Relish book and tote bag in restaurant
When chef patron Simon Shaw shares one of his recipes, they’re seized upon by customers wishing to recreate some of the magic of El Gato Negro at home. That’s why we’re delighted to announce the release of Relish Publications ‘North West Second Helping’ cookbook, featuring original recipes from the region’s finest chefs and restaurants, including three exclusives from Simon.

This is the third time we have been featured in a Relish book: originally in Relish Yorkshire Second Helping in 2010, then Relish North East And Yorkshire in 2013. Now with our move across to Manchester in 2015 we’re eligible to feature in the latest North West edition. Is this a first, representing both sides of the Pennines?

For the first time the cover of this deluxe hardback book is exclusive to El Gato Negro, featuring the facade of our converted townhouse on King Street by night. Along with a wonderful selection of recipes from many acclaimed establishments in the region, this edition showcases Simon’s recipes for:

  • Gillardeau oysters, yuzu juice, wasabi tobiko and pickled cucumber
  • Hot & sugar cured Cornish mackerel with celeriac and pink grapefruit salad
  • Turron mousse, pear, basil, almond brittle

This bespoke-jacketed book is on sale only from the restaurant for £20, and comes paired with an exclusive El Gato Negro cotton tote bag, making this the perfect treat for yourself, or an ideal gift for anyone who appreciates fine food. We hope you enjoy the read as much as the dishes!

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

El Gato Negro's El'spresso MartiniWhen our talented beverage manager Garry Foy joined us, we knew he had plenty up his sleeve. Since then he’s been in his lab, playing around with some truly spectacular Spanish-influenced cocktails for his top floor bar. So we thought it would be good to share something from him, and get everyone in the mood with some Christmas cheer!

Here’s an exclusive look at one of Garry’s cocktails… a fabulous El Gato Negro twist on an espresso martini. It was a firm favourite during our recent tastings!

Why not give Santa an extra special treat this year and give his sherry a little twist with this Christmas cracker… the El-spresso Martini

Glass: coupe
Method: shake
Garnish: coffee beans

  • 25ml El Presidente Spanish Brandy
  • 20ml Condensed Milk
  • 25ml Espresso coffee
  • 25ml Kahlua
  • 10ml Pedro Ximenez
  • 5ml Demerera Gomme (sugar syrup)
  • Spray Lagavulin (1ml)

Add all ingredients, shake hard over ice and strain. Pour into a coupe glass, garnish with coffee beans and serve immediately.

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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!