Wednesday, September 05, 2007

What a swell party this is.......

"Have you heard? Professor Munch Ate his wife and divorced his lunch. Well, did you evah? What a swell party this is!"

Cole Porter

Well certainly my friend Ketil never did this, but he and his lovely wife Astrid invited us all to a great party Saturday, September 1st. And what a swell party that was, and guess what? I cooked!!!

Well, not alone, I have to admit. This was a teamwork with Terje (image right), a former gardener, now a professional cook. And what did we make? We made tapas for 40, and it was so much easier than I had expected. We were lucky though, as we were allowed to prepare the food in a proper kitchen, the place where Terje works. I would like to present what we prepared for Ketil and Astrids friends.

75 little piggies

I have given you the recipe my little piggies earlier, and they are so extremely easy to make, take a prune and fold half a slice of bacon around it. Place all the 75 little piggies, one by one in a tray and bake at 200C / 400F until crisp

Chorizos in port

It is equally easy to prepare the second dish. Cut Spanish chorizos in half an inch slices. Cover the bottom of a tray, pour good port or sherry over them and and bake for 10-15 minutes at 200C / 400F

Pintxos with tuna salad and baked red peppers

This tapa is inspired by the pintxos served at the Bilbao Berria in Barcelona. The only difference is that in Barcelona they serve the red peppers whole, filled with the delicious tuna salad.

Well mix a diced onion with tinned tuna in water or brine, and add mayonnaise and a little thai chili for a bite. Allow to rest in order for the taste to infuse.

Burn some red peppers on the grill or in the oven, allow the skin to get black. Then put the hot peppers in a zip lock bag and close, wait for a few minutes to peel away the black skin.

Place the mix on one inch thick slices of baguette, and garnish with a lice of red pepper and a twig of dill weed.

The heavenly San Daniele Ham

I had kept a large piece of the divine cured San Daniele ham in my refrigerator, and I decided to donate it to the Ketil Zahl and Astrid Melings birthday fund.

In order to enjoy such a great ingredient you really need to prepare it correctly. Luckily the professionals could provide us with the means to serve the San Daniele ham in the way it is supposed to - a professional device to slice it!

We sliced the whole piece extremely thin, and covered a whole tray. This is certainly not your average cured ham. It has a good layer of snow white glistening fat contrasted by the most delicious pink cured meat. The taste is more sweet than salt. This is serious slow food. Dry salted and then left to cure for a long period, and the ham surely disappeared quickly from the tray.

Tortilla de Patatas - Spanish potato omelet

This is a traditional tapa, and believe me, we made tortilla de patatas in industrial quantities. Find a good recipe and add up until you get the right amountto match the number of your guests. We made the egg mixture with 25 eggs (I think), and seasoned with salt, pepper and herbs.

We placed the potatoes in a large tray lined with some baking paper, pour the egg mixture over and bake in the oven until the mix is firm and the top is still slightly runny.

Allow to cool, and turn the tortilla on a table. Cut into squares and turn around. Put half a cherry tomato and use a toothpick to fasten. Great stuff, hot as cold.

Marinated tiger prawns

We used precooked frozen prawns. Here you may use many different seasonings. I used 3-4 tbsp of Tones Salmon and Seafood seasoning, a blend of onion, garlic, lemon peel, dill and other spices. I also added a teaspoon crushed garlic, olive oil, and some thai chili sauce to balance the acidity and salt with some sweetness.

At the end I added a teaspoon of Louisiana style Cajun seasoning for additional heat, and believe me, tiger prawns is great prepared this way, and you do not have to cook them.

And this was not all. We also served crispy marinated chicken wings and calamaris cooked in olive oil, tomato sauce

And all for this great couple - Astrid Meling and Ketil Johan Zahl.

Thank you for the previous 50 years and I look forward to the 50 to come!!!

Love from Enjoy Food & Travel

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