Tag Archives: Balzano’s

Plate Lickers Eastern European Christmas…

For our 5th Plate Lickers Supper Club we decided to start Christmas a bit early and bring an Eastern European Christmas inspired menu to the good people of Cambridge. The menu was a lot of fun for Ivana and I to compile and prepare and as you may expect, contained a fair few z’s and (compulsory) cabbage…

We both called on our parents for some help and advice. Me & my Dad spent a Sunday afternoon in a beetroot splattered kitchen as he showed me how to make barszcz (beetroot soup) and Ivana’s Mum treated us to some of her divine homemade baklava. There are quite a few similarities between the Christmas dishes and traditions in many Eastern European countries and we tried to cover as many as possible in our 5 courses. 

We began the evening at Balzano’s Delicatessen by toasting ‘na zdrowie’ with some homemade Wisniowka (cherry vodka), accompanied by these Bosnian cheese and potato filled pita…

Our guests settled down for the first course, my Dad’s jewel coloured barszcz (beetroot soup) and mushroom filled ‘little ears’ (uszka), so called because of their shape and not because they contain any pork, much to our vegetarian guests relief! :)…

The main course was an exciting one for me & Ivana, we’d been dying to try our hand at cooking pigs cheeks and finally got our chance! We allowed for 1 large pigs cheek per guest, which we got from our lovely local butchers Northrops. They were a true labour of love, taking 7 and a half hours to cook! However they were most definitely worth it! The meat was unbelievably tender and the rich sauce, a great accompaniment to the kasza (buckwheat groats) and sauerkraut…

Our usual sorbet course was replaced by an equally refreshing traditional dried fruit salad called Kompot…

The sweet course was the most amazing baklava I’ve ever tasted, made by Ivana’s Mum!..

Thanks to our fabulous guests we had another lovely evening. It was great to be back in the place where Plate Lickers had first begun in May. We’ve come a long way since then and it really felt like we ended the Plate Lickers year in style, with big smiles on our faces!

Thank you to all of our 2012 guests, local suppliers and venue owners who have helped us make Plate Lickers special.

We’ll be back in 2013 with plenty more exciting events, new themes and secret locations! Sign up here to be kept in the loop!

We hope to see you in 2013!

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The inaugural Plate Lickers supper club…

Last night, Ivana (Miss Igs) and I hosted our first Plate Lickers supper club…the culmination of a lot of list writing, planning meetings down the pub, DM-ing, crockery buying, recipe testing and sleepless nights (we both suffered with supper club nightmares) but it was so worth it! 

Thanks to Becky & Rocco Balzano we had the perfect location for our supper in their gorgeous delicatessen/cafe and I got to put my vast collection of mismatching crockery to use at last…

The menu was a combination of Bosnian and Polish inspired dishes, a lot of them our personal favourites :)…

We’d done a lot of prep work, which meant that somehow we were ridiculously calm when the clock struck 7.30pm and our guests started to arrive…

We started off proceedings with a glass of fizz and Ivana’s Bosnian Pita, a delicious butternut squash and cheese filo pie…

Then it was time to settle down for the the next 5 courses. The buzz of conversation was instantaneous… 

We served chestnut and speck soup in my teacups…

and offered refills…

Next up were the pierogi with 3 different fillings (recipe coming soon)…

which we served with gherkins (no Eastern European meal is complete without them), homemade beetroot and apple chutney, inspired by an amazing recipe which I found here on a blog called ‘Frogs in my kitchen’ and which proved amazingly popular, cabbage salad and sour cream…

Then green apple sorbet topped with a splash of Zubrowka vodka…

The penultimate course was Polish cheesecake with a shortbread base (sernik na kruchym spodzie) with strawberries…

and cream…

With our guests fed and watered and chatting animatedly we took some time out to sample a very special gift that we received from 2 of our guests, Will and Lucy Lowe who are The Cambridge Distillery. We were unbelievably chuffed to be presented with our very own personalised and unique bottle of #Platelickers gin…

It tasted divinely fresh and felt like a very symbolic drink to celebrate the end of our first Plate Lickers supper club. I loved every single minute of the evening and would like to thank all of our lovely guests for making it such an enjoyable evening and Ivana for being an awesome co-host! 

We’ve definitely caught the supper club bug and are already planning the next one on a different theme…watch this space for details!

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