Another Naughty Habits Supper Club

On May 1, 2014 by battenburgbelle

It’s been a busy week, what with me having to get on with my actual job by day, so it’s taken me a while to sit down with my blog and report on another successful Supper Club at the weekend.

Naughty Habits

Naughty Habits

A lovely mix of guests, some people I know in differing degrees and some new faces. Perhaps with the assistance of a sloe gin fizz on arrival (sloes picked Totteridge last autumn), conversation was soon flowing. I do love watching people discover shared interests and generally having a good old chat about all manner of subjects.


Canapés: parmesan biscuits with slow roast tomatoes, goats’ cheese and basil

A tip for an ice breaker – just cook something that sets the smoke alarms off. That gives everyone something to talk about…

The starter

The starter: Parmesan custards with anchovy toasts

We started with the tried and tested parmesan custards with anchovy toasts. I followed these with a roast leg of lamb, marinated in a mustardy, gingery, garlicky sauce, taken from Julia Child’s wonderful book Mastering the Art of French cooking.

I’ve got in the habit of roasting lamb slowly, as I love the way it all just falls off the bone, so I can present a large platter of deliciousness to the guests, with whichever sauce has taken my fancy (not to mention that you then have one dish doing its thing quietly in the oven while you get on with everything else). This time I decided to make life more of a challenge and do a quicker roast (hence the high heat/smoke alarm debacle), so I cross referenced Julia’s timings with Ottolenghi, just to be sure. They spoke with one voice: an hour and a quarter for pink meat. It was lovely (Jenny and I do get to taste the main course, we just don’t get to sit down to do it).

To go with this, I made a flageolet bean casserole, with lots of beans, shallots, garlic, a little white wine, a lot of creme fraiche and some rosemary, all cooked slowly on a low heat and generally left to look after itself. As I have confessed previously, I could eat a bean-based dish intended for eight all by myself given the chance… I resisted, but I did have some of the leftovers while I made breakfast on Sunday. Always classy. There was also a tomato and mint salsa and a big salad with of fennel, cucumber and avocados, with ricotta and a lemony dressing.

A fine selection of cheeses

A fine selection of cheeses

Jenny and I have a rule that we don’t sit down with the guests or, more importantly, consume any booze until we have served the cheese, in the interests of maintaining a professional air and looking after the guests properly. But all was going well and so we tucked into our carefully labelled “Staff Hooch” once the delicious cheese from Spirited Wines in Muswell Hill was on the table. We had a Comté, a Reblechon and some Stilton, served with spelt crackers and water biscuits, made by my own fair hand. I find it astonishing that homemade water biscuits (as long as you roll them thinly enough) taste very much like the ones you buy. And I LOVE Richard Bertinet’s spelt crackers.

And the crackers...

And the crackers…

For dessert I made a big Pear Bourdalue, having consulted the wonderful Mr Bertinet as to whether his recipe for individual tarts could be adapted to one large one without fear of a soggy bottom. He advised me to go for it and, I have to say, I was very pleased with the result, as it seemed were the diners.

Un grand pear bourdalue

Un grand pear bourdalue

It was impossible not to join in with the very convivial scene around the table, hence the following late night conversation with Jenny when she wended her way home:

Jenny: “Where’s my coat?”
Me: “Where’s my money?”

Well, I couldn’t let her leave without knowing where she had stashed the cash. We need to sort out a better way for our guests to pay, rather than a slightly unseemly demand for money on arrival.

I have had some lovely comments from my guests, including “We had such a wonderful time. Every little detail to the evening was impeccable and the food exquisite”. I was still smiling as I washed the last of the wine glasses on Sunday morning!

5 Responses to “Another Naughty Habits Supper Club”

  • And very delicious it all was too! Lovely food, great company.

  • Sounds amazing! (Even with the fire alarm going off.) Just reading through this post made me so hungry.

  • Moira

    Catherine – these meals sounds amazing, but I am begging you (please?) for the recipe for the flageolet bean casserole. If that’s the one we had at class, you aren’t the only one that could consume more than a fair share!

    • battenburgbelle

      Hi Moira – I will post it asap, along with a sweet potato one that another friend has asked for 🙂

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