Christmas is coming !

We are in full festive mood at the Hundred House and the beautiful blanket of snow that fell over the weekend has given an extra sparkle to our restaurant and gardens. We’ll be publishing some photos of the decorations later in the week, but why not take the opportunity to visit out winter wonderland and take advantage of our fabulous lunch menu. Check our Facebook page for opening times over the next few days.

https://www.facebook.com/HundredHouse/

Just a few minutes drive from the Hundred House Ironbridge is full of hidden gems for you to explore. Perfect for a long weekend, although the snow isn’t a permanent feature !
©kam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throughout December we are offering our festive menu featuring tempting  seasonal dishes such as venison terrine paired with a homemade crab apple jelly, or lightly smoked pheasant breast brought to life with a walnut and sage stuffing. We’ve got traditional options too, with that special Hundred House feel that only comes from championing local produce and innovative style. The full menu is featured on our events page

http://www.hundredhouse.co.uk/events/eventschristmas-fayre-menu-2017/

 

Whether it’s a treat for finally finishing your Christmas shopping, a casual catch up with friends before the hectic Christmas break or an early family celebration give us a call on 01952 580240 to reserve a table and start Christmas 2017 in style !

Our cozy fireplaces create a perfect Christmas backdrop.

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Homemade Christmas Gifts – Ginger Liqueur.

The final in our series of alternative Christmas gifts is a real corker. Warming brandy infused with fragrant ginger,cinnamon and a sparkle of orange zest are melded together in this gorgeous liqueur to create a perfect gift.

I can imagine enjoying this during those lazy days between Christmas and New Year; a long lunch at my favourite restaurant (HH of course,) then a crisp, invigorating walk before finally curling up with a glass of this warming liqueur. Just add a good book, a board game or a favourite cosy film, and there we have it.Festive bliss.

Unlike a lot of homemade liqueurs, this ones doesn’t need a long time to steep, so it’s an ideal last minute make.

Brandy,ginger,cinnamon and vanilla combine to make this cockle-warming treat.

What you need

  • 2 thumb sized pieces of root ginger
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  •  zest of 1 orange
  • 1 1/2 cups brandy

    Peel the ginger (I find a spoon is easiest tool for this) and cut it into thin slices. Split the vanilla pod lengthways.

    Place ginger,vanilla,sugar and water in a pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for around twenty minutes until the ginger is soft.

    When the ginger is tender, remove from the pan from heat and allow to cool.

    When the syrup is cool pour it into a jar along with the brandy and the orange zest. Allow to steep for one day, shaking periodically.

    After one day, remove the vanilla pod. Leave to steep for a further twenty four hours.

    Strain through a muslin cloth (or a coffee filter) and decant into pretty bottles or jars. Add your labels and decorations and there you have it ! A real winter warmer.

    The liqueur is ready to drink after one more day, and will keep for up to a year.  

    Peel and slice the ginger, bring to the boil with vanilla, sugar and water. Simmer for twenty minutes, then allow to cool.

    Place brandy and orange zest in a sealable jar. Add the cooled syrup and allow to steep.

    After steeping, strain the liqueur through a muslin cloth and decant into pretty bottles. Just one more day and it’s ready to drink !

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Homemade Christmas Gifts

As promised, here is another super simple idea for a stocking filler this Christmas. As you know we have a fabulous herb garden here at the Hundred House, and this recipe is an unusual way of preserving them. The fragrance is delightful and will bring a hint of spring to those dark February days. It’s an unusual idea and a change from more traditional edible gifts.

Fragrant and vibrant herb salts bring freshness to darker days . Use it as a finishing salt, a rub for meats or to flavour homemade stocks.

You can use any herbs you like for this recipe. I’ve created one in a Mediterranean style (basil,parsley) and one with a nod to Morocco, brimming with the freshness of mint and coriander. Anything that you have in your garden will work well, just think about what flavours you enjoy. It’s a lovely way to preserve the very last memories of summer eating .

What you need

  • 3 cups of fresh herbs.
  • 1/2 cup coarse salt ( I used Maldon Smoked Sea salt, but any coarse salt will do)

What to do 

Wash your chosen herbs and dry them thoroughly.

