NEIL'S RECIPES: HAND-DIVED SCALLOP WITH A SWEET WINE AND CARROT BUTTER SAUCE

by Cafe St Honoré


“I remember making this sauce at Kinnaird House years ago, and I’ve been making it ever since. The jus de nage is so important. It involves a lot of veg chopping but the stock can be left in a Kilner jar in the fridge for a few weeks and will be perfect to poach fish in, to use as a base for a cream sauce, or even to add to a gravy on Sunday. It’s full of flavour.”

Neil Forbes Cafe St Honoré Hand-dived Scallop with Carrot Butter Sauce WEB SIZE (Credit - Paul Johnston)-CMPL0639-Edit-2.jpg

Serves 4

Prep time: 1 hour

Cooking time: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS


4 large hand-dived scallops, cleaned and left in their shell with the roe attached 
1 medium organic carrot, peeled and cut into very small dice
1/2 glass sweet wine, like a Sauternes
100ml jus de nage (veg stock)
25ml double cream
100g cold unsalted butter, diced
Good salt and pepper
1 teaspoon cold-pressed rapeseed oil
A few drops of lemon juice
Chervil to garnish

For the jus de nage 

2 carrots, peeled and cut into small dice
1 stick celery, cut into small dice
1/2 bulb fennel, cut into small dice
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into small dice
1 leek, cut into small dice 
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 pinch saffron
Peel of 1 lemon
500ml water
500ml white wine
A few peppercorns
A sprig of thyme
Good salt and pepper

METHOD

To make the jus de nage. Add all the ingredients to a pot and bring to the boil. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Strain off as much stock as you need and retain the rest for something else.

Make the carrot butter sauce by placing the finely-diced carrot in a small pot with the sweet wine, and cook until half the wine has evaporated. Next add the jus de nage and reduce by half. Then add the cream and reduce by half again. As this is bubbling away, swirl in the cold butter. Season and add a few drops of lemon juice. Continue stirring until all the butter emulsifies. Don’t over heat the sauce or it will split, so do this gently off the heat. 

Season the scallops with a kick of salt and pepper, then sear them in the oil in a hot, non-stick frying pan, flesh-side down. Cook for 3 minutes then remove from the pan and flash them under a hot grill, or in a hot oven, in their shells.

To serve, trickle the butter sauce over the scallops and garnish with chervil.


MEET THE TEAM: JOE SIMPSON

by Cafe St Honoré


Discover what makes our team tick with our new series of interviews with our staff. First up, our head chef Joe Simpson, who’s been with us for six years.

Our head chef, Joe Simpson

Our head chef, Joe Simpson

What’s special about Cafe St Honoré?

Having the freedom and opportunity to change the menus frequently prevents the team from becoming complacent, ensures we’re always evolving, and makes Cafe a great training ground for chefs. The restaurant itself is beautiful, with a really special, intimate feel that’s impossible to replicate. Most importantly for me though is that the food we serve, is the food I love to eat. Simple, honest and delicious. I wish there were more restaurants like Cafe that I could dine in on my days off. We’re also highly committed to all things sustainable from sourcing of produce and providing good working conditions, to recycling and reducing waste. It’s a great source of pride for the whole team.

Favourite dish and why?

There are too many to mention. I love the sense of occasion that accompanies a classic roast (the trimmings are often as good as the centerpiece) be it lamb shoulder, chicken, pork belly or a beef rib or sirloin. I have fond memories of these feasts going back to early childhood. I also have a soft spot for classic brasserie fare like confit duck or cassoulet, and I’m intrigued by the traditions associated with these recipes. Nowadays, many classic French dishes are viewed as ‘old-hat’, but despite constantly changing food trends, they will always have an important part to play in European food culture. I adore paella – another dish steeped in history and tradition – and cooked perfectly it is hard to beat. But my list is long and includes risotto, carbonara, tagine, Cullen skink, Thai curry, tacos, burgers, pizza, steak.  I guess so much depends on time, place and company. A good wine to wash it all down is a must!

Favourite cook books?

