Sunday, August 06, 2006

Au revoir Wendy

Today our dear friend Wendy leaves Melbourne for Vancouver, enroute tothe famous Columbia School of Law/Columbia Law School (whichever is correct), Columbia University NY to complete her Masters in Law. As a farewell celebration I offered to cook her a feast before she commences her 'poor overseas student eating habits' in NY. Since W is a vegetarian, I came up with a simple menu focussing on desserts hehe..

Farewell Dinner for Wendy
Sunday, 30 July2006
Alv's Place

Beans salad w/ grape tomatoes and haloumi
Chilli Linguine w/ a ragout of oriental mushrooms (Tetsuya Style)
Jaffa mousse w/ Cointreau orange
Balsamic strawberries

Being a non-vegetarian I had a bit of a hard time trying to figure out a menu that would appeal to the three of us and since we all love desserts I figured that I should make that the prominent dish of the day. When I was discussing the idea with TH and some of my colleagues at work they all said something along the lines off.. "That's easy, just make a salad". Luckily, I chose the right salad because that day W told us that she didn't really like/eat 'raw vegetables'. We were like "SHOCKED" and then I was like "phew" because the only raw ingredient in my beans salad was the tomatoes. The three of us had a discussion on why/how the general perception of non-vegetarians were that 'all vegetarians eat salad.. ie. lettuce/leafs, tomatoes, carrots etc' and that W was weird. That turned into a funny discussion full of "whats", "no ways" and "you're nqr" and loads of laughters. Unfortunately, I have no photo of my beans salad because the SDcard on my camera decided to report that 'the card has not been formatted and requires formatting' before I could use it again. Photo of Beans salad courtesy of W. (Thanks W!)


The beans were flat beans and green beans, sliced, blanched and dressed with EVOO, 2tbsp lemon juice and S&P, haloumi cheese was pan fried and the salad was assembled with the cheese, halved grape tomatoes and dressed with the dressing from the beans and mint and basil leaves. The salad was very refreshing albeit salty, this was my first time cooking with haloumi cheese and boy did I get a salt attack from that. Other than that it was good, W surprisingly loved the salt in the cheese so we fed her the rest of my cheese and all the left overs.


I bought these chilli linguine at Macro, the new organic shop at The Glen. They're freshly made and then frozen. Sold in packs of 300g for $8.95 each. Doesn't look much here but boy was it delicious. You could even taste the chilli in the pasta. Sweet. A while ago I was a friend's place and saw Tetsuya Wakuda's Recipes from Australia's Most Acclaimed Chef and copied the recipe for Mushroom Ragout with Linguine. The ingredients looked interesting at that time. Shimeji mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, a bit of mirin, sake, soy sauce and chicken stock. When I saw the chilli linguine at Macro I knew at once what to make for W. Substitute the chicken stock for vegetable stock and it'd be perfect.

I was a bit disappointed with the end result though. It was rather tasteless?? It was not what I expected it to be, I wonder if it's because I substituted the chicken stock with vegetable stock? Or because I tripled the pasta amount? (but then I tripled the rest of the sauce amout too) Hmm I think, I will have to give this another go next time.


On to desserts.. yay! About the only thing that turned out right that day. hahah.. Ok perhaps I'm too harsh a judge on myself but about the only thing that perfect in my opinion was the strawberries! (If I stuff even that up I'd probably hang up my apron hahah)

Jaffa orange mousse with cointreau infused oranges. Melt about 140g of chocolate with 2 tbsp of Cointreau, add 4 egg yolks one by one and let it cool meanwhile whip cream and fold in 4 tbsp of cocoa powder into the cream. Once thats done, fold cream into chocolate and mix well. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Peel oranges, slice and marinate in about 3 tbsp of cointreau until serving.

Sounds pretty simple isn't it? I even got the mousse texture right this time because I whipped the cream properly. Except I was too lazy to sift the cocoa powder before folding into the cream, so there's bits and pieces of cocoa powder in it. hahah.. oh well.. It was still delicious, I love the Cointreau infused oranges.

We had a great and late night. Chatted, drinking, eating and laughing. Will miss W, she'll be in NY for a year, so it's only me and TH left. W, see you in 12 months time!


mcmugg said...

aw, thanks man! for the record, it was a very yummy dinner and great company - definitely some great memories to reminisce about when i become a penniless and hungry student in 5 days time! and i'll be asking you for some menu ideas!!

@JinomTo said...

This is SO hilarious! I-Ling has kidnapped Wendy as her friend ever since we left Melb! hahaha..
But it's good, all my good friends coming together and getting along so well, so much easier chit-chat and gossip! ;)

ilingc said...

A: kidnapped? I did not!

W: Thanks for forwarding the photos from your camera, I will post up the bean salad soon. hehe menu's ideas? I will post just for you :D