What’s new for 2018

Well the whirlwind of Christmas has come and gone, we’ve already had our first wedding fayre of 2018 and we have a delicious crop of events to brighten these chilly winter months.

A few of our highlights for the first part of 2018

I’ll be telling you more about our fabulous events, from the rich tradition of Game Night to the lively zing of our Tapas evenings, as well as a sneak peek at our special menus for Valentines celebrations and Mother’s Day.

I’ll also be finding out more about Apley Walled Garden, who will be supplying exciting new varieties of veg for 2018, as well as taking in the sights of our own lovely spot of Shropshire.

A promise of good things to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the team who have helped us to WIN the regional finals and our place at the National Wedding Awards.

 

Add to this the excitement of attending the national wedding awards you can tell the  blog posts are going to be packed full of tasty treats.

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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

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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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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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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What’s in the garden ? Edible flowers

As promised, here’s a bit more the best value members of the garden, edible flowers. These guys really earn their keep!  Looking good and tasting great is no mean feat. Having the combination of beautiful gardens and great food really makes the Hundred House special, and it’s great to be able to share some of that with you.

Lavender 
©KAM

First up, Lavender; we’ve seen it used with varying success, it’s been the downfall of more than one contestant on a certain British Baking contest. Use with care, it gives a unique flavour to desserts, can be used to create flavoured honey, sugar and vinegars, and the sprigs complement pork, lamb and chicken. It has a mass of health benefits too, being renowned for helping us to sleep, and soothe anxiety, as well as aiding digestion.

Mix 1kg of caster sugar with 2tsp lavender to make lavender sugar, sprinkle over freshly baked shortbread for a sweet treat.

 

 

One of the nicest ways to use it is in a delicate dessert this adaptation of our classic Panna cotta is a glorious end to a summer meal.

Lavender Panna cotta

For the lavender flowers

225ml/8fl oz. water

100g/3½oz caster sugar

handful lavender flowers

For the panna cotta

  • 625ml whole milk
  • 170ml pouring cream
  • 125g superfine sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
  • 6 gelatine leaves

 

 

Method

To prepare the lavender flowers

Heat the water and caster sugar together in a pan.

Stir until the sugar melts. Boil gently so the liquid reduces a little.

Remove from the heat, and allow to cool.

Once cooled, add the lavender flowers to the pan.

Allow to steep, to create a delicate lavender syrup. After a few of hours, remove the lavender and allow to dry. Keep them to decorate the panna cotta.

To make the Panna Cotta

  • Mix milk, cream, sugar, cardamom and vanilla bean & seeds in saucepan over medium heat
  • Bring it to boil then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes
  • Soak gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes until soft then squeeze the excess water out. Add them to milk mixture until combined.
  • Remove from heat & pass through a fine sieve into clean jug
  • Pour into cups and refrigerate overnight
  • Turn the panna cotta out onto individual serving plates and drizzle the lavender syrup over them. Decorate with the crystallised lavender flowers.
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A chat with Andy Nicholls

Food is the cornerstone of the Hundred House. Not just any food though. Creative, yet comforting, the Hundred House kitchen produces an astonishing number of plates each week, covering all types of dining, from a memorable wedding feast to stylish lunch dishes that break up the monotony of the working week. I’m sure you are all familiar with the smiling face of  Stuart Phillips, but I thought you might like to find out a bit more about the rest of the super talented kitchen team. Here’s a little bit about our Head Chef, Andy Nicholls.

Head Chef Andy Nicholls,preparing for another busy lunch service.

HH When did you start working at the Hundred House?

AN When I was nineteen. I’ve been here for seven years now.

HH Was this your first job then?

AN No, I dreamt of being in the RAF, but sadly an ankle injury put paid to that. At the time, I was working part time in a kitchen, one night the chef phoned in sick, and they asked if I would step up. I did and I loved it!

HH What training have you had?

AN I spent two years at Radbrook in Shrewsbury. Part of my final year was a placement here at the Hundred House.

HH  Part of making the food at Hundred House so good is giving our chefs the opportunity to experience working in other restaurants. Which ones have you been to recently?

AN I spent a week at The Bell in Essex. As well as being incredibly busy, it is renowned for outstanding food. I worked on most sections from sauces to meat. My first lunchtime shift we did 65 covers!

HH  Wow! That’s throwing you in at the deep end! Are there any places that stand out?

AN  Coast at Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire is a stunning place. They share a lot of our values too, using loads of local produce, and having great food in a relaxed atmosphere. It wasn’t a busy time of year, but I had loads of opportunity to learn some new techniques.

HH  Ooh, that sounds exciting !

AN  It was. I learnt a lot about how to bring the best out of our ingredients. My favourites  were freeze drying, which intensifies flavour and  I learnt about making jellies to capture the essence of a particular ingredient, really make it sing as part of a dish. Lots of pastry techniques too, and I learnt how to make the perfect Crème Brulee. Steaming, instead of oven baking means it has the smoothest, silkiest texture you can imagine. Everyone should come and try it, they’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

Divinely silky dish of  loveliness. My favourite way to round off a meal.

HH What is the best thing about working at the Hundred House?

AN  I love all the seasonal ingredients I can get from the garden. All the herbs from classic rosemary for lamb, to the zesty flavour of sorrel; it’s all there! I love how busy we are, and the buzz from that. My favourite thing though is creating new dishes.

HH  Are any of your creation on the menu now?

AN  Yes, at the moment there is Trio of Beetroot, which is Beetroot carpaccio, beetroot puree and pickled beetroot, paired beautifully with a goat’s cheese bonbon, and peppery rocket from the herb garden.  I’ve also done a new take on our Shropshire Lamb, using a roasted cutlet, braised belly and sautéed kidney, along with the sweetness of a roast onion puree and a tarragon caper jus.

Andy loves being able to choose from such range of fresh herbs in our gardens.

HH  That sounds amazing!

AN  It is. I love creating new dishes, I have so many ideas, I just need to find the time.

HH I’d better let you get back to it . Thank you for telling us a bit more about everything though. I can’t wait to try that lamb !

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