Hold onto your hats folks, and if your delicate constitution can't handle too much seriously sumptuous food p*rn in one sitting, you may need to take this one a course at a time...
But first, here's a quick blow-by-blow of the first few eats of 2010 - mostly verbal as I'm out of the swing of photographing the more monotonous meals:
NB: I'm including a small amount of vegetables every day to ease the transition from over-consumption of fruit and nuts over Christmas. I'm feeling really good even with a bit of salad, so we'll see how that goes. The extra weight is dropping steadily even with a few carbs, so...
Fried eggs for brekky
Roast lamb in juices/gravy for lunchables
Itty bitty prawns in a bed of sautéed red cabbage and steamed zucchini for din-dins
B: Sautéed red cabbage
L: Chicken drumsticks and zucchini
D: Spicy burger patty with cos lettuce and tomato
First: Sausage and eggs, including a double-yolker!
Second: grilled salmon fillet with salmon roe salad
Third - at a friend's wedding: fish fillet, lamb rump, and butter (and yes, even with clear RSVP instructions and a bride very familiar with my preferences, the kitchen staff STILL screwed it all up, originally reporting my needs as "no meat or cream" and, even after correction, bringing me a plate of salad coated in sticky dressing. All's well in the end though, and it was a truly beautiful wedding.
Breakfasted on scotch fillet topped with brie, plus some salmon roe salad
Lunched on grilled calamari, and a cheese plate at the Little Creatures Dining Hall on Brunswick St, Fitzroy.
Dined at home on peel-your-own prawns, and then BBQ'd some homemade chicken & lamb kebabs that were then eaten in the car on our mad dash to the cinema to see The Lovely Bones. (Meh.)
Broke my fast with a decadent Camembert omelet (The Usual with a luxe twist) followed by delicious organic smoke bacon.
Broke my shopping tripping by stopping in at T.G.I. Friday's for an Angus rump steak with bleu cheese and a side of ignored green beans, splitting the meal with Mum, who is currently visiting.
And then, for dinner with Mum, the bro, his girl, and the beau, it was time to whip up a banquet...
THE FIVE COURSE BANQUET: Primal-style!
Course The First:
In newly-purchased steel cup/bowls, I served up a fresh batch of Primal Pumpkin Soup, with a dish of heavy cream and some ground nutmeg.
Course The Second:
A new experiment - roast chicken drumsticks with a curry coating (a mix of olive oil, curry powder, and lemon juice, brushed over each piece), with roast fennel, button squash and boiled baby beets.
Before going into the oven:
Course The Third:
Trying my hand at salmon sashimi! I sliced my salmon fillet thinly after removing the skin, and sat the pieces in a bowl of lemon juice to 'cook' in the citric acid. I was then distracted by my company, so the pieces were a little overcooked in appearance, but utterly perfect in flavour. I'm definitely adding this way of enjoying salmon to my weekly rotation - grilling fillets no longer inspires me, but the beau won't eat raw fish.
I used the pieces in a sashimi salad - salmon, salmon roe, mixed lettuce, capsicum, and snap peas. Divine!
Course The Fourth:
I'm still trying to think of a name for this experiment, and I'm currently leaning toward Minced Beef Medley, or some such. I originally intended to use minced roo meat, but the package we bought was past its expiry date, and also past its smelling-good date, so it went into the bin and the hurried thawing of organic beef mince began.
First I sautéed a diced red onion and a diced red capsicum (bell pepper) in some butter, until slightly softened. While they cooked I attempted to separate an iceberg lettuce into cups, but I bought a particularly inter-folded head, making separation impossible. Instead, I ripped up each mangled leaf and laid the pieces across a platter, adding some fresh basil leaves.
Putting the onion & capsicum into a bowl, I sautéed the beef mince until cooked, adding extra butter, plus some thyme and garlic. If I were to make it again, I'd add a few more flavourings, such as cumin, but I kept it simple since we'd had some spice in the soup and chicken course already.
I then layered the cooked beef across the salad leaves, topping it off with the capsicum & onion. Light yet satisfying; simple yet delicious.
Course The Last:
After gazing many a time at Dr. A's decadent Black Forest Gateau used for the title image of The Comfort Eater's Diet blog, I decided to take a crack at the 'how is it possible?' recipe:
Recipe: Chocolate Cream Cake with Berries
a.k.a. Chocolate Cake 4 Dummiez
100g unsweetened cocoa
Sweeteners to taste
2 cups whipped heavy cream
Fresh raspberries and blueberries, or frozen berries that have been thawed in the refrigerator.
(Please note when viewing my photos, I had to thaw raspberries and due to time constraints did not have a chance to let them cool, hence the flood of raspberry cream down the back of the cake. Still delicious, of course!)
Preheat oven to 175degC.
Combine eggs, cocoa, and sweetener in a bowl, using an electric whisk.
Pour mix into a square or rectangular baking dish - I used a square glass dish, about 20cm x 20cm (8" x 8"). No need to grease it, but you can line it with baking paper if it's an old dish.
Bake in the oven until risen and firm to the touch.
Remove and allow to cool.
When cake is cool, slice in half horizontally (and I also sliced my square in half length-ways to make four rectangles)
Place a piece on a platter, then top with 1/4 of the whipped cream (or until covered) and a layer of berries. I alternated between blueberries and raspberries.
Repeat by placing another piece of cake on top of the berries, then topping with cream and berries. Repeat twice more until cake is complete.
This cake is rich and filling, and could serve six greedy people comfortably, or more depending on the size of your baking dish (thinner, longer rectangles would feed more, due to ease of slicing).
Each course was received with an 'ooh' of visual appreciation, and then near-silence during consumption - a more meaningful sign of enjoyment to the chef than immediate verbal feedback! All dishes were praised, particularly the soup, and my guests could not comprehend that the cake was truly made with just eggs and cocoa! "But how does it stay together? Why isn't it all eggy? Didn't it need some almond flour or something? How did it puff up?" :)
And after five courses of food, no one felt stuffed or bloated, as you would had their been bread/grains/starches involved I'm sure, and only the dessert left us feeling full and a little overwhelmed, but not lethargic in any sense!
I love cooking. :D
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