What? A New Years Eve post in March? Damn that bitch be crazy! Yup. A regular blogging rebel. There is always so much pressure for New Years Eve. You have to go out, have to get trashed, have to have a memorable night so everyone admires you and thinks, gee, (name inserted here) sure has their life together. After all, they had a great NYE!! This year, my needs were simple: not to spend a lot of money and have heaps of food, heaps of drinks, heaps of friends. A small dinner party, with costs shared by equally poor mates, was the plan for the night. I also wanted us all to dress up so we could pretend we were grown up, and then of course we?d play drinking games in our grown up clothes. I saw this once at a wedding and it was amazing. You haven?t had a good time until you?ve seen a blushing bride drowning in white fabric skull a few beers while her religious family watches. Matt came from Nebraska. Matt is a good friend. Matt used to be a chef. Matt is a follower of the chunky faith. Matt rocks. Matt looks like a bear eating a fish out of the river. And those buttons really bring out the gold flecks in his eyes.
I never met a pork belly I didn’t like.
They had to put an electric fence around these bad boys to keep me from eating them before dinner. Trust me, it only hurts for a second.
Every good chef needs a break so he can rock out.
The guests arrived and got very excited as they learned the secret everyone in North America knows: Leena and Matt are two kick-ass chefs.
First course: passed appetizers. Smoked salmon canap?s with sweet chili sauce, grape and blue cheese pistaccio truffles.
Oh ,and maybe a bit of wine.
Second course: Chilled roasted corn soup with spicy crab and avocado
The weather was a breezy 39 that day, which is roughly around 100 F. This soup tasted like a giant bowl of elotes (Mexican corn) with crab in it, and I loved it. I basically roasted the corn, pureed it with some chicken stock, strained it, thickened it with a slurry (cornstarch and water), and chilled it. I tossed some fresh crab meat with a bit of hot sauce, and put a dollop of intensely flavored guacamole in the base of the bowl so the crab had something to stick to. SO. FRICKING. GOOD. Third course: lemongrass and ginger sorbet with basil.
I made the base for this sorbet from scratch, but the sorbet itself came out quite sweet for my liking. Instead of making a new one, chef Matt had me douse each portion of sorbet with a bit of apple cider vinegar (locally made, of course), and then some basil, and it turned out perfectly tart and refreshing. Matt saves the day! Things get a bit blurry after that?meaning we stopped caring what the plated dishes looked like! For the main course we served pork belly osso buco, lemon-herb risotto, and a cold salad of silver beet and dessert wine poached dried fruits. Oh, and fresh Port Lincoln sardines stuffed with panko, olives, lemon zest and parmesan.
Andrew liked it so much, he ate everything. I’m serious.
Two tired, chunky, kick-ass chefs.
Dessert? Blueberry sorbet with crushed cookies and mascarpone cream sauce. Looks like playdough, but trust me, it rocked.
Then, maybe, maybe we drank a little. Because as you can see, the natives get restless without their booze.
Bec and Adam celebrated the new year and their amazing tolerance of alcohol many times that night.
Isn?t being a grown up fun?? ~LTG