I own a vast collection of cookbooks. Some I’ve had for years. It’s always nice to revisit and rediscover forgotten gems. A few books always occupy pride of place however.

Anything written by Thomas Keller. I admire his absolute commitment to perfectionism and his meticulous technical approach to cooking at his flagship restaurant The French Laundry, his bistro, or bakery. These are beautiful books that everyone can learn something from.

Fergus Henderson’s ‘Nose to Tail Cooking’ is a great read with a witty and unique writing style. He’s been so influential in defining British cooking since the early 90s. His restaurant St John in Clerkenwell, London, is a true British institution.

The River Café Cookbook(s).  A bible of Italian cooking, with emphasis on regionality and core ingredients. The recipes are generally accessible and I particularly enjoy the sections on pastry. Chocolate Nemisis will always be the ultimate dessert in my eyes!

Favourite restaurants?

I really believe that food is only a proportion of what defines a great restaurant. I’ve eaten incredible food in some of the most highly acclaimed restaurants but haven’t necessarily loved the overall experience. Very occasionally a restaurant will get it just right. The service should be professional, but friendly and genuine; the food and wine should be honest and delicious, with provenance; and the atmosphere should be relaxing and fun. Then it’s really special. For me a few stand outs are River Café in London and Vue de Monde in Melbourne. Closer to home, I’m a huge fan of El Cartel, Locanda de Gusti and Origano. 

What piece of kitchen equipment is indispensable?

Apart from a stove and an oven I would say an ice-cream machine. Even in the depths of winter I love ice-cream, especially freshly churned.

Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?

Cooking in a restaurant on a vineyard with a vast kitchen garden in New Zealand. I would love to have a few vines and produce my own wine. Running a small cook school is another dream of mine.  

 

 


SOURDOUGH STARTER IN SIX EASY STEPS

by Cafe St Honoré


We bake and serve fresh sourdough every day at Cafe. Mornings always begin with bread-making – as we believe no good meal is complete without a proper sourdough!

It’s easy to start making sourdough at home with these 6 easy steps from Neil.

“Whenever you make a sourdough loaf, try to use your sense of touch. It is a science, but it’s always a good idea to employ your senses and intuition. It may take a while to get the dough started, but your starter will never die, it will just lie dormant in the fridge if you’re not using it. Otherwise, feed it every day with equal quantities of water and flour. Great if you have the time, but as sourdough lasts so well, you may only need to bake a loaf once or twice a week.”

Keep scrolling for our sourdough recipe.

Cafe St Honoré Levain 1 WEB SIZE (Credit - Paul Johnston)-CMPL0660.jpg

STEP ONE

Add 200g strong, white organic flour and 200ml warm tap water to a bowl.

Cafe St Honoré Levain 2 WEB SIZE (Credit - Paul Johnston)-CMPL0673.jpg

STEP TWO

Combine into a thick paste using a wooden spoon. Don’t use any antibacterial chemicals to clean any of your utensils as this kills the good bacteria you need to make a natural yeast.

Cafe St Honoré Levain 3 WEB SIZE (Credit - Paul Johnston)-CMPL0677.jpg

STEP THREE

Pour the mix into a plastic, ceramic or glass container and leave to ferment for 2 days in a warm, or room-temperature, place. Cover with a lid or cling film, and give it a stir every day. It’s important that the starter isn’t in contact with anything metal.

Cafe St Honoré Levain 4 WEB SIZE (Credit - Paul Johnston)-CMPL0682.jpg

STEP FOUR

After 2 days fermenting, feed the starter by adding 100g strong, white organic flour and 100ml of warm tap water. Mix and replace the lid and leave again for a further 2 days. Repeat this method after another 2 days.

Cafe St Honoré Levain 5 WEB SIZE (Credit - Paul Johnston)-CMPL0689.jpg

STEP FIVE

The starter is ready to use (see recipe below). If using again the next day, leave it on the countertop. If not, place in the fridge where it will lay dormant until you start to feed it again.

