Tag Archives: Tagine

Supper club lesson number one-expect the unexpected

I love the unusual, bizarre and unexpected (one reason I enjoy running a supper club so much) and there was no more unusual start to the day than to have a man knock, with a black plastic bag under his arm and looking furtive, to deliver a freshly caught wild river salmon. ..’was it cotia’, my mate said. It certainly was and has to be the freshest, most delicious salmon I have ever eaten!!.

I have to admit it wasn’t totally surprising..i’d had a discussion with the chap at work about getting me one next time he went fishing, but that had been 2 days earlier so I wasn’t expecting delivery quite so quickly. On top of this i’d had a very unusual last minute spurt of bookings, which took me to a full house, when i’d actually thought i’d have to cancel following a couple of cancellations.

The unexpected salmon formed part of a mezze starter (as I’d done for the previous party, but since it went down so well I thought i’d reprise the menu with a few tweeks). The main course remained the same, a chick pea and okra tagine, but this time I also included a lamb tagine for the carnivores, accompanied by a big bowl of Tabbouleh with fresh herbs from the garden and a good handfull of Pistaccio nuts. For dessert I made  a blackcurrant and cassis trifle instead of sorbet primarily because we’d had such a glut of blackcurrants at Moelyci  (in between making fruit puree for the trifle, I have also made home made Ribena, cassis and tubs of fruit puree frozen for the winter. I think we still have around 100 punnets in the freezer at the farm shop). We finished off with a cheese course of Gorwydd Caerphilly, Perl Wen, home made spiced courgette chutney, apple and elderberry chutney from last year and coffee and mint tea.

It was also lovely to have a full house, something we haven’t has for a while and to see people prepared to travel so far to visit us (Surrey being the furthest!!…although Abergele is a fair trek too). It generally is true to say that in an area like this everyone really does know everyone…or they have friends in common, or knows someone that knows their friends etc etc…..so it was also another of those happy coincidences that brought a couple to dinner, that had contacts with the centre where I now work. Of course over coffee we were able to sit and chat about mutual contacts and interests and as they were pretty new to the area as residents, about the area as a whole. 

All in all it was an enjoyable, but busy evening..my only regret being not having enough time to sit and chat to everyone a bit more (we were short staffed, Rosie the waitress off in London with her mates festivalling and other usual helpers similarly engaged) and leaving Sean to cover everything I couldn’t. I’m glad to say that no one was in a hurry to depart so I did get to sit down and chat in the end!!

supper club fruit and veg order


The 5lb Ogwen River salmon...or Nessie as it was named...only an hour out of the water...can't get fresher than that!!


three types of beetroot for the beetroot salsa...white, orange and the most widely recognised purple


poor Sean who got lumbered with the job of descaling, gutting and filleting Nessie...he'd never done a salmon before and he did a fab job!! Nessie became a delicious salmon ceviche


some of our guests enjoying their starters

more guests with their Mezze platter and flat breads

plating chick pea and Okra Tagines...predictably I forgot to take pics of the lamb tagine and the Tabbouleh


blackcurrant and cassis trifles, with sugared blackcurrants to decorate

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Ulrike’s Mezze-style birthday meal

The party feels like ages ago now, but it was memorable for being truly the most chilled and laid back dinner I’ve cooked so far..

There were a selection of vegan, veggie and fish-eating guests so I attempted to keep them all happy with a huge selection of Mezze dishes, a main course vegetable tagine, sorbet and vegan chocolate truffles.

White wine and Elderflower spritzer

Salmon Ceviche, Guacamole, Baba Ghanoush, Beetroot salsa, Chick peas blinis and tomato salsa, Oak smoked tomatoes, Picholine olives and marinated Manzanilla olives

 Chick pea and Okra Tagine, with Quinoa, rice and flat breads

Mixed leaf salad with fennel and Geranium flowers

 Trio of sorbet: Strawberry and red currant, mint and Green tea and Rose petal

 Coffee and truffles

 The Mezze starters went down a treat. Some of the dishes required a top up as they disappeared so quickly (the Baba Ghanoush and Guacamole in particular) and not a thing was left at the end. The Oak smoked tomatoes (which I am totally addicted to) and olives were picked up at Borough market on one of my little jaunts to London…a place I always have to pay a visit it if I’m down.

Of course this was followed by the main course…an okra and chick pea tagine, with a variety of spices and Apricots…

Guests commented that they felt as though they had eaten two main courses and weren’t sure if they could manage anything else!! So after a reasonable break dessert was served.

I took the ice-bowl idea from msmarmitelover who served a variety of sorbet in one for her Midsummer dinner in June. So simple but amazingly effective. One guest raved about it so much she has brought me many new diners and blog readers!! The bowl was filled with the three sorbet and passed around the table, requiring a refill at least once!!

The vegan chocolate truffles which accompanied coffee were a bit of an experiment and were not 100% successful. They were more solid than intended (this is down to the mix of cacao and Agave syrup…I needed more syrup and it was also suggested that a drop of coconut oil improves texture too)… but the flavour was good, I used pure 100% cacao from Willie Harcourt Cooze mixed with Agave syrup….then flavoured with either Vanilla, Cherry Brandy or Ras-al-Hanout.

strawberries and red currants from Moelyci for the sorbet


flower ice bowl

making vegan chocolate truffles

Mezze dishes for starters including Salmon Ceviche, Baba Ghanoush, Guacamole, olives, Oak smoked tomatoes, beetroot salsa and chick pea blinis with tomato salsa


Guests toasting the birthday lady (Ulrike)


table settings and mezze served

Garden salad with fennel and Geranium flowers

looking admiringly at the sorbet bowl


truffles for coffee

we had to wait for it to get dark...but we finished with sparklers

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