This Saturday evening we are planning a big dinner. We are having P's boss and his new wife and P's boss's cousin and his wife over. P works with them both and they are also good friends so this dinner is well overdue and it is has to be more elaborate than just the eye fillet on the barbecue. This one means effort, in my present recovering mode I feel tired thinking about just how much effort already. To get through one of these efforts means loads of stamina. We already know what dessert is, they are souffle fans - so its pear and almond chocolate souffle. This means I have to keep my alcohol consumption in check. I am going to heed what recently happened to my sister in law.
She like me is an experienced player in the elaborate dinner stakes and she recently succumbed to the elaborate dessert disaster after too much fine wine fiasco. And it was a souffle which was her undoing as well. I think she forgot to put the sugar in, so it was a tasteless disaster. Her mistake was that she didn't do what I usually do for the souffle preparation I have all the ingredients pre-measured in bowls so I know prior to it entering the oven whether something is actually missing. Fingers crossed I haven't jinxed myself prior to it happening. We will have some delicious "Lick" icecream on hand just in case though.
The menu for such a dinner usually takes a week of planning and P who is coordinating this one with my help of course I usually chip in to say things like
"Yes hand made ravioli filled with crab meat would be lovely indeed but making pasta and rolling it out would take several hours of afternoon preparation"
So entree has turned into a Duck salad - we will get some ducks from china town and use a Philip Johnson recipe for the salad. The salad itself has lovely flavours, vietnamese mint, mint, coriander, toasted cashews, sesame seeds. Even though we don't cook this dish, merely assemble it, it is a compromise I am now prepared to make given we have two children and full-time work and 6 people to prepare a three course meal including canapes for this weekend.
The main is a little more problematic - I think that lamb cutlets on the potato cakes and broad beans with a beurre blanc (Mirrabella Food), looks lovely and we should have an easy time cooking the cutlets to each person's desire. However, P just this morning starting thinking about a veal fillet with a cepe sauce. He is willing to compromise on the mushroom sauce if it will please his guests more despite his aversion to mushrooms- that's lovely I think.
I told him the only issue I have with that is where to source the veal fillet. I may have to call a butcher today.
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