A Supper with Celebrity Cook Sophie Grigson

A favourite of ours at Kitchen School are our Supper Clubs.  They bring together fantastic local chefs and cooks with the best seasonal ingredients, add the lovely Birmingham diners looking for a good meal out and we don’t think you could get much better.

That was until we persuaded one of Britain’s most loved cooks, author of over 20 cook books, Sophie Grigson up to Birmingham!

Sophie joined us as our guest chef for our Seasonal November Supper Club and along with fellow cook Amelia Earl, chose a menu of The Autumnal Abundance of Fruit.  Sophie likes to surprise and delight with her recipes, offering the diner something unique, but always delicious.  This time around, they wanted to intrigue us, bringing fruits into the savoury dishes and vegetables into the sweet ones.  Expect the unexpected!

Sophie started the evening with a hands on make your own canapé, using baked ricotta and roasted grapes, a great way of getting everybody to relax and into the swing of the evening.  Our diners were then invited to our sumptuous dining room where the starter of Double Duck was served.  Amelia had semi cured the duck breasts in a wonderful scented array of spices, accompanied with Sophie’s duck rillettes and satsuma salad, dinner was off to a good start.  The main course was Pork shoulder from our local butchers, Roger Brown in Harborne.  Sophie cooked it with a mixture of quinces, onions, herbs, chilli and a secret sauce!  A pudding that I can safely say no one had tried before, a Sweetcorn Brûlée was the end to the meal.  The supper club definitely lived up to it’s Autumnal Abundance of Fruit theme.

It’s fair to say that the supper club was a roaring success.  Our Birmingham diners were delighted to be able to sit with Sophie for some of the courses, asking about her Cookery School, Sophie’s Cookery School (Oxford) and a persistent pleasant demand for her next cookbook!

I’m not sure if there was a stand out dish of the night, I’m still dreaming of duck flat breads and Sophie’s salted caramel popcorn with Szechuan pepper, we’re glad of left overs with recipes like these being created in our kitchen.  If you missed out, Sophie and Amelia will be joining us again in Birmingham for a Supper Club in the Summer of 2016, make sure to book your place early as if this time round was anything to go by, it’s going to be mouthwatering.

Pimms Jelly

Pimm’s jelly dessert

(SERVES 10)

Everyone loves jelly, reason enough to include it with our favourite recipes, but it also makes the perfect make ahead pudding.  Especially when it’s slightly alcoholic(!) served with a cucumber sorbet, candied mint leaves and marinated cucumbers as we did for our Lamb Supper Club.  Slightly adapted from the original, we served our jelly in beautiful glasses, perfect for showing off those set raspberries and basil leaves that run throughout the jelly.

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Ingredients:

  • 700ml of water
  • 300g of sugar
  • 1 lemon, unwaxed, peeled and juiced
  • 50g of root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 100ml of Hendrick’s gin
  • 200ml of Pimm’s
  • 10 gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water
  • 1 punnet of raspberries
  • 1 bunch of basil, half the bunch reserved for garnish

Method:

  • Bring the sugar and water to the boil. Once boiling, add the lemon juice, lemon peel and grated ginger. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 5 minutes
  • Pour the contents of the pan into a bowl, store the bowl in the fridge until chilled. Once chilled, add the Pimm’s and the Hendrick’s
  • Pour 200ml of the Pimm’s mixture into a pan and reheat gently over a low-medium heat. Dissolve the soaked gelatine sheets in the liquid and once dissolved – pour back into the bowl containing the rest of the chilled Pimm’s mixture
  • Strain the jelly mixture into a large jug and pour the Pimm’s mixture into your doughnut moulds and fill up to half way (there will be liquid leftover which will be used in step 8). Leave to set in the fridge
  • Once the jelly has set, remove from the fridge and place 3 raspberries and 3 basil leaves into each mould. Fill to the top with the remaining liquid and leave to set in the fridge
  • To serve. Unmould the set jellies by dipping each of the moulds in just boiled water for 10 seconds. Invert onto plates and press together the mould and the plate. In one movement, give a firm shake to unmould.
(this recipe is from the wonderful Great British Chefs website)