Remove any discoloured leaves

Place the herbs and salt in a food processor and pulse until they are blended together. Go steadily, if you go too far you will end up with a mushy mess !

Place the herbs in a sterilised jar, and store in the fridge. The herb salt will be ready in around 7 days, and will keep for up to six months.

I use this as a finishing salt, or as a rub for my favourite meats. It’ll be a real boon when barbecue season rolls around .

Any herbs can be used, I chose to create two blends based on cuisine of Morocco and the Mediterranean.

Three cups of  your chosen herbs…….

………blended with half a cup of coarse grain salt.

Blend to a coarse grind. Use the pulse setting to make sure you don’t blend the mixture too much.

A pretty ribbon and a handwritten label transform this simple idea into an unusual gift.

This is such a simple make, and a smashing alternative to the swathes of shortbread and chocolates that we are used to. Combine it with a voucher for  lunch or dinner at the Hundred House and you have a perfect gift for any lover of great food.

I hope you enjoy making and giving this lovely gift, remember to subscribe to get our regular updates and recipes. Liking  and following our Facebook page will make sure you never miss a post from our blog.

 

 

 

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‘Tis the season

Eagle-eyed Facebook followers will know that Christmas is in full swing at the Hundred House. I thought I’d take the chance to tell you more about our stunning new decorations in the Tithe Barn.

Handmade especially for our party and wedding venue, our new decorations are inspired by the colours that surround the Hundred House in winter. A real modern classic.

 

 

Following expert tuition from Denise Purnell of Ginger Lily Florist, our events and wedding guru Joanne Phillips created six new garlands for our barn. Drawing on her years of expertise in the industry Jo chose colours that will be a perfect complement to any colour scheme, as well as bringing extra sparkle to our Christmas party events.

Each pine cone, glittering bauble and dainty bead is hand wired to the foliage.

 

A range of festive trimmings were gathered to create our garlands

Florist’s wire is used to make sure the decorations are firmly fixed.

Each garland takes around two hours to make. I asked Jo for her tips on how create the perfect festive finish.

  • Don’t feel you have to spend a fortune. Simple baubles can be transformed with skillful arrangement.
  • Decide on a theme. A jumble of ideas can look cute and quirky, but keep a common thread, even if it’s just colour.
  • Plan your design before you start. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to start rewiring half-way through.
  • Prepare all your materials, even down to cutting the florist wire.
  • Take care to keep all the decorations front facing.

Florist’s wire, cut and ready to go . Jo recommends preparing your materials before you start makes the job easier.

Pine cones were the trickiest to wire.The key is making sure the wire sits at the base, so the cone hangs true.

Planning your design before you start is the key to things going smoothly.

Beautiful modern vintage style.

So there you have it, simple effective decorations that will bring stunning sparkle to our tithe barn.

More photos of the hotel and restaurant are on their way, plus news about our luscious lunch menus and delightful dinner. If you really can’t wait, have a look on Facebook, where there’s a sneak peek of our festive food.

For information about Ginger Lily Florist have a look at their Facebook page

https://m.facebook.com/Ginger-Lily-Florist-formerly-Rustic-Wedding-Flowers-1415607878686513/?locale2=en_GB

Or follow them on Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/gingerlilyflorist/

 

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Homemade Christmas Gifts

Christmas is the ultimate feast for the senses.twinkling lights, frost on your favourite tree, the air suffused with the scent of cinnamon, nut meg and cloves. It is a time to treasure, and a time to spend with those you care about.

Preparation for all your celebrations are well underway here at the Hundred House, menus have been finalised, bookings are flooding in for our famous party nights and the restaurant has a distinctly festive feel. Next week is our big decorating party, it’s a magical time which shows off the unique style of the Hundred House. I’ll be writing about our new decorations next week, but today I wanted to tell you about some gorgeous homemade gifts.

Sweet, fragrant and delicious served with a spoonful of cream.

 

Imagine , if you will, little jars of clementines bathed in brandy and scented with Christmas spices, a warming ginger liqueur just made for sipping by the fire after a crisp winter walk and little jars of preserved herbs that will be perfect in February when we all crave a hint of spring.  These are simple gifts that are straightforward to make, none of them need to mature for months so there is still time to get creative in the kitchen.

