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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.