National Curry Week has just finished and I spent my week doing the glamourous part of my day job – interviews! I talked curry, spices, recipes and charity. All of this made me feel compelled to host a dinner party and I created one of the tastiest menus I’ve ever come up with, and so I wanted to share it with you.
I’ve harped on about how difficult dinner parties are, or more so how scary people may find them and also how you should try and stay safe and only cook what you know best. Well I decided to go against my better judgement and I did dishes I had never done before. Pretty brave of me as I had to cook for 8 and didn’t have any back up dishes in case.
Much to my delight all my recipes tasted absolutely delicious, so much so that they worked first time and so I have added them to my recipes section.
I started my evening with Crispy Okra. I had them all fried off and seasoned before my guests arrived so I wasn’t cooped up in the kitchen whilst they started on the wine.
I had my Slow Cooked Spiced Lamb calmly cooking in the oven getting more and more tender whilst I munched away and caught up with my friends. I basted it and basted it and then basted some more during the 3 hours it needed so I felt i’d truly max’ed out on the flavours. My kitchen smelt incredible with the scents of fennel, coriander, rosemary and garlic. My Spiced Roast Potatoes are an oldie but a goody and I decided that these would be the best accompaniment to the rest of the meal. I cheated and used a family spice paste, and when I say family I mean Patak’s spice paste, but I always use the pastes when I cook as they work so darn well. I had prepped all my veg too so all I had to do whilst my meat was resting was turn the heat on and add the blanched greens. Super simple and if it were ‘Come dine with me’ I reckon no-one could have marked me down for not spending enough time with them.
For my dessert I had a few ideas but then narrowed it down to one of my all time faves. Now, I am not the best pastry chef and when I was at Leiths my pastry shrunk 9 times out of 10. I always followed the rules but lo and behold when it came out of the oven it always shrunk. Boohoo! Anyway despite knowing this may happen again, I decided to challenge myself and so made a Chocolate Cardamom Torte. I didn’t faff around making my own pastry, as wondered if this was my downfall at chef school, and so opted for the easy way out and bought some shortcrust pastry – get the SWEET one! Pretty much worked out perfectly, and my filling was to die for! I served it with some creme fraiche to cut through the richness but my-oh-my was that one tasty dessert.
I served a Viognier for the white drinkers and a Temperanillo for the reds. Perfect combo even though my recent wine course would tell me this isn’t the ideal match. Tasted great!
What a great way to end National Curry Week. Great food and a great cause. A week just isn’t long enough!