Clementines Soused in Brandy

Makes two generous jars.

You will need

  • 8 to 12 clementines
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 300mls water
  • 150mls brandy or cognac
  • 4 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

You will also need two clean sterilised jars

What to do

Peel the clementines, taking care to remove the pith. Pack them into your jars, nestling the cinnamon and star anise around them.

To make the brandy syrup:dissolve the sugar in the water and bring it to the boil. Remove from the heat. When the syrup is cool add the brandy.

Pour the syrup over the clementines and seal the jars.

These will keep in a cool dark place for one month. They are delicious  served warm (just heat them through on the stove), or cold with lick of velvety cream.

Peel the clementines and pack them into your sterilised jars along with Cinnamon and Star Anise.

 

 

Dissolve the sugar in the water, bring to the boil, then remove the syrup from the heat and allow to cool before adding the brandy.

Pour the brandy syrup over the clementines and store in a cool dark place for up to a month.

Making these takes around half an hour. I think they’re a fabulous twist on the Christmas tradition of putting an orange in your festive stocking !

I’ll be posting more ideas for homemade goodies over the next week so keep an eye on your inbox, or just like and follow us on Facebook.

 

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Now’s the time to pickle !

Pickling and preserving has always been part of the kitchen and using natural preservatives such as vinegar and sugar means that the short season for fresh produce can be extended through the dark winter months.

Bright, fresh flavours cheer the dullest day.

As well as the obvious practicality, pickling for flavour had a renaissance over the last few years. We’ve moved from regarding it solely as a way of preserving our crops, to understanding how much the unique blend of crunch and piquancy creates a pleasing contrast to richer ingredients.  If you’ve had chance to taste our Ham Hock and Black Pudding Terrine, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

Ham Hock and Black Pudding Terrine with Pickled Carrots

Executive Chef, Stuart Phillips explains that new equipment ,such as the steam oven makes creating innovative flavours even more enjoyable. He talked me through the how he creates the pickled carrots that feature in the Ham Hock and Black Pudding Terrine. As with all good things, it’s deceptively simple. Sugar, vinegar and water are combined to make a hot brine, which is poured over blanched carrots, herbs from our garden, a blend of spices and zing of lemon for a subtle citrus kick.

Baby carrots, chilli, herbs from our garden and a spike of citrus all ready for the alchemy of the kitchen.

 

 

 

 

These gorgeous goodies are steamed for around ten minutes at eighty degrees, in either vacuum packs or jars and that’s it. Sadly the exact recipe is a HH secret, but a little experimentation you could create something similar at home. Personally I’d just nip down to the Hundred House for a mini feast !

Ten minutes at 80° transforms a few simple ingredients into something special.

The fresh flavours are so different to the vinegar laden jars of beetroot many of us have languishing at the back of the fridge. The sophisticated choice of flavours and the quick steam method creates a bright,sparky pickle that instantly becomes best friends with the other ingredients on the plate. I love it !

 

 

 

 

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New flavours you will love !

Autumn is well and truly here and regular diners will have noticed our menu gradually moving towards warming winter flavours that showcase our harvest. As the natural changes wrought by the shift in seasons,we have exciting new technology in our kitchen. With new technology comes new technique, which means we can bring you new tastes to try. I spent a little time with our head chef Andy, who introduced me to some of the creations from the kitchen. One of my favourites is the Ham Hock and Black Pudding terrine.

Ham Hock and Black Pudding Terrine with Pickled Carrots, Mustard Mayonnaise, Salsa Verde and little pops of pork crunch. 
©kam

 

As well as the obvious harmony between soft,melting ham hock and earthy, rich black pudding what made this dish stand out for me were the accompaniments.

Pickled carrots, pops of pork crunch a swoop of mustard mayonnaise…….it’s the accompaniments that make this dish sing.

