Matt Inwood & A Taste of the Cinnamon Club at Home
I attended a wonderful inspirational Food Photography and Instagram course with the very talented Matt Inwood. Matt has designed and photographed many well known chefs recipes books for Vivek Singh, Tom Kerridge and Jason Atherton to name a few, the full list can be found on Mattinwood.com Book-Design-Chefs.
Matt’s photographs are all taken on his iPhone and edited on the Instagram app. They are striking, clean, interesting yet minimalist. I love how each of Matt’s photos showcase the individual dishes beautifully; the plates are the frame to the chef’s artistic food creation.
Matt set up the course in the bar of Cinnamon Club, an old world room, with sash windows and walls lined with books. The atmosphere was soul filling. After the 4 hour session which gave us insight into Instagram, we had a practical element to the course, using Matt’s amazing platters and ingredients he brought with him. Matt then spent time with each of us giving us feedback on the photos we took. The talent in the room was off the scale, I came away saying, I have learnt a lot and have a lot to learn!
We then all sat down as a group for a delicious lunch in the main restaurant. The group consisted of a wonderful mix of talented and interesting people: a pastry chef and chef, food bloggers, event company owners, restaurateurs, a ceramic shop owner, photographers, two PR consultants, a nutritionist and medical researcher who are also food bloggers. I do love chatting to people and sitting at a table discussing food and being served a delicious menu was a real treat on a Thursday.
The Cinnamon Club is renowned and the restaurant is housed in what was the old Westminster Library. The main restaurant is a beautiful calm, space that pays subtle homage to its former use as a library.
The Executive Chef Vivek Singh is often a guest on Saturday kitchen and his food and flavourings are complex yet clean. Every mouthful was beautifully balanced and presented in a modern way.
The menu served to us after Matt Inwood’s Instagram and Photography Course was a selection of two taster starters and a main course:
Starter of two tasters:
Char-grilled halibut with chilli and lemongrass
Papdi with keema, caper and lime yoghurt
Tandoori free range chicken breast, mint chilli korma and pilau rice
Tasting of mushroom:
Cep and spinach curry
Tandoori Portobello, Mushroom Pilau
Banana chilli filled with fenugreek, raisin and bitter gourd, green pea pilau and yoghurt sauce
A selection of the dishes served are shown below:
After any event I attend, I call or write and ask for any recipe the chef would like to share, so in turn I can share the recipes with yourselves.
I was truly grateful to be offered this delicious Vivek Singh’s recipe for – Spice Crusted Halibut in Green Spiced Sauce recipe. His staff were amazing both on the day and when I corresponded and his PA and PR consultancy. They were gracious and efficient in allowing me to use the recipe. I know how difficult it must be with requests and juggling copyright laws. I appreciate them trusting me and allowing you all to perhaps cook a little of the Cinnamon Club kitchen in your homes, all around the world.
I did make this after work on a Monday, so I needed to cut corners and adapt the recipe to feed the family. It was not my intention, but truth be told it was supposed to be a romantic dinner for two menu, with lots of time to plate up and take gorgeous photos. But my children’s plans changed and a Saturday dinner for 2 turned into a Monday family meal. That is the joy of parenting and I would not have it any other way.
The good thing was that the two pieces of haddock bought (there was no halibut to be found on three different fish counters!) were supplemented with two pieces of salmon, so we got to taste the recipe with two different types of fish in one sitting. The verdict was the marinade tasted as good on the salmon as it did on the haddock.
I tend to served my Smoked Salmon Pate as a starter using fish, but after tasting this recipe I will serve Vivek’s fish as a canape at a drinks party. If you were wanting something light yet substantial for a lunch party or main course where perhaps you would like to serve a cheese course and you don’t want anything too heavy, this dish is a great option.
The photo below shows fish served as a starter:
Years ago a friend introduced me to a bottled sauce called Bombay Green Spiced Sauce, it disappeared from the supermarket shelves years ago. When I cooked up my version of Vikek Singh’s Spiced Green Sauce and tasted it I said to the family: ‘Guess what we now know how to make our own Homemade Bombay Sauce’. My children were thrilled. This Green Spiced Sauce is delicious on a toasted cheese sandwich, added to yoghurt as a dip for poppadums and served with any left over meat or roasted vegetables.
