Monthly Archives: June 2010

Things our guests have said about us….

“lunch was gorgeous, you are a fantatic cook!!
i had a lovely afternoon with you all
Thanks 🙂 Cath x x x ”

“Thank you for such a special birthday meal***a truly memorable experience, surrounded by lovely people and food galore. Can’t wait to visit again!” Emma

“Thank you so much for a wonderful birthday meal. We all very much enjoyed it and I for one will certainly be back to sample more good home cooking and a warm Moel Faban welcome from all the family! xxx” Gemma

“Thanx for a fantastic evening, amazing food, great company, brilliant thanx guys x” Katy

“Nice buns” Sean

Thanks everyone for the lovely comments…please keep coming back and pass on the word

Denise xx

“Big thanks to denise and family for a fab evening. I highly recommend a night out at the Fabon secret supper club!” Ramona

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Fathers, families and first dates at our ‘round the world’ Sunday lunch

Caipirinha's and melon set out for those sitting at the 'chefs' table

 

Soupe d'avocat abidjanaise

 

freshly picked garden salad

 

a mixed plate full of Slovakian gulas, rice and Italian Caponata astrange concoction that remarkably worked!

A big thank you to my stand-in kitchen bitches who got up to help keep the kitchen clear between courses

The 'IMMENSE' Pavlova

Lunch was advertised as a ‘round the world’ supper club for father’s day, featuring dishes from all six countries playing their world-cup matches on the day. That included Brazil, Paraguay, Italy, Ivory Coast and New Zealand all of whom inspired a tropical slant to the menu…but then there was Slovakia!!

Now I’m not biased in my culinary slant; I will try dishes from everywhere and anywhere, but to be honest, Eastern European food doesn’t really do it for me. I’m not the biggest fan. The thought of picked everything, beetroot, sausage and cabbage, in the midst of a hot summer, was a total turn off. So with this in mind, but still wanting to represent the country on my menu, I thought I’d get out and do a wee bit of food research so that I could try and find a dish to slip in amongst the tropical fare.

We had a friend staying for the week who without much protest acted as a willing guinea pig in our testing of various dishes. We ate the world in a week…and once we’d done this we came up with a final shortlist of dishes which included the strange ‘Segedinsky gulas’ a combination of lean shoulder of pork and sauerkraut…..several people commented on how disgusting it sounded, but undaunted we gave it a go and it as totally delicious. Several people suggested it had been their favourite dish of the day.

I was less successful with my planned Cassava cake, a dish I was desperate to make as Cassava is such a ubiquitous vegetable in Paraguay, Brazil and the Ivory Coast. Having ingeniously located a source for Cassava (no mean feat in Bangor), I bought one with the intention of returning for more if my experiments were popular. I even asked the guy in the shop if they always had it in. He told me they did. So following the universal popularity of the cake I went back for more, it was only a few days later but to my disappointment they had run out, and there was no chance of any arriving before Sunday. Of course this being Bangor North Wales there was literally nowhere else to go (save driving 100 miles to Manchester). Sadly I had to concede defeat and the Cassava cake will just have to have its supper club debut another day.

On the plus side it allowed me to focus all my attention on the Pavlova which was, according to the teen, ‘immense’…and although it literally was immense (10 inches wide and about 4 inches high) what she meant in teen speak was that it was amazing, or really good. Sticking with the tropical theme it was topped with passion fruit, pineapple and banana.

The rest of the round the world menu went like this-

Brazilian Caipirinha’s (made with chopped and mashed limes, sugar, loads of ice and a bottle of Sagatiba Cachaca). Made in a bucket, which was well and truly emptied by the end of lunch.

Melon balls with lime and ginger and tiny pearls of local goats cheese mozzarella (very retro according to my friend Molly, but also delicious)

Soupe d’avocat abidjanaise (chilled avocado soup with lime and Tabasco). This is a traditional Ivorian dish. This was totally new and I hadn’t even tried it before I made it. It was a very scary leap of faith that paid off. One or two people commented that it was their favourite dish so the recipe will be added to the menu/recipe page.

