Wedding Catering on a Budget

One of the most important aspects of a wedding is the food, and everyone wants the best. These days however, food is getting more and more expensive, and not everyone wants to blow their entire wedding budget on a meal. So as seasoned caterers, for both weddings and other special occasions, we at Fait Maison have devised some tips to suit all kinds of budgets.

wedding catering

Catering on a shoestring

The biggest tip if you need to cater for your wedding on a small budget is to shop around and negotiate. It will help if you come with a plan and an idea of what you want but be realistic. If you want a beef dish, then compromise and ask if they can use a cheaper cut and avoid a fillet or sirloin steak.

Asking for a buffet set up is also a cheaper option, which we do really well, than a three course sit down service – predominantly because it requires less serving staff.

Also, take into consideration seasonal produce. Talk to your caterer about designing a menu that uses ingredients which will be in season, and therefore cheaper. There is however, a fine line here, because if it’s ‘new season’ then it can be a bit more expensive. That said, your caterer and the chef should be well versed in this to give you the best advice.

 The relative budget

Typically, an ‘average’ budget or ‘medium’ budget is completely subjective and relative to each couple.  So it’s important to come with a plan of what you’d really like and what you can do without. Generally with these caterings, we talk to our clients about a three-course meal and within it, have a stand out main course with simple starters and desserts. In our case we often recommend an easy Chocolate and Raspberry slice, or a Custard and Caramel Tart.

To help not go over budget, check how much the company charges for equipment hire, as that sometimes seems to be forgotten amongst everything. If your venue doesn’t provide plates, cutlery etc, then the catering company will have to provide it and it’s often extra. All of Fait Maison’s wedding caterings are inclusive of equipment hire in our packages, which we make clear from the beginning.

Sky’s the limit

wedding cateringThere are many things you can do to go above and beyond with the catering. Our favourite option is to add canapés to the menu – something for the guests to nibble on. We do delicious little marinated beef fillet strips in filo pastry, or new potatoes with caviar.

wedding catering

Adding extra to the dessert section is always a nice touch as well, and we have many clients who add macaroons as petites fours. They also make sweet little wedding favours.

With an endless budget, this is the perfect opportunity to go all out on service and do the full sit down dinner silver service. It generally means that guests don’t have to get up until it’s time to dance!

As an added service, we can also provide our in-house wedding planner to design and dress the tables at your venue, as well as create visually stunning ‘sweet corners’ laden with meringues and macaroons.


Recipe of the month – Summer Slaw

summer salad recipe

It’s a safe assumption to say that come summer time and the sun actually appears, salads play a fairly large role in our eating habits – that and a lot of barbecued meat. And at the peak of the season, it seemed the perfect time to bring out a new dish of ours that’s making it’s debut in all our traiteurs. The Summer Slaw is a much lighter, zingier version of the standard coleslaw – there’s no mayo in this slaw. Instead there’s added sweetness from beetroot and a delicate touch of maple syrup, cut through with sherry vinegar and some tart granny smith apples.

Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients

200g thinly sliced  red cabbage
200g thinly sliced white cabbage
1 large carrot grated
2 beetroot peeled and grated
2 granny smith apples cored and sliced
20g of whole grain mustard
15g of chopped chives
15g of chopped dill
15g of chopped parsley
100ml olive oil
100ml sherry vinegar
2-3 cloves of crushed garlic
100ml of maple syrup
Salt and pepper

It just couldn’t be easier.

Mix the cabbages, carrots, beetroot and apples together in a large bowl. In a small empty jar, mix the rest of the ingredients for the dressing, shaking well with the lid tightly shut. Dress the salad and adjust the seasoning if needed.  The salad should be sharp with sweet undertones. You can transfer to a clean serving bowl if the bowl you’re using gets a bit messy. And voila!

summer salad recipe

Royal Baby Cupcakes

In honour of the new addition to the Windsor family, Fait Maison is celebrating the arrival of HRH Prince George of Cambridge with special ‘royal blue’ cupcakes for a week in all of our branches.

royal baby cupcakeIMG_3485royal baby cupcakeTo find out more about the possibility of having customised cupcakes amongst other desserts, have a look at our dessert menu and get in touch to see what we can do for your special occasion.


