, olives, manchego (Spanish Cheese), olive oil, balsamic and tomatoes as a starter. 

Tapas are a wide variety of appetizers, or snacks, in Spanish cuisine. They may be cold or hot. For our event they were all hot. So many dishes involves a lot of preparation and cooking. 

Preparation of Aubergine Parmigiana. Layers of aubergine, arribiata sauce, breadcrumbs and parmesan. 

Slices of Chorizo.

Manchego croquettes moulded, breaded and ready to bake

Spanish omelettes look really colourful and appetizing 
On the menu was,
Spanish Meatballs
Garlic & Chilli King Prawn and Mushrooms
Chorizo & Butterbean Red Wine Stew
Andalusian Style Chicken
Spanish Omelette
Potatas Bravas
Aubergine Parmigiana
Manchego Croquetas

I was so pleased with how everything looked when it went out in the small dishes.

And for dessert we offered:
Austurian Crepes, a sweet pancake filled with custard and apple.

Pan de Higo, made from figs, cranberries, apricots and almonds rolled in sesame seeds. Served with a spanish Manchego cheese and crackers.
Once again a lot of hard work behind the scenes but a very successful evening. Watch out, we are going Moroccan next!!
Linking up this week with :

Dessert Challenge

Already we are 3/4 way through January, and Christmas and New Year celebrations seem like a distant memory.
All my New Year resolutions have been broken already surprise surprise so my focus at present is solely on my job.
A previous employer once said to me my best work always came from being set a challenge outside of my comfort zone. This month sees the arrival of one such challenge as it has become necessary for me to produce some cakes for display at The Nook.

My boss was keen to stick with an old favourite Millionaire Shortbread. That was fine by me but I have a style of cooking that always wants to take traditional and give it a twist!
I did my usual search on pinterest and suddenly got very excited when I spotted a photo of Raspberry, Caramel Millionaire.
Following the link I found an easy recipe to follow and straight away made it.
Selling well already so 1st challenge completed successfully!
If you fancy a go at this yourself you can find the recipe thru this link .
Try it it's scrumptious!
It's so easy to get carried away making chocolate desserts I think,as everyone loves chocolate, so I searched for something lighter with a lemon flavour and came across this recipe at ScrummyLane blog. What a fantastic name for a blog!!
Lovely, easy recipe with a beautiful pastry base.
Second challenge complete and proud of myself for the achievement!

I had only intended making 2 desserts but the Lemon Bakewell pastry used egg yolks which left me with 3 egg whites!
Think of egg whites and I immediately think Meringue!
So easy to quickly whisk up, slowly add 150g of sugar and bake in a low oven for a couple of hours. Where's the hassle in that??

When cooked I whisked together melted chocolate, cream and icing sugar and topped with some fresh fruit. Absolutely love the cherry on the top!!
Challenge 3 completed and soooo pleased with the results.
That lady was right, my best work comes from a challenge! If only dieting worked the same way!

Linking up this week  at