I love cooking for big groups of friends. I love entertaining, and this challenge has helped me to create such different dinner parties, and cook different meals for my friends. Our general trend with dinner parties is that people bring their own drinks. Generally somebody will offer to bring dessert (this is usually Laura, and I usually do the same for her). And then the person hosting prepares the meal. The only tricky part about this is that I have a number of tricky candidates in my friendship group. One doesn’t eat meat but eats fish, the other doesn’t eat any shellfish (so unless I’m doing a meal with normal fish fillets – which lets be serious, nobody really likes, I’m going vegetarian). But then there’s also one who doesn’t do spicy at all, and another who isn’t a huge fan. So I’ve learnt how to make it work. I either make separate sauces and put meat in one and leave meat out of the one, or I go vegetarian. For the gentleman who doesn’t like spice, he usually gets a Woolies lasagne and he’s content! Oh then there’s also some that have now decided they’re not eating carbs – so cauliflower rice it is!
I was under a little bit of pressure this time because Darryn and Mark have just been to Thailand. I wanted to impress them because they would have experienced some authentic food while there. (Looking back, I’m pretty sure I impressed properly!). I took a recipe from a ‘500 vegetarian recipes’ book that I’ve had for a few years. My signature ‘Chickpea and potato curry’ recipe comes from there, and now I just found a new favourite. Thai Vegetable Curry. I’ll post the recipe soon, but basically I made my own paste, and used coconut milk, some stock, and then the most delicious veg from Dunkeld Fruit and Flowers – broccoli, red peppers, baby corn, spinach, potato, and coriander. It really was so wonderful. It was super spicy (and I even reduced the number of chillies needed), but really tasty too. Another definite repeat cook because it was really very easy and quick to make!
Laura’s dessert was a wonderful spread of figs (never eaten a fresh one in my life), papaya (I think?), baby koeksisters – the best, Cadbury’s top deck chocolate and mini eclairs. She really outdid herself this time 😉
(The picture below is not my best work – because I had guests I was under some time pressure to get to the table, which isn’t easy when you have the glowing iPad screen behind your dish, and very poor light in the kitchen. Anyway, you get the gist of it!)