Bringing a little bit of Piedmont to Moortown!
October's menu was a homage to our amazing holiday in north Italy. We didn't realise it at first, but as we tried and tested our short list of recipes, most were reminiscent of the incredible flavours and fresh ingredients we had eaten while away. We didn't know a great deal about Piedmont before we went, the key things such as truffle, asti and barolo were on the to-do list, but when we got there we found there is so much more to eat, see and do! We stayed in a beautiful village called Treiso, high above the main town on Alba, surrounded by vineyards and hazelnuts groves and with a couple of great slow food restaurants and a great wine tasting shop right next to the church. Lunch each day was a treat of regional ingredients and specialities such as tajarin (a regional type of pasta) cooked in a butter and sage sauce or desserts with gianduja, a hazelnut chocolate spread that really should be rationed! The countryside was spectacular with lots of walking and trails. We also had two days in Turin which was such a welcoming and relaxed city with loads to do including some of the best wine shops I've ever seen - my favourite was enoteca parola which dates back to 1890; they do a great bottle of fizzy red piedmont wine for about 3 euros which is a great contender for any normal fizz - definitely give it a try if you go.
So on to October's menu which started with an aubergine and feta croquette, shallow fried to make the panko breadcrumbs crispy and crunchy and served with a tarragon mayonnaise. When we first cooked these the feta lacked a bit of punch, but on the night we used feta from George & Joseph which has been barrel aged and it definitely had the flavour we were looking for.
Next came a kale and cranberry salad and then Tom's ravioli, filled with butternut squash and pecorino and served with a sage and butter noisette sauce (my personal favourite dish of the night.)
Main was a cod fillet, pan fried and served on a smoked onion puree (bbq'ed in the rain the night before) with a bagna cauda (Italian milk sauce infused with garlic and anchovy) and topped with crunchy samphire.
Dessert was more of an English affair, using our apples to create a salted caramel apple crumble, individually served with a star anise ice cream.
To finish the evening, we served a warm chocolate and walnut cookie with amaretto - a slightly adapted recipe from the Ottolenghi and Helen Got Sweet cookbook. They use banana, which I am genuinely afraid of, so substituted for amaretto - still bloody good though!!
Cooking a menu with a general theme has got us thinking about future events and how we might shape them a bit more, perhaps around a particular cuisine such as classic french or around a single theme such as spice! If you have any thoughts or suggestions drop us a line.
We have decided to take a little break now until the new year as we have a busy couple of months over Christmas but this will give us lots of time to practice new dishes and menus in preparation for our next event which will be in early 2020 - so watch this space for more info soon!