29 September 2010

Dinner Party Thursday at the Hobbs'

We've been entertaining on a Thursdays a lot lately ... it's the last day of the 'working' week for me and I often feel like I can cope with the cleaning up afterwards on my day at home.

Adie and Grant came along - fresh from haircutting services. Stew had corrective eye surgery that afternoon too so we were all pretty spruced up and ready to eat.

The Menu:
Homemade oat biscuits (super easy) with Miriam's Chicken Liver pate

My homemade dukkah served with fresh walnut bread and olive oil for dipping

Seafood chowder - wonderful with fresh clams, salmon and prawns and accompanied with a little ciabatta and lots of butter (that's for me).

A salad of spiced venison fillet, caught by Stew a few months back, with roasted kumara, baby spinach and roasted red capsicum. Unfortunately (as is often the case at our place) the food was consumed before a camera could be found...! But it was wonderful, very colourful, and I loved the dressing.

Simply coat venison or lamb fillet with toasted cumin, fennel, mustard seeds, lemon zest and ground pepper and marinate for an hour. Cut the kumara into wedges and roast - I use the electric frypan for this. Toast some pine nuts, roast a red pepper and slice, and make the dressing. When you're ready, cook the venison quickly over the bbq. Cover with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes then slice thinly. Pile all the ingredients into a large bowl and top with this dressing:
Half cup greek yoghurt, quarter cup lemon juice, a pinch of paprika and a few leaves of mint finely sliced.

Followed all this with a simple dessert course which is very unlike me - for one thing I'm not a blue cheese fan, and for another I like sweets. But this was very elegant and easy.

Blue cheese, pear and honey parcels with that walnut bread, toasted this time.
Peel and slice enough pears to give half per person. Slice and fan the halves on squares of baking paper.
Crumble about 50gm good blue cheese over the top. Top with a tablespoon of honey and a good dollop of thickened cream or runny cream.
Staple them up into parcels that won't leak and bake 20 minutes. Let them rest for a while if you like. Cut them apart and present on platters - one for each guest.
We had a bottle of First Knight Ambrosia from the Food Show, made in Gisborne. It was utterly divine with the pears - as you can see from the amount left in the bottle.

05 September 2010

MasterChef Book Series One coming soon.....

can't wait - I get a copy for me! and I have a recipe in it I'm told. Famous-ish at last....
Wonder if I can get the Masterchef top 12 to meet for a signing session?