Our Spring Menus Have Sprung!
If you're planning a wedding or event in Spring then we've got more seasonal inspired menus from our chefs to whet your appetite! Spring brings new life, new ingredients and a beautiful time of year to plan a party or celebration! We sat down with our Head Chefs, Mike & Andy, to see what kind of wedding breakfast and bespoke catering menus they’re working on with our clients for Spring 2020 and to chat about some of their favourite dishes and ingredients they like to work with.
Be inspired by some of these beautifully British choices and prepare to indulge in some real mouth-watering treats.
Head Chef, Mike's Second Spring Menu Is Here!
Missed his first one? Check it out, here!
Mike's second menu is a little more refined and celebrates the seasonality and beautiful food that Spring provides in the UK. Treating the ingredients with the respect that they deserve and bringing joy to everyone's plate.
Let's Kick Things Off With Canapés
So to start we have a Beetroot and Horseradish flavoured Blini. Blini is like a tiny little pancake and ours has beetroot powder running through it, which makes it bright pink - just like the blossom of spring! Then add a little horseradish, topped with some hot smoked salmon, these three flavours are best friends! The salmon is cured in salt, sugar and lemon, then smoked at a low temperature. It is only cured for one day so it’s not too heavy, and therefore still juicy enough when you cook it! Hot smoked salmon has a different flavour profile to cold smoked salmon, if you have never tried it, get it, try it! Most supermarkets will stock it, if not you can head to a fishmongers.
Up next, we have a Pea & Goat’s Cheese Arancini, we love an arancini here at Caviar & Chips and they're incredibly popular with guests during drinks receptions. This time we have put a pea purée through the rice. This creates a nice bright green explosion when you bite into it and the whole things tastes of pea, really fresh! We use all British peas, which are just as fresh as when they were picked (peas are normally frozen within 6 hours of being picked so they really hold that freshness)! With a bit of goat's cheese in the middle and breadcrumbs around the outside, you create a really fresh, fragrant canapé and that salty, soft goats cheese in the middle really ties it all together.
Our third canapé, is anything but British! Beef Tataki & Shredded Vegetables takes a Japenese route. My rendition starts with the beef, choosing fillet in this case, you could use sirloin instead or even rump but you are only cooking it for a short amount of time and you want it to melt in your mouth, so we went with fillet steak. It’s marinated in rice wine, a touch of soy sauce, spring onion and a tiny bit of ginger. I then cook it until you create that beautiful charred beef taste on the outside, but beautifully pink in the middle. Combined with some shredded vegetables – spring onion, cucumber, mooli- a Japanese radish, along with a lime and soy dipping sauce creates a fresh, exciting canapé.
So now your guests have enjoyed a selection of canapés we can move onto the starter course of your menu. I’ve gone with beetroot and salmon again. I love using beetroot as you have lots of varieties, you can use the stalk, which I pickle and you can also use the leaves! They work pickled, roasted, personally I love beetroot roasted with balsamic vinegar, its amazing!
So this is a Beetroot Cured Salmon Roulade with a citrus and fennel salad. What you do is cure the salmon, with salt, sugar and lemon and add a beetroot purée around the sides, rolled up. You then really thinly slice it for the roulade, providing a flash of purple from the beetroot alongside the orange of the salmon. Served with pink grapefruit and blowtorched lemon, to mellow the sour. These flavours all work in their own way with the salmon.
Next up, a Minted Burrata, keeping it simple. Burrata is like a really soft mozzarella. The outside is firm and the inside is really creamy, when you cut into it the centre starts to ooze out. You then marinate this in fresh mint, oil and a little bit of lemon. Then, I’ve just gone really British with some broad beans, pea shoots, fresh peas, all cold, with a little lemon dressing, simple as that, let the burrata take centre stage.
Finally, we have a Herb Crusted Ham Hock. This starter is almost like a terrine, we’ve set it into a circular shape, rolled out with thyme, chive and a pea powder. The outside is bright green, with a soft juicy, salty ham hock in the middle. Served with pea tendrils, pea puree, fresh peas and some crackling and pickled shallots to cut through the saltiness.
Chicken, Fish or Tart, Which Will You Choose?
First up, a chicken supreme. Now many people will have attended an event where chicken is a staple from the caterers and served with potato and vegetables, but at Caviar & Chips, we like to get creative with our catering and make our menus really interesting. The chicken breast is cooked on the bone, which maintains the moisture and provides more flavour. We also brine the chicken with salt, peppercorn and herbs for half an hour which helps to season the whole chicken. It would be nearly impossible to lose the moisture after brining, so if you keep getting a dry chicken, try this trick, but remember to wash the brine off or it would be too salty! This beautifully succulent white meat, with it's salty, crispy skin is served with wild garlic, morels and asparagus - now that is spring on a plate.
Onto the fish, we're cooking Pan Fried Trout Fillet. Trout is similar to salmon, not in terms of size but in flavour profile, texture and colour. If you can’t find trout, salmon will be just as good. A really simple dish, herb mash with chorizo and peas (of course)!
