I've always kinda thought I was a good host, but I could never get around to hosting those elegant sit down dinners, where people are served course by course. While mentally, I've tried to create that scenario many a time, somehow when it came to execution, I just didn't have the tenacity or energy to see it through. So, usually mealers at my place end up with a semi buffet. Actually, not semi, 100% buffet.
So, when friend living in chic gated community invited us for intimate sit down dinner of 10, I was eagerly looking forward to it. I was instructed to bring a pavlova, which flustered me a little, as I've never really made one before, and a half hearted attempt a while back resulted in a meringue cake, more than pavlova. I had NO idea how absurdly priced passion fruit are. Sigh, the price of passion. I was frantically sms-ing Masak Masak aka Boolicious for alternatives. She told me to check out Justlife in Ikano. She was right. Each passion fruit in Cold Storage cost RM6.20, whereas it cost RM1.90 in Justlife, although it's a local version, and probably less pulp.
Anyway, this is my first attempt at Pavlova. As I didn't want to botch it up, I did not dare reduce too much sugar, so it was SICKLY sweet....anticipating this, I made a layer of lemon curd and sandwiched it underneath the Meringue Nest, which actually helped somewhat combat the diabetes inducing Meringue.
Starters, yup, STARTERS, was this lovely teriyaki tenderloin, on a bed of mash, with grilled oysters. The texture of the beef was perfect. Very tender, and doneness just right. I had just been watching Delia's How to Cook before dinner, and was salivating at her shot of Mash with Steak!!!! Wow, talk about visualisation and NLP!!!
Next was this Cappucino Mushroom Soup. Actually it's a good idea to serve soup in cups. I love drinking soup. As in drinking drinking, not sipping it from a spoon.
For the mains, we had the Coq Au Vin, with roasted potatoes and grilled vegetables. Alas, I got the breast, which somewhat reduced my enjoyment a bit of that dish, but it was very tasty nevertheless. Again, bizarrely enough, I had been perusing the cordon bleu cookbook earlier and thought, hmm, the Coq Au Vin sounds quite nice.
Dessert was this dark chocolate (Lindt no less) mousse. The chef had us guessing what ingredients went into the mousse, as it wasn't usual cream or egg. Turns out it was tofu. I suspect the bitter chocolate might not have gone down well with some, although I loved it.
Ah, what a lovely dinner!!!