 

 

 

Chefs often talk about balance in a dish, and this has been beautifully realized here. Each element is good on its own, but together they make the whole dish sing. The contrast between the sharp but sweet, zingy pickled carrots and the rich meats is nothing less than a joy. Combine this with pops of pork crunch and the freshness of the lemon, carpers and anchovies of the  Salsa Verde and you have a truly memorable marriage of flavours.

 

Ham Hock and Black Pudding terrine, wrapped in sauteed leeks, accompanied by home pickled carrots, pork crunch, mustard mayonnaise and Salsa Verde.
©kam

You can sample this beautiful dish as a starter on our À la carte menu or as part of our lunch menu. A perfect start to seasonal eating.

 

I’ll be featuring more of our latest food creations regularly in the new year, sign up to be the first to know ! Just press the button below, or follow us on FaceBook.

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Cheery Chutney

Chutneys are used in so many ways at the Hundred House, whether they’re enhancing our home made paté, giving a bit of zing to our scrumptious lunchtime sandwiches or complimenting our selection of cheeses, we love the curious combination of sweet and savoury that only a chutney can give.

Assembled loveliness
©kam

 

 

Chutney makes a gorgeous gift too, and is a great way of using up a glut of apples or pears from your garden, making the most of homegrown veg, or even just taking advantage of special offers at your local greengrocer.  Here are a couple of my favourites

Beetroot and Orange Chutney

  • 1½ kg raw beetroot, trimmed, peeled and diced (wear gloves!)
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 3 eating apples, peeled and grated
  • zest and juice 3 oranges
  • 2 tbsp white or yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seed
  • 1 tbsp ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 700ml red wine vinegar
  • 700g golden granulated sugar

Method

  1. In a preserving pan or your largest saucepan, mix together all the ingredients well. Bring to a gentle simmer, then cook for 1 hr, stirring occasionally, until the chutney is thick and the beetroot tender.
  2. While the chutney is cooking, prepare your jars by running through a short hot wash in your dishwasher. Or wash thoroughly by hand, then put in a hot oven to sterilise for 10-15 mins. Once the chutney is ready, let it settle for 10 mins, then carefully spoon into the jars and seal while still hot. You can eat it straight away but it will be even better after a month. Will keep for up to 6 months in a cool dark place. Once opened, refrigerate and eat within 2 months.

Spiced Beetroot and Orange Chutney. Great with cold meats and rich brie and sharp stilton. Making it makes the house smell stunning too !

Recipe from Good Food magazine

Spiced Pear Chutney

Ingredients

  • 60ml/2¼fl oz olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 200g/7¼oz sultanas
  • 100g/3½oz raisins
  • 100g/3½oz demerara sugar /or coconut sugar
  • 400ml/14¼oz cider vinegar
  • 100g/3½oz crystallised ginger, finely sliced
  • 800g/1lb 12¼oz pears coared and cut into wedges
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 good pinch of saffron

    Method

    1. Heat a large saucepan with the oil, add the rosemary, sultanas, raisins and sugar and fry them until the fruit begins to caramelise.

    2. Pour in the vinegar and boil on a high heat for three minutes. Then add the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil, then turn to a simmer and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Because of the fruit, this chutney has a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan, so stir it well and keep an eye on it. Don’t let the pears cook too much; they should keep their shape.

    3. Spoon it into clean hot jars, filling them as full as you can, and seal while hot. Store in the fridge.

      Pear Chutney is delicious with hard cheeses such as Comté, or slathered on a pork pie.

 

Recipe from BBC Food

There’s just got time time to make a batch or two ready for Christmas. Alongside a Hundred House gift voucher you’ve got the makings of a perfect food lovers gift.

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Spiced Pumpkin Loaf

Remember the post about using up all the lovely Pumpkin left over from lantern carving? Remember the promise of Spiced Pumpkin Loaf ? Well here’s the recipe!. It’s really straightforward to make and uses all sorts of warming Autumn spices as well as making the most of your Pumpkins. The loaf without the glaze freezes beautifully too so you could use it to make your Bonfire celebrations go with a super spicy bang ! I hope you enjoy it as much as I have !

