We got off to a splendid start with our last Tavolone of the summer and had finished 5 bottles of Prossecco before we even started our starter. Oops! Above you can see a photo of the chicken stuffing; fresh summer herbs, seeds and nuts, fried mushrooms, sweated onions and sour dough bread. Yummy! This was served with a green salad spiced up with that lovely sweet/sour sorrell, one of my summer favourites.
All of the herbs and nearly all of the salad were from our own garden this time becuase it was time to use everything up before planting our winter greens... Here is our little picnic lawn by the herb garden...
You can really see it was the end of summer.
After all the confusion that I created by posting the wrong dates we were very pleased to welcome 18 people along for the feast. And feast we until we were more stuffed than the chickens. We had great feedback from everyone who came with people organising everything from bike rides with each other to getting their rings resized. Its so nice to be able to bring people together and even better when they get on so well that they want to meet up afterwards.
Ah summer, we miss you already and the clocks haven't even changed! See you at the next one- we have two this month- exciting!
Tavolone got its first turn at cooking on an Agar. Its was brilliant, if rather hot. We did the catering for Dylan's work team day in his kitchen ccoking up a feast of the spread you can see below and a few chirizo burgers from the BBQ.
It was great... and not just becuase of the Agar. While they were all crusing around on canal boats we took over Dylan's kitchen to prepare the food so everything was ready when they walked in the door hyped up and hungry. Here you can see Christian carrying out a tray of apoerol spritzers for the team. We carried on BBQing and setting out food into the night and left a really lovely party well after midnight.
We had a really great time and its always fun to cook in someone else's kitchen. Thanks for a fantastic night Dylan... we're looking forward to the Christmas shindig!
So we have the date and the venue (back to Mother)... But what are we cooking?!
Watch this space.
We got so many recipe requests after the last dinner, 'All at Sea', that we are going to post the recipe rather than send it to you all individually... So here is is: How Giorgio Makes Salt Baked Fish.
Ideally when you make this dish you want fewer larger fish not lots of small ones. Sea Bass is Giorgio's recommended fish but because the Sea Bream looked so amazing that morning we got that and it was delicious!
Here is our fish when it Markey dropped it off from Billingsgate in the morning... super fresh!
800g Fish -approximately
Sea Bass is best. Leave the skin and scales on- it protects the fish from the salt
1kg Cooking Salt
1kg Rock Salt
4-5 Whisked egg white
Generous handful of herbs: thyme, sage, bay, rosmary
Zest from 1 Lemon
Gut you fish and clean throughly but leave the skin and scales in place. Finely chop your herbs, mix them with the lemon zest and put some inside the cavity of you fish. Whisk your egg whites until they can hold a firm peak then fold in your salt and the rest of the herbs mix. This will look a bit like fluffy snow when its done.
On the bottom of your baking tray make a 1.5cm layer of your salt mix and then place your fish on top. It can be a good idea to line your tray with baking paper so it easier to clean at the end. Press the fishes stomach down once he is one the salt bed to make sure no salt can sneak into his belly then make an igloo over the top of your fish. Make sure that the salt is the same 1.5 cm thickness all over or your fish will cook unevenly.
Cook the fish in a fan bake oven pre-heated to 200 degrees (centigrade) for about 40mins- when salt crust is lovely golden brown. If you have 2 fish of 300-400g you need the same amount of salt but the cooking time will be shorter- maybe 25-30 minutes. Again the crust will give you an indication.
When the fish is cooked find the biggest hammer you can and bash the salt surface open... Actually our problem was that we were in a wood working studio and could only find giant hammers- we expect you might be able to find a slightly more sensible item at home. So using a resonalble sized kitchen hammer (don't be guided by the ones we are using below) carefully crack open the salt crust. Be really careful not to break open the fish skin or the salt will seep into the flesh.
Lift the large chunks of salty crust away and then dust away the excess salt. Using a spoon or fish slice carefully lift the exposed fish off the salty base (can be a bit crumbly- just take your time and don't rush it) and place him on a platter. Peel away the skin, lift off the flesh carefully leaving the bones behind, and serve.
Enjoy your fish.
We received rather late notice that our host, Mother, is, in fact, a fish free kitchen- oops!- so after some rather frantic ringing around our gorgeous friends, Martino Gamper and Francis Upritchard, were kind enough to let us use their recently completed studio kitchen.
So we set sail for new waters leaving Bethnal Green in our wake and instead gathered in Hackney Central for our fish fiesta.
Great studio huh?!
After snacking on anchovy and tomato bruschetta (and watching the flame drive by for the Paralympic Games- cool!) we all found a seat for our Spaghetti Vongole before the main event...
And what a main event it was! Here Christian is cracking open the salt crust with one of Martino's Hammers...
And after that we were all so busy eating that we forgot to take more photos. Because I got so many requests for the recipe the next post is going to be 'How Giorgio Makes Salt Baked Fish'.
Thanks for coming everyone and we'll see you at the next one!
Thanks so much to all our wonderful guests who came to our surprise venue last night... and thanks so much Martino and Francis for letting us use your amazing kitchen. Its was such a nice, cozy atmosphere and fantastic to be able to cook in the same room as all our guests.
We'll post more pictures tomorrow with a recipe for the salt fish... what an delicious dinner. Marky Market did very well choosing the fish for us at 2:00 in the morning- I don't think I can even see that early let alone select!
More tomorrow friends,
Thats me, Marky Market and Dan Calladine sitting at the end of the table just after Marky's amazing lamb came out of the kitchen. The flowers you can see have all been foraged from Hackney Marshes and the wine and prosecco was from Borough Wines.
Below are our guests starting to arrive and looking very excited about their Aperol Spritz....
We had a few extra people turning up which always creates a bit of excitement so we were all feeling very cosy at the table (which I love!) and we were super grateful to Marky for his awesome choice of massive lamb shoulders... Here they are being plated up for the tables after a day or so of preparation.
It was so delicious. Thanks everyone who came- We hope that you enjoyed the flowers you took home. Can't wait to see you at the next one!
With our next event in 12 days we have started to notice that some lovely people have been blogging about what we're up to- its really encouraging to see that people are interested in our dinners and its fantastic to have their help in spreading the word. This post is to say thank you to everyone who has helped us to get this far. (The picture above is of the bunting I made for our party on the canal.)
Thanks to all of you who have enjoyed our dinners enough to talk about us. Its great to appear unexpectedly in reviews and to see our past guests return alone or with friends. See you on the 24th of July- we can't wait!
...three years ago
30 June 2012...
it is all about...Olly!
Little dear friends
Chilling Out ....Victorian highlights
Thanks to everyone who came to join us for a spritzer and some sun!