NEIL'S RECIPES: PANZANELLA

by Cafe St Honoré


“This is a proper plate of food; perfect for outside eating and a great way to use up stale sourdough. The zesty capers and a kick of good red wine or bramble vinegar really make the dish, whilst the fresh mint and basil are a delight. I like to dry my mini plum toms in the oven first, but you don’t have to, fresh tomatoes will do the trick. It can be made in advance of eating and is great as a starter, a side dish, pre-prepared for a BBQ, a roast chicken or as an accompaniment for a pan-fried piece of fish like mackerel or herring.”

Neil Forbes Cafe St Honore Panzanella WEB SIZE-CMPL2508-Edit.jpg

Makes 2 portions
Cooking time: 10 minutes; Prep time: 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 handful of mini plum and/or cherry tomatoes

1 tablespoon diced cucumber

1 tablespoon sliced red onion

1 tablespoon diced red pepper, optional

1 small handful sourdough crusts

1 teaspoon capers

1 tablespoon red wine or bramble vinegar

1 teaspoon ripped mint leaves

2 basil leaves, ripped

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons cold-pressed rapeseed oil

Good salt and pepper

METHOD

Heat the oven to 120°C.

Wash the tomatoes and pat dry. Place in an ovenproof dish and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and dry in the oven for about an hour.

Cut the sourdough crusts into 1-inch cubes and fry in the rapeseed oil until golden.

It’s now a case of assembling in the dish in a bowl as all the work has been done. Add the dried tomatoes and croutons to a big bowl, then add the cucumber, red onion, pepper, capers, vinegar, mint and basil. Season with salt and pepper then add the remaining olive oil.

Give all the ingredients a good mix and divide between 2 small bowls or serve as a big bowl in the centre of the table. Eat on its own or serve with fish or roast meats. 


NEIL'S RECIPES: LOBSTER TORTELLINI WITH WILTED SPINACH AND DILL

by Cafe St Honoré in


“Try making the pasta from scratch before filling it with a farce of white fish and lobster. I have used hake, but any white fish will do. Add a touch of herbs like chives and dill to the mix for added flavour. A tiny amount of ginger also works a treat.”

Neil Forbes Cafe St Honore Lobster Tortellini PRINT SIZE-CMPL2256-Edit.jpg

Serves 1
Prep time: 1 hour; cooking time: 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

50g white fish, like hake or haddock
100g cooked lobster meat, diced, leaving about 25g for garnish
2 eggs, one whole, one whisked
1 tablespoon crème fraîche
Half a teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon finely-chopped chives and dill, leaving some for the final garnish
100g 00 pasta flour
Good salt and pepper
A trickle of good olive oil
A squeeze of lemon juice
1 handful baby spinach, washed
A knob of butter

METHOD

Make the pasta dough in a food processor by adding the flour and a whole egg. Whizz for 30 seconds then place the mix on a clean work surface and knead for 30 seconds. Form into a brick shape, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, whizz the white fish and 75g of lobster along with the ginger, a pinch of salt and half the whisked egg for 30 seconds. Add the crème fraîche and whizz for a further 30 seconds, ensuring the mix is well combined. Scoop out into a clean bowl and add the chopped herbs. Keep in the fridge.

If you have a pasta machine, brilliant. Roll out the dough using the last setting, and as wide as the machine is, we are making 3 tortellini in total. If no machine, then use a rolling pin, but it’s hard work and will use a bit more flour. Roll to about 12 inches long.

Place the rolled dough onto parchment paper and top with 3 equally sized dollops of the lobster filling mixture on one half of the rectangle of dough. Turn over the flap of pasta, and using the edges of your pinkie, enclose each dollop of mixture in pasta ensuring there are no air bubbles. Mould into half moon shapes and cut off the excess dough, but leaving a fairly a large excess around the sealed edges. Squeeze these edges to ensure the dough isn’t too thick, then bring one pointed edge to meet the other and pinch to make each tortellini. Blanch in simmering, salted water for 4 to 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, wilt the spinach in the butter over a moderate heat. Season in the pan, then drain on a cloth.

To serve, place the spinach on a warm plate. Top with the tortellini, scattering some extra lobster meat over the top. Decorate with extra dill, then a squeeze of lemon juice and a trickle of good olive oil. Serve at once.

 


NEIL'S RECIPES: WARM STRAWBERRIES, VANILLA, ORANGE AND CRÈME FRAÎCHE

by Cafe St Honoré in


“This is a great way to use up old berries; almost a compote but not quite. Take the chill off the fruit, add a shaving of orange peel, vanilla seeds, a kick of sugar and a splash of Grand Mariner. The dollop of crème fraîche melts into the warm fruit and creates a delicious, rich and sweet berry sauce. Simple and elegant.”

