Wonderful Homecooked 11pax Dinner on 22Jan2015

wife's pumpkin tofu salad

#1 wife’s pumpkin tofu salad

made 1 of my best dinners on 22.1.2015. ^^

invited a few close friends. my weekly running partner brought his son, and my dentist friend brought his daughter.

also invited my god sis & her husband.

this time, i reverted to a sit-down course dinner. for a start, i served 3 dishes as tapas.

#1 we had an excellent pumpkin tofu salad. this was my wife’s creation. my helper toasted the pumpkin & fried & cut the tofu & mixed in the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt & agave nectar the night before, and my wife tossed in the rockets just before starting dinner. 🙂

miso cod

miso cod

#2 miso cod is my god sis’ favourite. she mentioned it so many times. ^^

i have not made it for a long time as my wife prefers the texture & taste of plain grilled cod. i had it in the oven for a tad too long but managed to rescue it, only had to take off most of the skin. still it was excellent to my taste, both the firmer texture & also the miso flavour. my god sis liked it very much & had 2 servings. i liked it as much as the plain grilled cod & slightly better than my teriyaki cod. this dish was prior done about 1 hr before dinner.

#3 the tagliata di manzo (using 150D grain-fed ribeye) was really quite excellent this evening, very well charred for maillard reaction. i did the steak only when all guests had arrived. also seasoning the rockets & cherry tomatoes with olive oil & balsamic vinegar was done just before plating & serving so they would not be soggy. plating was a bit rushed & not ideal this evening.

#4 after the 3 tapas, i served the lobster bisque, very nice mellow & intense flavours with good amount of brandy, not too creamy. very nice. my friend’s daughter took a second serving.

#5 lamb is usually not such a favourite among my dinner guests, but my friend’s daughter loves lamb, so i did 1/2 a rack of pistachio crusted lamb. i bought at mmmm at west coast plaza & the lady instead of cutting 1/2 rack started to cut out 2 slices before i could stopped her. so i had to improvise & used a kitchen twine to hold the 1/2rack together. again i have not done this for a while but the rack turned out very well. i managed to cut 5 pieces. my friend’s daughter had 2 helpings, my friend’s son & another 2 friends had the lamb.

lobster spaghetti

lobster spaghetti

#6 lobster spaghetti was just splendid this evening! very tasty & good chunks of lobster meat (i used 2x375g frozen lobster from cold storage). the lobster head & tomalley (liver etc) were excellent. i thought though using capellini (angel hair) i did previously would be better both in looks & texture.

"monterosso miky" seafood risotto

“monterosso miky” seafood risotto

#7 my own version of  “monterosso miky” seafood risotto was wonderful this evening. very very tasty, with excellent lobster & prawn stock balanced with lots of vegetables. the carnaroli rice i bought at stresa, lake maggiore was excellent & the texture was just al dente. 🙂

squid ink manila clams with squid spaghetti

squid ink manila clams with squid spaghetti

#8 the squid ink pasta was also very good. i had squid & lots of manila clams which were plump & succulent. i agreed with my wife though that the manila clams were much better done the asian zi char style with curry leaves & olive oil, & lose some of the distinct taste & flavours, and tasted only like good littleneck clams “la la” in this preparation.

japanese A4 wagyu - this was soooo good.

#9 japanese A4 wagyu – this was soooo good.

japanese A4 wagyu

japanese A4 wagyu

#9 i had a japanese A4 wagyu which was better served as a separate dish than together with the tagliata di manzo & rockets. the 150D grain fed ribeye earlier was very good, but this was par excellence!^^

#10 we rounded off with my tofu cheese cake, as good as always. ^^ wonderfully light texture, mildly sweet sour with lumen juice, yogurt, whipped cream, silken tofu & cream cheese, & a nice biscuit base.

i was just happy to have the cosy, warm get-together with my close friends, and very happy & satisfied with the dishes & dinner. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

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Cheap & Authentic Italian @ la Botte Stresa on 29Aug2014

€9 funghi pasta

€9 funghi pasta

we went to villa taranto & mottarone cable car on the second day, and decided to go to la botte (which was like 50m from hotel elena) for dinner. we got our hotel to book 2pax table for us on 29.8.2014 7pm.

we were there at 6.55pm. there was a queue about 10pax including us. the others did not have reservations. the restaurant was filled up quickly.

€9 mixed cold meats (goose, wild boar, deer, beef)

€9 mixed cold meats (goose, wild boar, deer, beef)

la botte stresa

la botte stresa

la botte stresa

la botte stresa

€9 mixed cold meats (goose, wild boar, deer, beef)

€9 cold meat platter (goose, wild boar, deer, beef)

€9 beef carpaccio with truffle melted cheese

€9 beef carpaccio with truffle melted cheese

we ordered the €9 cold meat platter (goose, wild boar, deer, beef) & the €9 beef carpaccio with truffle melted cheese.

the cold meat platter was a monstrous serving. the meats were good but it’s something i would like just 2 or 3 slices so it was not a good idea for 2pax unless you did not want to try other starters. also it killed the tastebuds for other more subtle dishes like the fungi pasta. it was very generous for €9 & would be great for like 4pax.

the beef carpaccio did not look great but the taste was excellent with the truffle scented melted cheese. it was better than the usual more classy looking ones with rockets & extra virgin olive oil & balsamic. 🙂

€15 tagliata di manzo

€15 tagliata di manzo

€15 tagliata di manzo

€15 tagliata di manzo

the €9 creamy fungi pasta was good, but i felt the cold meat platter aftertaste killed off my appreciation of this more subtle dish.

the tagliata di manzi was kind of ordinary but good for €15, and so much arugula. we had to cancel 1 order of lamb ravioli as we had too much food already & would not really enjoyed it.

my son was also eyeing the guy next to us who was having nice grilled lamb chops. certainly there were several items on the menu we would be happy to come again to try. for me personally it was important to bypass the cold meat next time & enjoy some of the other great dishes here.

the service was indifferent to impatient, not outright rude but they didn’t really need us…it’s no different from any nazi chefs in Singapore where people go just to have the food, in fact probably slightly better. 🙂 the table wine was undrinkable, better to pay for better wine or just pay for bottled water.

the dinner cost about €50 including a 500ml carafe of table wine.

c.h.e.f andy