Friday, 2 November 2012

In The Kitchen - Round-up 26 October - 1 November

Back in the B.C. (before children) days, we ate Vietnamese at at different restaurant on Victoria Street once a month. Everyone who was invited (about 30 people) had a number and whenever they came they had to order that item and then put it in the middle to share (usually around 10 people showed up). It was tasty, fun, meant that we didn't have to think about what we were ordering and was a great way to try new foods, like tendon and betel leaf. On Friday 26th, I rounded up some of the old team and we went to the restaurant that we had rated the highest, but didn't order by numbers. The food was still good, but perhaps not as exciting.

On Saturday 27th, Darren and I went out alone for a Greek dinner for our wedding anniversary. Lovely.

Sunday 28th, Darren cooked some mussels in a cream and coriander sauce using the recipe on 'BBC Good Food', with extra mushrooms. He baked some potato slices with rosemary and salt as well, for the frites.

Mussels in coriander cream.

On Monday 29th, Darren cooked up some beef meatballs, based on the recipe for veal meatballs which involves herbs, Dijon mustard and egg in 'The Cook's Companion'. He added in some vegetables and cooked some rice and the meatballs were looking lovely until I suggested throwing in some tomatoes as well. Upon which the meatballs disintegrated. Still tasted good.

Tuesday 30th, I was in a bad mood and defrosted the pork and vermicelli noodle fillings from previous weeks (1 and 2). I thought that they could go in the left over rice sheets to become rice paper rolls, but we only had six, which wasn't enough to feed five people. Then I thought that I could make banh xeo (Vietnamese pancakes), which was a stupid idea, because I did a big banh xeo experiment over several months a couple of years ago and found the correct recipe after many, many failures and knew that the secret was to let the batter sit for an hour or so. I ignored all my experience and used a recipe from SBS which didn't stand the batter and was a miserable failure. Tasted fine, looked like slop. I'll have to go back and use the correct recipe and make lovely, crispy, tasty banh xeo to make up for it.

Things went better on Wednesday 31st. I used some premade pizza bases and put tinned tomato in the blender with some leftover pesto dip to make a sauce. Then I cut up ham, salami, mushrooms and tomatoes for the topping, added cheese and anchovies and baked. Just before the end, I threw on roquet and baby spinach. Yum.

Last night, Thursday 1st, I made bunny chow from SBS 'Feast' magazine again. This time I was cooking for people who like spicy food, so I threw in the chillies and added hot curry powder - worked well. I also made some banana icecream (not really icecream, since it's not mixed) using an old recipe from the 'Epicure' in 'The Age', which is bananas, egg yolks, brown sugar and sour cream blended together and then mixed with soft peaks of egg whites and glucose syrup before freezing. A great result!

Apologies for the lack of photos.

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