A fancy dinner party for 12 with various conditions

scallop and snapper cevichewith vodka cured salmon, tuna, radish and snow pea shoots goats cheese pannacotta with slow cooked tomato sauce and lamb
braised beef rib with rocket and horseradish sauce and truffles hazelnut marquise with truffle and honey hazelnuts

Ahm yes, well [cough] hello. I did promise to write a few things here again rather than keep it as a kind of bloggy attic of stuff – ‘Look grandma! A Pierre Hermes macaron!’. Maybe a couple of linguistics thingies, a bit of politics, maybe event the kind of stuff where I say that Albert Camus is the Joan Miro of Existentialism and Joan Miro is the Albert Camus of Surrealism – then I have a lie down and wonder if I’ve got it the wrong way round. Lady cafe racer Fridays. Bold plans.

Anyway, here is some food I cooked and I will now talk about it.

Asked to cook a dinner party for a nice friend  at their house for a dozen nice people. Nice and fancy and the two conditions that it be gluten free and that there be no pork. This actually isn’t all that hard except that it’s a bit like when somebody says “Don’t think about the bass player of Manowar” and all you can think about is the bass player of Manowar. How about pork pies? Oh wait, they’ve got pork and gluten etc.

So it eventually ended up like this:

First Course
Scallop and Red Snapper Ceviche, Vodka-cured Salmon, and Sashimi Tuna on Radish and Snow Pea Shoots

Esperance scallops, which were darling wee little coin shaped things that I cut in half and ‘cooked’ in lime, lemon and chilli with red snapper. I love the idea of a vodka cure – Russians have been using it to cure depression for years, not entirely successfully. Snow pea shoots are tasty and pretty and just need a bit of picking to get rid of the big stems and bigger leaves. Dressing of olive oil and a bit of the ceviche juice.

Another First Course
Goats Cheese Pannacotta with Slow Cooked Tomato Sauce and Lamb Fillet

Bit of this and a bit of this Was going to do this on it’s own but it seemed a bit white wine lunchy so a thyme, rosemary sumac lamb fillet done rare was a nice addition. Chickentarian got poached eggplant instead.

Braised Beef Ribs, Rocket and Horseradish Sauce, Fresh Truffles

Beef ribs recipe from Jake Drachenberg in the last issue of Spice, which I will summarise as ribs cooked covered for 4 hours at 200C in white wine, soy sauce, chicken stock and assorted herbs and a head of garlic.  The trick is to refrigerate the night before and then scrape all the fat off (and there is quite a bit) just leaving the gelled cooking liquor. And the meat and rib, of course.
Sauce is from Ottolenghi – slow food gifted horseradish cream with lovely Balingup horseradish, blended with rocket, olive oil and yoghurt and season. Reheat ribs with gelled liquor Manjimup truffle thinly sliced and chopped – much more nicely than I did if you like – and then added to the cooking liquor when serving. Truffles at around $2 a gram set me back about $30 for dinner … look what I’m saying is this – you don’t get much easier than this and if you want to go from ‘tasty’ to ‘holy fuck’, this is how. This is your food on drugs.
Truffled, butterflied spatchcock for chickentarian. Matt Wilkinson parsnip skordalia for solids.
Passed around a fennel, rocket and orange salad to freshen up the palate before being smashed with dessert.

Hazelnut Marquise with Truffled Honey Hazelnuts

Is slavishly this but a quantum less on the fancy front (for non-metric users – 5/16 quounces). I actually like beating eggs for 15 minutes and bringing sugar syrup up to to soft ball stage. I suspect ‘heavy cream’ is less our ‘double cream’ and more like our Lannister Downs actually creamy full cream. The secret touch is that the eggs were trapped in a mason jar with the truffle. Hazelnuts roasted and covered in truffle honey. I cant begin to say how sexy the chocolate truffle fusion is. I don’t know if you’re still thinking of the bassist from Manowar but if its working for you, go with it.

Success. You can too.

Update: upgraded my server host thingy – apparently my website was being hosted at the end of Strangler’s cassette – which then ate my two most recent posts. Thanks Santos and Rakka for saving them from limbo eternity.


  1. Elodie’s avatar

    I love salad before dessert. I love salad for dessert. That marquise seems like a lot of work, guy, I dunno. I’m glad it’s a go-to for you, though. It suits you!

    1. Anthony’s avatar

      Surprise salad. Marquise’s not much work for a lotta lovin’

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