I once worked in a restaurant and had this Trout dish on the specials menu, I’d made a chorizo cream, which is just heavenly. Another guy working there had gone through nearly a whole sourdough loaf, spreading this cream on it, without me knowing! To make it, you fry your chorizo, add cream and simmer it away till it reduces and goes a pinky/orange colour and the smoky flavour is just incredible, then set in the fridge, voila, give it a go! Finally, peas are added in to freshen it up, mash is there to just soak up all those delicious flavours.
As a vegetarian alternative, I've cooked an Asparagus, Red onion and Blue Cheese Tart. It's quite common to see vegetarian guests being offered a tart by caterers, but this is one is really great with fresh crunchy asparagus, and crumbly salty blue cheese, with a rocket & pickled vegetable salad and balsamic dressing for some punch and acidity. Rocket is my favourite leaf, it’s a real staple.
Desserts Split The Nation - Fruit or Chocolate?!
Rhubarb is of course featured in my desserts again, it's a spring essential. This Baked Yoghurt & Rhubarb Jelly provides quite acidic flavours, the contrast between the sweet and tart rhubarb with the yoghurt. On top we have some poached rhubarb, confit orange, cooked in orange juice and with a citrus cream. The sweet and the citrus create a delicious balance. It is all layered up in a glass which looks really impressive.
Chocolate time: Dark Chocolate Mousse! The quality of the chocolate really matters, the better the chocolate, the better the mousse. We want to get as much air in these as possible, like those aero mousse’s you had as a kid! We wanted something a little richer but just as light! So that when you put a spoon of mousse in your mouth it just dissolves on your tongue. Served with a zingy raspberry sorbet and honeycomb, and a little Chambord to top it off- what a winner.
I'm finishing with a Lemon Meringue Pie. This is the tail end of spring, heading into summer. Lemony buttery curd is set in a tart case, with an enormous amount of meringue on top. Baked and blowtorched, for a lighter than air meringue. Lemon and blueberry works really well together, so we add macerated blueberries to top it off.
Head Chef, Andy's, favourite Spring dishes
My second menu is probably a little more of a refined menu, a little more fine dining. Compared to the first menu which is a little more honest and accessible.
Starters With A Twist On Classic Dishes
Crab is a shellfish that works well towards the end of spring and this dish is a take on the English classic, coronation chicken. The meat is mixed with the coronation dressing and a formed as a scotch egg with a quail egg. Traditionally coronation is with apricot, but it’s been confused in more recent times, it’s been more common to see this with mango. Apricot is an English fruit, but Mango isn’t and Apricot works really well with shellfish, perfect for my starter.
I’ve also gone for a Lamb Tartare. This is a take on a steak tartare, but using a seasonal meat of Lamb and I’m using wild garlic which is everywhere during spring. I’ve used sorrel as again this is a nice layer of seasoning without adding salt or pepper. It has a slight grassiness to it and helps us step-out of winter.
Girolle is a really nice mushroom and this dish is Spring luxury on a plate. Mushroom, asparagus and truffle - absolute indulgence for me!
A Showcase Main Course
Lamb is the showcase on this dish and we’re showing off everything you can do with it. The onion is sweet, combined with the liver and then the shoulder is slow cooked. The pink lamb will be fresh and this works with the heartiness of shoulder. Salsa verde adds freshness to the dish.
Up next, we indulge in Roasted Monkfish with an asian broth - light and fragrant. This dish has a Thai feel, light, fresh, fragrant and perfect for spring. I've paired it with almost spaghetti, ribboned vegetables. The monkfish is meaty, so we don’t need too much of it. I’d regard monkfish as a “meat-eater’s” fish and one of my favourite fish to eat.
Finally, a Spring Vegetable Tart. Four or fives sheets of pastry are baked on top of each other with butter. Dressed with asparagus, peas and mushrooms, baked in the oven to ensure nice soft veg. A fresh, light dish, great for a sunny spring afternoon.
Parfait, Bakewell Tart or Pavlova?
Again I want to use loads of rhubarb. Parfait basically means perfect, so here we have a perfect Custard Parfait! I have chosen to serve it alongside a rhubarb jelly, rhubarb and ginger compote and crystallised ginger, yummy!
Raspberry and Pistachio Bakewell Tart is a favourite of mine. Bakewell Tart is an absolute classic and these added flavours make it all about the colourful months of spring. It's got plenty of great texture throughout with a raspberry curd, clotted cream and topped off with a pistachio crumb.
To finish I chose a White Chocolate Pavlova - I love a pavlova which is dressed, but it’s actually quite fun and messy with the cream and fruits all coming together in sweet chewiness. Cherry compote, white chocolate sauce, cherry syrup and cherries tie it all together in a striking dish, full of colour.
Have you heard?
We've been shortlisted for the UK Wedding Awards 2020.
We would be extremely grateful for your vote! You can do so, here.
1. Head to:
2. Register and refine search to
'Best Wedding Caterer'
3. Vote Caviar & Chips!
#Fruit #Fish #Dining #Canapés #Starter #Main #Lamb #WeddingBreakfast #Weddingvenue #Engagement #Eventplanning #Foodblog #Vegetarian #veganuary #spring #Britishfood #party #Events #Birmingham #London #Flavour #Garlic #Rhubarb #Chocolate #Recipes #Trout #Beetroot #Cheese #Peas #Roulade