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Sunday, 22 January 2012

Come Dine With Me !?!

What's the best thing about living on your own with your partner?

Eating when you want?
Sleeping when you want?
Drinking when you want?

No, to me it's hosting dinner parties.

Saturday was no different. 

For the last year we have kept trying to organize dinner with our close friends. Ever since their marriage last year we keep saying we have to do it. You know what it's like though, busy lives and both parties never being free at the same time.

But eventually we have arranged it. So i had to decide on a menu suitable. My friend is very fussy about what he eats. Nothing to pretentious or he would not eat it. So originally i was going to make the soup i mentioned in an earlier blog with a nice fish dish. To which his reply was,

"Unless its battered I wont eat it"

and 

"I Don't care what we eat, but can we please have Jenga chips"

So that narrowed down what i could do for him and came up with this menu



Lightly Spiced Parsnip and Apple Soup


***

Thai Green Chicken Curry


***

Rich Chocolate Tart with Raspberries and Cream



So where are the Jenga Chips i hear you ask? Well let me explain. My Friend is from Birmingham and has been living down in Cambridge for a few years now. And i for one know that when back in Birmingham he does love chips with curry sauce and that was what i would do for him for dinner. I'd make a bowl of chips for him to dip in his curry. 

If you want to try these dishes below are the recipes, once again if you give them ago get in touch and let me know what you thought. Feel free to send pictures too and ill post the best ones on the blog





Lightly Spiced Apple and Parsnip Soup
(Serves 4)

500g Parsnips
4 Braeburn Apples (grated)
2 Carrots
1 Red Onion
2 Celery Sticks
2 Vegetable Stock Cubes
Tspn Curry Powder
Tspn of Cumin
1 Star Anise
Dash of White Wine
1 Clove of Garlic


  1. Peel your parsnips and carrots
  2. Chop onion and celery
  3. Put a large pan on the stove and heat a little oil. Add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic and parsnips
  4. Sweat off the vegetables, then add the dash of white wine
  5. Add 2 pints of water
  6. Bring to the boil
  7. Add star anise, cumin and curry powder,vegetable stock and the grated apple
  8. Simmer for about half hour
  9. Blitz
  10. Season to taste. Be extra generous on the salt as it will extract the extra flavour from the soup 







Thai Green Chicken Curry
(Serves 4)

250 ml Vegetable stock
3 Chicken Breasts cut into 2cm cubes
1 Bunch of Spring Onion chopped 
15g Coriander2 Red Chillis chopped  
250 ml Coconut milk2 Lemon Grass
1/2 Tspn Cumin
1/2 Tspn  Ground Coriander
2 Shallots 
1 tspn Palm Sugar  
2  Limes zested and juiced
1 Lemongrass
400g Rice
2 Cloves of Garlic
Knob of Grated Ginger

  1. Firstly to make the paste
  2. Put the Coriander, Ginger, Chillis, Garlic, Cumin, Ground Coriander, Shallots and Lime juice and Zest in a processer and blitz
  3. Now for the curry, Pan fry the chicken, Add the curry paste and spring onion
  4. Then add the Vegetable stock, coconut and the lemon grass
  5. Boil some salted water and once boiling add the rice 
  6. Serve with mango chutney





Rich Chocolate Tart
300g Digestive Biscuits
50g butter
25g caster sugar
500g Chocolate (High cocoa content)
300ml Milk
500ml Double Cream














  1. Normally in a tart you would have pastry but for this we are going to make a biscuit base (a la cheesecake) Get your digestive biscuit and wrap in cling film
  2. Get a rolling pin and gently bash the biscuit to breadcrumb state, alternatively you can fur in a processor and blend down and put in a mixing bowl
  3. Melt some butter and add to the biscuit mix along with the sugar
  4. Gently press down into the bottom of a cake tin with removable side
  5. Make sure the mix is firm and compact
  6. Now for the ganache
  7. Heat the milk and half the cream on the stove bringing to the boil
  8. Whilst waiting for it to come to the boil break up the chocolate and put in a mixing bowl
  9. Once milk and cream mix boils take off the heat and pour over the chocolate gently stirring in the same direction as to not affect the air flow in the mix to help it set.
  10. With the remaining cream, whip to soft peaks (Best way to tell when its ready is being able to put bowl upside down over your own head) Do not over whip though as you will lose valuable air from within
  11. Once the chocolate cream has cooled down to tepid temperature very gently fold in the whipped cream as to not lose the whipped state, This will help volume and airiness to the gateau
  12. Pour the mix over the biscuit base and leave to set in the fridge
  13. After a couple of hours sprinkle cocoa powder over the top
  14. Serve once firm





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