1st of 3 pop-up events planned this Spring!

This spring will see my first ever pop-up restaurant taking place in the city centre of Nottingham.

This is the 1st of 3 pop-ups’ planned at the same venue, a smart, quirky boutique shop in the Nottingham based in and around the famous lace market. Debbie Bryan offers the best of contemporary design whilst maintaining a pride in Nottingham’s rich textile heritage. Since opening the shop in 2009, Debbie has been working with inspiring thinkers to create memorable creative experiences and to develop unique products that are inspired by British heritage and our in-house Lace Archive.

A fabulous 6 course menu has been planned for the evening with focus on flavour and creating a relaxed, comfortable informal dining area for the evening.

Using local suppliers and producers as usual with all my events, I always seek the best ingredients I can get my hands on and always challenge these fantastic suppliers to do the same which they never fail to do.

There are still a couple of tables left for this exciting event that is not to be missed for all food lovers and their friends

For all booking details and menu visit the following page –

http://www.debbiebryan.co.uk/events/saturday-22nd-april-after-hours/

Be sure to check out my website to see services offered and the sort of things I do day in, day out

http://www.craigfloatechef.com

 

 

Pop-up finally happening, for Valentines day

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Here it is….. Our first pop-up restaurant event! I’ve been wanting to plan one of these for a while now and after a few offers where the venue wasn’t right we finally have found a perfect venue and we are rolling out a special valentines day pop-up restaurant over 2 night.

The Venue –
Coffee Arnold, Arnold, Nottingham

The dates –
13th and 14th February 2015

The times –
6.30pm – 8.30pm
8.30pm – close

The menu on then night will be showcasing the best of our local suppliers produce which is a passion of mine, knowing where all your food comes from. There will be a small selection of wines and soft drinks available to buy on the night also.

This is a joint venture with myself running the kitchen along with my long time friend Richard Ozenbrook who currently is head chef at the busy ice arena in Nottingham.

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The menu priced at £35ph for 3 courses, features a set menu with all food tasting and looking amazing with a few added extras on there…… ssshhh 🙂

This hopefully will be the start of a new venture that we have named NGdining with pop-up’s happening all over the Midlands in some wonderful and varied places, trailing different foods and different ways of doing all things food. That’s the beauty of a pop-up, it gives you the platform to try out new dishes and testing new flavours, with people usually a bit more forgiving if you get it wrong! (Fingers crossed we don’t)

The event is fully live and available to book now on Eventbrite with all the details of the menu on the evening, location and times etc….

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ng-dining-valentines-day-pop-up-restaurant-tickets-15467371324

Be sure to tell your friends and family who are looking for something different to try out on valentines weekend.

Wild plum and hazlenut crumble, Thermomix custard

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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.
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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.

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

Small business Saturday ends with a trip to Downing Street

Number 10 Downing Street

Number 10 Downing Street

With all the exposure that small business Saturday has been getting taking place on Saturday December 7th it truly was a privilege to be involved. This all rounded off with the last leg of the bus tour being held in Brixton in London then a short drive to Westminster to visit Downing Street for afternoon tea.

Having originally signed up at the start of the year to get some exposure about shopping locally and keeping the money in our own towns for independent retailers, the whole went national! We here at craigfloatechef always use local suppliers, so local butchers, local fishmongers and local green grocers for all our functions so this initiative was especially important to us and to have the full backing of government was an extra special thing! We attended the last leg of the bus tour in Brixton then headed straight over to Downing Street for afternoon tea, and to meet George Osborne. 20131206_115416949_iOS

And to be part of 100 lucky businesses selected for the first year of the venture it can only get better and bigger next year, with the focus firmly remaining on shopping local, and using your local suppliers. At the end of the day all these fantastic local businesses some that have been there for many years all have a special skill and if we don’t use them we will lose them, and that’s a shame. If every small business in the UK took on just one employee then it completely get rid of unemployment, quite mind boggling when you think about it really. 20131206_170946000_iOS

To book your dinner party with only local produce used then get in touch – http://www.craigfloatechef.com

And remember pay a visit to an independent retailer next time your out and about shopping, it does make a difference.

Why we should continue shopping local

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Great article in the Nottingham evening post today about why we should still shop local

http://www.nottinghampost.com/Shoppers-urged-boost-local-economy-seeking/story-20110286-detail/story.html

The importance of shopping local is even more relevant now than ever. With more and more people wanting to know where the food has come from, what exactly is on their plate, and was the product ethically taken care of before it arrived on their plate.

Use your local butcher, local fishmonger, local green grocer. These guys all have a fantastic skill that we don’t all have so if we don’t use these skills we will lost them and that’s a crime if you ask me.

http://www.craigfloatechef.com