Thursday, August 7, 2008
Dinner for Foodie Friend
In the weekend one of my law school friends was up from Wellington and came over for dinner on Saturday night. Susan is a fellow “foodie” and so of course I felt a bit of pressure to perform!! I wanted to make something fairly simple but tasty. I decided to go with chicken and then gave my husband four options to pick from for dessert.
We started with nibbles. I mentioned last week that at the food show I bought some natural, coloured olives. I put these in a bowl and served them alongside some mini wholemeal scones (which I had made a month or so ago and frozen – I re-toasted them in the oven to give them that “just came out of the oven” crispness) topped with quince jelly (home made of course!) and blue cheese. I thought the olives were nice but my husband (in front of our guest!) proclaimed that he didn’t think the olives were all that great. Thanks!
For our main I used a recipe from Dish magazine for pistachio stuffed chicken with lentil salad. This was chicken marylands (ie the thigh and drumstick) filled with a stuffing of good quality chicken sausages mixed with pistachio nuts and herbs, rolled and wrapped in streaky bacon. My butcher kindly cut up some marylands for me, but didn’t completely take out the thigh bone. My husband is actually a butcher by trade (he hasn’t worked as one since before I met him, but a butcher is certainly a handy person to have around!), so I was waiting for him to come and bone the rest of the chicken for me. He was also in the process of dismantling our garage (yes, our new house starts soon!) and I couldn’t wait any longer, so boned the chicken myself. I followed the bone as my husband told me to do and I did a pretty good job!
The chicken was great – the green chunks of the pistachios really made it! And it was perfect with the lentil salad (puy lentils with tomato, herbs and a vinaigrette) and green beans.
As I said, pudding was my husband’s choice – he wanted something chocolatey and chose Julie Le Clerc’s jaffa puddings. These little chocolate and orange puddings were delicious and very rich! I used 72% chocolate and dutched cocoa which I really think added to the intensity! I actually scaled down the recipe to ¾ of the original and still got 6 decent sized puddings. The puddings were meant to be served with a jaffa sauce of chocolate, cream and cointreau, but they seemed rich enough by themselves. Instead I served them with candied oranges which I made last year – very thinly sliced oranges cooked in a vanilla sugar syrup. Provided you keep them in a sterilised, well sealed jar in the fridge, they will keep forever. I think these are one of my favourite puddings.
Jaffa Puddings (from the Julie Le Clerc magazine – I made ¾ of this recipe to get 6 ramekins)
200g dark chocolate
1/3 c cocoa
1 1/3 c brown sugar
zest and juice of one orange
1 c ground almonds
4 eggs, separated
· Melt chocolate and butter together
· Stir together cocoa, brown sugar, zest and juice, ground almonds and egg yolks
· Stir in chocolate mixture
· Beat egg whites until soft peaks form, then gently fold into chocolate mixture
Spoon into greased ramekins and bake at 160c for 25-30 minutes until firm.