Dinner Party 11th June 2011
Knowing that at this dinner party, half of the guests were either Spanish or Mexican, I chose what I consider to be quite a Spanish/Arabic themed menu. Due to the number of pieces of coursework and deadlines and exams and all that end-of-the-school-year-kind-of-fun, this one wasn't as elaborate as before unfortunately. Just four courses but simple bold sunny flavours.
The aperitif was an improvisation of several ingredients that I'd recently been reading about or had come across and then developed into a dish that I thought would go well together. Essentially it was a layer of fat upon fat upon grease upon bread......... aka duck rilettes, cured ham, caramelised/slightly burnt onions on a thin slice of toasted baguette. I served it with a simple wine, but one high in acidity to take the edge of the greasy-fattiness! It was made in batches on the hob and eaten before it even touched the serving plate (and also before I could take any photos - although it was so tasty (if I say so myself) that I'll be making it again for sure!)
The next course was a traditional Lebanese Taboulleh with gazpacho soup.
For the main course, I cooked a lamb and abricot tagine, served with coucous and garlicky, buttery green beans. Unfortunately I don't have any photos of it because we all tucked in as soon as it was served up, and then the boys went back for seconds and thirds and all I was left with was a sparkling clean pan!
Now, moving on to the pudding, this was something I haven't made in a long time: essentially it's bananas flambéed in calvados but there's an Emma-twist which I'm keeping a secret! ;)
And then a coffee served with chocolate and almond biscotti. The first photo below is my biscotti dough (because some of my dinner party guests didn't believe that I'd made them myself - so here's the proof!) And the second was taken once they'd just come out of their second round in the oven (biscotti after all comes from the Italian bis cotti, meaning twice cooked) before they had melted dark chocolate drizzled over them.