Tickets selling fast…..


Menu for our October supper club.

Tickets are selling fast for our next supper club coming this October to Nottingham.

Be sure to join us for this fantastic 6 course tasting event in a fantastic setting in the heart of Nottingham's famous lace market.

Menu is attached above, for more information and details of how to book please visit –

http://www.debbiebryan.co.uk/events/friday-6th-october-after-hours/

For more information about what we do and who we are please visit –

http://www.craigfloatechef.com

Thermomix – Spiced red lentil soup

red_lentil_soup1Spiced Red Lentil Soup


The fragrant but subtle tones of the spices and herbs make this soup incredibly moreish. I love the natural vibrant orange red colour which is bright enough to make a dull winters day just a whole lot better. The magical ingredient that I have used in this recipe is the homemade tandoori paste. It’s very special to me, it’s incredibly versatile and has jazzed up many of my dishes in the past.

This Tandoori Paste recipe is über cool, natural and versatile. I normally make a large batch of the paste and freeze it in ice cube trays, once frozen pop the cubes out in to a freezer bag and use them as required. This way the fresh spices and herbs remain super pungent and you always have a magical natural ingredient to hand. This recipe is strong and you require only a small amount to give extra flavour and depth to your cooking. When you wish to use the paste defrost the frozen cubes and either mix the Tandoori paste with equal quantities of natural yoghurt to home made tandoori paste and use it as a marinade for fish or meat. The use and versatility is endless, stir a couple of cubes in to a home made curry or soup for extra depth of flavour or mix a bit in to couscous for an exciting and tasty salad.

A dash of coconut milk tones the sharpness of the chillies to the right level of spiciness. The red lentil is a perfect and delicious thickener. The creamy texture of the cooked lentils adds to the rich and silky texture of the soup.

Home Made Tandoori Paste
80g fresh coriander
100g fresh ginger, peeled
2 lemons, zest grated and juiced
50g cumin seeds
50g mild paprika
4 fresh large red chillies, de-seeded
5 cloves of garlic, peeled
250g tomato puree
2tsp salt
1tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Wash the coriander, peel the ginger and garlic. Gently toast the cumin seeds in a hot pan, cool the toased cumin seeds before using.

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until a smooth paste.

If you are not using the paste immediately spoon the paste in a clean ice cube tray and freeze. Once frozen remove the ice cubes and place them in a freezer bag until needed.

As this paste is a strong concentrate you do not need a lot of it. If you want to marinade chicken, meat or fish mix equal quantities of the paste with natural yoghurt, mix well and spread submerge the protein in the marinade, leave for a minimum of 6 hours before use. I normally let the protein marinade over night to ensure penetration.

Makes a large quantity more than required for the soup, freeze the rest.
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Spiced Red Lentil Soup
80g home made tandoori paste
50g tomato puree
50g sunflower oil
400g tinned diced tomatoes
250g coconut milk
150g dried red lentils
200g carrots, peeled and 10mm diced
200g celery, 10mm diced
200g banana shallots 10mm diced
1 large red chilli de-seeded and sliced
salt and pepper
600ml vegetable or white chicken stock

Heat a large saucepan with the oil to a medium temperature.

Sauté the diced carrots, shallots and celery with a little bit of seasoning. Always remember to season, especially soups,a bit at a time, as during the cooking and reduction processes the flavours becomes stronger and it’s easy to over season. Cook until the vegetables become transparent but not coloured.

Add the sliced red chilli, tandoori paste and tomato puree, cook for 3 minutes, add the dried red lentils and stir.

Add the tinned diced tomatoes and the stock, bring the soup to the boil, turn the heat to low and cover the pan with a lid.

Simmer the soup for 40 minutes over low heat.

Add the coconut milk, turn the heat to high, bring the soup back to the boil and cook for 10 minutes.

Use a ladle and scoop a third of the hot soup in to a food processor or a thermomix and puree until smooth, add this back to the soup and stir. By blending only a third of the soup, this will ensure that your soup has a silky thick and creamy texture with some whole bits of carrots and lentils.

Serve the soup garnished with extra virgin olive oil, cooked red lentils mixed with sliced spring onions and fresh basil.

