Last night we had some friends over for dinner and decided to go with three new dishes from two trusted sources and a variation on an old favorite. Here's the menu:
Villa Carlotti Prosecco from Italy
Chateau Ducasse Bordeaux 2005 followed by
Baron De Rothschild Reserv Speciale Bordeaux 2005
Chili Fish baked in Banana Leaf parcels with
Warm Asparagus, Zucchini and Snow Pea Salad
Citrus Cake with Ginger Sorbet and Grand Marnier custard sauce
Espresso and tea
The wontons and salad came from Kylie Kwong's excellent "Simple Chinese Cooking" and you can find the recipe here at the bottom of the page. This is the first time I've deep fried in a wok instead of a deep saucepan and I learned some lessons. The first batch of wontons came out evenly golden brown, but the latter batches cooked fasted and less evenly because the oil temperature kept increasing over the minutes it took to get them done. Some of them came out darker than I like, but there wasn't too much change in flavor as a result (Note to self - use candy thermometer next time to keep the oil temperature stable).
The fish is from Christine Manfield's "Stir" (which you can get from Amazon used for less than US$5 - incredible value) and is based on a Sambal Bajak paste that I made a batch of a few weeks in advance. We used fresh halibut and He Who Must Be Obeyed cooked it perfectly. The sambal is amazingly versatile and my favorite other dishes to make using it are a Green Bean or Asparagus Sambal, which gets much of the character of the spicy green beans dish served at Monsoon, and a Spiced Coconut Fish soup which is more mellow but has lots of complex flavors.
The cake and it's accompaniments came from the creative imagination of He Who Must Be Obeyed and borrowed the Ginger Sorbet I made for Easter Dinner to strengthen the overall Asian flavor of the meal.
What are you cooking?