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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Ooh I get full with a little help from my friends

I've noticed a few little changes to eating out at friend's houses since I started this blog. There's the questions of whether I will be bringing my camera (mais oui!), arguments by my hosts over which chop is the most photogenic, the use of special crockery and of course trying to get the best lighting to show off the food.

Here is just a small selection of the deliciousness I've had served to me over the past couple of months.

Goat chops, stuffed capsicum and Greek salad

First up, one of many dinners at my sister's table. Not one of her typical gourmet extravaganzas, but a very tasty, well balanced meal. Goat chops in a spiced crust, red capsicum stuffed with couscous and other yummy things (can't quite remember what else was in there? Can you enlighten us?) and a Greek salad. Most enjoyable.

Tempura kingfish with a persimmon salsa and radish salad

Next up we're heading to my friend's house for a starter of tempura fish (I think it was possibly kingfish though I could be wrong), with sliced radish and an experimentation salsa using persimmon (fuyu fruit). The combination of flavours was right on the money, and perfect for me as I'd recently discovered the joys of persimmon.

Pork chops!

Pork chop, stewed quince, a chestnutty sauerkraut and Asian greens

He then served up a mains of beautiful meaty pork chops, with a dollop of what I assumed was some sort of apple sauce. When he asked what I thought it was, I however knew immediately that it was going to be something strange, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Turned out to be stewed quince, and it worked so well with the pork! In fact, I was given a little container of it to take home in my doggy bag, and it also works well with ice cream and yoghurt. The sauerkraut with chestnuts had a lovely acidity that cut through the fat of the pork and sweetness of the quince, and the Asian greens (can't remember which particular greens.. you know, the green ones!) were just plain tasty.

Tomato and basil spaghetti

Our final stop today is at another friend's house, where we are starting with a nice glass of West Australian white wine and a simple, flavoursome dish of spaghetti with tomato and basil. Perfectly cooked spaghetti with nice fresh flavours, a great start to the meal.

Leek and ricotta tart

Mmmm this was a tasty tart, with beautiful flaky buttery pastry and an inner treasure of soft, braised leeks and warm ricotta. Again, beautiful simple flavours that worked perfectly together. These tarts were pretty big but of course I managed to finish mine off without too much trouble.

Mixed salad with vinaigrette

This salad was brought by another friend who was also lucky enough to be dining on spaghetti and tarts with me, and was a great accompaniment to the meal.

Gingerbread cupcakes

My contribution to the meal was some gingerbread cupcakes, taken from my Crabapple Cupcakes cookbook. Certainly not my favourite cupcakes from the book so far, but still quite nice (especially the chunks of crystallised ginger inside) and they look pretty cute.

Hooray for friends, hooray for food!


Iron Chef Shellie August 8, 2009 at 6:48 PM  

Oh I remember when my friends would pay me out for bringing my camera along. Now they all know not to start eating until I have taken my photos :P haha!

Gingerbread cupcakes are soooo cute! I'm yet to try anything from that cookbook! haha

Belle@Ooh, Look August 9, 2009 at 7:43 PM  

You have some clever friends (and lucky you to be able to sample their cooking). Your cupcakes are adorable, so they are lucky, too!

Conor August 9, 2009 at 10:07 PM  

Iron Chef Shellie - it's nice to have well-trained friends ;)

So far so good with the cookbook! Except that the carrot cupcake recipe makes 48 cupcakes, not 24 like it states! My mixer had its work cut out for it that day.

Belle - I know, I'm a lucky girl :) And thank you very much!

Kel August 13, 2009 at 5:56 PM  

OK, sister of mine, I do believe the stuffing for the stuffed Caps included the following, couscous, chickpeas, roasted sweet potato, sultanas, mint, lemon and feta crumbs, and possibly some other seasoning, mmmmm, feel like some now,

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella August 16, 2009 at 4:05 PM  

Your friends and sister are amazing cooks! And I also love your contribution to it too :) Sadly I have 1.5 hours until dinner and your photos have made me so hungry!

Conor August 20, 2009 at 11:01 PM  

Kel - cheers big ears! Oh yeah, they were tasty suckers, I wouldn't mind some now either.

Lorraine - They are indeed! Sorry but I have to get my revenge from all your photos making me hungry ;)

eatlivetravelwrite August 22, 2009 at 11:06 PM  

That's pretty funny - since I started blogging, my friends simply push their plates my way before they even think about eating..

Conor @ HoldtheBeef August 23, 2009 at 10:43 AM  

eatlivetravelwrite - even better when they make sure to get the 'presentation side' facing you, and clear any debris from the table around it :D

eatlivetravelwrite August 23, 2009 at 7:28 PM  

They're learning - slowly!

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge August 31, 2009 at 6:16 PM  

wow, how lucky are you!? I'm usually the one who does all the cooking. Its nice to see all your friends go to such effort when you come round.

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About Me

My love of cooking is surpassed only by my love of eating, though I never quite recovered from the beef I was served at college. I'll try almost anything once, but it takes a very special piece of offal or beef to get me to try it again.

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