Neil Forbes Cafe St Honoré warm strawberries in vanilla and orange, creme fraiche WEB 1.jpg

Serves 2

Prep time: 10 minutes; cooking time: 3 minutes

INGREDIENTS

12 strawberries

1 tablespoon caster sugar

1 tablespoon Grand Mariner

2 thumb-sized pieces of orange peel

1/3 vanilla pod, seeds scraped and pod retained

2 big dollops of crème fraîche

2 sprigs of mint, optional

METHOD

Give the strawberries a gentle wash under a tap, then remove their husks. Cut the bigger ones in half and leave any smaller ones whole.

Place them in a pot with the Grand Marnier and put on a moderate heat. Add the sugar as the liquid comes to the boil, then add the vanilla seeds, vanilla pod and the orange peel.

Stir gently in the pot, and be careful it doesn’t get too hot. Make sure the vanilla seeds are distributed by pressing them with the back of a spoon. After a minute or two, once everything is warm, spoon the berries and juice into a bowl.

Serve with the orange peel, vanilla pod and garnish with a sprig of mint, and a big dollop of crème fraîche.


MEET THE TEAM: ANDREW MCKENZIE

by Cafe St Honoré in


Discover what makes our team tick in the third of our series of interviews with our staff. It’s time to meet our chef de partie Andrew. Andrew is from Edinburgh and has been with us since August 2018.

Our chef de partie, Andrew

Our chef de partie, Andrew

What does your job entail? 

Working on the starter section, doing prep, ordering and organising, logging fridge temperatures, and most importantly, cooking the staff meals ensuring everyone gets a good plate of food twice a day.

What’s the favourite part of your job? 

I love butchery. Finding different cuts from different animals. Cafe is a brilliant place to learn butchery as we buy in whole carcasses and game birds in season.

What’s special about Cafe St Honoré? 

It’s a small team and working here has a real family feel. You can talk to anyone about anything. It’s a nice place to work and feel valued as an integral part of the team.

What do you like to cook at home?

I have an Italian family heritage so I love making, cooking and eating all sorts of pasta. I especially like making osso buco and home-made pizza. I have a starter for making sourdough at home and enjoy baking bread on my days off.

What’s your favourite dish at Cafe?

I’m a huge steak fan. At Cafe we have flat iron steak on a lot and it’s incredible! I like it with Béarnaise, chips and a salad. Absolutely classic.

Where do you eat out in Edinburgh?

Ting Thai Caravan is awesome at lunch time with friends - and very reasonably priced. I also like The Outsider, and El Cartel is always a favourite for that authentic Mexican taste!

What are your plans for the future?

There is so much to learn here at Cafe and I can’t wait to work more on the pastry and sauce sections, and cooking main courses. I’m still relatively new to cooking after completing a course at the Edinburgh New Town cookery school, but I just love it. Neil and Joe are brilliant at training and teaching. I’m pretty lucky to be here.


PICKLING LIQUID IN FOUR EASY STEPS

by Cafe St Honoré in


This really simple method for preserving veg is a must at this time of year when there’s often just too much good stuff to eat. It’s the perfect way to store beetroots (cook, peel and quarter them first), shavings of carrots and courgettes, blanched onion slices, cauliflower florets, sliced radishes, green beans - the list goes on! You’ll also have a lovely display of colourful veg in your kitchen to admire, and of course - to eat!

Pickling Liquid 1.jpg

STEP ONE

Gather your ingredients: 150ml water, 150ml vinegar, 150g sugar, a teaspoon of salt plus herbs and spices like peppercorns, star anise, thyme, bay leaves, mustard seeds. Experiment!

Pickling Liquid 2.jpg

STEP TWO

Add all the ingredients to a pan and bring to the boil.

Pickling Liquid 3.jpg

STEP THREE

Boil until all the sugar has dissolved.

Pickling Liquid 4.jpg

STEP FOUR

Pour into a clean jar. No need to wait until it’s cooled down to add the veg. If storing out of the fridge, sterilise the jar first.



YOUNG CHEF OF THE YEAR

by Cafe St Honoré in


We're all very chuffed that Ewan Jones has made the the shortlist for 'Young Chef of the Year' at this year's CIS Excellence Awards.

Ewan WEB SIZE (Credit - Paul Johnston at Copper Mango)-CMPL7003-Edit.jpg

Ewan made his debut at Cafe St Honoré 6 years ago - when he was just 16. Even at that early stage, Cafe’s chef director Neil Forbes could see his potential. He is hard-working, willing to learn and is blessed with a great sense of humour.

Neil wrote a blog featuring Ewan’s story for the Sustainable Restaurant Association - read it here.

He has progressed through all sections with flair and can now run a busy service. He relishes being left to run the kitchen and is very popular amongst the team.

Ewan is a conscientious and reliable young man - quiet but keen. He has developed skills of a very high standard and is now instrumental in keeping the restaurant operating 7 days a week.

He has also learned great life skills and is an inspiration to all the chefs that work with him. At just 22 he is already a very accomplished chef.

We hope Ewan inspires young people to nurture a career in the kitchen!