NEIL'S RECIPES: SUMMER PUDDING

by Cafe St Honoré in


"This is a great recipe for using the frozen berries we harvested throughout the summer. It’s important to use blackcurrants for this dish as they give the bread a deep colour and a wonderful summery taste. I like to serve this with extra-thick double cream, but ice-cream will do. Ensure you use enough sugar, otherwise it can end up being a tad tart."

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4

20 minutes prep, 20 minutes cooking

INGREDIENTS

4 to 6 slices of white bread, the best you can find, not too thickly cut, crusts removed

4 handfuls of blackcurrants

4 handfuls of redcurrants

8 large strawberries, tops removed

A handful of brambles

A handful of raspberries

Extra berries for garnish

2 to 3 tablespoons of caster sugar

1/2 a vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out

4 dollops of extra-thick double cream

METHOD

Firstly line 4 dariole moulds or tea cups with oiled cling film. I would suggest using 2 to 3 layers.  Line the moulds with the bread to create an outer layer, leaving a piece of bread for the top of each pudding. Set to one side.

Now, give the berries a good wash and place them in a pot with the sugar and vanilla. Place on a gentle heat and bring to a simmer. Turn up the heat a little and boil for a few minutes until all the berries have softened. 

Remove the pan from the heat and tip the berries into a sieve, returning the liquid to the boil to reduce by half. Place the berries in the centre of the lined moulds and seal with a piece of bread.

Once the berry juice has reduced, pour it over the puddings, ensuring the liquid stains the bread. Reserve 2 tablespoons for serving. Wrap the cling film over to seal and place a weight on top. Pop into the fridge overnight. 

To serve, turn out the puddings onto plates and garnish with a few berries and the reduced berry juice. Serve with extra-thick double cream.

 


NEIL'S RECIPES: SALAD OF HERITAGE TOMATOES, CROWDIE, PESTO AND CROUTONS

by Cafe St Honoré in


"As a keen gardener I think home-grown tomatoes are the best in the world. I tasted one yesterday that was like a peach - fruity and sweet. Married with a cheese of any kind, tomatoes taste great, and here I’ve used a sweet, creamy, almost crumbly crowdie. Perfect alongside the pesto. So easy to do, and a real show stopper."

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4
10 minutes prep, 20 minutes cooking

INGREDIENTS

4 to 6 tablespoons crowdie

Around 6 or 7 different varieties of tomatoes, or home-grown

A small handful of fresh basil

A few lightly-toasted pine nuts, or hazelnuts

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or a good British hard cheese, even a good cheddar is fine

2 cloves garlic, peeled

250ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for the croutons

A few thyme leavesGood salt and pepperSome stale bread, ideally a loaf from the previous day

A few salad leaves and slices of radish

METHOD

Heat the oven to 165°C.

Begin by making the croutons. Slice the stale bread into wafer-thin shards, and trickle with some olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, a few thyme leaves and bake on an oven tray for around 20 minutes until just crisp. Allow to cool. 

Next, make the pesto by placing the nuts, cheese, oil and garlic in a liquidiser and blitzing for a few seconds. Add the basil leaves and continue to whizz for a few more seconds. I sometimes use a pestle and mortar to make pesto.

Remove the eyes from the tomatoes and cut them into slices and arrange on plates. Add some dollops of crowdie and trickle over some pesto. You will have some left over for another day. Arrange the shards of croutons and scatter a few salad leaves and slices of radish as a garnish. Finish with a pinch of good salt and pepper.
 


NEIL'S RECIPES: GARDEN PEA SOUP WITH SCALLOPS AND BACON

by Cafe St Honoré in


"The warm, sweet, seared scallops contrast superbly with the chilled soup. It’s similar to a Spanish gazpacho but a bit lighter. Great on a hot day if you are eating outside in the garden, and so easy to do. Instead of scallops, try a mix of brown and white crab meat mixed with a little mayo. I always say this, but please don’t be tempted by cheap scallops. Buy hand-dived and ask where they came from."

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4

15 minutes prep, 20 minutes cooking

INGREDIENTS

1 medium-sized onion, peeled and thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

750ml vegetable or chicken stock, or water is fine

250g shelled, podded peas

1-2 tablespoons of cream, optional

4 hand-dived Isle of Mull scallops, cleaned and out of shell

1 small handful of chunky lardons of unsmoked bacon

2 tablespoons cold-pressed rapeseed oil

1 knob of butterA few mint leaves

Good salt and pepper

A few salad leaves and edible flowers

METHOD

Heat the butter and half oil on a pot, then add the onion and garlic and sweat down very gently for a few minutes, without colouring. Season with salt and pepper, and when softened, add the stock and bring to the boil.

Simmer for a few minutes, then add the peas and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until softened. Season again, and add the mint leaves then blitz carefully in a liquidiser until smooth. Add some cream if you like, or more stock to make it easier to blitz. Pass the soup through a fine sieve to ensure it’s rich and silky. Keep in a warm place.

Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry the scallops. Season in the pan and cook for a minute or two on each side. As you are frying the scallops, add in the bacon lardons and fry these too. Season as you go. Remove from the pan when just cooked. 

To serve, pour the soup into warmed bowls and place a scallop in the centre of each bowl. Scatter over the lardons of bacon and garnish with a few salad leaves and edible flowers.

1

 


FOOD MADE GOOD AWARDS 2017

by Cafe St Honoré


We've been named among the top 20 most sustainable food service businesses!

We're delighted to have made the shortlist for the much-coveted award for the most sustainable foodservice business at this year's Food Made Good Awards.

Restaurants from Denmark, Ireland, France and the United States are vying with 14 of the UK’s finest for the Food Made Good Business 2017 award which will be presented to the restaurant or foodservice business that has received the highest Food Made Good rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) in the last year, at the Food Made Good Awards on 5th October.

Neil said: “We are all thoroughly delighted to be in the top 20 businesses at the annual Food Made Good Awards. To be shortlisted alongside some of the most highly regarded places in the UK is a real honour. It’s due to the hard work and commitment from my team at Café St Honoré, and we are all looking forward to the awards in October. Fingers crossed!”

Andrew Stephen, Chief Executive of the SRA, said: “These 20 businesses prove that it’s possible to serve creative, delicious and sustainable food in any setting, whether fine dining, pub grub or college café. They should all serve as an inspiration to the whole sector to serve food that not only tastes good but does good too.”

SRA President Raymond Blanc OBE and Vice President Prue Leith will present the 17 Food Made Good Awards at a special ceremony on 5th October at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Lindley Hall where Raymond Blanc is also curating the lunch to be served to the 300 guests. 

The Food Made Good Awards recognise restaurants and food service 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. 

The SRA has updated its Food Made Good rating in 2017 and assesses businesses on their policies, operations and influence across ten key actions which define what a ‘good’ restaurant or foodservice business should do.

A full list of all of the Food Made Good Awards 2017 categories and the shortlisted restaurants is available here.


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.