27 Aug

For our latest Bootleg Supper  we went all out for our veggie 5-a-day extravaganza! Due to popular demand we decided to host 3 nights for our last (in the house) Supper Club!

Highlights included:

Being fortunate enough to get hold of some Borage and Marigold flowers for the summer salad despite the inclement weather. Apparently this looked like ‘Summer on a Plate’ (quote from Bootleg guest) and was especially scrummy with elderflower & cucumber dressing.

One of the favourite dishes was the courgette & tomato tagliatelle (the courgette ribbons being the replacement pasta) with fennel cream and confit tomato layered to add depth of flavour to the mix.    

Making pickled girolle mushrooms for the first time, went well with fondant potatoes in tarragon butter served with wild mushrooms in a marsala and lemon sauce.

Home-smoked goat’s cheese, courtesy of beech chips fired-up on the wok, was good fun and the smokiness (we think) works extremely well with carrot puree

            Yorkshire Ale bread is extra ace as the recipe doesn’t require use of the full bottle and we at the Bootleg Belly just hate waste….hic…..

You can’t go wrong with Lemon possett as an end of the meal crowd-pleaser – and I always think it important to make twice as much shortbread as you think you might need…just in case…which can be washed down with Yorkshire Ale should you have any to hand… 

Notes to self: with regards to the duck egg, onion rings & asparagus dish…Duck eggs are unpredictable – as we only used the egg yolk (best bit) and were initially easy to separate we were surprised that they took to randomly bursting whilst resting in ramekins, like some sly, fowl, yellow landmine, not to mention leaking whilst cooking- not the best dish for cooking on demand as part of 8/9 courses (without plenty spare). However, the crispy onion rings that went with them (when not being dipped in salt and munched by Lisa) made the effort worth while :-)

Now on to planning our next Bootleg Supper events in Yorkshire venues tbc…….watch this space

Risqué bisque-ness

13 Jun

This last weekend we hosted our fish-themed Bootleg Supper and many thanks to our lovely guests who joined us for our 8-course tasting menu. We had two great evenings and really enjoyed experimenting with all sorts of pescatarian treats.

It was quite interesting putting together a menu in advance when you’re going to be bound on the day by what’s available and looks good down the market.  But we did our best to stick with seasonal fish, which meant that although the menu on the night varied a touch from what we’d e-mailed our guests  (Hake became Grey Mullet) we were able to do the same menu both nights.

Fennel and tomato broth – seabass


As always, different guests had different favourites amongst the courses (and you can check out the menu in full on our ‘Past Menus’ page) but some of the things we liked/learnt were as follows:


  • Cucumber relish rocks, I mean seriously, it’s ace and I must now find more things to go with it!
  • You can’t take your eyes off melba toast under the grill ever, not for a second, even on the lowest heat, at all, ever. This lesson was brought to you courtesy of the fourth time of trying (that’s right, eight courses by a cook who burnt toast three times in a row…oh the shame).
  • People are surprisingly enthusiastic about eating Asparagus veloute out of mini buckets (with Shrimp dust sprinkles of course).


    Asparagus- shrimp- veloute

  • Razor clams aren’t fans of being cleaned in fresh water and spit it back at you ….however they do go very well with a warm herby crust….

Razor clam – chorizo – herb crust


  • Scallop and Pistachio works well, but the logistics of eating this with risotto out of a scallop shell can be tricky.
  • Smoked mackerel and gooseberry is a brilliant combination, we saw it a few years back on the Great British Menu and have been itching to try it ever since.

  • Lisa will use any excuse/ opportunity to add crab bon bons to a fish dish – but the guests seemed to love them too!


Hake- caper sauce- bon bons

As ever, to our savoury-inclined palates, pudding was the biggest challenge so we kept it simple, light and seasonal with loads of berries.

Strawberry panna cotta

We’re now gearing up for our vegetarian feasts in July, though at present we’re most challenged by restraining ourselves from putting cheese with everything. Not because we can’t think of other things to do mind, just that we adore all things cheesy – perhaps this is a theme for a future Supper!

Retrotastic Bootleg Supper……

8 Mar

Our latest Supper Club in Leeds (this weekend just gone) took our guests back to the 70 & 80’s with our take on some retro classics. This was our last supper until June as we are taking a break to get married so we wanted something memorable to tide us over until our return to Bootlegging.

You can check out our past menus for a summary of each course – but thought I would give a little more info for those who are interested as the menu doesn’t really give much away

The screw ball consisted of mozzarella foam, swirls of pesto puree, shredded basil, tomato and, instead of the chewing gum, a stuffed confit cherry tomato sneakily hidden at the bottom!

