NEIL'S RECIPES: CHERRY AND FRANGIPANE TART

by Cafe St Honoré


"After many years of decline as so many ancient cheery orchards were cut down for arable farming and pasture, these wonderful deep red, stoned fruits are back on many menus and here to stay. If you like to eat cherries, I suggest you buy a cherry stoner as life is too short to remove all the stones by hand! I love the old fable that many of our ancient roads around Britain are lined with cherry trees as the Roman soldiers spat the stones out on the way north and the trees still survive." 

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 6

45 minutes prep, 1 hour cooking

INGREDIENTS

For the pastry:

120g butter, unsalted

60g icing sugar

220g plain flour

1 egg, beaten

Extra flour for sifting

For the frangipane:

150g butter

150g caster sugar

150g ground almonds

50g plain flour

2 eggs, beaten

A pinch of salt

A splash of cherry brandy or kirsch, optional

A tablespoon of flaked almonds

250g washed, and stoned cherries

Crème fraîche or clotted cream to serve

METHOD

To make the pastry, rub together the sugar and butter until creamed. Then add the egg a little at a time and then fold in the flour a little at a time too. It will seem a tad wet but will harden once chilled. Wrap the pastry in cling film and store in the fridge for 20 minutes. Once chilled, remove from the fridge and roll the pastry on a floured surface until 3mm thick.

Line a well-greased and floured bottomless 12'' tin with the pastry. Remove the overhanging edges and leave to rest again whilst you make your frangipane.

Heat the oven to 165°C.

To make the frangipane, beat together the butter and sugar until pale. Add the almonds gently and then the flour. Slowly incorporate the eggs, then add the salt and the liquor and mix well.

Pour a third of the frangipane mix into the pastry-lined tart case. Then add the cherries to the remaining mix and add this to the tart case. Smooth over with a wet palette knife and sprinkle over a few slithers of flaked almonds and bake for 45 minutes then check and bake for a further 15 minutes if required. Your knife should enter easily and exit clean with only cherry juice on it.

Allow to cool slightly then remove from the tin and serve warm with dollops of crème fraîche or thick clotted cream.


THE PERFECT ROAST CHICKEN IN 10 STEPS

by Cafe St Honoré in


We all love a roast chicken, but how many of us are confident about cooking it perfectly? Our Chef Director Neil Forbes is here to show you how.

Every Sunday Neil roasts a chicken at home for the family dinner, served with seasonal veg from the garden. So follow Neil's 10 steps, and you too can create the perfect roast, every time!


NEW TEAM ROLES

by Cafe St Honoré


We're delighted to welcome our new General Manager James Mackenzie to Cafe. James has a wealth of experience working in the industry and has been a friend of the Cafe team for several years.

Congratulations are also due to our wonderful chefs Joe Simpson and Ashley Calder who have both been promoted. After 5 years at Cafe, playing an integral role in the delivery of truly local and seasonal dishes, Joe now takes on the role of Head Chef.

Whist Ashley has been promoted to Sous Chef. Affectionately know as Princess Pastry, Ashley is now responsible for all sections in the kitchen. But fear not, our menus are still being graced by her superb desserts every week!

Ashley, James and Joe.

Ashley, James and Joe.


NEIL'S RECIPES: FILLET OF HALIBUT WITH SAMPHIRE AND CHANTERELLES

by Cafe St Honoré in


"Get your fishmonger to do the hard work and fillet the fish for you. As an alternative to halibut, try hake, or smoked haddock works well. Fish goes really well with chanterelles and it’s the start of the mushroom season here in Scotland, so these vibrant orange fungi are easily foraged. If you do go picking, be careful and make sure you know what you are doing. Salty samphire brings all the flavours together nicely. It grows wild on coastal marsh areas in East Lothian but you should get permission from the landowner before any form of foraging."