Serve 6

http://www.craigfloatechef.com

Thermomix – Salted peanut brittle biscuits

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Salted Peanut Brittle Biscuits

200g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g salted roasted peanuts
1/2 vanilla pod, seeds removed
450g dark muscovado sugar
250g unsalted butter, room temperature
250g peanut butter, smooth
1 medium free range egg

In a food processor or thermomix grind the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, peanuts and the vanilla seeds till it represents coarse breadcrumbs.
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Add the butter, egg and peanut butter and blend until the mixture becomes a paste.
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Turn the biscuit dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and push it all together, do not knead the the dough. Divide the mixture in two and roll each into a sausage about 5cm in diameter and wrap it tightly in clingfilm and refrigerate over night. It’s very important that the mixture rests well, if not the biscuits will bake unevenly, spread a lot with the potential for the edges to burn. I made the mistake once as I was in a rush and so the next time I allowed the proper resting time and made the most delicious and beautiful biscuits.

Preheat the oven to 170°C and line two baking trays with either parchment paper of silpats.
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Remove the clingfilm from the well rested biscuit dough sausages and slice them into 1/2 cm thick slices, place these on the baking trays, leave plenty of room for them to spread. Bake the biscuits for 12 – 14 minutes. Once baked let them rest on the baking tray for 2 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat the process and bake the rest of the biscuits.

Makes 40 biscuits

http://www.craigfloatechef.com

Wild plum and hazlenut crumble, Thermomix custard

Wild-Plum-Crumble-Vanilla-Custard

The crumble topping is an old favourite of mine, it’s almost flapjack-like, as I make the crumble mixture, bake it first and then place it on top of the fruits and bake it for a second time. I dislike a soggy crumble, hence I find that the twice-baked crumbles deliver not only a fantastic baked-cum-roasted taste, they deliver on texture too.

I use a cherry stoner to remove the stones from the small wild plums and it works a treat.
Wild-Plums

For the oat and hazelnut crumble
150g plain flour
150g soft dark brown sugar
a pinch of table salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
150g unsalted butter, diced
150g jumbo or porridge oats
80g hazelnuts, chopped

For the wild plum filling
800g wild plums (use one type or a selection, such as bullaces, damsons, mirabelles, greengages), stones removed, then plums left whole if small, otherwise cut in half
200g soft dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
100g ground almonds
100g fresh breadcrumbs

For the vanilla custard
300ml full-fat milk
150ml single cream
1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
8 egg yolks
60g caster sugar

First, prepare the oat and hazelnut crumble. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4 and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and butter in a mixing bowl, then use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in the oats and chopped hazelnuts, then transfer the crumble mixture to the prepared baking tray and spread it out evenly. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until light golden and semi-crisp, stirring it once during cooking.

Remove from the oven and leave the mixture to cool on the baking tray for about 1 hour. Bits of the crumble will have stuck together, almost like flapjacks, so break these up into crumb-size pieces using your fingers. Once cold, the crumble mixture can be transferred to an airtight container and kept in the fridge for up to 1 week (it will lose a little of its crispness during storage, but once it is baked for the second time, it will crisp up again and be perfect).

For the wild plum filling, preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Place all the ingredients for the filling in a large mixing bowl and mix them together using your hands. Select your ovenproof serving dish or dishes – use either one large oven-to-table dish or 6 individual dishes (I often use cast iron skillets to make individual crumbles, each skillet measures about 12cm diameter by 3.5cm high). Spoon the fruit mixture into the dish or dishes and then bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the mixture has thickened and the fruit has collapsed.

Remove from the oven. Cover the fruit mixture with the crumble mixture crumbs, then return to the oven and bake for a further 10–12 minutes or until the crumble topping has crisped up and turned golden brown.

While the crumble is baking, make the custard. I usually use my Thermomix for making custard, but from time to time, I also revert back to the conventional method. Either way works perfectly (see Cook’s Tip for the Thermomix method). Rinse a medium saucepan with cold water, then put the milk, cream and vanilla seeds in the pan and cook gently over a low heat until the milk starts to boil.