 

You will need

For the  Spiced Pumpkin Loaf

  • 1/2 tsp Ginger, ground
  • 225g pureed pumpkin
  • 115g Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 200g Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 225g Dark Muscovado Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg, grated.
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 60ml Milk
For the Maple Glaze
  • 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 225g Butter
  • 200g Icing Sugar

    Puree your Pumpkin

    Mix everything up until well combined.

  • What to do 
    1. Preheat oven to 160° (140° fan). Liberally grease a 2lb loaf pan.
    2. Combine the bread ingredients and beat at medium speed with a handheld mixer, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until well-mixed.
    3. Pour the bread mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for approx. 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted near the center comes out mostly clean or with a couple moist crumbs (not wet). Cool for about 15 minutes, then very gently remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

      Bake at  160° for 40-50 minutes

    4. While bread cools, make your glaze: in a small saucepan, heat butter over medium-low heat until melted. Continue cooking, watching butter carefully, until it sizzles and begins to turn amber in color, about 4-5 minutes. Do not overcook because it can quickly burn! When butter looks caramel-colored and smells nutty, it’s ready. Remove the butter from heat and cool completely ( if you skip this stage you’ll end up with a gloopy mess). Then stir in the powdered sugar and maple syrup until a soft glaze has formed.
    5. Pour the glaze generously over top of the pumpkin loaf and let it set, about 30 minutes. Cut into slices and serve!

      Enjoy !

    This takes around an hour to make serves 8 people, is suitable for vegetarians and tastes delicious !
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Pumpkins!

Pumpkins

With their vivid orange colour and excellent ability to be turned into spooky lantern masterpieces, we have truly embraced the pumpkin in recent years.

Pumpkin carving season is in full swing

But what happens to all the tasty flesh we scoop out in our quest to create the perfect lantern?  Information gathered by HUBBUB makes spooky reading.

It’s not easy to know what to do with it all though, especially when it’s as huge as this one from the Hundred House gardens !

Giant pumpkin.

I had a chat with Joanne Phillips to find out how she made sure nothing was wasted when she made her lanterns using this monster pumpkin. She managed to use every part except the stalk, producing enough soup for ten hungry friends, a deliciously moist spiced pumpkin loaf and even using the seeds to make piquant paprika nibbles.

Here are some of her favourite recipes

Thai  Pumpkin Soup

From this……

…….to this.

What you need

  • 1½ kg pumpkin or squash, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 tsp pumpkin oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 lemongrass, bashed a little
  • 3-4 tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • lime juice, and sugar, for seasoning
  • 1 red chilli, sliced, to serve (optional)

What to do

Start off by roasting your pumpkin

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Toss the pumpkin or squash in a roasting tin with 2tsp of oil and plenty of seasoning. Roast them for about 30 mins until golden and tender.

Roasted and ready to be turned into velvety soup spiked with the flavours of Thailand.

While the pumpkin is roasting, you can prepare the base for the soup.

  • Put the remaining oil in a large pan with the onion,ginger and lemongrass. Cook on a gentle heat for for 8-10 mins until softened. Stir in the curry paste and cook for one minute,stirring continuously. Add the roasted pumpkin, all but 3 tbsp of the coconut milk and the stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, then fish out the lemongrass. Cool for a few minutes, then whizz until smooth with a hand blender, or in batches if you use a large blender. Return to the pan to heat through, season with salt, pepper, lime juice and sugar to taste. Serve drizzled with the remaining coconut milk and scattered with as much chilli as you like.

Piquant Paprika Pumpkin Nibbles

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • On a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, add pumpkin seeds. Try to remove as much pulp from the seeds as possible.
  • In a small bowl, combine oil, paprika, chili powder and salt. Stir to combine. …
  • Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Cool, and serve.

    A tasty start to your halloween feast

These are gorgeous with a warming ale or a robust red wine. They taste even better when you remember that they’re virtually free and have a stack of health benefits including trytophan for restful sleep and magnesium for a healthy heart. Both of these could be essential if you’ve seen one too many zombie films this week.

Jo’s next quest is to find the  very best Pumpkin cake, so watch this space. I do love cakes made with vegetables, how can they be anything but healthy !

Happy Halloween, don’t get too scared and remember to use up your Pumpkins !

 

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