Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Dinner !

Friday night, a friend of mine and I finally pried gaps in our ridiculous schedules to get together to do what we both love to do. Food geek out!
Aaron had planned to have dinner ready for when I arrived, but, as usual, chatting and flicking through cookbooks took priority, so dinner was a late one- giving me the opportunity to get involved.
Here are the recipes we tried- three courses, for old times sake.

Gordon Ramsay's smoked duck breast salad with pomegranate vinaigrette

He's much more relaxed with throwing things together these days (under my reproachful gaze) but he's still a recipe slut... And I'm kinda glad of it. This was possibly my favourite dish of the meal and I would never have discovered it otherwise. I sometimes think I should try out recipes a bit more often and expand my repertoire.
The smoked duck is so beautiful- really rich and strong against the salad and the sweet freshness of the pomegranates. I also loved the toasted flaked almonds.
The vinaigrette was made with pomegranate molasses (worth investing in if you like your Middle eastern cooking, or if you're a fan of Ottolenghi!) Dijon mustard, Olive Oil and groundnut oil.
The salad leaf contained chicory, for crunch. I've been loving Chinese lettuce in salads recently for that purpose, but chicory also adds a slight delicate aniseed flavour.

Tiger prawns, scallops and clams with tomato and feta

This dish contains some of my favourite ingredients- scallops and tiger prawns. With the fresh spring onion and tomato sauce, this is a really comforting rustic dish. A new favourite! We served it with yoghurt flatbreads- and I cannot recommend this enough. Like the smoked duck, that was one of my favourite parts of the meal, I can't wait to do them again!
They were really simple to make, and if you eat them cold, the yoghurt really comes though.
I'm so into these, I had to share the recipe!

Yoghurt flatbread
140g wholemeal flour
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
140g Greek yoghurt
3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
4 tbsp clarified butter (or a mixture of melted butter and vegetable oil)

Combine all the ingredients, apart from the butter, in a bowl and use your hands to mix them together to a dry dough; add more flour if needed. Knead the dough for a minute or so, until it is smooth and uniform. Wrap it in cling film and chill for at least an hour.
When ready to make the flatbreads, divide your dough into six pieces. Roll into balls, then flatten them with a rolling pin into round discs about 2mm thick. Heat some clarified butter in a non-stick pan and fry the flatbreads, one at a time, on a medium heat for about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Add more butter as you need it and keep the flatbreads warm as they are cooked.
Pudding was Gizzi's spiced pear and chocolate souffle with salted caramel sauce
The spiced pears were poached in orange zest, white wine, honey, vanilla and a mix of spices- Cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. if you do this, please please save the juices after! The smell is amazing and has so many possibilities.
The salted caramel sauce was another buzz word for me. I cannot resist anything with salted caramel...

Give one of these a go sometime soon!



  1. Wow I'm such a seafood fan. This looks amazing. Perhaps you can teach me to cook?


  2. Haha, thankyou !!
    Well y'know, any excuse to get me in the kitchen sounds good to me..! xx

  3. Oh wow - I want that dessert right now! I'm in agreement with you about salted caramel, it's everywhere but it deserves to be. Yum!

  4. These ALL look terrific. Just a wee word: if you're ever looking for a friendly taster, don't forget ME!

  5. We did pretty well didn't we? I even ended up making the chocolate souffles again for a dinner party on Monday.