Sahtain – Double Health

The last couple of weeks have been manic. New car arrived, loads of travelling up and down the country with over 1200 miles already on the clock after one week. The kitchen has had a summer clean thanks to the most important person in the house, and a new collection of organic food goodies is arriving this Friday, thanks to the team at Riverford.

Reading a twitter by Yotam Ottolenghi, I have discovered a new inspiration in Bethany Kehdy.

A fantastic cook and blogger, Bethany has just launched a new book The Jewelled Kitchen, which features Lebanese food with stunning pictures and excellent instructions. At the back of the book,  details on how to make some of the spice mixes, preserved lemons, and accompaniments to the many delicious recipes in the book. Her food blog Dirty Kitchen Secrets is just awesome and inspirational, I hope one day I will be able to improve the layout and look of mine as I get more experienced, and look at some proper authoring tools to improve the design and feel of my blog.

Not being in the kitchen this week, I wanted to mention a restaurant I had a fantastic meal in whilst on business.  In Manchester, there is an eclectic mix of cuisine, I have found Ethiopian (I am going to try that one soon), and Korean is also on the list but this week it was 63 Degrees that caught my attention.

63 Degrees is a French restaurant in the Northern Quarter of Central Manchester. Run by the The Moreau family, 63 Degrees is a modern french eatery that uses quality locally sourced ingredients to delight the palate.

On Tuesdays, they have a special tasting menu that costs £25 which was within my budget and so it was ordered almost immediately on arrival, and consisted of the following;

Terrine de lapin à l’estragon et pousses d’épinard
Rabbit terrine with tarragon and spinach shoots

Velouté de courgettes
Creamy courgette soup

Saint-Jacques poêlées, écrasée de pomme de terre en vinaigrette d’herbes
Pan-fried scallops, mashed potato with herb vinaigrette

Filet de canette, polenta à la framboise et jus réduit
Duckling fillet, polenta with raspberry and reduced jus

La gourmande
Gourmet dessert platter 

I was with a good friend who persuaded me (It wasn’t difficult!) that we should try a cocktail before dinner, wow it was worth it. I had the ‘Bonne Maman’ rich, velvety apricot jam shaken with Armagnac and a hint of Lavender for a smooth, strong sipping cocktail, it was stunning. My friend had the ‘La Petite Anglaise’ The ultimate gin and tonic marries French grapefruit liqueur with British gin and slight bite of Italian bitters.  We ended up sharing the cocktails they were so delicious!!!

The food was stunning, helped along with a Sauvignon Blanc, and before desert, we did go 50/50 on the cheese course which was also quite delightful.

 If you are ever in Manchester overnight and fancy a delightful meal, try 63 Degrees, I for one will be going back.

Quickly back to Bethany, if you fancy seeing the real Lebanon from a foodie perspective then you need to check out a ‘Lebanon Culinary  Journey’, which she leads. An inspiring trip to see the real Lebanon and get to visit some of the places the produce authentic local food. Check out the website for more details. I plan to go in 2014 funds permitting.

Watch out for the next cooking experiment in the next week or so.


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