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    Wednesday, November 26, 2008

    Dinner From Three Continents

    Another lovely night with friends so the menu was “Food from Three Continents”
    Italian Starter. Asian Main and American Dessert.

    Our friend Jeannie gave Dale a bottle of Krug for his last significant birthday not only a bottle but a Magnum. We have been waiting to share it with her, so as she was going to be a guest at dinner Dale decided we would have it last night. Lucky all of us.

    It was beautiful
    I really love French Champagne.
    There are some excellent Methode Champagnoise made here in New Zealand
    But Krug well I ask you – one would never turn that down!

    English Chef Hugh Fearnly Whitingstall made these Baby Caesar Salads
    Which I thought would be lovely with the champagne
    Really simple...
    Baby Cos leaves filled with crunchy fried breadcrumbs
    Topped with this beautiful Caesar Dressing.
    This is courtesy of Ina Garten.

    1 extra-large egg yolk at room temperature
    2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    2 large cloves garlic, chopped
    8 to 10 anchovy fillets (optional)
    1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
    2 teaspoons kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 1/2 cups good mild olive oil
    1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

    Place the egg yolks, mustard, garlic, anchovies, lemon juice, salt, and pepper into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
    Process until smooth.

    With the food processor running, slowly pour the olive oil through the feed tube (as though you were making mayonnaise), until thick.
    Add the grated Parmesan cheese and pulse 3 times.
    It’s a superb dressing. Certainly makes heaps we will eating Caesar salad for days
    (Actually since I originally wrote this, we have had the Dressing on new potatoes in a BLT made with my Fabulous French Bread.)
    Lots of uses

    Fry the bread crumbs and cook in olive oil till crispy.
    Wrap Cos lettuce leaves around breadcrumbs and serve with Caesar Dressing.

    So onto the meal... we start with Italian
    I have finally got my own copy of Marcella’s Italian Kitchen and when I opened it…it fell at this recipe.
    Perfect for a spring dinner
    Baked Prawn with Asparagus
    It is her version of a classic recipe from a restaurant in Venice called Fiore.
    She changed it a bit using potatoes instead of rice.

    It is great.
    Simple, and you can make it 2-3 hours ahead, just assemble before baking as shown below.

    1 kilo asparagus
    1 kilo prawns
    250gms potatoes
    2/3 cup chopped onions
    5 tablespoons butter
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1/4 cup cream
    1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
    Plus an extra 2 tablespoon for topping
    Freshly ground black pepper.
    Trim asparagus and break off hard ends
    Cook in big pan of boiling salted water
    Juts cook for 2-3 minutes
    Drain and cool
    Cut each spear into 3 pieces

    Wash the prawns in cold water and pat dry with paper towel and reserve.

    Boil potatoes in salted water
    Put them through a food mill or ricer in a bowl large enough to take all ingredients
    Put 3 tablespoon of butter and the oil into a pan
    Add chopped onions and sauté till golden brown
    Add asparagus toss around for about a minute.

    Now you can prepare to this stage and let sit about 2 hours.
    Which is great for a dinner party.

    To continue
    Heat oven to 210C
    Add onion mixture to potatoes
    Then cream and 1/2 cup cheese salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Toss around and add prawns
    Pour into baking dish
    Top with remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan and knobs of the remaining butter.
    Bake 15- 20 minutes till prawns are pink.
    Let sit for 5 minutes and serve.
    The flavours are amazing. Loved it.

    So for the Main course...Off to Asia and another recipe off the telly
    Inspired by Huey’s Cooking Adventures

    Asian Beef with Lemon Grass and Ginger
    2 large onions chopped
    1.5 kilos of cross cut blade steak (this is excellent for stew. It likes long slow cooking) Cut into cubes.
    1 x 400 gms tin coconut milk
    1 x 400 gms tin of diced tomatoes
    1 cup beef stock
    1 teaspoon turmeric
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 heaped teaspoon of Sambal Olek

    But first make a paste in the mortar and pestle of
    2 x lemongrass stick hard skin off bashed and chopped finely
    3 x red chilies de-seeded
    2 cloves garlic chopped
    1 tablespoon grated ginger
    2 tablespoon toasted coriander seeds
    Chopped 2 large onions in
    2 tablespoons oil in pan
    Add onions and paste cook down till soft
    Add turmeric, cumin and Sambal Olek
    Add the beef
    Brown the meat
    You will have to transfer to a bigger pot for this amount of meat

    Add coconut milk and diced tomatoes
    1 x cup beef stock
    Bring to simmer cook slowly about 2 –3 hours till meat is tender.
    Garnish with a few coriander leaves and serve with rice
    In between courses of course we have the smokers
    and the non smokers
    Now for the Americas and dessert.
    Actually the recipe is from Nigella Lawson( British) - but who makes the best Margaritas.
    America of course
    So our Canadian friend Laurian (pictured 2nd from right) made this delicious ice cream for us.
    And I made the most American of Cookies - Chocolate Chip.

    Margarita Ice Cream with Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

    150gm icing sugar
    125mls fresh lime juice
    2 tablespoons tequila
    3 tablespoons orange liqueur- Grand Marnier, Cointreau or Triple Sec

    Mix together then add
    500ml double cream
    Whisk in until soft and creamy

    You will find the recipe for the cookies…just click here


    Anali said...

    Delicious looking meal. Yum, champagne! And I'm very happy that you chose an American dessert. Love your new header by the way! : )

    So Simple said...

    Thanks Anali Yes thought my pots were pretty this year I felt I should share it.