Monday, May 14, 2007
About a fortnight ago K. and I went to a carrot farm, where I was given about 10 kg of crunchy, flavoursome carrots and where I also picked up a huge bunch or rhubarb. As it happened, a few days later I had to entertain and feed a hungry army of aunts and cousins. When you've got lots of visitors coming, but no time to shop (it was a weekday night, after all), you build a whole menu around things on hand - in this case carrots and rhubarb.
One of the dishes I served was based on Alanna's great recipe for carrots with African spices - a heartwarmingly spicy concoction of carrots and, well, various warm spices - that I blogged about back in January. I treated my excited extended family to a slightly adapted version of Alanna's carrot salad, but this time served it on my newly acquired Chinese spoons (the spoons are from Jamie Oliver's new Easy Entertaining range, thank you, Jamie!). There were minor changes to the recipe. For example, I didn't have any nice-looking garlic at home, so I skipped the garlic as well as parsley, and used finely chopped fresh wild garlic instead; I replaced the lime juice with lemon juice; I diced the carrots instead of cutting them into chunks, and blanched them for about 8 minutes only, so they'd have still quite a bit of bite. Instead of a simple and heartwarming side dish I ended up with a pretty elegant mouthful.
In addition to these spicy carrot salad spoonfuls, there was a sunny savoury carrot pie. I almost made a carrot & orange soup as well, but then I really ran out of time. There were also few non-carrot dishes, like Johanna's mini potatoes with wasabi cream and veggie 'caviar' (yep, again), and Molly's bouchons au thon (I know, third time already!), deep purple pickled red beet eggs (you don't need to wait until the next Easter, you know), as well as other bits and pieces. The dessert focused on rhubarb - I made a huge pyramid of these super-moist rhubarb muffins (a great recipe - I've made them thrice in a fortnight!).
It worked. My aunties want to know when's the next party :)
As you can see, half of the dishes I served were inspired by fellow food bloggers. What would I do without you, Molly, Johanna, Alanna and others? Thank you all, for being such a good source of great and inspirational recipes!