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

4 175g halibut fillets, farmed Gigha Halibut is great
1 handful of British samphire, washed
2 handfuls of chanterelles mushrooms, cleaned
A few flowers from the garden, I like nasturtium leaves and flowers, borage is pretty too
2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
150g butter
Juice of a lemon, some fennel fronds, optional
Good salt and pepper

Season the fish all over. Heat a frying pan and a pot on the hob, bringing both to moderate heat. Add the oil to the frying pan and leave for a couple of minutes. Then add half the butter and the mushrooms to the pot, followed by the samphire and season. Keep tossing being careful not to burn the butter.

Meanwhile, check the fish. It should be starting to turn golden brown on the underside. Once it is, turn each fillet over and continue cooking. Add the remaining butter to the frying pan. It will start to froth and become lovely and nut brown in colour. Season the fish again and squeeze in the lemon juice, a few drops at a time. If you like, add some fennel fronds at this stage, as they will flavour the butter well.

When the mushrooms and samphire are just soft, season again and spoon into the centre of four warmed plates. Place the fish on top and decorate with the flowers and a few more drops of lemon.


NEIL'S RECIPES: ICED CROWDIE AND RASPBERRY PARFAIT

by Cafe St Honoré in


"The taste of this parfait is similar to a frozen cheesecake with the slightly salty, textured crowdie mixed with the sweetness of Angus raspberries. It just knocks me for six every time I eat it. Scattering a few oats as a tiny crust is great, or have it on its own, in a glass, bowl or plate, it doesn’t matter. Once it’s made, it’s in your freezer for a good few weeks until it’s all eaten! Do give it a go, maybe ask for help as there are a few stages to go through. Come on, I did give you an easy starter and main course to cook!"

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

This will make 2 terrine moulds (classic le Creuset style) or ice-cream tubs rubbed with oil and lined with 2 sheets of cling film. Very importantly, before lining with oil and cling film, add a strip of triple layered tin foil so you can lift the parfait out of the terrine when it’s frozen. Allow for an overhang of the tin foil and the cling film.

INGREDIENTS

350g raspberries, chopped plus extra for garnishing

Roasted pinhead oats, toasted as a garnish, optional

coulis:
150ml water
140g sugar
175g raspberries

creamed crowdie:
300ml double cream
600g crowdie

meringue:
4 egg whites
250g sugar
pâte à bombe

110 ml water
150g sugar

8 egg yolks

METHOD

Begin by making a coulis. Boil the coulis ingredients together until syrupy then blitz and pass through a sieve. Keep to one side. 

Next make the crowdie cream, by whisking together the cream and crowdie until smooth. Keep to one side. 

To make a classic meringue mix, whisk the egg whites until 3/4 whisked then add the sugar a little at a time as you continue to whisk. Use a mixer for this if you have one. Keep to one side.

To make the pâte à bombe parfait mixture, heat the water and sugar until it reaches 121°C. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and continue to whisk as you gently pour in the molten sugar. Use a miser for this if you have one. Keep whisking until the mix starts to cool slightly. This will take about 5 minutes.

To assemble, use a large bowl to fold the meringue into the pâte à bombe. Then fold in the coulis and crowdie cream, being very gentle as you go. And finally fold in the chopped raspberries.

Ensure all is combined and scoop into your prepared terrine moulds. Fold the cling film over the top and freeze overnight. The next day, remove the parfait from the moulds by lifting out using the tin foil handles.

Serve sliced with some toasted oats and fresh raspberries.

 


NEIL'S RECIPES: HALIBUT AND PETIT POIS A LA FRANÇAISE

by Cafe St Honoré in


"Quite delicious and fresh tasting - what more could you want from a very quick dish? It’s so easy now to obtain sustainable fish from your monger or market, so for this recipe I’ve chosen halibut. I adore this fish, but hake, cod, coley  - or any other fish of your choice - work well with this classic and versatile garnish. Bacon lardons, peas, lettuce, a touch of mint and a lot of butter is key here. And I love adding the crunch of a garden radish. Peas are everywhere now but frozen would do outwith the short harvest. Or try it with broad beans - if they are fresh, keep them in their shells after podding. Delicious."

