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Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Game On


Saturday 16th January 2010
-Egg in Tarragon Jelly w/  Bacon Swirl Pastry
-Wild Mushroom Risotto
-Watercress w/ Lemon, Soy, Balsamic Dressing
-Cauliflower & Parsnip Soup w/ Blue cheese
-Pigeon Pie Served w/ Pan Fried Pigeon Breast And Cucumber Salad w/ Wholegrain Mustard
-Pan Fried Venison Fillet w/ Blackcurrant Jus, Roast Potatoes,
Yorkshire Pudding And Green Beans
-Soft Centre Chocolate Cake w/ Cream



As we have only been cooking for strangers for four months, there are still so many things we have not tried cooking, such as, game. The game idea presented a lot of experiments on friends who stayed late nights pigeoning and rolling pastries. Its also nice to have the thrill of serving something we have not served before - just to live life a bit dangerously. We love experimenting and the whole point of doing the supper club is to be different from the rest.

For this menu, we honestly didn’t care about the cost. We didn’t care that we would just be breaking even. We got the pigeons from Steve Hatt – proved to be much more expensive than other butchers but the quality was outstanding. Our venison fillets came from Yorkshire – all 5 kg of it! It was like one of those moments where upon if we were going to experiment, we might as well experiment well and use the finest ingredients never mind the cost.

As I am always front of house and I have served over 300 guests so far, I can instinctively know how everyone feels about our food and I am extremely proud to say that this has got to be the top three greatest menus we have ever done. The venison fillets were perfectly cooked by Simon, tender and pink in the middle, melting like smooth velvet in your mouth. The pigeon pie was a lovely warm, rich, spicy, sweet yet a savory parcel. He hand made all the pastry - the bacon swirl rolls were heavenly with the egg, cooked to perfection dripping slowly as you cut into it.

There were some issues, like not prepping earlier enough, made us fail on the tarragon jelly not setting properly and cooking the risotto too early. I know I should never cook it before and serve it an hour later but panic set in and I did! Which I am still very ashamed about. (I think I must have been an Italian in my past life). Everyone finished it though. It did taste good, just wasn’t al dente! booo hisss

However, our guests loved everything we made, the improved cauliflower and parsnip soup went down extremely well, the bowls looked like they had been cleaned. This time we managed to garnish the soup with parsnip that were peeled into flakes and deep fried. This turned it into a boat where the roasted cauliflower and saint agur cheese could sit on without sinking to the bottom by the time it reached the table.


Cauliflower & Parsnip Soup (For 12)
Ingredients/ How I do:


IN ROASTING TRAY

1 x Cauliflower – Cut into small pieces
4 x Large Parsnip – Cut into small pieces
1 x Bulb Garlic – cut in half so that it is still held in the bulb – this is more like infusing the vegetables for subtle taste
2 Sprigs Rosemary

-Roast the above in the oven for about 30 mins or until golden.
-Leave enough pieces of cauliflower (just one or two per bowl as garnish) on the side for later. Remove the garlic and rosemary.

IN SOUP POT


1 x Onion diced – brown in the pot you intend to cook the soup in
-Add the roasted cauliflower and parsnips with a litre or more of chicken stock.  (Add more or less depending on instinct or taste for thicker or thin soup)
-2 cloves of crushed garlic.
-Blizt with handheld blender or put in food processor – get it nice and smooth.
-Cook some more and season with salt and pepper.
-Add a little bit of single cream – say 2 or 3 tbs.

GARNISH
1 x Parsnip - Peel with peeler into thin long pieces – put in deep fryer until crispy and golden.
Serve in bowls with some parsnip chips (that float : ))
-Roasted cauliflower
-Saint Agur (or blue cheese of your choice)
-Parsley or Basil


Planning and making great menus and letting our guests eat fantastic fresh food from the finest ingredients is our whole philosophy. We are just about love and food - together.

It was really lovely as always to meet our guests - especially Lilian who is 86 years old and travelled for hours and hours to reach us. And friends of our supper club guests who have recommended us and of course, new guests - ones that received Fernandez & Leluu Gift Vouchers for Christmas to eat at ours. (What good ideas people have)


Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Review By GastroGeek


When we first started Fernandez & Leluu, we found Rejina Sabur's fantastically well written food blog. Her language and turn of phrase not only describes the beauty and delights of food itself but also embroiders the intricate journeys of taste, desire and being. What a great gift to have found.

When reading Rejina's words, it feels like eating a delicious and nourishing meal. In many blogs we have researched through in the last three months, hers has to be one of our favourites. Each line, each paragraph is written with love.  Having only met Rejina twice, she is not only a beautiful lady but charming and radiant. I would hope that one day, I will possess all her work on my book case as I also love literature!

Posted By Uyen Luu

Sunday, 3 January 2010

New Year's Eve/ Pesto & Tuna Pasta Recipe



Our New Year's Eve Party was brilliant!! We had 25 guests, some had to bring their own chairs because we had to return some to our neighbours who also had a party that night. We decided not to do a typical Fernandez & Leluu night - still lots of food but without a schedule, like a house party.

It started with me queuing for 40 mins outside Steve Hatt's Fish Monger on Essex Road - thankfully I had ordered the fish the day before because they had sold out of most of their stock. It was quite nice to see a big ice box labelled 'Fernandez & Leluu' - made it feel very official and formal after waiting in line for so long, and also gave me a big self gratifying evil grin.