Happy Birthday Fait Maison

Last weekend marked our 10th anniversary and we celebrated with balloons, hats and lots of cake. It has been an amazing 10 years and with several shops across West London, we are extremely proud to be where we are. We have to thank all of the employees that have been with us for so long, and the newer members that continue to help maintain our standards. And of course, all of our customers who have been with us from the very beginning, and have seen us grow from that one shop on the Stratford Road, to many more.

Thank you all for your support!

IMG_3396 IMG_3401 IMG_3405 IMG_3406 IMG_3408 IMG_3415 IMG_3419 IMG_3424 IMG_3427 IMG_3429 IMG_3430 IMG_3431

Recipe of the month – Pea and mint croquette

summer recipeOur head chef is putting together a new summer menu, but here’s a sneak peak recipe of one of the items that’s a strong contender for the end of July. It’s a classic combination of green peas and fresh mint in a deliciously light, fresh croquette, served with a delicate mint yoghurt.

Makes 12

Ingredients
4tbsp olive oil
6 large shallots, finely chopped (300g net weight)
1tbsp white-wine vinegar
700g fresh peas (or frozen, defrosted)
20g mint leaves, finely shredded
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
4 free-range eggs, beaten (one egg in a separate bowl, for the pea mixture)
Salt and black pepper
150g panko breadcrumbs
Sunflower oil, for frying

Sauce

1tsp dried mint
120g soured cream
1tbsp olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the shallots on medium heat, stirring often, for 15-20 minutes, until soft. Add the vinegar, cook for two minutes, then take off the heat.

Put the peas in a food processor and briefly blitz – they need to break down but not so far that they turn into a mushy paste. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the shallots, mint, garlic, one beaten egg, half a teaspoon of salt and lots of black pepper. Take a tray that will fit in the freezer and line it with parchment paper. Shape the mix into 12 patties, 7cm in diameter and 2cm thick (or into tread barrel shapes), and freeze for at least an hour.

Remove the croquettes from the freezer and, one at a time, dip them first in beaten egg, then in the crumbs. Leave at room temperature for up to an hour, until part-defrosted.

Meanwhile, mix together the ingredients for the sauce and season to taste.

Fill a medium frying pan with enough sunflower oil to come 2.5cm up the sides. Place on medium-high heat and, when the oil is hot, fry the croquettes in batches for three minutes each, turning once; make sure the oil isn’t too hot, so the heat can permeate the centre by the time they are golden-brown. Drain on kitchen paper and serve at once with the sauce spooned on top or on the side. summer recipe summer recipe


A day in the kitchen

Our kitchens are having a bit of a shake around, so here’s one last look at our chefs at work before the big move.

fait maison kitchen

The beginnings of those delicious lemon drizzle cakes.

fait maison kitchen

Everyone’s hard at work, and this is with two chefs away on the day.

fait maison kitchen

Our main man for those amazing croissants, pain au chocolat and more.

fait maison kitchen

Even the savoury kitchen’s getting an expansion.


Sugar snap peas & sweetheart cabbage salad

summer saladA little known fact about cabbage – did you know it has been used to treat hangovers, and in some cases, thought to actually prevent the effects of alcohol?

Well, whilst we’re not entirely sure of such benefits, the sweetheart cabbage used in this summer salad works a treat on satisfying most stomachs and taste buds.

Another new addition to our menu, the sugar snaps and sweetheart cabbage work intrinsically well together, along with sliced courgettes and a mildly tangy dressing. We firmly believe this could be a summer staple, getting the nation back into the beauty of cabbages and reminding everyone that it’s not just for winter soups.

Serves 4
100g sugar snap peas
2 medium courgettes cut diagonally
1 sweetheart cabbage cut into finger sized strips
30g chopped mixed herbs
30ml sesame seed oil
10g toasted sesame seeds
1 clove of crushed garlic
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt
Pepper

Pre heat the oven to 200oC.

First you want to prep your vegetables, so start by blanching your sugar snap peas and your sweetheart cabbage (separately), and roast your courgettes in the oven for about 5 – 7 minutes.

For the dressing, toast your sesame seeds in a non-stick frying pan, making sure not to over brown them before leaving them on the side to cool. Then, in a small bowl, mix together the herbs, sesame seed oil, garlic and the lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then finally mix in the toasted sesame seeds.