Cafe St Honoré Levain 6 WEB SIZE (Credit - Paul Johnston)-CMPL0694.jpg

STEP SIX

The finished loaf, made with nothing but flour, water and salt. I use Mungoswells flour, Isle of Skye sea salt and good old tap water. Invest in a proving basket to achieve a lovely shape.

NEIL’S SOURDOUGH RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

500g organic, strong white flour, grown and milled in Scotland ideally

285ml warm, tap water (you may need more water, a wetter dough is better than a dryer dough)

135g starter 

15g good sea salt, I like Isle of Skye

Semolina for dusting

METHOD

Add all the ingredients to a mixer and beat on a slow, low speed. The longer the better. 

If the dough is looking a bit dry, add more warm water. The texture of the dough is dependent on the temperature and moisture in the air, and I would always suggest making a slightly wetter dough than normal. I have very rarely failed with a sloppy, wet dough!

Once all the ingredients are incorporated, place the dough in a lightly-oiled bowl or tub with enough room for it to double in size. Cover with a lid. Leave for around 3 hours at room temperature, then refrigerate overnight. The next morning, let it reach room temperature before shaping gently into a ball.

Once shaped, place the dough into a semolina-dusted banneton or proving basket. If it’s a wet dough be careful and not to over-prove at this stage. Keep it somewhere cosy but not too hot for an hour or two and it’ll prove beautifully. 

Heat the oven to 200°C and turn the loaves out onto a tray, tucking them in underneath just before they go in the oven. 

Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 150°C and continue to bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a cooling wire.


TRUTH, LOVE & CLEAN CUTLERY

by Cafe St Honoré


We were honoured to be invited to feature in Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery - a new, kinder, dining guide designed to identify the restaurants and food experiences that go above and beyond great food and wine in the ethical, organic and environmentally sustainable ways with which they run their business.

TL&CC said: “For the past decade chefs and restaurateurs have been shifting their priorities to place a greater value on health, community, empathy and care, and supporting and sustainable ethical practices by farmers, producers and wine-makers. They are working harder than ever to cook with seasonal, locally sourced produce, reduce their carbon emissions and minimize their waste.”

It’s great to be part of a growing number of establishments that place such a high emphasis on these very important elements of running a restaurant. We’re all involved in the successful running of Cafe, so we bought the team T-shirts to show how proud we are of everyone’s contribution.

Edited by Giles Coren in the UK, you can find out how to buy a copy here.


STEWART CHRISTIE & CO. INTERVIEW NEIL FORBES

by Cafe St Honoré


One of our favourite shops is just around the corner. Stewart Christie & Co. is the oldest bespoke tailors in Scotland. Tracing its trading heritage back to around 1720, they are also the second oldest business in Edinburgh. After four generations in the same family, they’re beginning a new era and focusing more on their own label clothing. And that’s where we come in! Their superb blog is a cornucopia of info on everything from tweeds to poetry peppered with a good dose of interesting people wearing their clothes. Our chef director Neil Forbes was suited and booted and spent the day posing for the camera at Cafe whilst answering a few questions. See more pics and read the full blog article here.

Credits:

All tailoring by Stewart Christie & Co.

Photography by Laura Meek


NEIL'S RECIPES: STEAK AND ROAST GARLIC BUTTER

by Cafe St Honoré


“We all love a steak. Cooked simply, charred on the BBQ or pan. The trick is to use a moderate heat, as if the pan is too hot the meat will overcook quickly on the outside. Use lots of butter and beef fat when frying and baste constantly. Serve with a lovely salad, and some roast garlic butter.”

Neil Forbes Flat Iron Steak WEB.jpg

Serves one 

Prep time: 10 minutes, plus 1 hour for roasting garlic
Cooking time: 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 really good steak of your liking, I’m enjoying flat irons just now

1 sprig thyme

1 bulb garlic 

1 knob butter, for frying 

100g butter, softened

1 teaspoon chopped parsley

1 tablespoon beef fat

1 handful of good salad leaves

A few red onion rings

1 teaspoon grain mustard
1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon apple vinegar

2 tablespoons cold-pressed rapeseed oil

Good salt and pepper

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180°C / Gas Mark 4

Remove the steak from the fridge.