Segedinsky Gulas with rice (from Slovakia)

Caponata (Italy) made with local tomatoes, Cyprus olives from a local importer, eggplant, and herbs all bought fresh from the farmers market on Saturday

Served with mixed leaf salad, purple scallions and baby tomatoes picked from the garden half an hour before everyone arrived.

For dessert we had our Fresh fruit Pavlova; a New Zealand invention (made with Italian meringue) to honour Anna Pavlova on her tour of the country. We finished off with coffee and Anzac biscuits another New Zealand speciality.

Strangely our attendees were not all there to celebrate father’s day (although most of them were fathers). We had a family with two small children, the smallest being 3 months old and too young to enjoy the food, although their 3 year old tucked in to most of the dishes with gusto (he didn’t like the melon with the yucky stuff on it), there was a couple on a first ‘date’…(I use this term loosely as they looked like they’d started the date early and muttered something about just having got up when they arrived) and the other half requested dinner with his two mates for father’s day (one of whom had been left ‘home alone’ by his girlfriend and the other was leaving to be reunited with his) …they sat at what we shall laughingly call the chefs table, i.e. in the kitchen away from the other guests so they could be silly and misbehave. It ended up with me swearing at them a lot and them heckling me…don’t think I will be indulging them with that again!!…On the plus side I turned them all into my ‘kitchen bitches’ as my usual helper Hilly is gallivanting off to Glastonbury for what appears to be 2 weeks!!!

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Menu for Saturday

Another summery menu to tempt the tastebuds for supper this Saturday night…

We are planning…crepes stuffed with spinach and ricotta with a smoky chedder cheese sauce, followed by a traditional Bouillabaisse and hopefully that gorgeous chocolate cassava cake that so deserves to be on the menu…all washed down with a bucketful of Caipirinha’s…again….we have to….were addicted!!

email moelfabansecretsupperclub@live.co.uk or call 07775 828769 to save your place

Denise xx

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Updates and dates…what’s to come

We hosted another successful Sunday lunch this weekend with 10 guests. The party included fathers, a family with two small kids and a first date, the latter spent much of their time sitting outside the front of the house in the sun, snuggled together enjoying the view!

It was a lovely afternoon, the sun beat down and we left all the doors in the house open so guests could wander in and out and enjoy the glorious weather….our last guests left us at gone 5pm. Full write up with pictures to come.

Our next dinner will be next Saturday, 26th June and we still have some spaces free for that. Contact ASAP to save a place. The menu will have a tropical edge, but using as much local produce as possible…the food was so fresh on Sunday that I was in the garden picking spinach, rocket and lettuce half an hour before our first guests arrived!

Prior to supper club I’d also been commissioned to make cup cakes by a friend who is working at Glastonbury festival. They are due to hold a vintage tea party to celebrate the solstice tonight…more on that to come as well x

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The menu for Sunday…fathers day ’round the world’ lunch

After extensive testing and tasting (it’s a hard job being a cook!!)….and a fair bit of research into the type of foods eaten by the countries playing their matches on Sunday; we have finally decided on our menu. Over the past week we have eaten Goulash, American bloody Mary burgers (recipe courtesy of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall), Tagine, Pasta and home-made pesto, Cassava, and a variety of fruit and veg of strange appearance.The menu reflects the best of these dishes.

We will start with Caipirinhas, a cocktail made with the traditional Brazilian drink Cachaca and plenty of lime which will be accompanied by a palate cleansing salad of melon balls, lime and ginger, typical flavours from Brazil, Paraguay and the Ivory Coast.

This will be followed by an Ivorian dish ‘Soupe d’avocat abidjanaise’ (a chilled avocado soup)

It was quite hard to find an Eastern European dish to fit in with this somewhat tropical menu and I find most of the food uninspiring. However, we gave a few dishes a go and the most popular (although most people said it sounded disgusting on description) was the Segedinsky Goulash…a combination of very lean pork shoulder and sauerkraut!!. Trust me, it was gorgeous and is traditional in Slovakia…

For the vegetarians and anyone else that wants it will be an Italian Caponata and both will be served with rice and mixed salad from the garden and my veg box.

