Sunday, 18 March 2012

Come Dine With Me - Round 1

After my extensive prep, I was feeling quite happy with myself. I had even managed to prepare my curry, so all that was left to do on the evening was fry off my fish cakes, heat through the curry and cook the rice. Easy peasy. I was left with plenty of time to set the room and create the perfect ambiance

Drinks wise we were starting with Champagne (Louis Roderer). I had taken some of the strawberries from the dessert and added these to the glasses for a bit of extra oomph. We had the first bottle before I started to fry the fish cakes.
Enormous Siamese Strawberry
I did the fish cakes slightly too much on one side so they were on the dark side - luckily I just served this the other way up so no one was any the wiser! Served on a bed of wild rocket with sweet chili dressing drizzled over both. They were really tasty. One was a perfect amount as a starter, but you could easily have two as part of a main. Very healthy too and carb free.

I only realised when I went to bed there was a stray lime in a shopping bag I picked up earlier to serve in wedges for an extra bit of garnish to the fish cakes. Oh how mad I was with Tesco for running out of carrier bags and making me pack my shopping in a H&M bag I'd picked up earlier in the day.

By this point we had finished our second bottle of Champagne (Nicolas Feuillatte) so moved onto a Pouilly Fume. As I said, all that I had to do was heat through my pre-prepared Thai red curry and cook the rice (courtesy of Uncle Ben). Mistake number two I only realised this morning: I forgot the coriander to finish off, so it looks quite boring. Take my word for it though, it was delicious.

After the main event it was time for a 'traditional' (ahem) chocolate cheesecake. When I took the cheesecake out of the fridge it looked great, better than I remember. One problem however, the Oreo cookie base had set quite hard. I was trying to deliver in a neat and professional way, but it really was a challenge to get the thing out of the preparation dish. Once I finally managed this feat it was served with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.

The consistency was a bit more mousse than cheesecake. Potentially I may have got my conversion of grams to ml's wrong and added too much whipping cream to the dish. If there was less the topping would have been much firmer, however I don't think it hurt the dish as it was nice and light. A great finish to what I think was a lovely meal. We retired to the couch where we opened a bottle of pink fizz (the one I am now blaming for the slight haziness behind my eyes).

My guests voted in secret and placed the scores out of 10 in an envelope which is now sealed. I am very much looking forward to the next instalment, which is unfortunately not until 26 May! (diary coordination for weekends is not easy)

The recipes are all posted here should you wish to create your own. My cooking level is probably medium, but I enjoyed making all of these. Nice and straight forward. Minimum effort, maximum taste.
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