had a wonderful dinner get-together with friends on 1.7.2013. 🙂
got the usual faithful to come over to try out a few new dishes like Nobu miso cod, simmered crispy skin salmon & kurobuta steak. 🙂 few other dishes like Jap chashu belly pork, funghi risotto, pistachio lamb etc, some have tried before but many have not.
i did a 9-course dinner – the first 4 were served as tapas for sharing, followed by baked funghi risotto & spicy seafood alio olio with white wine, and then 2 main courses Nobu miso cod & Spanish slow-braised beef ribs OR pistachio crusted rack of lamb, and finish off with the usual chocolate lava cake. 🙂
as i had learned earlier, everything was about planning, so planning what could be precooked & the cooking/reheating. serving sequence was the key. the kurobuta steak & wagyu of course had to pan-fry on the spot when all the diners arrived. likewise tossing of the mesclun salad with olive oil, balsamic vinegar & sea salt only when about to serve. the best that could be done for risotto was to precook (mine was a baked version in oven) but still needed to add stock & cream, reheat & reduce w/o overcooking the rice. for the seafood alio olio, the prawn & squid & spaghetti were pre-cooked but the wine, reduction etc & tossing was best done on reheating, again to keep the pasta al dente w/o overcooking. 🙂 likewise the rack of lamb took 22mins in the oven, and i had to start that while reheating the risotto, so that the lamb could be served not too long after the spaghetti which came after the risotto. the beef ribs was precooked but needed reheating and the miso cod which took 11 mins had to be done after the lamb. 🙂
first 2 tapas were pan roasted brined chicken breast & thigh (i used to serve only breast but seemed like many preferred thigh) and a sampling of pan-fried kurobuta steak & Japanese chashu oven slow-braised belly pork in mirin, sake, sugar & light soy sauce. these served together with mesclun salad. 🙂 after resting the meats & cutting, i saw that the kurobuta was slightly pink so i decided to re-fry 2 of the 3 pieces. that delayed the start of the dinner a bit, but seemed that many friends actually did not mind the less well done piece, so i think would be better to serve it just slightly pink (about medium well) next time. 🙂
next up was pan-fried MBS 4/5 wagyu steak. the above left photo showed the kurobuta steak which looked more marbled than the wagyu. i did the wagyu medium rare at the centre, so it was a bit well at the ends. i think i would do it rare the next time. 🙂
as WL did not take beef (everytime he had to repeat the story, this time to Oonch), i did ebi miso yaki (the medium prawns were marinated in miso for 3 days & stored in the chiller) for him from the miso i made to use for Nobu miso cod. 🙂
i did 2 fillet of salmon first simmered 8 mins skin-up in mirin, sake, sugar, then pan-fried to get the crispy skin. this dish was quite easily done & just needed to heat up before serving. i cut the 2 fillet into 10 bite-size pieces & served in a white bowl & just poured the slightly sweet tasty sauce over it. the salmon did look nice & tasted quite ok, but i think it was kind of a “nothing” dish that just looked good but could do with or without. 🙂
everyone liked the baked funghi risotto which had nice, intense mushroom flavour from button mushrooms & shimeji. this time the rice (i used a cheaper USA sushi rice & not real stuff – italian arborio rice) was al dente. JK felt it was too wet. that was because i did not estimate well the stock + cream to add on reheating but had to leave it wet as it would overcook before i could make it drier. 🙂
next, spicy seafood spaghetti alio olio. so far this had turned out quite well in taste everytime & visuals too. 🙂
then we had a choice the pistachio crusted rack of lamb (i cooked only 1 rack of 8ribs to serve 4) OR Spanish slow-braised beef ribs (which had 2x3ribs to serve 6). 🙂
the Spanish ribs were inspired by a lunch last year at La Cicala with my son. my son preferred La Cicala’s beefy brown sauce. i decided though to pick up an internet recipe with a sweet vegetable ratatouille to balance the beefy ribs. i used carrots, celery, yellow onions, & red pepper, i did not get chorizo so substituted with chinese sausage & also used tumeric for the colour in place of expensive saffron. 🙂
the last main course was Nobu miso cod. like the rack of lamb, kurobuta, & wagyu, i got the cod from mmmm at West Coast Plaza. the key was to marinate in miso for 3days or more. the result was a very “jit bee” 入味 tasty cod. the cod was firm, tasty & quite tender. my personal preference is a firm & springy (& oily) fish, so i like cod but i like chilean seabass a bit better, though it is not so environmentally correct to consume them. 🙂
the last up was chocolate lava cake. this took just 3mins 40secs in the oven so anything could go wrong. this time it was my phone timer (phone was in silent mode! OMT!) so i thought the first batch might turned out to be brownies. but it turned out to be ok with quite a bit of lava. the second batch though had lots of lava.