Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Old Friends for Dinner
At Savour last week I bumped into an old friend. Hilary ran (and still does run) the kitchen in the hostel where I lived in my first year at university at Otago and where I was a kitchen hand for the 5 years that I was there. She was also a good friend of my aunty who died nearly nine years ago. I hadn’t seen Hilary since the funeral and it was so wonderful to see her. I asked her and her husband to come to our house for dinner on Saturday night. I wanted to make something delicious for the person who had been responsible for feeding me all those years ago!
I started with a cheese platter – not something I normally do for nibbles. I had been given a bag of guavas and had made guava jelly in the afternoon and it seemed the perfect thing to go with blue cheese. I bought a wedge of Danish blue and it went on the platter with brie, emmental from the new Kaimai cheese factory, the guava jelly and fig and almond preserve that I had made earlier in the year. I also made some mini oat scones and had those with crackers. It was a lovely cheese board and I was right – the guava jelly went perfectly with the blue cheese!
The main was roast sirloin with a red wine and onion sauce. I know I seem to cook a lot of roast beef when we have guests, but we have access to export quality sirloin, so there is always plenty in the freezer. This time I served it with soft polenta with parmesan and a rocket salad tossed with toasted almonds, slices persimmon, avocado and a lemon honey mustard dressing. It was great!
Dessert was the piece de resistance however. You may recall that I bottled some quinces a couple of months ago. I opened them on Saturday and made the most delicious quince and frangipane tart which is a Natalia Schamroth recipe from Cuisine. You can get the recipe here. The tart was divine – a lovely crisp pastry shell filled with almond frangipane and the quince. I served it with thickened cream and quince glaze. Quince glaze is something I have made in the past and bottled. It is basically a thick quince syrup using the whole quince fruit and sugar. You strain the liquid off the cooked quince and bottle it. It is delicious as a sauce to go with pudding or used to glaze a chicken etc. This tart was so yummy. You could use other preserved or canned fruit such as plums or apricots in place of the quince. We enjoyed our catch up and our meal.
I have also been awarded the yummy blog award from cakelaw – another foodie lawyer! Thanks so much cakelaw – it is a complete honour and I am delighted you enjoy my blog. I also have to pass this award onto four other food bloggers. It is hard to pick only four as there are so many that continue to inspire me, but I pass this on to:
Steph from A Whisk and Spoon – I am so inspired by Steph’s perfect baking and amazing photos. She is a real inspiration!
Rebecca from Ezra Pound Cake – Rebecca’s food is yummy and her writing style is just lovely – funny and readable
Anne from Simply Anne’s – Anne’s attention to detail is amazing! I wish I had her patience and skill
Rebekka from Maple Sugar Desserts – Rebekka makes and decorates the most beautiful looking cakes. I would love a one on one lesson from her!!!