Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Dinner the other night

Sorry, I promised a write up on dinner the other night them got busy & didn't do it.
Here goes.

We were 11 people for dinner as we were catching up with friends. I started with an appetiser of Garlic roasted eggplant which was cut into strips & sort of woven together for contrast as I'd used both black & white eggplant. Over this I spread strips of red bell pepper which had been sauteed until soft then blacken a bit. On the side was a generous dollop of aoli with piment de Eschobe. Went down pretty well & all the aoli disappeared even though I'd put a good sized extra bowl of it on the table.
The entree was pasta (rigatoni) with a sauce of fried salmon cubes, large shrimp, finely minced sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil and lots of parmesian. The trick with this is to sear the salmon you've cut into cubes very quickly then take it off heat; put lots of heavy cream into a large frying pan, bring it to the boil & add the tomatoes. Give it a couple of minutes then add the salmon, then the shrimps, then the parmesian, finally the basil leaves. Pour immediately over the pasta. This is really good, really simple & really quick.
Next came a 'French' salad. Just beatutiful fresh lettice, two kinds, some fresh herbs & a light vinagrette. That's it! Clears the palette.
Next was the cheese as described in the previous post.
Dessert was roasted nectarines with a pistachio filling (finely ground pistacios, powdered sugar & butter all processed into a paste.) Just cut the nectarines in half, deseed, fill the cavities with the paste & roast at 380 degrees for 35-45 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature with creme fresch or ice cream.
We also drank a bit of wine to wash this down.
A nice meal with lots of good conversation and one that was pretty easy on the cook.
If you need/want more detail on any of the dishes just let me know.

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