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

4 150g pieces of Halibut or whatever fish you like, all skin and bones removed

200g petit pois, or your own home-grown peas, shelled, podded and blanched in boiling salted water for 3 minutes

1 baby gem lettuce, washed

A handful of mint leaves

A small handful of curly parsley

150g piece of good bacon or pancetta, cut into lardons

1/2 a shallot, finely sliced

100g butter

30mls cold-pressed rapeseed oil

1 teaspoon flour, optional

A handful of radishes, sliced

1 lemon

Good salt and pepper

METHOD

Heat half the oil and fry the lardons until just starting to go brown. Then add the shallot and fry gently for 2 to 3 minutes. Next, add the blanched peas and season with salt and pepper. Add half the butter and bring the ingredients together.

Meanwhile, get the remaining oil hot in a non-stick pan and fry the halibut steaks for 3 to 4 minutes either side or until they are just cooked. Season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining butter and baste the fish as it finishes cooking in the frothy butter. Add a squeeze of lemon and place the pieces of fish on a warm plate.

Shred the lettuce, rip the mint and parsley and add to the pea mixture with a touch of flour if you like to thicken the butter slightly. Season and add the radishes. Serve with the halibut and bring to the table warm.


BOOM! WE WON.

by Cafe St Honoré


We're delighted to say that we won Best Organic Eating Out at the Soil Association's BOOM Awards! The ceremony at Borough Market followed judging by a panel of experts including chefs, journalists and retailers of over 1000 entries across a range of categories.

The BOOM Awards are the UK’s only dedicated organic awards celebrating people, producers, restaurants and brands working to produce food as it should be. We're very proud to be championing organic. 


NEIL'S RECIPES: MONKFISH TAIL WITH SALSA VERDE AND SEMI-DRIED TOMATOES

by Cafe St Honoré in


It is a rare treat for me to use monkfish. Always ensure you buy from a sustainable source and it’s very fresh. Monkfish has a meaty texture with no small bones, just one central bone that can be left in if you want to cook it on the barbecue, or trimmed and the bone removed. Either way, don’t overcook the fish - keep it slightly underdone and allow to rest as it does go a bit dry if it’s over cooked. I’m serving here with salsa verde, a brilliant sauce a bit like pesto, but so much better.

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 large monkfish tail, either on or off the bone, get your fishmonger to help you trim it or remove the bone
4 large new season tomatoes, I like Isle of Wight organic tomatoes
A small handful each of fresh mint, parsley and basil, washed and dried
1 tablespoon of capers
1 tablespoon of anchovies, optional
1 tablespoon of good Dijon or wholegrain mustard
250ml extra-virgin olive oil, I use Palestinian organic olive oil, plus extra for roasting the tomatoes
A splash of red wine vinegar
1 clove of garlic
A few sprigs of thyme
Good salt and pepper
A few edible flowers, optional
A splash of sunflower oil
Lemon juice for seasoning

METHOD

Pre-heat oven to 130°C.

To make the semi-dried tomatoes, remove the eyes from the tomatoes and cut them half . Then cut each half into 4 wedges and place in an oven-proof dish. Trickle with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle over the thyme leaves. Place in the oven for a few hours until just semi-dried.

To make the salsa verde, blitz the herbs, capers, anchovies, vinegar, garlic and mustard, and olive oil in a blender until a slightly chunky consistency is achieved. Taste and season as required.

Prepare the fish for cooking by patting it dry and seasoning. Then place a frying pan on the hob and add a splash of sunflower oil. Once the oil is very hot add the monkfish very carefully. Colour the fish on all sides then season again and place in a hot (180°C) oven for a few minutes until it is still slightly under cooked.

Remove from the oven and season with a squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper if required.

To serve, slice the fish and drizzle with salsa verde and serve with the tomatoes.


