Friday, November 18, 2016
An Edible Post
Round two of the gourmet group that we hosted recently went well. This time since we didn't prepare all five courses like the first time, it was much much less work. This time we went back to convention and just prepared the entree and let the other four couples each bring a course. As I said in my previous post, this time we went with a British theme. While I didn't get a picture of all the courses, I did get a picture of a few and I thought I would share them here.
Smoked salmon on cucumber was one of the appetizers. I think they skimped on the smoked salmon because it was almost tasteless compared to the cucumber which shouldn't be since it was the star of the dish. Still, I've had much much worse when it comes to appetizers.
Another appetizer was a scotch egg. Being that the couple bringing them had never heard of them, they did a great job. They were very flavorful. My only complaint was that a true scotch egg has runny yolk but when preparing them at home, carting them across town in your car and then sitting there while you socialize over some drinks, it is probably very hard to do.
Pickled onions rounded out the appetizers and they were delicious. Can't go wrong with picked onions as far as I am concerned.
The second course was tikka marsala served in a small dish with some naan. The person making that is an excellent chef of indian cuisine and did an outstanding job. I wish I had a giant pot of that to eat on the first blowing blizzard of the year.
The third course was the one we prepared and was bangers and mash with some carmelized onions. After all the taste testing, driving many miles and with a pile of pork sausage now in our freezer that we didn't end up using, we ended up using just Johnsonville sweet Italian sausage found at the local grocery store. Well if it wasn't out of stock. I ended up driving clear across town to the other one which had them in stock. My wife wanted a puff pastry "tower" to class the mashed potatoes up but wasn't able to make one that she could remove from whatever she used as a mold. So she ended up turning it over to me and after some experimenting, I used some upside down metal mixing bowls, a matrix pie crust cutter and some cooking spray. They turned out pretty nice but the worst one (my plate) was the worst looking of the bunch. In case you are wondering the mashed potatoes are on top of brown onion gravy.
The fourth course was a British salad, the name of which escapes me right the moment. It has some stinky cheeses, fruits, lettuce and a vinaigrette. It was delicious.
The fifth course was spotted dick, something I have heard of but never eaten before. The best I can describe it is as a bread pudding with raisins served with a sweet white sauce over the top. It was very delicious.
The one flop was my idea to serve vodka martinis, shaken not stirred, stolen from just about every James Bond movie. I had been making them all week to experiment with them and got them to where I thought they tasted good. Only three out of the ten of us tried it. They drank them down and said they were good so I'm guessing the rest just weren't martini fans. Honestly, even though I drank them this week, I don't think I am one yet either. Fortunately I found some Scottish Pale ale that went over well and we consumed several bottles of wine. Finally after four hours, the guests left and my wife and I spent the next two hours hand washing the china and putting it away before collapsing into bed. The following day we spent another several hours cleaning up. So now I hope that if things go well, I have probably another year and a half of eating a gourmet meal every several months without having to host again. I can't complain.