For dessert we couldn’t choose between a Pavlova (evidently invented in New Zealand to honour the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova on one of her tours of the country…and a Bolo de Mandioca (Brazilian Cassava cake). Cassava or Mandioca is a common ingredient in cooking in Brazil, Paraguay and Ivory Coast so we had to include it!! We loved both desserts so will quite possibly make both anyway.

Finally we will finish with coffee and a liberal helping of Anzac biscuits, also from New Zealand…

Hope this all sounds tempting and inspires you to create similar themed menu’s….

Denise x

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Fathers Day ’round the world’ lunch

Lunch on the 20th will embrace a ’round the world’ theme to celebrate some of the countries who will be playing world cup matches on the day. Sorry to those of you who don’t like football, but we are football mad in this house, so all things play second fiddle or just have to fit in with the world cup matches!!

We won’t make you watch the football at supper club but we might well theme our menu’s around different countries national dishes.

On the 20th Italy, New Zealand, Slovakia, Paraguay, Brazil and Cote d’Ivoire will be playing so the menu will include dishes from all these places…you might be able to take a guess at what we will be serving, but rest assured that it will NOT include some of the suggestions given so far…Spaghetti, nuts, beetroot, lamb or even (rather randomly) a monkeys head or a parrot….

there will however be plenty of fruit, lime, cassava, avocado, chilli, coconut, possibly a shrimp curry and maybe some Sauerkraut there will most definately be a Caprinha (or two)

To save a place (and kids are welcome as its fathers day) email moelfabansecretsupperclub@live.co.uk or call 07775828769

Denise xxx

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New date added and menu ideas for summer suppers

I’ve added a new date in celebration of Midsummer….Monday June 21st…which is the day after our Fathers Day lunch…a good way to spend Monday evening? Hopefully it will be a lovely sunny evening dinner, with lots of fresh produce from the garden. The menu will be celebrating the best of summer and vegetarians are very much encouraged…

Mezze inspired menu with lots of lovely fresh dishes, salsa, local seafood, cheeses and fresh fruit….cocktails, twinkly lights, candles and magic in the air!…

Feel free to dress in your best floaty fairy outfit and come and while away the evening…

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Sunny garden exploits

It feels as if I haven’t blogged for ages. I guess its one of those things; when its cold and dull we talk a lot about what were doing, or going to be doing when the weather improves… then the sun comes out and we just get out there and ‘do’, and of course that’s exactly what I’ve been up to.

After a run of weekly supper clubs and private parties, a couple of hectic weekends (we had tickets to the radio 1 big weekend and of course with teens around we quickly became embroiled in all the excitement of having a rake of celebrities at large in our home town), and some time out to go camping we are now starting to focus on upcoming dates and producing our own veg and fruit to serve up…..The bonus of having some time out is that the garden is now looking glorious. The unprecedented warm spell has created an abundance of lush green foliage and we have heaps of tiny sprouting seedlings which will hopefully all grow into fantastic organic produce.

Although our garden is long, we don’t have an enormous veg patch. For anyone wanting to grow their own, there is masses which will do well in large pot on a patio. Our courgettes are all in pots (make sure they are large pots and there is only one plant per pot) and things also rocket, radishes, strawberries and PSB….once there is space in the raised beds I will plant out the PSB but for the moment it’s doing great.

potatoes and lettuce

 

spinach, beetroot and more lettuce...webs wonderful and lollo rosso

 

peas and a big tub of rocket in the background

 

broad beans and fruit canes in the background

 

had to include a quick picture of the rest of the garden as it's looking so lovely

 

One last thing before I head back out to the sun, we are changing the dinner scheduled for 19th June to a Sunday lunch on the 20th June…family commitments take precedence…..but then this might make a nice treat for fathers day??…or just so you can enjoy a leisurely dinner in the sun….email or message me to save your spaces. Other dates remain the same….26th June is our next scheduled dinner after this, but feel free to ask about private dinners for groups of 6 to 12 people

Meanwhile enjoy the sun

Denise xxx

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