come dine / wine with me p1

July 12, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Posted in My meal, With friends | Comments Off
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Pink DiningBriochePrawns and stir-fried cabbagePink roses

Everyone must have heard of the Channel 4 programme Come Dine With Me, and I expect it’s quite common for groups of friends and family to take part in a similar event. Along with friends from work we decided to hold our own Come Dine With You experience (although we think Come Wine With Me might be more apt!). Everyone would host an evening at their own home with a theme of their choice. It also doesn’t need to be a full three course meal it could just be pizza and a movie. I was the first host….

As I love cooking and entertaining I went for a three course option with a pink theme. Spending most of the day Saturday in the kitchen but with preparations already started on the Thursday evening. So here’s the menu from our first evening.

My evening was started with Pink Bubbles and nibbles of wasabi peas and olives… of course the wine also continued in the evening.

TO START
Stirred fried cabbage with pan-fried lemon & chilli prawns served with brioche
After cleaning the prawns I mixed them with lemon and chilli and left to stand. The lemon would have started to slightly cook the prawns. (Science bit – lemon juice, an acid lowers the pH of food which causes a reaction which cooks food slowly – a bit like pickling with vinegar I suppose!)

For the first time I made my own brioche, with the help of my bread machine which made the dough and then I braided myself, left to stand and cooked in the oven until brown.

FOR MAIN
Tandoori style chicken in a butter sauce
I started marinating the chicken on Thursday night with a mix of spices and yoghurt, then made the sauce on Saturday which I then cooked the marinated chicken in slowly on a low heat. The colour of this sauce is truly amazing a lovely red / orange.

Lamb Vindaloo
With this one I started on Friday night marinating the meat in a combination of spices, onions and vinegar. (Again the acid of the vinegar started to slowly cook the lamb). On the Saturday I made the vindaloo sauce and slowly cooked the lamb in this on the same heat as the chicken.

Both the Lamb and Chicken recipes are from Madhur Jeffery.

Cauliflower & mushroom masala
I have never made vegetarian curry before but felt cauliflower and mushrooms would be good to use as these would both take in the curry flavours. I based on this recipe which I found online but with a few added extra ingredients to taste.

Nan bread & rice
For the first time I made my own nan bread (again with the dough made in the bread machine). I was really impressed, it still wasn’t Indian restaurant standard but it was a lot more light and fluffy than shop bought nan.

As usual when cooking rice I just finished it off by mixing in some butter and fresh ground pepper.

White & sweet potato wedges with fennel seeds
When cooking/roasting potatoes I always makes sure I roast off the spices and seeds before I add the potatoes. In this case the fennel seeds.

FOR DESSERT
Toffee cream pots with fresh berries and chocolate flakes
I’m not a big pudding person I much prefer starter and main, if I do make desserts I try to make it quite light. These toffee pots are really simple. Basically crumble ginger biscuit into the bottom of a glass. Combine some caramelised condensed milk, custard and double cream in a bowl then spoon into the glass on top of the biscuit. Then just leave to set in the fridge after which I added some fresh berries and crumbled chocolate on the top.

Note to myself - I actually think it would be nicer to add the biscuit crumbs to the mixture – next time I’ll try that.

——

I enjoyed the whole experience from the preparation and cooking to the dining and wining but what did my guests think…

“After a day of wondering what we would be served up for our first Come Wine with me experience, I can honestly say what we ate (and drank!) exceeded all expectations!!

We all knew that our host would cook up a storm but I think it is fair to say it blew us all away! The lamb vindaloo was far too tasty for words, along with the veggie option for Miss Awkward but after several helpings of the Tandoori chicken I decided that was my favourite!! The flavours were AMAZING from starter to dessert and the effort that went into the food was incredible!! When can we come again!!?

To sum it up……..Truly scrumptious!!”

So thanks guys, your complements have put a smile on my face ever since and I’m looking forward to our next event.

PS let me know if you would like me to post any of the recipes I used.

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