fbpx

Ah, Creme Catalan. Such a simple, yet perfect combination of flavours and textures. Everyone seems to love shattering the topping and breaking into the delicate orange-scented delights below. I’ve always loved Crème brûlée but when I first visited Spain I had this and thought the orange zest in the Spanish version made a great thing even better. Our customers have always agreed and this has been our most popular dessert over the years.

Creme Catalan by chef Simon Shaw of El Gato Negro Tapas

Creme Catalan (Crema Catalana)

Serves 4
Ingredients

  • 5 medium egg yolks
  • 375g double cream
  • 200g full fat milk
  • 75g caster sugar
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Seeds of 1 vanilla pod
  • Extra caster sugar to finish

Method

Add the vanilla seeds and orange zest to the cream and in a pan. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat.

Mix together the egg yolks and caster sugar in a bowl. Add the milk in stages and stir to combine.

Pour mixture into 4 wide moulds or ramekins and cook in a bain-marie at 100°C until set. Refrigerate for 2 hours until chilled.

Sprinkle each with a fine, even layer of caster sugar and gently flame with a blowtorch* until golden, taking care not to burn the sugar. Return to the fridge for 5 min to set.

* If you don’t have a blowtorch you can always use a grill for the final stage, although it’s harder to get as crisp and glassy a finish on the sugar.

Shattered Creme Catalan by chef Simon Shaw of El Gato Negro Tapas

Chef Matt Healy on MasterChef: The Professionals

It’s our first Christmas in Manchester and as you’d expect, we’re really busy. The whole team has been working hard and the buzz in the building is incredible. When I’ve not been in the kitchen one thing I’ve been doing recently is catching up on MasterChef: The Professionals, and my neighbours have probably heard me shouting at the telly as I support my former colleague Matt Healy.

Matt’s a great guy… a very talented chef and I always knew he’d go far when he worked with me in our old restaurant in Yorkshire. Last time I saw him on TV was as my sous on Gordon Ramsey’s F Word back in 2009. We’re all a little bit more grey and seasoned than those days, but he was hungry and ambitious even back then and he’s worked really hard ever since to get to where he is now.

Simon Shaw and Matt Healy at the pass

Matt’s always stayed in contact, and dropped in to lend a hand just we were gearing up for opening in Manchester earlier this year. It was great to briefly share the pass with him again in a much bigger kitchen than we ever had in Ripponden!

I’m really proud of what he’s achieved in getting to the finals on MasterChef: The Professionals, and I was made up to see him acknowledge the influence I had on him… well done and thanks for the kind words chef. Watching him over the last month there’s no doubt in my mind that the pupil’s become a master in his own right.

Keep flying the flag for Yorkshire, keep championing great Spanish ingredients, and keep cooking like a champ – we’re proud of you and will all be cheering for you this week Matt!


Here’s a guest blog from Garry and Adam, highlighting the two bespoke cocktails we’re serving up for Halloween this year in our top floor bar, The Black Cat.

2016-07_el_gato_negro_theblackcat_drinks-041_1536px-2
el_gato_negro_mcr_10oct2016-0679_1536px

Pumpkin Reviver

This is an autumnal spiced riff on the classic corpse reviver. It’s just the thing for reanimating lifeless bodies on All Hallow’s Eve!

  • Ingredients:
  • 50ml Pumpkin Bourbon
  • 15ml Maple Syrup
  • 1 Clove
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon Sugar
  • 30ml Half and half (half milk, half double cream)
  • 1 small pinch of 5 spice powder

Home Made Ingredients

To make your pumpkin bourbon, find a Tupperware, or other vessel. Take a packet of pumpkin seeds and some bourbon (although any dark spirit will do i.e. Scotch, Dark Rum, Brandy) place both in to your vessel and leave for 2 or 3 days. For added flavour, grind up the seeds.

To make cinnamon Sugar – get 3 parts sugar and mix with 1 part ground cinnamon (if you prefer to use sugar syrup, add 2 parts of the cinnamon sugar you have just made to 1 part of hot water and stir until sugar has dissolved).

Method

  1. Add all ingredients in to a Boston shaker, or coffee flask if you don’t possess bar kit
  2. Stir for about 30 seconds without ice in order to help the sugar dissolve
  3. Add as much ice as possible to your tin and give a good hard shake for about 10 seconds
  4. Strain the drink in to a stemmed glass, with a coupe being the best option (wine glass will do!)
  5. Finish off by serving it on a crisp, clean autumnal leaf that’s fallen straight off a tree, adding a minuscule pinch of cinnamon on top, accompanied by a fresh pear.
  6. This drink can also be served warm, just add all the ingredients to a pan, keep on low heat and stir until the drink is warm.  Serve in a teacup with the same garnishes.

2016-07_el_gato_negro_theblackcat_drinks-047_1536px 2016-07_el_gato_negro_theblackcat_drinks-033_1536px

The Black Cat’s Eye

A distinctly dark and otherworldly-looking cocktail, this imagines our mascot as a witch’s familiar, and provides a very different take on some classic elements for Halloween!

Ingredients

  • 40ml Bushmill’s Black Bush Irish Whiskey
  • 20ml Lustau Sweet Vermouth
  • 25ml Pineapple and Fennel Shrub
  • 10ml Egg White
  • 2sp Squid Ink

Method

Dry & wet shake before fine straining into a chilled cocktail coupe.