Wrap the garlic bulb in foil with a little oil and salt. Bake for 1 hour.

Remove the garlic from the oven and turn up the heat to 200°C / Gas Mark 6.

To make the roast garlic butter, simply remove the garlic from the foil and squeeze the roasted flesh into a bowl. Add 100g butter, the parsley, season with salt and pepper and mix. Roll the butter mix up in a sheet of greaseproof paper like a sausage and refrigerate. Once firm, cut into discs the size of a pound coin.

Make a salad dressing by adding the honey, mustard and vinegar to a bowl, seasoning with salt and pepper then whisk whilst trickling in the rapeseed oil. Set to one side. 

Place a good frying pan on the hob and take it to a moderate heat, then add the beef fat. Season the steak and add to the pan with the thyme. Turn the heat up a bit if needed, then add the knob of butter and continue to cook on each side until it begins to caramelise. This should take about one minute on each side. Season again and place in the oven for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and rest on a plate in a warm place. Just before serving place a disc of garlic butter to the still-warm steak to melt.

Mix the red onion with the salad leaves and toss with the dressing. Season and place onto a fresh plate with the steak.

 

 


NEIL'S RECIPES: PEAR AND ALMOND TART, CRÈME FRAÎCHE

by Cafe St Honoré


“I’m lucky and have space to grow fruit in my garden and allotment, but we can all ask our neighbours if they have any spare, or get access a local share site online and find someone who has a glut of fruit when it’s in season. Any spare fruit I have goes to Cafe St Honoré kitchen, where recently Maison Forbes pears were used in a tart made to this recipe.” 

Neil Forbes Cafe St Honore Pear and Almond Tart WEB SIZE-CMPL9665-Edit.jpg

Serves 4

Prep time: 2 hours; cooking time: 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 pears

500ml water

100g sugar

1 cinnamon stick

320g soft butter

440g plain flour, sifted

100g icing sugar, sifted

5 eggs

200g caster sugar

200g ground almonds

A few flaked almonds as a garnish

METHOD

Peel the pears and place them in. apt with a sugar and water solution made with 500ml water, 100g sugar and 1 cinnamon stick. Cook on a low poach for 1 to 2 hours until the pears are soft. Allow to cool.

Prepare 4 fluted tart shells with a little melted butter and a dusting of flour. I use fluted tins with removable bases.

Heat the oven to 150°C / Gas Mark 2

To make the pastry, beat the icing sugar and 120g butter together until fluffy and creamy. Add 240g flour and gently add an egg. Combine to make a dough. Rest for 15 minutes then roll out and line the tart shells, removing any overhanging pastry. Rest again.

To make the frangipane, begin by beating 4 eggs, then cream 200g butter with the caster sugar. Add the almonds, then 200g flour and the beaten eggs to make a thick paste.

Once the pears are cool, cut into quarters, then remove the cores and slice thinly.

To assemble the tart, spoon the frangipane into the tart shell, then add a few pear slices, then top with more frangipane. Don’t overfill the tarts as they will rise in the oven. Decorate with flaked almonds and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked underneath. 

Serve hot with a dollop of crème fraîche.

 


NEIL'S RECIPES: BREAST OF PHEASANT, CHESTNUT, ORANGE, BACON, SPROUTS AND THYME

by Cafe St Honoré


“This is a delicious dish. The sprouts are quartered which stops them being overcooked and brown, or worse, undercooked and crisp. I use vac pac chestnuts as they are good, tasty and easy to use. If you have time on your hands, roast whole chestnuts on an open fire. The addition of orange and thyme gives a sense of Christmas. Just be careful not to overcook the meat as it can easily become dry and tough.”