While the milk mixture is heating, lightly whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar together in a heatproof bowl. Add a ladleful of the hot milk to the egg mixture and whisk in, then pour the egg mixture into the remaining hot milk in the pan, stirring. Cook over a low heat, stirring continuously, for 7–8 minutes or until the mixture cooks and thickens enough to coat the back of the wooden spoon. Do not allow to boil or the custard may curdle. Remove from the heat and pour the custard into a serving jug. Serve warm with the hot baked crumble.

Serves 6

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Cook’s Tip

To make the egg custard using the Thermomix method, place all the ingredients for the custard in the Thermomix jug. Blend for 30 seconds on speed 8, then insert the butterfly whisk and set the timer for 12 minutes at 80°C on speed 4. Check if the custard is cooked, looking for the characteristics as described in the main recipe above; if it’s not quite cooked enough, cook for a further 3 minutes at 80°C on speed 4. Pour the custard into a serving jug and serve with the hot baked crumble.

Non traditional Thermomix gazpacho soup recipe

thermomix_gazpacho_recipesNon-traditional Thermomix Gazpacho recipe

gazpacho with smoked tea flavor infusion

Thermomix fans in Spain will already know how to make gazpacho but this one is not your grandmother’s gazpacho recipe! With the addition of two bold ingredients, the traditionally refreshing Spanish summertime soup acquires a more hearty depth of flavour that makes it work all year round. Gazpacho is also highly recommended for new Thermomix owners because it’s a quick and easy way to to certain success.

The traditional gazpacho of southern Spain and Portugal is a chilled soup made of fresh tomato, green pepper (capsicum), cucumber, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and salt. In some homes soaked bread is added as a thickener. Because it’s served cold and makes great use of summer garden vegetables this is largely a seasonal soup. Makes a fabulous appetizer, main dish, or even a mid-morning breakfast soup for hot sunny days. You DO want to use fresh ripe tomatoes for this, I simply can’t imagine using tomatoes in any other form. Luckily it’s summer now where I live, and the garden is offering up more tomatoes than I can easily use. Perfect timing!

What’s different about this Thermomix gazpacho recipe?

Traditionalists need not worry — this is still very much a super healthy, super soup for the super kitchen machine. Like other versions, this non-traditional gazpacho contains all the main ingredients and is served cold. But there are two additional twists to make the soup’s umami character sing out loud. Enter smoked tea and Jalapeno.

Why smoked tea?
In an attempt to cut back on all the cream I enjoy with coffee, I’ve been trying to drink more tea. And because fruity and floral teas don’t please my coffee-loving palate I was happy to discover the deep dark and smokey flavour of Lapsan Souchong. To speed things along you can read about Lapsang Souchong on Wikipedia – suffice it to say that by infusing a bit of smokey tea into this gazpacho recipe we enrich the soup’s aroma, mouthfeel and depth of flavour. Aim to buy Lapsan Souchong in its most aromatic looseleaf form; available from all the usual tea shops. If all you can find is boxed/bagged Lapsang Souchong, no worries. You’ll achieve similar results by cutting open tea bags to remove the tea but may need to adjust the quantity accordingly.

I like to grind the tea into a powder using the power of Thermomix. This adds a very subtle ‘chew’ to the gazpacho. For a more liquid texture simply substitute about 100 g. brewed and cooled Lapsan Souchong in place of half the ice cubes.

A little bit of hot (Jalapeno) pepper is also added for balance and for those who enjoy adventurous eating. My recipe below omits the soaked bread component of some traditional gazpachos because I feel this soup is thick and creamy enough already, but that’s totally up to you.

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Non-traditional Thermomix Gazpacho recipe

Lapsang Souchong tea adds a welcome smokey twist to this chilled seasonal soup.

Ingredients
•1 kg ripe tomatoes (prepared by washing, removing stems, cutting in half or quarters)
•100 g. green or red sweet bell pepper (capsicum), seeds removed
•150 g. cucumber, peeled (about half a large cucumber)
•100 g. onion (about half a large onion)
•1-2 cloves garlic
•1-2 tsp. Lapsang Souchong tea leaves (more or less as desired) see notes below about substituting brewed tea
•10 g. fresh Jalapeno pepper (about half a regular Jalapeno, more or less to taste)
•100 g. ice cubes (add more for a thinner, lighter soup)
•1 Tbsp olive oil
•1 Tbsp vinegar (I use balsamic)

Instructions
1.Add tea leaves to Thermomix and grind 1 min/speed 10. Wait until tea dust settles before opening lid!
2.Add 800 g. of the tomatoes, pepper/capsicum, onion, garlic, Jalapeno. Blend 30 seconds/speed 6.
3.Add ice cubes and remaining tomatoes. Blend 2 min/speed 10.
4.Add salt, vinegar, olive oil and blend 6 seconds/speed 4.
5.Keeps in fridge for 1-3 days.

