Dinner No 19 hosted by Lizzy; November 2014
Completely new to the 8ate club and totally awe struck by the level of cooking so far, needless to say i have been panicking for some time! I love cooking but I am a big boards/bowls of food in the middle of the table type cook and have never plated up courses of food for people before! Having said that I really enjoyed planning my menu and with all the stressing done months before i actually really enjoyed the day itself and it did go fairly smoothly.
Tamari Maple Cashews- These were very quick and simple and now I know this, I will definitely be making them again. Although they were very moorish, unfortunately I made them earlier in the day and so they went a bit sticky. Definitely would whip them up just before people arrive next time.
Crispy Duck Tamarind Lettuce Cups- I have always avoided cooking duck for fear of soggy skin, but these crisped up nicely and I thought the sauce, although time consuming, was yummy. I am planning to make these again over christmas and am also wondering if it would work as a salad, as a starter.
Cucumber Crab Maki Rolls- I love crab and yet never do anything with it at home! Although this recipe did involve making a poppyseed mayonnaise of which only a tablespoon or two was required, I thought they were delicious!
Thai Fishcakes with Cucumber Relish
I order fish when out as I generally avoid cooking it at home. I really have no idea what I am doing when it comes to fish, but really enjoyed making the Thai fishcakes. Really I think they could have been made in advance, but I cooked them at the time as I was worried about them being soggy. With a separate kitchen and dining room I felt it was a bit anti social and I hate missing out on all the fun, so next time i would have a go at making them beforehand and keeping them warm. Pickling the cumber was fairly simple but I thought it added a nice kick and wasn’t too filling after 3 appetisers and preceding beef.
Beef Carpaccio with Japanese Dressing and Asian Slaw
I absolutely love beef carpaccio and if I see it on a menu I order it every time, but it has never occurred to me to try and make it myself! It was a bit fiddly and definitely time consuming but very worth it I felt. Although maybe not traditionally how it is served I think it worked well with the asian flavours. Home made coleslaw is again a favourite of mine but have never made it myself. I really like the nutty flavour of this slaw and it too is earmarked for my christmas menu! I was slightly nervous about serving raw fillet of beef to one ex vegetarian and a few who had not tried carpaccio before but I was left with 8 clean plates! Perhaps you were all just super polite or very hungry!
Passion Fruit and Coconut Semi-Freddo with Cashew Nut Praline
I love making deserts the most, but I struggled to find something I really wanted to try that was inkeeping with the theme of the rest of the menu. I liked how the passion fruit flavour remained in the semi freddo but I think next time I might be brave enough to try an ice cream. I love praline and again have not made it before so decided to use cashews to adjust it to fit the them and it added some texture to the plate. I was fairly happy with it but I am a complete chocoholic so it was slightly out of my comfort zone!
Chocolate, Coconut and Mint Truffles
There just couldn’t be a dinner party at my house without chocolate. I really enjoyed these, but the fresh mint didn’t come through at all! Some were rolled in hazelnuts for those who don’t like coconut. I will make these again but I would halve the quantities, the recipe made boxes full!