Neil Forbes Cafe St Honore Pheasant, Sprouts, Chestnuts WEB SIZE-CMPL9666-Edit.jpg

Serves 1

Prep time: 20 minutes; cooking time: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 breast of pheasant, skin on

1 tablespoon of chestnuts, halved

1 tablespoon of bacon lardons, cut chunky

1 teaspoon of chopped orange zest and thyme 

3 or 4 sprouts 

1 tablespoon of cold-pressed rapeseed oil

A knob of butter

Good salt and pepper

METHOD

Heat the oven to 220°C / Gas Mark 7

Cut the sprouts into quarters and blanch in boiling, salted water for 2 minutes, then refresh in cold water.

Heat the oil to medium heat in a large, oven-proof frying pan and add the pheasant skin-side-down, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then turn and continue to cook for a further 3 to 4 minutes. 

Add the bacon lardons to the pan and cook until golden. This should take 4 to 5 minutes whilst the pheasant is cooking.

Place the pan in the oven and cook for 5 minutes. Remove and add the butter, chestnuts, zest of orange and thyme, and sprouts and give the pan a toss to combine everything.  

Remove the pheasant and let it rest for a few minutes in a warm place before giving it a final season. 

To serve, arrange the garnish around the pheasant on a warm plate and serve with gravy if you like, or a cream and tarragon sauce would work too.


NEIL'S RECIPES: PORK BELLY, CHAMP, CRISPY SAGE, FENNEL AND LEMON BUTTER

by Cafe St Honoré


“We often use this classic way of cooking pork belly at Cafe St Honoré. It’s simple: skin removed, boned out, seasoned, rolled, tied, braised, chilled, then cut and pan fried. The process creates a wonderful taste that’s not fatty, with the fennel seed and lemon helping to cut through the richness. Buttery champ is so good with the pork, and the addition of sage is classic, but optional.”

Neil Forbes Cafe St Honore Pork Belly and Champ WEB 1.jpg

Serves 4 to 6
Prep time: 45 minutes; cooking time: 4 hours

INGREDIENTS

750g rare-breed organic pork belly, skinned and boned

2 tablespoons fennel seeds

1 carrot, scrubbed and halved

1 onion, peeled and halved

1 stick celery, halved

A few sprigs thyme

1 bay leaf

A few peppercorns

Zest of 1 lemon

Good salt and pepper

400g good mash made with lots of butter

3 or 4 spring onions, finely chopped

A small handful of sage leaves, gently shallow-fried until just crisp and dried on kitchen paper

2 tablespoons cold-pressed rapeseed oil

75g unsalted butter

METHOD

Pre-heat the oven to 160°C.

Firstly, lay the pork belly out on a board and season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle over half the fennel seeds and half the lemon zest. Roll the belly up like a swiss roll and tie with butchers twine, or string, but not too tight. 

Next, place the pork in a pot and cover with hot water. Add the carrot, onion, celery, thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring the pot to the simmer then cover with a lid or foil and place into the oven for 3 to 4 hours until the meat is very tender. 

Remove from the oven and allow the pork to cool in the liquid for about an hour or so, no rush. Once cooled, remove the pork from the liquid and drain on a tea towel to make sure it’s dry.

Then line your work surface with 4 layers of clingfilm about 6 inches wider than the belly and place the pork onto the cling film. Remove the string with scissors and discard, then roll the pork in the clingfilm very tightly and refrigerate overnight. 

To cook, preheat the oven to 180°C, then cut 4 slices of pork about an inch or so thick, and fry in the rapeseed oil for 3 to 5 minutes each side. Then place the pan in the oven for 5 minutes to ensure the pork is hot and coloured. It should be a lovely golden colour. 

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pot, and add the remaining fennel seeds and lemon zest to it. Season.

Just before serving, add the chopped spring onions to the mash to make champ, and place some in the centre of each plate. Top with the sliced pork and spoon over the sauce. Garnish with crispy sage leaves. Serve at once.


Christmas Puddings for Sale!

by Cafe St Honoré


Get your hands on one of our limited-edition hand-made Christmas puddings. They're available to buy from the restaurant at £15 each - including the lovely ceramic bowl they come in. Each pudding serves 4-6. Email eat@cafesthonore.com or call 0131 2262211 to reserve - or just pop in. Available from Saturday 1st December.

