Here I have included some recipes to give you an idea of what you might want to cook and serve up for a dinner party. I have included 2 entrees, 2 mains and 1 yummy desert.
COCONUT PRAWN KEBABS
- 270ml can Ayam Light Coconut Milk
- 2cm piece of ginger, sliced
- 1 garlic clove, sliced
- 1 lemongrass stalk, bruised, tied in a loose knot
- 1kg (about 24) large green prawns, peeled, deveined, tails intact
- lime wedges, green salad, to serve
Place coconut milk, ginger, garlic and lemongrass in a saucepan. Heat on medium until just at simmering point. Remove from heat and set aside for 30 minutes, until flavours infuse. Strain and discard flavourings.
Preheat a chargrill or barbecue on high. Thread each prawn onto a soaked bamboo skewer, tail end first, and brush liberally with coconut milk mixture. Cook for 2 minutes each side, brushing with coconut milk, until prawns are opaque.
Serve with lime wedges and green salad.
ASPARAGAS CRUMBED WITH PARMESAN ON BOCCONCINI SALAD
- 250 g fresh asparagus spears
1/2 cup flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
4 roma tomatoes, quartered
100 g bocconcini cheese (milk cherries), halved (see Notes)
1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
pepper, to taste
- 1. Coat asparagus in flour, dip in egg and coat in combined breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese, press lightly.
- 2. Place asparagus on a lined oven tray and bake at 200°C for 8 to 10 minutes or until parmesan cheese is golden and crisp.
- 3. Combine tomatoes, bocconcini cheese and basil and drizzle with vinegar. Arrange salad onto serving plates, top with crumbed asparagus and season to taste.
Notes: Bocconcini cheese is a fresh stretched curd cheese formed into little domes referred to as cherries. The cherries are sold immersed in a mild brine solution. Bocconcini has a delicate flavour and provides an interesting texture rather similar to al dente pasta. It is used to carry other flavours such as fresh herbs and olive oil in salads. When heated, as on top of pizzas, it melts into appetising creamy-coloured pools.
AMAZING LAMB RACK
Preparing your lamb rack
Remove most of the fat from the back of the rack, leaving a little bit to flavour the meat as it cooks. French-trim the bones by cutting the fat out around each bone down to the meat. Scrape the bones of all sinew and fat. Cut between the bones and through the eye of the lamb, leaving 1cm of meat still attached at the bottom.
Make the stuffing
Finely chop your parsley, semi-dried tomatoes and olives and mix them together with your feta in a bowl. Add a little pepper if you need to. Put this mixture between the lamb eye meat and the bones, then fold back up. Tie tightly in about 5 places.
Prepare your veg
Cut up your veg and throw into a roasting dish. You want them to cook in the same time as the lamb. Courgettes and aubergines are great, and if you’re using root veg, make sure you cut them into pieces.
To make your marinade
Finely chop your rosemary and garlic, mix with a little oil and rub it all over the lamb and the fat, cover and put in the fridge for 1 hour before cooking.
Preheat your oven to 190C and, while it’s getting hot, take your marinated lamb from the fridge. Leave it for 20 minutes or so until it comes to room temperature.
Put the lamb right on top of the vegetables in your roasting dish. Put into your hot oven and roast – see cooking times below.
A rough guide is 25 minutes for every 450g of meat, but it all depends on your oven. A good way to test for doneness is to give the meat a bit of a squeeze with your fingers. If it feels soft, it mean it’s rare; if it feels very firm, it’s well done. For a nice rare lamb rack, 25 to 30 minutes is a good guide.
When you’re happy with the doneness of your lamb, remove the tray from the oven. Remove the lamb from the roasting tray and put the vegetables back in the oven. Let the lamb rest on a board for 5 to 8 minutes, then carve – aim to get two bones per person. Serve with the lovely roasted vegetables.
AUBERGINE AND MINT BRUSCHETTA
Heat a griddle pan until nice and hot. Lay your aubergine slices on it side by side and when they are nicely charred on both sides, put them into a bowl. You will probably need to do this in several batches.
While the aubergines are grilling, put 8 tablespoons of olive oil and 3 tablespoons of vinegar, with the parsley, mint and garlic, into another bowl and season with salt and pepper.
When the aubergines are all done, add them to the dressing and mix around, then check the seasoning again and divide on to the bruschetta. Press the topping into the toast so all the lovely flavour gets sucked in!
• from Jamie’s Italy
• 2 nice firm aubergines, the round purple Italian ones if possible, sliced lengthways about 3mm thick
• extra virgin olive oil
• white wine or herb vinegar
• 2 sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and finely sliced
• a small handful of fresh mint, leaves picked and finely sliced
• 1 clove of garlic, peeled and very finely sliced
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
BELGIAN CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
It’s best to make your chocolate mousse one day ahead. You need 6 transparent glasses or you can serve the mousse in an attractive bowl.
2 tbsp cream
200g dark cooking chocolate, cut into pieces
4 egg yolks
A pinch of cream of tartar
6 egg whites
1 tbsp caster sugar
1½ cups whipped cream
Place the cream and chocolate pieces in a bowl resting over a bain-marie over medium heat and whisk until the chocolate has melted and is smooth. Remove the bowl from the bain-marie and stir in the egg yolks.
Add a pinch of cream of tartar to the egg whites and beat until fairly firm. Add the sugar and continue beating the whites into stiff peaks.
Using a whisk, gently incorporate a quarter of the beaten whites into the chocolate preparation, then carefully fold in the rest of the whites.
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and pipe it into the glasses. Cover with plastic film and place in the refrigerator to set for half a day.
Before serving, pipe a little whipped cream on top of each mousse and garnish with a few raspberries.