The kids have gone back to school and we’re pretty sure we can hear homes across Chester celebrating, albeit quietly with silent screams of delight, that’s right, we’re already at the September Supper club!
Where does the time fly-by? It’s a big question and we shall not mention the C word just yet, let us enjoy the end of Summer and beginning of Autumn. If the last few days of weather are anything to go by, it’s a toss up between water mac or short sleeved tops.
Clammy weather aside, our September supper club is about being able to enjoy great local market produce as well as getting our hands dirty with a bit of wild foraging that we can all do at this time of the year with seasonal fruits coming into their own.
So what’s on the menu?
One of the big things to look out for this month is summer fruit finally ripening. Blackberries and damsons are great for picking from countryside bushes, as ever, be sure to thoroughly clean before using! We also have apples and pears that are ready to be harvested and if you’re lucky enough to have any of these plants in your garden, you can be sure to have a great crop after this summer’s great warm weather.
Other menu items include lamb, clams, wild mushrooms and the start of hunting season with venison available at good butchers as well your large supermarkets which stock it more in their meat counters.
We thought that a great start would be to look at seafood as your starter because, there are so many ways to have it prepared as well as being so thoroughly tasty!
The September Supper club wants to celebrate clams and what better way to celebrate this delicate yet versatile flavour with so many different ways to prepare dishes. Firstly, why not take a look at this wonderful recipe that includes jerusalem artichokes and harissa to make a fabulous soup starter that packs a punch and is easy to do as well.
Alternatively there is always a classic that we can turn to, the good old New England Clam Chowder. A hearty winter soup, usually, this dish packs flavour as well as being great to make a big batch of for guests and it can even be done in a slow cooker if you were so versatile with that method of cooking.
But the big dish that we will be preparing this month will be an American-Italian dish called, Cioppino. A dish that dates back to 1800 in San Francisco and is a fish stew made up of leftovers, usually, where fishermen, mainly from Genoa at the time would go around asking for any leftovers and small catches that couldn’t be used to be put into a tomato based stew. It’s a wonderful take of fish stew and should be considered this September.
Mushrooms are great this time of the year, but wild mushrooms like ceeps, chanterelles, morels and oyster mushrooms are the ones you want to be looking out for, especially as they pack so much flavour.
It is then wrong of us to not mention this dish we tried last year and have been waiting all year to go foraging and eating up in mass quantities this month. Vincisgrassi! It’s a kind of lasagne that is from Le Marche and this version packs so much flavour. You could omit the meat flavours with other mushrooms and bring umami flavourings but we think this works so well!
Alternatively you could make one ingredient a side feature to a grander piece like, chestnuts – which are perfect this time of the year – and throw them into a pie of sorts. This beef and chestnut roll is delicious, and very easy to master. A supper club showstopper for the carnivores in your life.
Finally, for those wanting to be adventurous, Jamie Oliver has the perfect recipe for the lamb lover of the family. This dish, taken on his recent travels in Italy is a showstopper. Stuffed leg of lamb combines fresh herbs, a great cut of meat and slow cooking to bring out lots of flavour in something that can be done over a fire pit (if you have one) or, in a great oven, like a NEFF hide and slide oven… just saying, we also have several fully working demonstration varieties at our Waverton Showroom.
Well, we can’t start our September Supper Club by praising the efforts of countryside foraging and not give a recipe worthy of such endeavours. This recipe thus is the perfect mix of seasonal ingredients, simplicity and also a splash of sloe gin. You can thank us later. Blackberry with rolled oat crumble is also a worthy inclusion into the repertoire that we thought needed including.
For those that love damsons and custard, well, these tarts are precisely the kinds of treats you want in your kitchen, and they taste delicious. Give them a go because it is seriously worth it.
“What about the apple trees?” we hear you scream! Don’t fear there are two great recipes that we would recommend. The first is this toffee apple pan crumble. Yes, another crumble, but crumbles are so easy, and this, all done in a pan makes the difference when it comes to great flavour and simplicity! The second dessert we would recommend (after thoroughly testing) is this apple and nutmeg custard pie. It packs so much flavour and gives those wanting to try new combinations an avenue. Yes, apple pie is nothing new but the mix of spice and open layer approach is certainly new!
These are just some suggestions for a great September supper club. If you make any of these dishes let us know and send us some pics, we’d love to see your creations!