Tuesday 15 December 2009

Fish Tales

Salmon Sashimi With Mirin & Orange Served With Ferdie Chips
-Udon Noodle Soup With Dill Fishcakes
-Tempura White Bait With Lemon
-Garlic Turkish Bread
-Cold Octopus Salad

-Sweet Potatoes Tortilla
-Tiger Prawns With Black Squid Ink Rice & Ali oli
-Ferdie's Bread & Butter Pudding








Friday 11th & Saturday 12th December 2009

How angry would you be if you had prepared all this and 4 people decided to cancel 2 hours before they were meant to arrive. I was quite angry. Considering that we had to buy the freshest of fish from Steve Hatt (Essex Road) on the day (we normally get all our shopping the day before as there is so much to do on the day) so that our guests get to eat the best that there is. We could give extra portions to all those who attend - but we have already considered how much is enough per person. We always have to be very careful how much we give as there is so much food and we want everyone to enjoy every dish without being full to the brim.

So if you would like to attend, please be really considerate about cancellations. You must give us as much notice as possible because we are buying food and preparing it for you. We don't want to waste time, energy, money and good produce. Should this happen 48 hours before you are meant to attend, please ask us for a paypal link to cover our costs and we will happily donate the rest to charity.

Putting that negativity aside and now I got that off my chest, Fish Tales was the smoothest supper club nights we had ever done! We thought that dealing with fish only was a great challenge but we managed to overcome any hurdles. We love fish and wanted to serve simple and delicious recipes where one can enjoy the flavour of fish and all its freshness and goodness.

Here are some very easy recipes you can try:

We wanted to use common fish such as salmon and white bait and let their unique flavours speak for itself. I loathe cooked salmon or smoked salmon but love raw salmon. We got a whole side of salmon from Steve Hatt, once for the first night and returned for more for the second night - Simon insisted that he would make the trip because he refuses to serve sashimi that is not bought in on the same day. We served it with our famous chips (Simon still a bit miffed that something was not right about the chips though everyone told me they were amazing!)

I was very proud about my orange & mirin soy sauce. Very tasty. Basically: Tropicana Smooth Orange Juice (50%), Soy Sauce (40%), Mirin (10%) - then wasabi to taste - I suggest not too much.
The reason I used Orange Juice is because I am still seeking for the oranges that smell and taste like orange in London. Even if I buy organic oranges, the flavour is much lost with the soy so I used Tropicana.

 [our dinner before guests arrived]

We repeated the Dill Fishcakes Udon Noodle Soup because it was such a hit the previous week at Miss Saigon. This is a really delicious and simple soup to make. Although it tastes so complex and yummy - its because its so simple!

Ingredients & how to do:
-Mature Chicken (You can buy these at Vietnamese Supermarkets) - clean, put in big pot and bring to boil. Watch for the throth - remove it as soon as possible - to keep the soup clear. Then simmer with lid on for about 45 mins with 1 x whole onion

Add the following to taste, take care and love your soup:
Fish Sauce
Rock Sugar (about 100g)
Pork granules by Knorr

Everything will change to become the perfect soup base once you do the following:
Peel (painstaking) two handfuls of shallots, put in blender to dice (to save time) then throw into a hot pan with olive oil. Get it crispy and burnt then throw all the shallots into the soup. It will taste like heaven!
Buy some udon noodles, they will be cold so blanch them in some boiling water for a minute or less (don't let it get soggy), then put them into a bowl, with fishcakes (or chicken or Vietnamese hams) with some corriander, spring onions, and sweet basil or mint.

DILL FISHCAKES for 50 small bowls: knead together all the ingredients below
4 x Grey Featherback Fish Pie
3/4 pack of Dill
4 x tsp Ground Pepper
6 x tsp Pork Granules by Knorr
2 x tbs brown sugar
10 x tbs fish sauce
7 x red chillis deseeded.

Please note: I make things according to my own sense of judgment, please do not follow the quantities I have put down as a rule. Add less, test some (fry a bit) then add more as you can always add more but you can not take things out.

This is extremely sticky, once you are happy that everything is mixed in well together,  add some olive oil - I think I must have used about 6 tbs all in all, but do not put it all in at once - see how you go.
The oil seals the mixture making it easy to set into shape. (Do not make too thick - remember you will cut them up later and is always nice to see and eat golden edges).

Steam the fish cakes for about 25 minutes. Then deep fry until golden brown. When cool cut them up into thin slices.

Simon will post recipes for the rest, including the excellent Croissant Bread & Butter Pudding with White Chocolate which we served on the first night.

Yet again, we had wonderful guests, everyone enjoyed the food and themselves ever so much. We feel so happy and proud to make all our guests happy. We used to cook for all our friends and family to make them happy. One of the reasons we started the supper club was to maintain the buzz it gives to make people happy with food.

We were so happy to meet Jim & Anna, fellow supper clubber : and you will know us by the trail of our bread its nice to hand any advice or tips we have picked up in the last 3 months. We still need more tips ourselves. They were joined by a birthday party organised by Rachel for her meat loving husband Laurence. Apparently, he kicked up a fuss about not wanting to eat fish for his birthday (hehe) but the overall party won and they made it to Fish Tales. We loved this group especially Sean who knows everything about wine and was ever so polite to me and always addressed me by my name.

Second night - full house! Tom & Jen http://tomeatsjencooks.blogspot.com/ booked in with 6 others for the second time and Lacey & Chris came for the third time! We love them! And as always new guests who promise to come back. We try to to always join our guests for dessert. Tim & Emma stayed and talked to us for ages - which we love because we missed out on all the socialising during service. Poor Simon always feels like he'd been let out of the cage by the time we get to dessert. I am lucky, I chose the front of house role and get to talk to everyone but he is stuck in the kitchen.

We are getting massive rewards for doing the supper club. For the time & energy invested in it, the payment we get is very little. But payment in smiles, joy and happiness means more to us and we are grateful that we continue to get bookings and amazing reviews we couldn't have even dreamed about.

We gave everyone a Christmas present on the second night - from a set of chopsticks to fridge magnets to coconut milk and cookies. No one expected it. No one expects the Spanish Inquisition.

Posted By Uyen

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More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes

More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes
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