Scrumptious Homecooked Lunch for 30+pax on 25Jul2015

youngest daughter was celebrating an important occasion & invited 30 friends to the house on 25.7.2015.^^

we had a really wonderfully scrumptious family-cooked lunch for her friends.

we did 13 delectable dishes!^^

& her friend made a professional pastry chef standard 2-tier cake. 🙂

wife's PIMMS

wife’s PIMMS cocktail

wife also made a PIMMS cocktail!^^

wife's PIMMS

wife’s PIMMS cocktail

i cannot hold liquor but i liked it very much & took maybe 5 or 6 cups & a bit drunk afterwards. 🙂

#1 wife made a lovely pumpkin tofu salad, something she picked up from marmalade after dining there. 🙂

#2 i did a vietnamese chargrilled pork cold beehoon. 🙂

we recently had this dish at mrs pho. i would think that my version was just as good. 🙂

#3 & i made a chicken ballotine.

#3 i steamed the first batch of 2 for 15mins. it was slight overdone.

the second batch i reduced to 12mins. & this was quite perfect! tender, juicy, flavourful.^^

helper's chicken nuggets

#4 helper’s chicken nuggets

#4 my helper did the chicken nuggets. pretty good too. 🙂

helper's deepfried chicken wings

#5 helper’s deepfried chicken wings

#5 & her chicken wings are a perennial favourite. 🙂

#6 i did a thai red curry sotong.

this the first time i cooked this dish. i fried in butter the sotong (squid) like i did for my flamed squid in spinanch veloute, but w/o flaming it (too tedious for quantity for 30+pax!). i tasted the sotong & it was excellent. i made the red curry gravy using the dancing chef’s ready mix with some cut yellow onions. the curry was just superb, so the combination was just crazy, a clear winner!^^

#7 for the chicken thigh, i pan-grilled on a very hot stainless steel pan. it was perfect, and daughters’ friends walloped the 6 pieces of deboned thighs from 3 chicken in double quick time. 🙂

unlike the red curry dish, for this yellow curry, i made it as a sauce similar to busaba’s to-die-for grilled chicken green curry fried rice.^^

there was actually an egg fried rice dish (which was also pretty good) to accompany the thai chicken & sotong curries but i did not have a photo.

#8 wife made an excellent creamy tomato pasta. she usually use crayfish from chinatown & for me it’s the best pasta ever.

this time, we could not get crayfish at chinatown so she used large prawns as proxy. 🙂

helper's sausage pasta

#9 helper’s sausage pasta

#9 & my helper made her crowd favourite cheese sausage spaghetti.

the whole family like this & all my children’s friends who came to the house previously all enjoyed this pasta by my helper. 🙂

#10 i made an excellent squid ink spaghetti this time, no errors, no horrors, no misses, simply fabulous, par excellence!

very nicely creamy, i added butter (only when tossing with fire off! – you don’t want to boil the butter).^^

& fantastic colour, al dente pasta & irresistible squid ink flavour with wonderful chicken stock & squid.

#11 & the tagliata di manzo had my daughter’s friends swooning & asking for more.

in the end i cooked a second portion, total 4x300g = 1.2kg of 150D grain-fed black angus ribeye.

birthday cake

birthday cake

daughter’s friend made her a totally professional pastry chef standard 2-tier cake.

birthday cake

birthday cake

plus lemon tarts & also cup cakes. every cake item was just fabulous! 🙂

#12 i made my usual tiramisu.

it was as good as ever. daughter’s friends finished an entire tub. ^^ i had a spare tub though. there was too much cake already so we saved that.

& my daughter arranged a photo booth which was a lot of fun, & her friends came in all kinds of costumes.

the photo booth guy just finished national service & is going to london for further studies. that’s what young people do a lot these days, with internet & social media offering excellent reach, connectivity & empowerment! 🙂

what a simply incredible, most enjoyable & memorable occasion to be savoured.

c.h.e.f andy

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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