NEIL'S RECIPES: STRAWBERRIES, CREAM, MERINGUE AND BRAMBLE VINEGAR

by Cafe St Honoré in


Strawberries and cream is a classic. This dish is a bit like an Eton Mess but made different with the addition of bramble vinegar. It has a wonderful fresh sweetness which brings out the taste of the strawberries, in fact I use it with a lot of fruit. I get mine from Summer Harvest but you can make your own. It’s not a vinegar to put on your chips – it has a very light, almost drinkably sweet, sharp taste. Try it. 

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 punnet of local, new-season strawberries, husks removed, washed and at room temperature

150ml double cream, lightly whipped

A handful of mini meringues – shop-bought is fine

A few tablespoons of bramble-infused vinegar, I like Summer Harvest

Icing sugar for dusting

A few sweet cicely leaves

METHOD

Arrange the strawberries in a bowl, with the mini meringues dotted around then pipe the cream on top. Drizzle the vinegar over the top and add a dusting of icing sugar and a few leaves of sweet cicely.


RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR

by Cafe St Honoré


We're thrilled to have been awarded Restaurant of the Year at last night's CIS Excellence Awards. We're very proud of our entire team, and it just goes to show that all the hard work we do to source our ingredients responsibly, be truly sustainable and to treat our staff well pays off. We love what we do, and we hope every one of our customers has a lovely experience every time they visit.

Neil Forbes and Joe Simpson collecting the award

Neil Forbes and Joe Simpson collecting the award


NEIL'S RECIPES: ASPARAGUS, SOFT-BOILED EGG, WATERCRESS AND RADISH

by Cafe St Honoré


"Asparagus always tastes best when treated simply. Just blanched in boiling salted water and dipped in melted butter is delightful. But here I have added a soft-boiled organic egg, some watercress and radishes. We grow wonderful asparagus here in Scotland, so please try to avoid Peruvian asparagus, it’s been over-farmed and damages the ecosystem due to the irrigation required."

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

Allow 4 spears of asparagus each person
4 organic eggs, a few days old are easier to peel
A big bunch of British watercress
A few radishes
4 tablespoons of organic extra-virgin olive oil
Good salt and pepper

METHOD

Firstly, bring a pan of water to the boil, then add the eggs and cook on a rolling boil for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the eggs from the water and refresh under cold running water. Whilst they are cooling peel them carefully.

Remove the bottom of the asparagus spears, roughly the last inch or two. Then peel two inches at the bottom of each spear to remove any woody parts. If it’s young asparagus, this may not be required.

Bring a pot of seasoned water to the boil and blanch the spears for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the water and season.

To serve, arrange the asparagus on plates and garnish with a trickle of extra-virgin olive oil. Place an egg on top and cut to reveal the yolk. Garnish with a few watercress leaves and some slices of radish.


NEIL AT BOROUGH

by Cafe St Honoré


Neil is heading to the Demo Kitchen at Borough Market where he'll be sharing his favourite spring recipes inspired by the Beltane Festival. Read Neil's thoughts on the Borough site here.

Catch Neil in the Market Hall at Borough between 12:30-2pm on Friday 28th April.

 

 


NEIL'S RECIPES: FLAPJACKS

by Cafe St Honoré in


"Flapjacks seem to be one of those sweet treats that we all know, but no-one really talks about. I adore their sweet oaty taste. This recipe was devised in collaboration with Connor from the restaurant, who makes it very well. Perfect served with a cuppa."

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Makes 18 finger-sized bars

INGREDIENTS

500g porridge oats

250g jumbo oats

375g unsalted butter

375g dark brown soft muscovado sugar

10 tablespoons of golden syrup

Nuts, seeds or dried fruit as desired

METHOD

Heat oven to 180°C.

Melt the butter over a very low heat then slowly stir in the brown sugar until dissolved.

Add the oats and give it a good mix. You may need to do this in a large mixing bowl.

Add nuts and fruit, stir.

Line a baking tray with a smear of oil and then a layer of greaseproof paper. The oil helps to stick the paper in place.

