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Monday, July 13, 2009

It ain't a party without party eggs

I interrupt this series of Adelaide posts with a little overdue update on our latest bookclub meeting. Our last book was 'Revolutionary Road' by Richard Yates, which has apparently been a popular bookclub choice lately judging by the difficulty in finding a copy anywhere! Although I can't say I found reading the book an enjoyable experience, I'm glad that I did and it was a great book to discuss. I haven't seen the recent film, and I'm not entirely sure that I want to. I am however curious to see how well the book translates to film so perhaps when I'm feeling a little less woeful I will check it out (I made the mistake of reading The Kite Runner when I was in hospital a couple of years ago and now realise when you're poorly you should stick to happy tales of sunshine and rainbows and puppies).

Just some of the tasty delights at our last bookclub meeting

Holding true to our wonderful bookclub tradition we had a fine feast to accompany our lively discussion. Sadly I dropped the ball a little in documenting all the great dishes, but here you can see a few of them. Our lovely host provided homemade sausage rolls and super cute cheesymite pinwheels. Hiding behind the wine is a plate holding soft cheese (I think it was brie?), semi dried tomatoes, olives and a lovely rich smoked fish. I certainly polished off more than my fair share of the fish. Also hiding, this time behind the cordial, are Kez's Gluten Free Florentine biscuits, available at Coles Supermarkets. These are really nice nutty, fruity biscuits (and belie their supermarket lineage). Also enjoyed, but sadly not photographed, were some lovely chewy lemon biscuits, a moist lemon cake and a selection of chocolate coated fruits. Oh, and a packet of Tim Tams! I hope I didn't forget any dishes, I'll be sure to be a better photographer next time.

Party eggs and stuffed smoked salmon parcels

My contribution to the feast was a combination of party eggs and stuffed smoked salmon parcels, presented on possibly my favourite dish, given to me by friends for my birthday last year (friends who have been partial to the occasional party egg in the past). The dish has 24 egg-shaped indentations, perfect for the making of party eggs from a straight dozen! I've also used the dish in the past to hold a combination of party eggs, marinated olives, and tomato/bocconcini/basil morsels.

My party eggs were given their name by my friend Jo, and I'm forever grateful to her that I don't have to call them 'eggs that you scoop the yolk out of and mix with stuff and then put back in the white bit' anymore. I often make these babies to bring along to a BBQ and they're always well received. I've never actually measured anything when making them, but here is a recipe of sorts...

Party Eggs

Whole egg mayonnaise
Curry powder
Salt and pepper

1. Cook eggs in salted water until hard-boiled. If your eggs are kept in the fridge, allow them to warm up a little in water in the pot before bringing the water to the boil to prevent them from cracking while cooking. It is also a little easier to peel the eggs if your eggs aren't super fresh.
2. Allow eggs to fully cool, then peel, chop in half and scoop out the yolks, reserving in a bowl.
3. Mash the yolks with a fork. Add a little salt and pepper, mixing through. Add enough mayo so that the mixture holds itself together easily and has a somewhat creamy consistency.
4. Add curry powder to taste. You'll probably need to add more than you think, as I'm always surprised by how much I have to put in before I'm happy with the taste.
5. Check the consistency and add more mayo if necessary.
6. Spoon or pipe the yolk mixture back into the poor lonely whites.
7. Chop the chives and sprinkle over the eggs.
8. Before the days of my amazing eggy dish, I liked to serve them on a bed of shredded lettuce.

So yeah, not exactly the most useful of recipes in terms of quantities but it gives you the basic idea! I'm sure you could spice it up with more ingredients but I've had such good reports from this recipe that I've not been game to get too adventurous with it.

The smoked salmon parcels, I'm afraid to say, were a bit of an invention and thus I don't have a real recipe for them either. Here's a rough guide...

Stuffed Smoked Salmon Parcel, with some party eggs friends

Stuffed Smoked Salmon Parcels

200 g smoked salmon
100 g goat cheese
2 good spoonfuls of cream cheese
small bunch chives, chopped
zest of half a lemon

1. Mix together the goat cheese, cream cheese, chopped chives, pepper and zest.
2. Cut the salmon into strips.
3. Place spoonfuls of the cheese mixture onto the end of each salmon strip then roll them up.
4. Secure the parcels with a toothpick speared through a couple of capers.

I think next time I make these I might try them with some very finely diced red onion added to the cheese mixture, and perhaps a little lemon juice as well.

So, another bookclub meeting, another great discussion and pile of satisfied tummies. Our new book is the recently released Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, and given the subject matter our next meeting may see us chowing down on brawn, roast tongue and pigeon pie, washed down with ale.


Rilsta July 14, 2009 at 2:16 PM  

That egg dish is such a good idea! The smoked salmon parcels look YUM!

boroca July 14, 2009 at 5:01 PM  

It was a Goat's Cheese Camembert (I am not meant to have dairy... so technically I was being good, despite the fact I bought it for the adorably cute picture on the front. 'la petite princesse' I believe was the cunningly marketed product's name.)
And indeed, the smoked salmon parcels were yum :)

Katerina July 15, 2009 at 12:48 AM  

Those parcels look delicious! I love goat cheese and smoked salmon together, or just goat cheese. Nice photos.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella July 15, 2009 at 7:02 AM  

That plate was just made for those smoked salmon parcels and party eggs! And lol at the name, yes it's all in the name isn't it? Well also in the tasting too and they sound great!

Conor July 15, 2009 at 12:25 PM  

Rilsta - I know, how cool is it! And thanks, they were pretty nice :)

boroca - ahh mais oui! I now remember you warning people about the goatiness. It was very nice, I am happy you succumbed to the clever marketing. And thanks!

Katerina - Thank you :) I'm a sucker for anything with goat cheese, or anything with smoked salmon, so sticking them together was always going to end well in my opinion.

Lorraine - Indeed it was. I'm terrified of dropping my lovely (and very heavy) plate and having to go back to a normal, non-eggy, dish. Cheers :)

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge October 9, 2009 at 8:36 AM  

Where do I get myself one of those dishes. I want one now. Party eggs, sounds like they are going to have a great time then head out to the streets and cause some mischief!

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