Menu

Salmon & Tuna Sashimi With Watercress Salad & Orange, Soy & Mirin Dressing
Uyen's Bolognese Sauce With Pasta
Uyen's Pesto & Garlic & Rosemary Bread
Simon's Terrine
Lamb & Chicken Banquet With Roasties & Carrots
Orange & Vodka Panna Cotta With White Chocolate Shavings & Strawberry Sauce.








Our guests had mostly been ones who have been here at least once, Luiz (The London Foodie) & Dr G, Gail (One Million Gold Stars) & Simon, Rejina & Joe (Gastrogeek), Billy & Adele. And for those who came for the first time, were utterly over taken by the great spirit of the house. Everyone together, old and new faces with big smiles - lots of sparkling and food and roars of laughter and great hope for 2010. It was a fantastic night. We even managed to share a toast to Hamza & Natasha who got engaged. After depositing large sharing plates out to different tables (eventually - sorry guys) We joined all our guests for dinner for the first time and loved being part of the atmosphere.

Being as we are, we all shuffled around, mingling and meeting each other with enormous happy faces. All our status and baggage left outside the door as we all took each other as we were. 



We were once asked what our Unique Selling Point (USP) is when we started all three months ago. It was then: good food and it is still just good food.  Happy bellies make happy people, no gimmicks necessary. It is incredibly humbling to have great food lovers and great writers return to us on New Year's Eve- (whom I admire immensely and have provided us with so much inspiration from their love of food as well as the poetry they share when expressing about it).

Before we started Fernandez & Leluu, we had no idea about the food world. We just stepped in, blind, dipping our toes into a bit of research on the way and just doing it how we think it should be done with fun (as well as tears). The reputation we have created has definately taken us both by surprise. And we are certainly blessed with very very great guests. Thank you to all those who came and keep coming back to Fernandez & Leluu.



Pesto
I used to think that making my own pesto would make a cheap dinner but after buying all fine quality ingredients for it, I wouldn't really class pesto as something cheap! However, it does go a long way - if you don't share it with anyone or let anyone have your jar!

I remember, once, my lovely friend, Anja came from Berlin and stayed over and polished the whole lot before I even stepped through the door! She said, "Sorry Uyen, it was so so good!" And if there is any in the fridge, William is sure to polish most of it off - he is English you see and will never take the last bit! hehe...

Rejina and Gail seemed to have loved the pesto I put on the table on New Year's Eve so here is the recipe: (to no surprise - it was all gone by the time I sat down!)

For a jar - about 300g

(all estimates below - use your own judgment and always taste)

3 bags of basil
About 3 tbs Pine Nuts
Half Wedge of Parmesan - grated
3 tbs Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt - to taste
Lemon - to taste

Combine all ingredients into a blender and wizz away - taste and season
Put into jar and pour some more olive oil on top to prevent from drying out.

Great with pasta & parmesan & pepper
Love it with Spaghetti & Pan Fried Tuna
Great with Toast or lovely breads
Its also a nice salad dressing if you make it slightly more runny


Post New Year Brunch

Pasta With Fresh Tuna & Corriander



I have never expected in my life to ever wake up, check the iPhone for messages but to receive and read reviews about US! Ever! Its an amazing feeling that we have been having over the last 3 months -one of the things that make it all worthwhile.

Here is one we got and I read out aloud from TomEatsJenCooks: Thank you so much guys! We feel so honoured to be part of your great blog!!
Top 5 Restaurant Reviews of 2009
Fish Tales Revisted Review

Then, Simon decided to have a bath whilst I made this simple lunch from leftover sashimi grade tuna. The bits you shouldn't serve as sashimi (on the edge of the flesh) you could simply fry up for a real tuna pasta. (I do not understand how anyone can eat canned tuna - though I have been eating junk food since 2010 started and considering another kebab or curry as I write this - from the guy on the moped)

When Simon got out of the bath, we saw that Simon had actually sank the bath! Can you believe it? Who sinks a bath?! All the tiles fell off the side like a little sunk ship! I wish I took a picture. So unfortunately, he didn't enjoy this meal as much as he should have done! But it was utterly delicious in my book.

Ingredients
-Pasta - (Make sure its al dente - the packet always says you should cook it for about 3 mins more than you are suppose to - this is a crime! I usually boil most pastas for about 8 mins, check it and if neccessary add another minute. Don't forget that it will still cook as its still hot).
-Half small onion
-2 cloves of garlic
-Fresh Tuna - marinate in a bit of terriyaki sauce while the water is boiling
-Corriander (or herb of choice, basil or parsley is nice)
-Salt & Pepper
-Butter

While the water is boiling, marinate the tuna. Dice the onions & garlic.
Once the pasta is in, you have about 8 mins
You do not need to start cooking the fish.
At about 4 minutes left, heat the pan (takes about 1 or 2 mins)
With Olive Oil fry the onions til brown
Then throw in the marinaded tuna with the garlic
Brown the fish quickly then add corriander and season - tasting all the time.
The pasta should then be drained and poured into the pan with the fried tuna
Add some butter, mix all together and serve.



Happy New Year! Hope that 2010 will bring you all great feeds!
We will be doing more events fortnightly and trying out things outside our comfort zone. We seem to love living on the edge - I wish you can see the near misses, the almost end of, the drama, the tears, the tantrums and sinking of the bath... Do everything with love!

How To Book / Attend

How To Book / Attend
Fancy getting stuck in? Click on the image above and to see how : ) . . . hope to see you soon.

More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes

More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes
If there's something you've tried at ferdiesfoodlab or a technique you want to know about drop us a line at bookings@ferdiesfoodlab.co.uk and I'll put up a post about it!!

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