Spread the mix into the tray, pressing it down firmly with a palette knife. It can be thick or thin, depending on the size of your tray.

Bake for around 20 minutes, or until it begins to turn golden brown.

Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. Then turn out of the tray, remove the paper, and cut into desired shapes.


NEIL'S RECIPES: FISHCAKE, WILTED SPINACH AND POACHED EGG

by Cafe St Honoré in


"We always sell out of these when they’re on the menu as they are just such a tasty way of eating. The little things to get right here are balance of lemon and herbs. Ask your fishmonger for fish pie mix, and even ask for the skin off. I’m not that keen on oily fish in my fishcake but salmon works well as the pink flesh stands out when you cut through the crunchy coating. So very tasty and a recipe you will come back to again and again. A true classic."

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Makes 4 fishcakes

INGREDIENTS

250g fishcake mix

3 large potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed, no butter added

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon capers

1 tablespoon chopped parsley and chives

2 spring onions, finely chopped

A splash of vinegar for the poached egg water

2 tablespoons plain flour

2 eggs, beaten, for egg wash

4 tablespoons breadcrumbs

4 organic eggs

2 big handfuls of washed spinach, I like baby spinach

A knob of butter

Good salt and pepper

Oil for frying

A little olive oil for drizzling

METHOD

Heat oven to 180°C.

Firstly ensure the potato mash is dry and still warm.

Next, place the fish on a baking tray and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven until just cooked, moving it around if necessary.

Once ready, add the fish to a large mixing bowl with lemon juice and mashed potato and gently combine. Then add the zest of lemon, capers, parsley, chives, spring onions and season. Combine being careful not to over mix.

Divide the mixture into 4 and form into fishcakes. Place them on a sheet of greaseproof paper and place in the fridge until fully chilled.

Meanwhile season the flour and lay out the egg wash and breadcrumbs in small bowls. Coat each fishcake in flour, then egg wash then breadcrumbs.

Heat a deep fryer to 160°C and cook the fishcakes for 5 to 7 minutes until golden brown all over, turning carefully if necessary. Then place them in the oven (180°C) for a further 10 to 15 minutes until the centre of each fishcake is piping hot.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to just below the boil and add a splash of vinegar. Crack the eggs into the water and poach for 3 to 4 minutes.

Heat the knob of butter in a pan and wilt the spinach. Season with salt and pepper. This should only take 2 to 3 minutes.

To serve, arrange the spinach on warmed plates, placing the piping hot fishcake on top with the egg on top of that. Drizzle with a little olive oil, and finish with a grind of salt and pepper.


NEIL'S RECIPES: VANILLA RICE PUDDING WITH NEW SEASON FORCED YORKSHIRE RHUBARB

by Cafe St Honoré in


"An old favourite of mine. Rich, velvety rice pudding works brilliantly with the slight sharpness of new season forced rhubarb. Grown in dark sheds in the ‘rhubarb triangle’ of Yorkshire it’s harvested by candlelight. Some say you can hear the rhubarb crowns creaking and growing as they force their way through the crowns. Be careful to not overcook it though. I like to add a hint of citrus zest and a wee kick of vanilla."  

Images: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Images: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

100g pudding rice

75g caster sugar

1 vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out

500mls whole milk, I use organic

400g Yorkshire rhubarb

Zest of half a lemon

Zest of half an orange

A liberal sprinkling of sugar

A splash of cream

A knob of butter

METHOD

Heat oven to 180°C.

Place the milk in a thick-bottomed pot on the hob. Add the rice and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Then add the vanilla seeds. Keep the pod for the rhubarb.

Bring this mixture to just below the boil, stirring every minute or so. Be careful not to burn the milk or to let the rice stick to the bottom of the pan. It will take around 20 minutes for the rice to soften. Add a touch of cream and butter to enrich the pudding if you like.

Meanwhile, top and tail the rhubarb and give it a good wash. Cut it into roughly 1-inch pieces and place on a baking tray with sides. Add the citrus zests, the vanilla pod and a liberal sprinkling of sugar. Place in the oven until the rhubarb is soft and the sugar has created a wonderful syrup. Allow to cool slightly.