Garnish

Garnish with blueberry powder.

el_gato_negro_mcr_10oct2016-0607_1536px el_gato_negro_mcr_10oct2016-0678_1536px

I used to make sabayon as a special in our old restaurant in Yorkshire: it was always popular with customers and sold out in a flash. Sabayons are great because they’re quick and easy desserts to make and you can can tailor them to whatever is in season. As a result they’re a bit of a chef’s secret weapon!

The start of September is one of my favourite times of the year: we’re spoiled with an abundance of great produce both in the shops and the hedgerows. This recipe takes advantage of the late summer / autumn fruits which you can easily buy right now. It’s also a great way of using up a little left-over white wine or fizz in the bottom of a bottle.

autumn_sabayon_1500px-1

Autumn fruit sabayon

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the fruit

  • 2 tangerines
  • 4 figs
  • 1 punnet blackberries
  • 2 pears
  • 1 punnet blueberries

For the sabayon

  • 4 medium egg yolks
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 150ml white wine (dry is preferred, but this is a good way to use up any white or sparkling wine)
  • 150ml lightly whipped double cream
  • Spring of mint and icing sugar to garnish

Method

Wash and prepare fruit. Quarter the figs, halve the pears and segment the tangerines. Place to one side at room temperature.

Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and white wine in a metal bowl over a pan of boiling water until the mixture thickens to ribbon stage.

Remove from heat and whisk until cool. Fold in whipped cream, taking care not to over-whisk or the mix will revert to liquid. (Cook’s note: this mix will keep covered in the fridge for up to 5 days)

Place fruit in serving dish and gently top with the sabayon. Garnish with a sprig of mint, dust with icing sugar (optional) and serve.

autumn_sabayon_1500px-2

A classic El Gato Negro dish, marrying smoky rich Spanish flavours with a superlative English cider. A great riff on pork and apple!

Mini Catalan Chorizo in Aspall Cider

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 300g mini chorizo dulce (available from Brindisa & selected supermarkets) or good cooking chorizo
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 200ml Aspall cider (cyder)
  • 50ml sherry vinegar
  • 50g chicken gravy granules
  • 25g fresh flat leaf parsley

Method

Cut chorizo into 3cm pieces. Gently warm in a non-stick pan until the oil starts to come out of the sausage. Carefully remove chorizo from the pan, leaving the oil in place.

Add the sherry vinegar to the oil and reduce over low heat to make a syrup. Add the cider and reduce again. Add the chicken stock and reduce by half. Whisk in gravy granules to thicken.

Once the sauce is thick enough to coat to the back of a spoon, add the chorizo and cook for a further two min or until warmed through. Finish with chopped parsley. Enjoy!

Chargrilled Onglet Steak with Patatas a lo Pobre

Chargrilled Onglet Steak with Patatas A Lo Pobre

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the onglet 

  • 4 onglet beef steaks (approx. 200g each)
  • 200ml olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic   
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 50g salted butter

For the Patatas A Lo Pobre

  • 16 new potatoes
  • 2 medium red onions                
  • 8 piquillo peppers
  • 1 small bunch of mint
  • 15ml balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small bunch flat leaf parsley
  • olive oil
  • 25g salted butter
  • salt & pepper for seasoning

For the red wine sauce

  • ½ bottle red wine
  • 500ml good quality beef stock
  • 50g salted butter

Method

Marinate the onglet steaks in a mix of olive oil, chopped garlic and half of the fresh thyme. Ideally allow them to marinate for 24 hours, or at least overnight.

Cover potatoes with water in a pan. Add the mint, 25g butter and salt. Bring to the boil and cook for 15-20 minutes (until al dente), switch off heat and leave potatoes to cool in the cooking water for a further 20 minutes to enrich the flavour. Drain thoroughly and slice the potatoes into round pieces approx. 1cm thick.

Thinly slice the red onion and add to a heavy based pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Scatter with the remainder of the picked thyme and cook slowly over a low heat to caramelise the onion. While it’s cooking, drain the piquillo peppers and slice into thin strips. After the onion is lightly caramelised add the piquillo pepper to the pan, cooking slowly for a further ten minutes.

Heat a griddle or frying pan as hot as you can without it smoking. Add the marinaded onglet to the pan, without oil, once at a time. Cook for 1½ to 2 minutes per side, adding 50g of butter to the pan until it melts. Quickly baste the steaks then remove them, cover and allow them rest for at least 5 minutes.

Fully deglaze the pan by adding the red wine, then pour this into a saucepan and add the beef stock. Cook down for 3-4 minutes on a medium high heat until it reduces and thickens.

Add a splash of olive oil to a non-stick frying pan and heat. Add the sliced potato and caramelise it. Once the potatoes are evenly coloured add the red onion and pepper mix and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the balsamic and finish with the chopped flat leaf parsley.

Finish off the red wine sauce with the rest of the butter to give it a nice glaze. Slice the onglet steak into pieces, cutting across the steak on a diagonal to follow the grain of the meat. Place on the plate, then top with the potato and pepper mix. Drizzle the red wine sauce over to finish the dish. Enjoy!