When you’re ready to serve, place the vegetables on your serving dish and mix gently with the dressing, leaving a little extra on the side, just in case.

And it’s that simple!

summer salad

Recipe of the month – Summer salmon with a miso dressing

salmon recipe

Here at Fait Maison, we do our best to keep as seasonal as possible, but also recently realised that our salmon dish needed a serious revamp. Now, whilst salmon is not particularly seasonal to June, it is available quite easily throughout most of the year and makes a great alternative to a salad that is just as light for the summer weather – when it arrives that is.

The key element to this dish is the sauce, which is able to cut through the salmon’s oiliness with a sharp punch.  You could also try the sauce with thin slices of beef fillet, if you prefer something meatier, or perhaps another oily fish of your choice.

Therefore our recipe of the month couldn’t be simpler whilst still managing to pack in some big flavour, and goes really well with a side of steamed vegetables such as broccoli or green beans.

You will need:
4 Salmon fillets

Sauce
100g of miso paste
30g ginger peeled and chopped
30g of coriander washed
1 clove of garlic crushed
A pinch of dried chilli flakes
100ml of honey
100ml of rice vinegar
100ml of water

Pre heat the oven to 200oC.

In an oven proof pan on a medium heat, pan fry the salmon skin side down for a few minutes in a light drizzle of olive oil to crisp the skin. Then place the whole pan in the oven for 10 minutes.

Whilst the fish is cooking, add the miso paste, ginger, coriander, garlic and chilli to a blender. Blend together, then add the vinegar, water and honey until the mixture is of a sauce like consistency. If you would prefer it thicker, try adding less water.

When the fish is ready, plate up and drizzle the sauce over each portion, leaving some in a small bowl for everyone to add more if they want – it’s that simple.

salmon recipe

Introducing – Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Have you ever considered putting together a lemon meringue pie (or tart) with a cupcake? It takes a little bit of extra effort, but our chefs took inspiration and decided to combine a lemon poppy seed cake with one of our old favourites – the lemon meringue tart.

The result? A delightfully light cupcake poppy seed base, with a tart lemon curd center and soft Italian meringue to top it all off. You get exactly what you need from a lemon meringue tart minus the pastry, and the poppy seeds add that little bit extra to every bite.

But don’t take our word for it – find them in our west London branches and let us know what you think.

cupcakescupcakescupcakes

Discover more of Fait Maison cupcakes, available in Fait Maison traiteurs and for outside catering here


Courgette Fritters – Fait Maison Recipe

West London CateringAs one of our many talents here at Fait Maison, we also provide outside catering for events such as birthdays, business functions and weddings. And quite recently we catered for a beautiful wedding in Ealing town hall, which we were very proud of. The menu was tailored to meet the couple’s requests and the food went down so well, a few guests had put in a request for one or two of our recipes.

Naturally we obliged and thought it would be a great idea to share one such mini recipe with everyone. At the wedding, this dish was served as a starter, so were made fairly sizeable. If you want to turn them more into canapés, feel free to just make smaller patties.

We really love this dish as well, as it incorporates some of our favourite spices such as cumin, with every day vegetables. They’re also very quick and easy to make in large quantity.

Makes 20 – 25 fritters

Ingredients
5 courgettes
1 large sweet potato
2 large carrots

Batter
1 large egg
1tsp dry coriander
1tsp cumin
3tbsp plain flour
1tsp salt
½ black pepper

Peel and thinly slice each vegetable. We slice our courgettes to about finger length, and keep the carrots and potatoes much the same. Do avoid shredding the vegetables as they may end up too thin to hold together nicely, then mix into a large bowl.

For the batter, mix the egg, coriander, cumin, flour, salt and pepper together, beating the flour and egg well so that there are no lumps. The pour the batter into the bowl of vegetables, combing with your hands so that mixture comes together to hold the vegetables. Shape each fritter to your desired size, ours are about the size of your palm and not too thick. You can make them smaller to make more, but try to keep the courgette more prominent with each fritter.

To cook, shallow fry in vegetable oil on a medium heat until golden brown and crisp on both sides. Prepare a plate with kitchen towel to place the cooked fritters on, and allow the excess oil to drain.

Serve immediately or place in a warm oven until you need them.