To serve, divide the pudding between four warmed bowls and top with the rhubarb.


NEIL'S RECIPES: CHOCOLATE FONDANT

by Cafe St Honoré in


"To guarantee a soft, liquid centre place a few chocolate buttons or a cube of chocolate into the centre of the mix you are using. I use a dariole mould - a metal bowl the size of a tea cup. I love Montezuma chocolate; use your favourite, but use dark. To add extra texture I’ve used a sprinkle of praline."

Images: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Makes 2 large or 4 small fondants

INGREDIENTS

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon of plain flour

100g dark chocolate, plus a few extra buttons for the centre

100g unsalted butter, diced

65g caster sugar

A little melted butter for brushing

A little cocoa powder for dusting

A dollop of crème fraîche

A small handful of hazelnuts

Another 75g caster sugar

METHOD

Heat the oven to 180°C.

Begin by making a praline. Add 75g of caster sugar to a pan and melt gently, allowing it to become dark and caramel in colour. This should take 3 to 5 minutes. Then stir in the hazelnuts and pour onto an oiled, clean surface like a non-stick, heat-resistant mat or a marble work surface. Once cooled, blitz in a food processor or crush with a rolling pin.

Next, prepare 2 large, or 4 small, dariole moulds by brushing with the melted butter then dust with a little cocoa powder. Knocking any excess powder out.

Whisk the egg, yolks and flour in a bowl and set to one side.

Place the chocolate, butter and sugar in a bowl over a pan of boiling water and melt gently whilst whisking to combine. When it reaches room temperature, add the egg and flour mix to the chocolate mix. This is a basic fondant recipe.

Next, spoon the mixture into the moulds until they are half full, then add the buttons, then fill the moulds to the top. If there’s any mix left over, it will keep well in the fridge for another day.

Bake the fondants in the oven for 9 to 11 minutes, and then let them sit for a minute outside the oven before carefully turning them out onto warm plates. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche and a sprinkle of praline.


NEIL'S RECIPES: SEAFOOD PLATTER

by Cafe St Honoré in


"Trust your fishmonger. Always ask for creel-caught prawns and lobsters, and only ever buy hand-dived scallops. Don’t be tempted to buy cheap shellfish; it’s cheap for a reason! Here I have used mussels, scallops and other pieces of fresh fish but tomorrow the fish may be different so be flexible. Always serve with a massive lemon; roasted in the pan cut side down helps make it even juicier. Have a salad on the side to break up the richness of the fish and a garlicky butter with parsley will get the flavours combined. Don’t bother with cutlery. Get messy and enjoy!"

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1 handful of mussels, beards removed

2 scallops, hand-dived and out of the shell

1 squid, prepped and scored

1 fillet of grey mullet

A few radicchio leaves

A handful of watercress

Half a lemon

Good salt and pepper

1 tablespoon of cold-pressed rapeseed oil

A knob of butter

A clove of garlic, smashed

1 tablespoon of curly parsley, chopped

METHOD

Find your biggest frying pan, and get it hot on the hob. Add the rapeseed oil. Season the fish and shellfish and add to the pan. Keep an eye on the temperature as you don’t want the pan to get too hot. And be aware that each fish will have different cooking times. The mullet will take a little longer to cook than the scallops for example.

Season the fish and shellfish again in the pan and add the smashed garlic clove, the parsley and the butter then cover the pan with a lid (if you have one) so the mussels can open up, and the squid should start to curl up. Add some lemon juice and season again. Turn the scallops and fish as required, the whole process should only take 3 to 4 minutes. Try not to over cook the fish.

Once ready, remove the fish from the pan and place onto a warm platter. If you have the scallop shell, use them to display your scallops. Add the lemon to the pan cut-side down and cook until it starts to blacken then add to your platter. Enjoy with a salad and a glass of fizz.