Sunday, August 01, 2010

A Well overdue dinner party

Last night I had my brother & his girlfriend over for a bit of a dinner party.  I realized I haven't had anyone over for a proper dinner (apart from parents and in laws every week after babysitting which doesn't count), since before our renovations which is at least 18 months.   There have been plenty of brunches, lunches, cake & coffees & even a couple of parties of mass catering but no good old dinner party.  I love a dinner party & am really a bit sad that no one (I know) seems to have them anymore or if they do they dont invite me!  Back in my late twenties before marriage and kids, a few of us would have them all the time but since most people have settled down with kids they seem to think it's too much effort.  Not me, I am now going to try & do a dinner a month or so as I love it & dont care if I dont get an invite back, people will just have to put up with me & my dinners.  It's a great excuse to cook dishes I wouldnt normally make for just us & the kids.

My entrée for dinner was a mushroom, spinach & goats cheese tart.  I love tarts & would eat them every day if the pastry & cheese, etc wasn't so bad for my cholesterol.  This pastry recipe actually cooked a bit quickly so ended up a bit on the very dark brown side (though not burnt) & so was a bit crumbly, a little disappointing but not a complete failure.  The filling was delicious & right now I am wishing I made a double batch for leftovers but looks like it's toast for lunch again!

The main course was pan fried veal with a balsamic, pine nut & currant sauce/jus, whatever you want to call it, with a pumpkin & rocket salad on the side.  This was a risky move as I had to pretty much cook it up fresh after the entrée and by that stage I'd already had a few glasses of wine, luckily I was still functioning ok and there were no disasters, in fact I loved this dish in all it's simplicity & will definitely make it again.

Dessert was pretty much ready to go.  I made a white chocolate, mint & dark choc chip ice cream the day before which I was a bit concerned about.  It was a sugar syrup rather than a custard based ice cream and the melted white chocolate didn't seem to blend very well with the syrup when mixing.  Then the mixture didn't set in the ice cream machine which might have had something to do with the creme de menthe & vodka in it.  I threw it all into the freezer & hoped for the best.  tasting it in the morning I thought it was delicious even if it was a bit grainy, almost granita like.  I bought some store bought ice cream as a back up in case I had any last minute reservations but turns out there was no need to worry.  The ice cream was served with some oozy chocolate fondants, after the last week of Master chef there was no question this was what I had to make.  A few hours in the fridge before cooking ensured that they didn't set right through & just imagine how well they went with the minty, chocolatey ice cream, heaven!

I was very happy with everything & cant wait to invite my next lot of guinea pigs over for some more feasting.


Tv Food and Drink said...

Good for you! Long live the dinner party! I don't have kids, but I also don't have the time any more to do dinner parties the way I'd really like, but I hate the idea of not having people come together for food just because life can get trying. It's just about modifying the way you entertain. I try to find a television show my friends all enjoy and don't serve at the table. Everyone can get comfortable in the living room and I bring the food out as it's done.

Since I have an open kitchen, if the food is still cooking when the show starts, I still get to watch. I limit it to cocktails, one appetizer and a main course, leaving dessert in the hands of the guests. Usually works pretty well and not as much of a hassle to get accomplished. Keep it up! - Gary

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge said...

you're right, no one really has dinner parties anymore. Or maybe no one wants to invite us. oh *sigh*

I'll have a double serve of dessert though! said...

Me too Ange - I love a good dinner party and the food you prepared looks amazing! Leigh

Pam said...

Great meal! It all looks delicious. And I bet the ice cream was really good!

Vickie said...

This 3 course meal looks delish, but have to say that the chocolate fondant is on of my favourites to eat with either ice cream or thick cream. Mmmmmm

Ange said...

Thanks everyone & I'm now trying to work out when I can fit in my next dinner party - having a football obsessed Pies fan for a hubbie though means for September anyway not really allowed to book in saturday nights until its all over or they are knocked out!

Irene said...

The goats cheese tarts look so good. Can you share the recipe pls?

Ange said...

Hi Irene

Here is the link to pretty much the recipe I used, just substitute goats cheese for the gruyere