Friday, 24 May 2013


Hey there Lovers,

Exciting times at GL HQ! We're back after our winter hiatus we've been working on some private catering events, rustling up delicious menus for discerning gourmet connoisseurs. We continue to pop-up in various locations whilst we continue our search for a new home.  More updates to come soon as well as some exciting collaborations to announce!

Up first, that most challenging of social gatherings: the hen party.  With a large group of sophisticated ladies to cater for as they prepared for their evening's activities, professional make-up & hair stylists on site ensuring the girls looked their best, the pressure was on to entertain.  Having plumped for an Asian style menu and with a lot of vegetarians & pescatarians in the audience we decided to go for a light and flexible menu, keeping the flavours in the veg & sauces with nothing too meaty.

To kick things off we wanted something with a bit of wow, a bold flavour and exciting textures. Teriyaki Aubergine Parcels in Chinese Leaf seemed to fit the bill; the smokey & rich aubergine, cooked off with teryaki marinade, was mixed with diced water-chestnut for crunch & a hit of ginger for heat.  The mix was wrapped in the blanched leaf and then topped with toasted peanuts, a delicious combo that went down a treat!  Recipe below for interested parties.

Teriyaki Aubergine Parcels

Making up the Summer Rolls
Up next was a bit of a twist on a classic; Anise Poached Prawn Summer Rolls with Mango & Papaya. The delicate prawns worked really well with the sweet fruits, and a big handful of Thai basil, mint & coriander really lifted them!

A little blob of fragrant satay sauce finished the dish perfectly.  The rolling technique required plenty of practice to create that neat parcel that holds all the flavours together.

Anise Poached Prawn Summer Rolls with Mango & Papaya

Sweetcorn Fritters with Avacado Salsa
Working with a Gourmet Lovers classic, Sweetcorn Fritters, we created a scaled down, bite size version perfect for circulating through the ladies as they got ready.

A winner as always with the foodies the trick was to get them cooked to the right consistency, firm enough to handle being picked up whilst maintaining a delicious softness. 

Picking things up a notch we went for a riff on a renowned Nobu dish next, Miso Cod Skewers with Pickled Ginger.  The slightly sweet, umami glaze works fantastically with the firm, flaky fish but the real revelation was the veggie alternative.  Replacing the fish with a baby Thai aubergine worked a treat, soaking up the glaze & making a deeper counterpoint for the miso sweetness. The heat was on so we failed to get a good photo.

Usually a walk in the park for our Gyoza Guru Mel, her absence left the two of us with another technique to perfect for the next course, Traditional Fried & Steamed Pork Gyoza.  Getting the spice mix for the meat right was the easy part; sesame oil, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic & plenty of white pepper.  Making the parcels with the trademark fold however proved to be a talent a little out of our reach!  Opting in the end for a simple half-moon fold they cooked up nicely and vanished from the serving plates in seconds as they went out to the hungry hens.

The Gyoza production line

12 hour Slow Roast Pork Belly
For the main course we wanted a bit of a show stopper and, not being afraid of a bit of challenge, decided to take on the recent trend for open style Chinese street food, xiao chi (or steamed buns).  The key to the dish is the sweet, feather soft bun.  Having researched various bun recipes it was a pretty daunting prospect, multiple stages of kneading and proving and the steaming itself was critical.

Plenty of testing was involved to get it right, some successful, some less so but in the end we think we got pretty close.  With all the work done on the bun we needed a suitable filling.  We slow roasted spiced pork belly for 12 hours, giving it an incredibly delicate texture as the meat just fell apart.

This was then glazed with hoi sin and finished with shredded spring onion & cucumber.  They may not have been the prettiest dish we've ever produced, but mixture of textures and flavours our tribute to the amazing 'yum bun' recipe was certainly a crowd pleaser!

Green Tea Crepe Sushi
To finish off we went with one of Nick's party tricks, Green Tea Infused Crepe Sushi.  Rolled up like little sweet maki, the tea is infused through the butter in the crepes and the cream in the chocolate ganache.  Each little roll is finished off with slivers of ripe strawberry & for extra bite can be rolled in chopped nuts.

It may have taken a while to knock the rust off but the night was a success!  6 courses of delicious Asian treats and 19 hungry hens fed before they headed out for drinks & dancing.  Fingers crossed our search for a new venue goes well & the club will be back up and running soon.  Stay tuned for more updates soon.

Teriyaki Aubergine Parcels Recipe

A real winner with the ladies, we thought we'd pass on our recipe for the Teriyaki Aubergine Parcels.  They're pretty simple to make but look the business, deliver a serious flavour and are veggie friendly!

For the filling:
1 Large aubergine
1/2 Tin water chestnuts chopped
6 spring onions sliced
Thumb sized piece of ginger
Teriyaki marinade

Dice the aubergine to about 1cm cubes, though a little bigger is fine to add some texture, then brown in batches in a large frying pan with a little oil & seasoning.  Don't crowd the pan to make sure you get good colour.

Once all the aubergine is done soften the spring onions in the pan.  Add the aubergine back to the pan, dress with plenty of the teryaki marinade and cook off for 2-3 minutes to help it infuse.  Lift the mixture out of the pan into a bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving the excess marinade in the pan.  Add the water chestnuts to the bowl and grate in the ginger.

Reduce the remaining marinade in the pan by half, add to the bowl & mix thoroughly.

For the parcels:
1 Chinese leaf cabbage
Salted peanuts
Ice for blanching

Peal out the larger leaves of the cabbage and de-vein the thick stalk.  Blanch the leaves in salted boiling water 1-2 minutes and then refresh in a bowl of ice water.

Dry the leaves with a clean kitchen towel & slice in half along the central vein.  Spoon out some of the aubergine mix into the centre of the leaf and fold into a parcel.

Chop the peanuts into small pieces and toast in a dry frying pan.  Slice the parcels in half, sitting them on end and top with the toasted peanuts.  We find these work really well served bite size on a Chinese spoon.

Stay tuned for further announcements about Gourmet Lovers Brunch Club and Supper Clubs during summer 2013.


vouchers for london said...

Thank for posting this recipe! And the Green Tea Crepe Sushi looks so yummy!

Companies Catering said...

Wow, can't believe I only came across this now. Do you plan to do any more events in the next few months, as I think this is a great trend in catering...
Please let me know!

gourmet bbq catering melbourne said...

I am a Gourmet Food lover and also do have my own catering business in Australia. I liked your recipe and I will definitely try it out. Thanks for sharing, I will back to this blog soon and tell you the taste.

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