I always try and look at the recipes I post and think of different options that can be added to the mix. Using this recipe you could add the marinade to paneer and aubergines and serve the meal to a vegetarian. Click here to see the recipe Grilled Aubergine with Homemade Bombay Chutney. The flavouring was subtle and a great one set of ingredients can be adapted to serve three different dietary needs.
As a supertaster I have a very low tolerance to spicy food, so I added 1 green chilli with the seeds into the Green Spiced Sauce and not the 4 chillis stated in the recipe. Without food this was too hot for me but eaten with the fish and rice it was just right.
Me being me, I have made it even easier by blending all the Green Spiced Sauce ingredients together in a food processor and reducing the Green Spiced Sauce by half. I promise you if you make the Green Spiced Sauce you will love it and one day soon I will make the recipe as Vivek Singh intended.
Below are two versions Vivek’s original recipe and my make as a midweek meal recipe, depending on your time and how spicy you like your food you could give either recipe a go.
- 4 x 200g pieces of halibut fillet
- For the first marinade
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon garlic paste
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- For the second marinade
- 1 teaspoon yellow chilli powder
- 50g Greek yogurt
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, roasted and crushed
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, roasted and crushed
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, roasted and crushed
- ½ teaspoon red chilli flakes
- For the sauce
- 4 tablespoons vegetable or corn oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chickpea flour
- 150g fresh coriander, roughly chopped
- 30g fresh mint, roughly chopped
- 1 cup water
- 4 green chillies, finely chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- juice of half a lime
- Pat dry the fish pieces on kitchen paper, marinate with the ginger and garlic pastes, turmeric and salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Heat vegetable oil in a Teflon coated pan and sear the fish for approximately 1-2 minutes on each side, remove from heat, drain using kitchen cloth and keep warm.
- Mix all the ingredients for the second marinade and spread them over the fish.
- Place the halibut on a baking tray and cook in an oven preheated to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7 for 8-10 minutes, turning once.
- In the meanwhile prepare the sauce, first of all mix the mint, coriander and green chillies, water and half of the oil together and blend to a smooth paste. Heat the oil in a frying pan; add the garlic, onions, and sauté till golden. Add the chickpea flour and stir for a few seconds till they turn golden brown in colour, sandy in texture and a nice roasted aroma begins to be released. Add the ground paste and seasonings and cook for about 2-3 minutes more without discolouring the sauce. Finish with a squeeze of lime and serve the fish with the sauce and lemon rice.
- Tip: You could apply both the marinades together without searing the fish if you were in a hurry. If preparing for a dinner party, the fish may be marinated a day before and simply cooked in the oven for 12-14 minutes before serving.
- • 4 x 200g pieces of white fish fillets or salmon pieces
- For the first marinade
- • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped ginger
- • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
- • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- • 1 teaspoon salt
- • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- • 50g Greek yogurt
- • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, roasted and crushed
- • ½ teaspoon cumin powder, roasted and crushed
- • ½ teaspoon red chilli flakes, crushed (optional)
- For the sauce
- • 1 onion, finely chopped
- • 1 garlic cloves, crushed
- • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
- • 1 Tablespoon plain or whole-wheat flour
- • 150g fresh coriander, roughly chopped
- • 30g fresh mint, roughly chopped
- • 1 cup water
- • 1 green chillies, deseeded if you want a milder sauce
- • 1 teaspoon salt
- • 1 teaspoon sugar
- • juice of a lime
- Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7
- To make the sauce
- In a food processor add all the sauce ingredients and blend to a smooth consistency.
- Add the mixture to a pan and reduce by half, stirring often to insure the sauce doesn’t burn.
- The sauce will thicken this takes about 5-10 minutes.
- Rinse the fish pieces and pat them dry with kitchen paper.
- Add the spices to a frying pan and gently dry fry, until the aroma is released.
- Add the spices to the yoghurt and cover the fish in the marinade.
- Place the fish onto a baking tray and set aside for 10 minutes or cook right away depending on how much time you have.
- Cook in the oven for 8-10 minutes or the time stated on the cooking instruction.
- Serve the fish with rice, vegetables and the Bombay sauce