Images: Paul Johnston,    Copper Mango

Shortcrust Pastry in Nine Easy Steps

by Lee MacGregor


Follow our simple nine-step guide to making shortcrust pasty and you’ll no longer reach for the pre-rolled variety!

Shortcrust stage 1 WEB.jpg

STEP ONE

You will need: 250g of sifted plain flour, 125g diced unsalted butter, 5g salt, 2-3 tablespoons of cold water

Shortcrust stage 2 WEB.jpg

STEP TWO

Add butter to the flour and rub together until the texture of breadcrumbs.

Shortcrust stage 3 WEB.jpg

STEP THREE

Stir in the salt, then add water and mix to a firm dough.

Shortcrust stage 4 WEB.jpg

STEP FOUR

Form into a ball, cover with cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Shortcrust stage 5 WEB.jpg

STEP FIVE

Prepare a tart tin with butter and flour. Rub a little room-temperature butter all over the inside of the tin, then dust with flour.

Shortcrust stage 6 WEB.jpg

STEP SIX

Roll the rested dough on a floured surface.

Shortcrust stage 7 WEB.jpg

STEP SEVEN

Line the prepared tart tin with the rolled dough.

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STEP EIGHT

Line the pastry dough with 4 layers of cling film, then fill with baking beans.

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STEP NINE

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 40 minutes or until just golden.


Neil's Recipes: Oatcakes with Smoked Trout and Crème Fraîche

by Cafe St Honoré


“If you have never made your own oatcakes have a try, it's so easy. I recently bought a girdle from a charity shop - one of the old ones our ancestors would have used to cook drop scones on - and the taste is completely different from baking in an oven. The smokiness from the flames of a real fire lick the edges of the girdle which flavours the oatcakes, giving them real character.” 

Neil Forbes Cafe St Honore Trout Canapes 2 WEB SIZE (Credit - Paul Johnston at Copper Mango)-CMPL9731.jpg

This recipe will make about 50 £2 coin sized oatcakes that will keep in an airtight tub for a week.

INGREDIENTS

For the oatcakes:

500g pinhead oats

100g porridge oats

40g plain flour

1teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

150g bacon fat, lard or butter, melted

30g sugar

15g salt

Approximately 500ml water, or buttermilk, which makes for a really rich oatcake

For the topping:

A few slices of smoked trout, I get mine from Belhaven

Enough crème fraîche for a dollop on each oatcake, I like Katy Rodgers

A few cornichons, or pickled cucumbers

A few chives

METHOD

Mix all the oatcake ingredients together and trickle in the water, or buttermilk, a little at a time. If you are using a mixer or food processor, combine until you have a good dough.

Roll the dough into 4 sausage shapes, about the width of a £2 coin, then wrap in cling film and store in the fridge until firm. Then slice into ½-cm thick discs using a very sharp, serrated knife. Cook on a pre-heated girdle, or heavy-based frying pan, rubbed with a little lard or butter, for a couple of minutes on each side. Finish cooking them in a low oven (125°C) for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden and crisp. 

To serve, top each oatcake with a few flakes of smoked trout, a slice of cornichon or pickled cucumber, a dollop of crème fraîche and snipped chives. Perfect!


NEIL'S RECIPES: PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE WITH ELDERBERRY SYRUP

by Cafe St Honoré


“It’s a sign Autumn is here when Ben our forager brings elderberries into the kitchen. Those vibrant, deep shades of reds and purples will stain anything within 100 yards, be warned! The flavour of the syrup is salty, sweet, earthy with a tang. Serve with any ice cream you like. I have used cinnamon, made at Cafe St Honoré with sticks instead of cinnamon powder as it has a finer, more refined flavour.”

