2006-10-07 Dinner party.|
Hello! I had another dinner party. Those present were arkady, claudacity, ewtikins, marnameow, mzdt, puffinry, redcountess, reddragdiva, rjw1, and uon.
Hummous: There was a small conversation during the evening about skinning chickpeas; people seem to find it a lot harder than I do, even when they follow my instructions for making it easy. I'm not quite sure how I can explain it any better. Any ideas?
Smoked mackerel pate: I particularly liked this, and it was really, really easy to make.
Mushroom pate: I used a mixture of chestnut and shiitake mushrooms in this, and flavoured it with dried chives (which are much tastier than you might expect) and dried tarragon. I really liked the flavour of the shiitake mushrooms in this.
Spicy caramel almonds: I used a lot more spices than the recipe said, which made them a little powdery, but still good.
Wholewheat sesame crackers: These were just the Hungry Tiger's sesame crackers with ground almonds instead of the sesame seeds. (I couldn't find my sesame seeds so I improvised.)
Home-made breadsticks: I didn't actually get to eat any of these. People who did, what did you think? I used a pizza dough recipe from theartisan.net for the dough. They were great fun to make. I just took a little bit of dough and rubbed it between my hands to make a worm-like thing come out of the bottom. (That's a completely useless description, I'm afraid. I should see if I can make a video of it.) I'm not sure if this is how you're meant to do it, but it worked well.
Bacon-wrapped water chestnuts: These disappeared very quickly. I only got to eat one. It was good. I used mirin and soy sauce for the marinade, rather than the sugar and soy sauce suggested in the recipe.
Aubergines with smoked paprika and tofu sour cream: I liked this. It was simple, and the tofu sour cream worked well. I just used ordinary Cauldron Foods tofu instead of silken tofu, but made sure to blenderise it for ages to make sure it wasn't grainy.
Beef lasagne: Apparently this was a particularly good lasagne. I was quite pleased, since it's the first meat lasagne I've ever made. I think the trick was cooking the meat sauce for about 12 hours in total (a tip from gfrancie). I also made a proper Bechamel sauce for it, heating the milk with bay leaves, peppercorns, and sliced onion beforehand. Unfortunately I didn't make enough of the Bechamel, and had to make a quick cheese sauce later to cover the top (I used a mixture of mozzarella and Cheddar for the cheese, if anyone was wondering).
Puy lentils with stirfried sprouts: The Puy lentils were just simmered in veg stock. uon did the stirfrying, so you will have to ask him what he put in. There were two kinds of sprouts; shredded Brussels sprouts, and a box of mixed sprouted beans from the hippies. I mixed the stirfried Brussels sprouts in with the drained Puy lentils and added some balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil, then put the stirfried mixed sprouts on top.
Roast asparagus: Very simple, just put some asparagus spears in a single layer on a greased baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, grind over some salt and black pepper, and roast in the oven at whatever temperature you happen to have it on at, until done.
Lettuce, carrot, and apple salad with pomegranate dressing: I'm not sure how well the flavour of the dressing came out in this one, but it was made from extra-virgin olive oil, cider vinegar, and pomegranate molasses.
Baked rice: Ended up very overcooked, because I'd forgotten to put the lasagne in the oven. Oops.
The observant will notice that I only did six dishes for the main course. This was due to disorganisation.
Hello Kake! I like the sound of the:
Smoked mackerel pate.
Spicy caramel almonds.
Wholewheat almond crackers.
Bacon-wrapped water chestnuts.
Aubergines with smoked paprika and tofu sour cream.
Puy lentils with stirfried sprouts.
Lettuce, carrot, and apple salad with pomegranate dressing.
Tags: almonds, appetisers, asparagus, aubergines, bacon, beansprouts, beef, beef mince, breadsticks, crackers, dinner party, dips, finger food, fish, hummous, lasagne, lentils, mackerel, meat, mince, mushrooms, paprika, pate, pomegranate molasses, puy lentils, rice, shiitake mushrooms, smoked mackerel, sprouts, tofu, water chestnuts