Notes

– For a thinner and milder soup simply omit the tea powder (step 1) and substitute about 100 g. brewed and cooled Lapsang Souchong tea in place of half the ice cubes. – Depending on ripeness level of your tomatoes, you may have a juicier more liquid soup or a thicker, more pulpy result. Both are fine and feel free to adjust by adding water if needed. If adding water, you may also want to increase the vinegar slightly. – To thicken, you can add soaked bread, stale bread crumbs, or leftover rice. – Consider these toppings for gazpacho: croutons, diced cucumber or tomatoes, parsley…

Love cooking and interested in becoming a Thermomix demonstrator? Get in touch today!

60th birthday celebrations, showing 60 is the new 40!

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This weeks private dining event took us to the village of Tutbury near Burton upon Trent for a 60th birthday celebration. For a very lovely lady and 9 of her close friends and family. The venue was an old converted barn with a kitchen to die for! Plenty of space with a fantastic dining room, and small space for drinks and canapés. The evening started with a live acoustic guitar set from a local player, a perfect way to start the evening whilst sinking down some Moët champagne, and a simple canapé of smoked salmon blinis.

The menu for the evening –
• Homemade truffle bread
• Goat cheese, spinach tart, balsamic dressing
• Duck breast, creamed leeks, spices cherry jus
• Selection of fresh fruits, homemade ice cream
• Petit fours and coffee and brandy

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A fantastic evening, the duck nice and succulent and pink, the starters a nice light way to start the meal. With the dessert a playful lend to when we were younger with fruit and ice cream with classic flavours – Honeycomb, rum and raisin, mint chocolate, clotted cream.

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Once again, very happy and drunk guests courtesy of our waiter for the evening Dan.

Get in touch for more information or to begin arranging your own private dinner party.

http://www.craigfloatechef.com

First events of the year, how to be in 2 places at once!!!

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Our fist events of the year took place this weekend. A stag do for x25 gentlemen, and also a 40th birthday celebration.

The stag do was held in a completely unique venue, an old pub which has been converted into luxury rooms and lodges, so now you can literally fall asleep on the bar!! this unique venue offers the guests the chance to go behind the bar and serve themselves! Pour their own pints and spirits, with a pool table and darts board it truly is the ideal location for a stag do! Mans favourite things in life……Beer, food, and pub games! On the menu for these beer hungry guests was a simple offering of a homemade steak pie and chips. With locally sourced beef, tasting great, simple filling food for the hungry stags to keep them filled up for the long night ahead. For this event we had one of best team members Dan keeping the lads happy. SONY DSC

Our second event of the day, took us over to Lincolnshire – Woodhall Spa, for a ladies 40th birthday celebrations with x7 of her family and friends. A fantastic location, a lovely modern house with a fantastic kitchen set up that every chef would love to cook in everyday. On the menu for the evening was –

Champagne & canapés to start
Homemade black olive and truffle bread
Panfried scallops, apple puree, crystallised ginger, truffle powder, pancetta
Seared duck breast, fondant potato, creamed leeks, buttered baby carrots, spiced cherry jus
Trio of desserts – Lemon panacotta, apple and berry crumble, lemon and raspberry baked cheesecake

A fantastic menu chosen by the host for the evening. The whole night was a fantastic success, with all the guests very happy and once again very merry!! (Seems to always happen at these events!) Wine and serving by Dan after his escapades at the earlier stag do, it certainly was a long day for him but it certainly was a case of needing to be in 2 places at once. Craig4 Small

For an amazing experience in the comfort of your own home, or just to celebrate a special occasion a private dinner party is defiantly an easy way of having a fantastic evening get in touch –

http://www.craigfloatechef.com