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 2

Prep time: 30 minutes; Cooking time: 1.5 hours

INGREDIENTS

300g peeled pumpkin flesh

4 tablespoons crowdie cheese

1 egg

2 tablespoons caster sugar

4 digestive biscuits

1 teaspoon pumpkin seeds

40g unsalted butter, melted

A pinch of cinnamon

A pinch of mixed spice

2 scoops of ice-cream to serve, optional

Mint to garnish, optional

For the elderberry syrup:

250g elderberries, removed from their stalks with a fork, and lightly crushed

1/2 a lemon, sliced

1-inch piece of ginger

1/2 a cinnamon stick

Enough water to cover

200g caster sugar

METHOD

Begin by making the syrup. Bring all the ingredients to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes or so on a moderate heat. Strain through a fine sieve or muslin, squeezing every last drop out. Be careful and wear an apron as the mixture may splash and stain your clothes. 

If you have 200ml of juice, add 200g of caster sugar to the liquid (if you have 150ml juice, add 150g sugar, etc) and bring to a gentle boil on a moderate heat and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes. Pass through a fine sieve or muslin again, and leave to cool in a jar or container with a sealed lid. A sterilised jar is great.

Heat oven to 200°C / Gas Mark 7

To make the cheesecake, cook the pumpkin flesh in a hot oven for 30 to 40 minutes to ensure its soft. Remove from the oven and turn the heat down to 160°C. Place the pumpkin  in a bowl and smash with a whisk until smooth. As it cools, add the crowdie cheese, a pinch of mixed spice and cinnamon, and beat in the egg and sugar. Set to one side. 

Next, bash the biscuits and seeds until they have a very fine sand texture - use a processor if required. Add the melted butter, a pinch of cinnamon and mixed spice and combine. 

Oil two 4-inch metal ring and spoon in half the base mixture into each, pressing down firmly. Next, top each base with the cheesecake mix and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until just cooked. Allow to cool and be careful when removing the metal rings. Run a small, hot knife round the edge of the cheesecake before attempting to remove the ring. 

Serve with your favourite ice cream and a trickle of elderberry syrup and crumble any leftover biscuit base over the top and top with a sprig of mint.


NEIL'S RECIPES: CEPS ON TOAST

by Lee MacGregor


“A favourite quick supper dish. It has to be proper sourdough, good butter, a kick of tarragon and a splash of cream. I give all mushrooms a little wash in cold running water and I don’t find they soak up water and become soggy. Some say to use a brush, but I have tried for years and cannot remove all the bits of the forest floor. Toast your bread in a toaster if you like but I love the extra flavour of pan-fried bread in butter or bacon fat.”

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 1

Prep time 10 minutes; cooking time: 7 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 slice of good sourdough

100g ceps, lightly washed and sliced

1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped

A few fronds of tarragon, chopped

1 tablespoon of curly parsley, finely chopped

1.5 tablespoon of butter

1 tablespoon of cold-pressed rapeseed oil

25ml double cream

A knob of butter or bacon fat to fry the sourdough, optional

A few watercress leaves

A splash of Madeira, optional

Good salt and pepper

METHOD

Heat the oil and a tablespoon of butter in a medium-sized frying pan and fry the chopped shallot. It will take a minute or two to soften - don’t colour the shallot. 

Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. 

Add the mushrooms to the pan along with the remaining butter. Cook for a couple of minutes - toss the contents in the pan if you can. 

Add the cream, herbs and seasoning. Taste and add a splash of madeira if you fancy. Continue to cook until the mushrooms are done and check the seasoning. 

Serve on a slice of sourdough, toasted on a chargrill or pan-fried in butter or bacon fat. Dress with a few watercress leaves and serve.


We Won at the Food Made Good Awards!

by Cafe St Honoré


We’re delighted to have won the Treat Staff Fairly award at the Food Made Good Awards 2018 - the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s (SRA) annual industry awards.

Our chef director Neil Forbes with SRA President, Raymond Blanc OBE

Our chef director Neil Forbes with SRA President, Raymond Blanc OBE

It was one of 17 awards presented at a special ceremony last night at FEST Camden in London. The Food Made Good Awards recognise restaurants and foodservice businesses whose accomplishments in the last year have driven progress in the industry and demonstrated that all food can be made delicious, ethical and sustainable.