Next, our crispy parsley pancake was filled with seafood in a pernod and cream sauce, topped with breadcrumbs and served with samphire.

Our take on cauliflower cheese involved the trusty pasta machine working overtime for ravioli with a cauliflower, pecorino & blue cheese filling, topped with walnut butter – cheesy goodness indeed!

The Chicken Kievs were chicken legs filled with liver parfait & garlic butter, topped by an almond, herb & parmesan crust, and my personal favourite creation – chicken bon bons! Also known as prawn, sage & prosciutto wrapped in crispy chicken skin – so wrong but so good!

On to the sweeter section and what our guests expressed being most curious about – Egg & Soldiers. This involved an egg cup filled with vanilla custard, orange zest & topped with Italian meringue. With the essential maple brioche soldiers to dip in.

Finally, to finish the meal on a lighter note the lemon mivvi was in fact our homemade lemon sorbet with a berry dipping sauce.

We thoroughly enjoyed our little nod to Heston in trying to combine intense flavour combinations with a playful and creative presentation and hope our guests did too. Gizmos and gadgets were full steam ahead in the kitchen for this one and the pasta machine is currently recuperating in the south of France. Justin was disproportionally excited about finally getting to use both the kitchen thermometer and the food mixer for the Italian meringue before being let loose with the blowtorch for finishing…three gadgets, one dish…minted!!



Marinade Brigade

25 Feb

Our latest Supper Club in Leeds – Go Marinade brigade!

This month we decided to experiment with all things pickled, cured, marinated, soaked and infused, which we hoped would suit a winter larder…and winter showed up in abundance on the Saturday with Leeds’ first decent snowfall of the season forcing a few cars to be abandoned en route!!


Beetroot cured seabass

This was a theme that gave us lots of room to play and so we went for a 6-course menu that allowed us to try a variety of techniques and, hopefully, make for an interesting progression of courses. Both nights were full and from the kitchen we could hear the happy hubbub of animated conversation, which is always a great relief for a host in any dinner scenario.

We know there were differing favourites between the courses amongst our guests, as would be expected, but some of the things we got excited about and/or learnt were:

Bisque base...

  • How pretty beetroot-cured sea bass looks on a plate, like translucent petals…fortunately it also tastes good!
  • That an apple and cauliflower puree combination is ace and will be repeated again with pork-based Sunday dinners
  • When making parsnip rostis a 3:1 parsnip/potato ratio seemed to work the best
  • Sizzling platters are sold with a cast iron handle for a very good reason

Marinated pork, apple & cauliflower puree

 We can’t wait for Retrotastic and are busy working on the menu for these nights in March, which we’re already getting excited about. Can’t give away any clues yet I’m afraid but we’ll be going for a tasting menu style again to give maximum space for lots of different dishes.

Dinner at the Manor fill their Bootleg Belly

25 Feb

For a review of one of our evenings please visit our fellow Supper Club hosts:

Dinner at the Manor fill their BootlegBelly.

Next Supper Club dates…..

8 Feb

Next Supper Club dates will be Friday 2nd & Saturday 3rd March – get Retrotastic!

Oooohhh Vienna!!

24 Jan

In light of a recent culinary trip to Vienna to visit friends and commence the festive season just gone I thought we should share a little of the joy we encountered on our travels……

Summary of the great things in Vienna:

Christmas Markets


Sausage Stands


Let us not forget the so wrong but so right Schnitzel!!

One of the best things about the city is their enthusiasm   and dedication to the celebration of each season’s produce; and the amazing dishes that showcase this each month. For example, our visit was during the time of the  Goose, Pumpkin & Venison therefore that’s what was on offer and the speciality in each restaurant we went. 

And what do the Austrians do to celebrate winter in Vienna as opposed to complaining about the cold and hiding indoors……Wrap up warm and hang out at Christmas Markets sampling tasty treats and drink delicious hot punch!

The local Naschmarkt offers some amazing seasonal produce which lead to the indulgent purchase of a massive joint of beef for dinner one night  as well as the amazing meats and ‘Kaserland’ stall where we purchased our pudding of Brie infused with Truffle!


The most impressive activity of the break would be the ‘Wine Walk’ our host organised at a nearby picturesque village consisting of 23 different stops to taste amazing local wine for just 20 Euros!

At each stop the wine was accompanied by various home-made breads and delicious spreads – one of which consisted of pork lard on toast with rock salt!  – Justin’s thing, not mine!









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