6-course Early Anniversary Dinner for 4pax at Home on 28May2015

flamed octopus in spinach sauce

#3 flamed squid in spinach sauce

wanted to do an anniversary dinner for my wife & children. the logistics was such that it would be easier to do it earlier & then have dinner out with my wife on the actual day. hence 28.5.2015.

during our recent cornwall travels, we had great lunch at porthminster at st ives on 14.5.2015. we had a superb mussels & a charming roasted pineapples dessert.

also i saw the wonderful photos of a flamed squid in spinach sauce and a curry monkfish. so those were the dishes i had initially planned to do. i experimented on some dishes prior to 28.5.2015. 🙂

my mussels though did not turned up so great(blame it on the cheap local mussels from sheng shiong..haha!), so i decided on a carrot soup.

i tried a thai yellow curry for the first time, planning to replace monkfish with cod. & though the curry turned up beautifully (both looks & taste), my wife & i felt that cod was such a nice fish we should not overpower it with strong curry. so i decided to do a steamed cod instead.

calamari & oyster fritters

#1 calamari & oyster fritters

#1 calamari & oyster fritters

as i was doing carrot soup, i decided to pair it with some oyster fritters, and since i am already at it (oil for deep fry, cornflower, egg & breadcrumb), might as well throw in some calamari.^^

i rolled the lightly seasoned oysters & calamari (squid) in corn flour, then egg, then breadcrumb. then placed them (just 4 or 5 pieces) in about 5cm hot oil a small sauce pan (to use less oil).

calamari & oyster fritters

#1 calamari & oyster fritters

the oyster fritters were excellent, i must say, and first time i made them this way. i liked the calamari too, just cooked right nice texture, not rubbery & tough.

cream of carrot soup

#2 cream of carrot soup

#2 cream of carrot soup

i have done-

this was the very first time i did cream of carrot soup.

& it was excellent!^^ it was silky smooth & tasty, among the best soup i made.

cream of carrot soup

#2 cream of carrot soup

i added a lot of sliced/cut vegetables – 1 onion, 1 stalk leek, 1 red pepper, 2 carrots (plus some leftover stems from spinach). i fried them in butter till soft, added 2 cups of chicken stock & boiled for further 20mins. then i used a blender to blend & added salt & pepper to taste.

when about to serve, i added 3 tablespoon thick cream, and i have some chopped basil from my garden.

flamed octopus in spinach sauce

#3 flamed squid in spinach sauce

#3 flamed squid in spinach sauce

this was the best dish of the evening, quite exquisite if i may say so, maybe alongside the soup.

the squid was done just right, excellent texture & taste, and with the bbq flamed flavours. & the sauce was  exquisite. ^^

st ives porthminster chef michael smith's flamed squid

st ives porthminster chef michael smith’s flamed squid

i only saw the photos in the cookbook at porthminster. when i tried to google, there was nothing to be found, perhaps porthminster’s australian chef michael smith is not so famous. haha!

so i invented the recipe myself. practice made perfect though, so i had 1 practice some days before.

flamed octopus in spinach sauce

flamed octopus in spinach sauce

i cross cut (very closely) a large squid into 4 pieces (about 9cmx6cm), placed them on a pan & torched. i knew that’s was not enough to cook the squid, so fried them in butter afterwards.

#3 spinach sauce

#3 spinach sauce

for the sauce, again i used lots of vegetable to make it so tasty. i fried in butter 1/2 onion, 1/2 stalk leek, 1 green pepper & a bunch of spinach leafs. then i placed them in a blender & added 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil & salt & pepper to taste. such a wonderful sauce complementing the flamed squid.

steamed cod with olive oil & soy sauce + wood fungus

#4 steamed cod with olive oil & soy sauce + wood fungus

#4 steamed cod with olive oil &soy sauce + wood fungus

there was not much to do regards the cod. i had done this once before & i know the simple olive oil with light soy sauce with chicken stock made a terrific stock base for the steamed cod.

steamed cod with olive oil & soy sauce + wood fungus

#4 steamed cod with olive oil & soy sauce + wood fungus

the cod was really wonderful. wife & children liked it very much.

steamed cod with olive oil & soy sauce + wood fungus

#4 steamed cod with olive oil & soy sauce + wood fungus

for me & for my youngest daughter though, we still like the equally tasty teriyaki cod better.

steamed cod with olive oil & soy sauce + wood fungus

#4 steamed cod with olive oil & soy sauce + wood fungus

one mistake i made was with the wood fungus. first time i was doing this. apparently this was the wrong fungus. it was the crunchy type & not suitable. if i had looked more thoroughly i would have found the small ones in the shelves.

pan-grilled lobster

#5 pan-grilled lobster

#5 pan-grilled lobster

this was an easy dish to make. however i did not do it right this time & the lobster was overcooked & just slightly tough. wife & daughters said lobster was very tasty & flavourful but i knew meat being just right & being tough made a whole  world of difference.

cold storage 2x375g frozen canadian cooked lobster=S$26.95

#5 cold storage 2x375g frozen canadian cooked lobster=S$26.95

i bought 2x375g frozen canadian cooked lobster=S$26.95 at cold storage.

cold storage 2x375g frozen canadian cooked lobster=S$26.95

#5 cold storage 2x375g frozen canadian cooked lobster=S$26.95

i cut the lobster in halves & shelled the pincers & legs. i put a lobe of butter in the pan & when it was very hot, i placed the lobster flat on the pan. then i added 2 tablespoon of brandy & flamed. the method was right, but i just did it a bit too long.

