Sunday, January 19, 2014
Is this a step in the right direction? Can we call it that? We had a party and I cooked loads of food and I got one very blurry phone photo of some of it... And when I say 'I got a photo' what I actually mean is 'I ordered an excellent friend to take one while I manically fried something'. Still, that's one very blurry phone photo better than the last couple of times I did epic cooking so I'm going to count it as progress. Plus, this way we all get to enjoy my mad Paint skillz.
Technically this was a drinks party and while an awful lot of drink got drunk I am a chronic feeder and I can't deal with the idea of people visiting/spending time under my roof and being hungry so there was also an awful lot of food...
Crisps and hummus (obviously)
Delicious antipasti of all stripes - salami, prosciutto, sundried tomatoes, feta, olives, artichoke hearts... (provided by Mulp who is a star and also takes photo credit - good work)
Burrata caprese stacks (a perennial favourite although this burrata was so soft/wet that these were pretty trying to assemble)
Grilled Lebanese Flatbreads and Baba Ganoush (from Claudia Roden's Arabesque)
Patatas Bravas! Impossible not to say in an excited voice (from The Moro Cookbook)
Croquetas! Tapas are just exciting generally (also Moro)
LARGE quantities of sloe gin/Cava fizzes and red wine
Man, the baba ganoush was amazing if I do say so myself. All credit to Claudia Roden whose recipe was predictably perfect and beautifully balanced. I loved the patatas bravas even if the sauce wasn't quite what I wanted - not quite naughty and plasticy enough for my taste. I think I might need to try a slightly lower brow recipe but for now I do know how to blanch potatoes in oil (so strange). The croqueta mixture tasted amazing but either it wasn't thick enough or it wasn't refrigerated enough because I found the actual croquetas almost impossible to shape. R made a decent stab but they weren't right and once fried they didn't have enough delicious soft middle. Any advice out there for croquetas? The flavour was so good that I will try and give these another shot sometime but I definitely still have a lot to learn.
To my delight/relief there was plenty of food and it was a really nice evening. Cooking for and eating with friends are just my favourite things. So good. Hopefully there'll be plenty more of that in 2014.