A foodie dinner, all about flavour and textures

I woke up Saturday and was quite excited. My foodie friends who moved to Australia were going to come over for dinner! This was a great time to go all out, to cook well tested dishes as well as experiment with textures and flavours.

I started shopping the day before at lunch. Waitrose had amazing micro herbs and edible flowers, who can resist that? As it is a celebratory weekend I thought it wasn’t going over the top at all.

I started to think about what to cook a while back and decided in the end to build a menu based on ingredients that all of us love. The first thing that came to mind was cream, very easy to incorporate of course! I had an order for gambas pil pil and belly of pork so this had to be the base and I added dishes from there. Forget everything I have ever said about being healthy, feel the arteries clogging up all those wonderful flavours coming out.

We started with a bottle of English sparkly. A very light rose from the Bluebell Vineyard to celebrate and get us going.

I had made 2 canapés and started with the first one to go with the sparkly. I made prosciutto baskets and baked them with quail’s eggs. I got the inspiration from http://virginiaplantation.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/breakfast-is-served/comment-page-1/ but wanted something smaller to serve as a canapé. The prosciutto is thin but has a lot of flavour and I just love quails eggs, perfect in size! On top of that I added truffle infused cream and it turned out to a perfectly bite sized. All the flavours married as you ate it and the smooth truffle cream brought it all together.

After that we moved to a Sancerre rose, easy to drink on its own but even better with a little snack, the second canapé.

I had seen a canapé in the cookbook from E&O (a wonderful restaurant in Notting Hill) and wanted to do something similar so I changed everything except with tofu and the enoki mushrooms. Together with the cubes I added a rice vinegar based dressing. It turned out very nice and it went very well with the Sancerre.

After this we had a bit of a break whilst the last minute preparations were done for the gambas pil pil. To go with this we had white wine, a Wollemi, Chardonay.

The prawns were succulent, the garlic used was fresh so not quite as a strong and with a hint of chilli and served with crusty white bread I finished all of it!

Whilst eating the gambas pil pil we opened a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon to air and be ready for the meat.

We took our time over dinner with many breaks and there was so much to catch up on and talk about in just one evening! I think good food and wine just allows for the perfect backdrop for an evening like this!

To go with the belly of pork I made potato bake. I have done this a few times and tried various healthy versions, some of the good some of them a little watery but this time it was time to let the potato shine, to bring all the flavours together, if you try it you can replace some of the cream with milk or stock.

Potato bake for 4, bake for 40 minutes in 175C

  • 2 ½ baking potato, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 3 dl cream
  • ¾ dl chicken stock
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1-2 dl grated cheese
  • Salt, white pepper

Bring the cream, stock and garlic cloves to boil and set aside and let infuse.
Add the grated cheese and whisk until melted, add salt and white pepper to taste.
Place the sliced potato in a dish or individual dishes, add the cream infusion, sprinkle with dried breadcrumbs and bake until done.

I did a hot and sour salad to go with the belly of pork. It needs acidity especially as the potato bake was quite rich. The belly of pork was slow cooked and turned out very nice.

I had also made what I thought was a small mountain of pork scratching’s. They went first and in pretty much no time! Not very healthy for you but I would like to think that the happiness you experience when eating really crispy scratching’s might make up for it even if just a little bit?

I almost never bake but I have a few things I make that are always worth the effort. I baked a chocolate cake, it has no flour and is light as a feather! Quite amazing considering the fact that it is pretty much only made of eggs, butter, chocolate and sugar. It is kind of like a very light brownie.

I bought a Malbec desert wine to go with the desert, lovely deep in flavour and red like a ruby port wine.

I did a salted caramel whipped cream and a sharp raspberry sauce to go with the chocolate and it went down so well with the wine.

It was such a great evening and as I already took a step of the healthy path am now on my way to a French restaurant for a Jubilee lunch, I am sure they can add even more cream than I can in to a dish so should be in for a treat!

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Comments
8 Responses to “A foodie dinner, all about flavour and textures”
  1. Maggie says:

    Very, very lucky friends! I love to see food decorated with flowers, but I am not quite sure about eating them.

  2. Those little appetisers look amazing. I love chive flowers. I bet your friends had an amazing time it all looks fab. Can I come next time?!

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