Friday, November 09, 2007

Kitchen whizz

Mrs M’s birthday was the other day and I promised a three course meal.

Starter- Stewed long peppers and yogurt sauce

Main- Butternut squash gnocchi with garlic spinach cream.

Dessert- Italian applecake with cinnamon chocolate cream.


I got in from work early, having planned my menu and aquired the ingredients.

I hit the ground running when I got in to the house and had an Italian apple cake mix on the go for dessert. I got the recipe from the Silver Spoon. Huge tome, only translated into English in the last couple of years. It has some interesting recipes for brains.

Ok, applecake made and into the oven.

I had prepared some of the main course the night before, to wit, I had roasted a butternut squash and 5 cloves of garlic.

I made the sauce for the main course which involved 100mls white wine, 100mls light stock and the roasted garlic. This was blended and sieved into a pan and reduced by half.
I let it cool down and added 300mls of cream and reduced it. As I was doing this I was making the yogurt sauce for the peppers which had been made ready for the oven.

The applecake turned out perfect and when I took it out I put the peppers into the oven.

Multi tasking…just about.

Starter turned out well and tasted great. Though I have made it better previously.

After the starter it was time to make the gnocchi.

The recipe stated a fixed amount of flour. My butternut squash absorbed that and yelled for more. Quite a bit more in fact. The dough turned out well and I had a pan of boiling salted water ready for it. I made the gnocchi and put them in the pan in two batches. The amount of dough made would feed 6 people, so I froze half of it for future use.

I heated up the sauce and the gnocchi were ready in a couple of minutes.

Once the next batch was done it was time to eat.

My sister gave me the recipe from a book we had bought her. A Café Paradiso book. The best food I have ever eaten.

Oh wow, it tasted fantastic. I will be using the sauce recipe for other things also. It was very filling. Really, really tasty. In fact I took the leftovers for lunch in work yesterday. Not so good microwaved, cream sauces always die. Still very tasty though.

I shall be making this again, and again and again!!

A little break was taken before dessert, in fact Mrs M was so full she took the merest wafer of cake. She wasn’t fussed on the dessert wine so I drank it.

Boy did I have a sorehead the next day. Not only did I drink the dessert wine but I had half a bottle of Chablis with Mrs M and I polished off 3/4s of a bottle of rioja on my own.

From 4.30 pm until near midnight so no suffering a la Manuel. Thankfully.

Mrs M was delighted with the three course meal, I was happy I was able to do it all and get drunk at the same time without injuring myself or ruining anything. I wouldn’t chance it too often though.
I was exhausted after all this and spent last night sitting on my ass waiting for a plumber who didn’t show up. That will be for another posting sometime in the future.


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