Chef Director Neil Forbes said: “Since taking over Café St Honoré 10 years ago, and even before that, I knew I wanted to run a restaurant properly and to be a good employer. There are so many elements to getting this right, but in essence I make sure the people that work alongside me at Cafe are paid well and feel properly looked after. To be recognised for this at this year’s Food Made Good Awards is simply fantastic. I’m thrilled, and I know the rest of the team are too.”

The Treat Staff Fairly award, sponsored by Freedom Brewery, is designed to recognise progressive employers who’ve led the way in attracting and retaining staff by remunerating them properly and by devising innovative way of rewarding them beyond the paycheque. 

Staff at Café St Honoré enjoy an equitable pay structure, transparent tipping system, constant on-the-job training, a four-day week, regular visits to suppliers, excellent staff meals and a nurturing environment.

Raymond Blanc, OBE, President of the SRA, said: “Year after year, chefs and restaurateurs continue to delight me with their winning submissions to The Food Made Good Awards, demonstrating how food can be a powerful force for good. Their greatest reward would be for consumers to eat in their dining rooms and for their colleagues across the industry to follow their lead.” 

The Treat Staff Fairly award is one of ten categories that align with the ten key themes of the SRA’s Food Made Good sustainability framework. Operators fulfilling all ten meet the very definition of a good restaurant or foodservice business. See the full list categories and the winners here.


NEIL'S RECIPES: SCALLOPS, STORNOWAY BLACK PUDDING, CEPS AND BUTTER SAUCE

by Cafe St Honoré in


“I put this dish on at Cafe St Honoré when we receive a hoard of ceps. It always sells well and is delicious. Cook the ceps, black pudding and scallops in the same pan as all the flavours marry well, and the fat released from the black pudding adds extra flavour to the ceps and shellfish. Don’t be afraid of the butter sauce, or beurre blanc as we chefs call it. A little splash of cream stabilizes the reduction and prevents the sauce from splitting.”

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 1
Prep time: 15 minutes; cooking time 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 to 3 hand-dived scallops, coral left on

1 slice of Stornoway black pudding

A small handful of ceps, lightly washed

2 peppercorns

1 sprig thyme 

1 sprig tarragon

100ml white wine

100ml white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon double cream

75g unsalted butter, 1cm cubes

A few wood sorrel leaves, optional

Good salt and pepper

Juice from half a lemon

1 tablespoon rapeseed oil

1 knob butter

METHOD

Prepare the ceps by cutting in half and scoring a criss-cross pattern on the cut sides.

Make a butter sauce by adding the wine, vinegar, peppercorns and herbs to a small pan and reducing to a couple of tablespoons. Pass through a fine sieve into a clean pan and add the cream. Whisk together and bring to just below the boil. Then add the butter one cube at a time until emulsified. Season with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon. Keep at a steady temperature until needed.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in large non-stick frying pan on a high heat on the hob. Once hot, add the black pudding, scallops, ceps, Thyme and tarragon. Season the scallops and ceps. Cook everything for 2 minutes before turning. Once turned, season the scallops and ceps again with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Ensure the black pudding has a nice crust all over.

To serve, place the black pudding, scallops and ceps on a warmed plate. Spoon over the butter sauce and decorate with the zesty wood sorrel.


Shortlist announced for Food Made Good Business of the Year...

by Cafe St Honoré


…and we’re on it! Following the great news last week that we’ve been shortlisted for the ‘Treat Staff Fairly’ award - we can announce today that we have also been shortlisted for the ‘Business of the Year’ award.

Business of the Year_Facebook event image.jpg

The list of the Top 20 includes ten independent restaurants, a hotel, two pubs, half a dozen university and workplace caterers as well as a cookery school.

The winner, the business to have achieved the highest score in the Sustainable Restaurant’s Association’s industry leading sustainability rating, will be announced at the Food Made Good Awards ceremony on 1 October at Fest Camden. 

The SRA’s rating assesses businesses across all aspects of their policies and operations and their influence across ten key themes under the headings of Sourcing, Environment and Society. Together these define a ‘good’ restaurant or foodservice business.