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Chard stems can be used in a gratin, which is nice. String. I had issues with string in the UK, in the end somebody bought some back for me from Paris.

 

I am having a SE-Asianish themed dinner party on the weekend. For ten people, two fish eating vegetarians, one non-beef eater, one squeamish eater. After careful consideration I have decided on the following.

 

Starters:

Balinese Temple satay

Grilled venison in betel leaves (or mint leaves depending on betel leaf availability )

Thai fish cakes

Loaitian stuffed lemon grass

Deep fried pandanus wrapped fish

 

Mains:

Singapore Fish Head Curry

Malay Rendang curry (lamb I think)

Eggplant dish, lotus root dish, tofu dish, gado gado, maybe a green mango salad

Sticky rice, Jasmine rice

 

Dessert:

Not sure. Maybe a lemon delicious pudding with the lemon replaced by pandanus and lime flavours.

 

Will make the non-fish and non-salad dishes the day before, so should be able to do it all.

The Squeamish Piscivore Vegetarians have taken over the Death-Star, so the menu is going to be altered. No fish head curry, no lamb curry. This takes out most of the "main" dishes, so I am considering just doing lots of 'entree' type things and serving this with rice and condiments. Might be 'more authentic'. If I can work out if it is 'ethical' I will do sugar cane prawns, and I willl do stuff in panko when I can think of ideas.

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I'm interested in the roasted pineapple too. I imagine that roasting improves the anemic pineapples available in places like the UK, but does it REALLY, REALLY improve them?

 

I'm thinking about making Pim's green curry this weekend, and I'd like to experiment with pineapple/ice-cream combos.

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While the idea of roasting or otherwise cooking pineapples is appealing, this is a common type of dessert in smartish restaurants and I've found the results to be invariably disappointing. I've a feeling that cooking of the fruit works better in a savoury context. But perhaps this will prove to be an exception.

 

v

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I roasted pineapple couple of years using a recipe from Cuisine et Vins de France, and it came out spectacular.

So it was a nice surprise to see a new variation on the theme by Marco Pierre White - a pineapple peeled cored spiked with vanilla beans (split and cut into 2 inch pieces) and roasted while basted periodically with ginger/chilli/banana/rum basting sauce. btw, as i'm typing i start thinking that a basting sauce makes coconut ice cream sort of redundant - i might just go with plain vanilla or ginger (it's subtle) ice cream.

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Woke up yesterday morning with a hankering to entertain. Six close friends, making it more like a family gathering, if families got on so well.

 

Nothing important, just good:

 

Nibbles

Roasted cashews

Small black olives marinated in red wine, balsamic vinegar, crushed garlic and fennel seed

 

Dinner

Chicken with hot peppers over pasta

Simple salad of butter lettuce, radicchio and toasted pine nuts, vinaigrette

 

Dessert

Vanilla ice cream (local, unpretentious and excellent) with Chestnut Rum Jam

 

2002 Sterling Vineyards Syrah

 

 

The chicken dish was improvised (based on something a friend used to make): chicken thighs, skinned and defatted, browned well on both sides. Remove from pot. Thin strips of pancetta and slivered garlic, sautéed until soft. Pan deglazed with dry white wine, chicken returned to pot along with chicken stock and pickled hot cherry peppers, quartered. Barest simmer for about an hour and a half. Remove chicken, strain liquid (save solids) and defat. Liquid returned to pot with solids, reduced slightly, thickened with small amount of beurre manié. Chicken returned to pot just to reheat. Served on large platter over pasta (something “artisan made” – nice and toothy). Apologies for verb tense meandering.

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Chum over for dinner.

 

One: Baked lamb kebab, bit of salad

 

Two: "Royal" chicken korma, green beans with mustard seeds and red pepper, basmati rice.

 

Three: Cheese (La Tur, Cheshire, Cashel blue), cranberry pecan bread. (Not Indian, so shoot me.)

 

Something red.

 

Mostly from the pink book. Pretty good, particularly the korma.

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Chum over for dinner.

 

One: Baked lamb kebab, bit of salad

 

Two: "Royal" chicken korma, green beans with mustard seeds and red pepper, basmati rice.

 

Three: Cheese (La Tur, Cheshire, Cashel blue), cranberry pecan bread. (Not Indian, so shoot me.)

 

Something red.

 

Mostly from the pink book. Pretty good, particularly the korma.

Do you use cashews in the korma? Almonds? Both?

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Whole almonds as per Jaffrey. Struck me as rather odd -- ground would add more richness although the dish is plenty rich as it is -- they didn't seem to add much to it. Of the two lamb korma recipes she has in Invitation, one has ground almonds and pecans and the other no nuts at all.

 

So what is a korma, anyway?

 

Mongo?

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Googling some, I think kormajust means a rich sauce thickened with yogurt, nuts or poppy seeds. In my personal experience its a rich sauce thickened with ground cashews and coconut cream or yogurt, usually prepared as a chicken dish. Of course, my experience just means NYC restaurants.

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