roasted pineapples

#6 roasted pineapples

#6 roasted pineapples

i tried to reproduce the roasted pineapples. this i didn’t practice, just use my imagination. unfortunately it was nothing like what we had at porthminster. haha!

roasted pineapples

#6 roasted pineapples

i torched the thick sliced pineapples. then i stewed them in lychee syrup.

roasted pineapples

#6 roasted pineapples

i served it with surprising coconut from daily scoop & lychees, and wife roasted some coconut flakes.

i guess it was immensely edible. anyway we were just eating fruit & ice cream so didn’t quite know what it was about.

roasted pineapples

st ives porthminster chef michael smith’s roasted pineapples

nothing like the experience of the real thing – st ives porthminster chef michael smith’s roasted pineapples.^^

c.h.e.f andy

Most Wonderfully Sumptuous Amarone Wine Dinner @ American Club on 29Nov2014

hors d'oeuvre (outside the main)

hors d’oeuvre (outside the main)

wife had an invitation for 2 to a zyme amarone wine dinner at amercian club on 29.11.2014, so i tagged along. 🙂

not that i even heard of amarone before (apparently it is quite well known), anyway it turned out to be quite an incredibly sumptuous wine dinner – the best i had! ^^

wine was so good (even for me) & food was just simply superb! 🙂

there was cocktail & hors d’oeuvre of prawn roll on sugar cane, oyster fritters, dumplings.

this was an american club wine dinner event, & the company which invited my wife piggyback on the event & reserve a private table of 10 – excellent decision!

==================
Saturday, November 29
The 2nd Floor
Cocktail Reception at 7:00 p.m.
Dinner at 7:30 p.m.
Member: $128
Guest: $148
5-Course Menu by Chefs Gary & Kelvin
Wine and food pairing by Matthew, Wine Director
Maximum of 50 attendees
— at The American Club, Singapore.

bread basket

bread basket

there was a good bread basket of roll, baguette etc.

scallop - amuse bouche

grilled scallop – amuse bouche

& a grilled scallop as amuse bouche to start the dinner. it was very well done, felt like sous vide consistency. 🙂

incredible zyme amarone wine dinner - the best i had

incredible zyme amarone wine dinner – the best i had

uni on tuna tartar, guacamole with pine nuts

#1 uni on tuna tartare, guacamole with pine nuts

uni on tuna tartar, guacamole with pine nuts

#1 uni on tuna tartare, guacamole with pine nuts

for the 1st course, we had uni on tuna tartar, guacamole with pine nuts. uni was great, tuna tartare a bit lacking in taste, guacamole was good.

first red was a ripasso 2009, apparently not meeting the 5 year requirement to be an amarone? anyhow, i like this wine.

2 ricotta & grana padona cheese ravioli with truffle & wolf berries, excellent sauce

#2 – 2 ricotta & grana padona cheese ravioli with truffle & wolfberries, excellent sauce

2 ricotta & grana padona cheese ravioli with truffle & wolf berries, excellent sauce

#2 – 2 ricotta & grana padona cheese ravioli with truffle & wolfberries, excellent sauce

2nd course was ricotta & grana padona cheese ravioli with a huge dollop of truffle & wolfberries. ravioli was good. truffle was very good. the shellfish sauce reduction was exquisite. 🙂

2nd red was a kairos 2008. it was a bit more full bodied & tannic. it’s a better wine but i liked the first one better.

suckling pig - crackling skin on foie gras mousse, pork & mushroom tempura in deep-fried squidink pasta

$3 suckling pig – crackling skin on foie gras mousse, pork & mushroom tempura in deep-fried squidink pasta

suckling pig - pork & mushroom tempura in deep-fried squidink pasta

#3 suckling pig – pork & mushroom tempura in deep-fried squidink pasta

suckling pig - crackling skin on foie gras moussesuckling pig - crackling skin on foie gras mousse, pork & mushroom tempura in deep-fried squidink pasta

#3 suckling pig – crackling skin on foie gras moussesuckling pig – crackling skin on foie gras mousse, pork & mushroom tempura in deep-fried squidink pasta

3rd course was suckling pig – crackling skin on a foie gras mousse, pork & mushroom tempura in deep-fried squid ink pasta nest. crackling skin was wonderful & the meat portions very tasty. most of us though would still prefer the chinese style suckling pig. 🙂

3rd red was a classico. it was a bit sweeter than the second. i liked this better.

really superb lamb - no gamey taste, very tender & flavourful

#4 really superb lamb – no gamey taste, very tender & flavourful

& the lychee wood smoked lamb rack with herbal crust was really superb, the best i had – no gamey taste, very tender & flavourful…i am inspired to do my own again, but maybe not the pistachio crusted rack of lamb recipe, but a herb crusted one (thinking how to do the marinade).

this last wine harlequin was the best, even for me who don’t know wine. really wonderful taste.

the great wines - 3 amarone

the great wines – 3 amarone

i couldn’t really finish my wine, though they were very good indeed. i did finish off the harlequin, apparently S$300+ bottle. 🙂

4 cheese platter

#5 4 italian cheese platter

4 cheese platter

#5 4 italian cheese platter

we had the 4 cheese platter, a bit unusual not to have dessert. usually in restaurant set meals, cheese is served before dessert as an option order. i liked especially the blue.

throughout dinner, we were treated to some expert discussion of amarone (in addition to the brief by zyme wine distributor rep) & especially whisky by a connoisseur diner on our table.

for this top quality food & wine, i would certainly be happy even if i were a paying guest.

c.h.e.f andy