Ok people…Am back much sooner that I thought with all the details of our first “IGS Project” meeting.
(Big thank you to Kerstin for providing me with the recipe details in such a timely fashion).
So, to begin with, girlfriends (and loaded down grocery bags) started arriving at K’s place at around 18.00. Spirits were running high, curiosity was peaking and -with a fair amount of preparation and private consultations time behind us- it wasn’t long before the menu of the evening was revealed: Our main course, prepared by NNatasha & Kerstin, was to be crispy covered salmon accompanied by baked potatoes and carrots with a cheese sauce and as for the dessert myself and Siobhan had planned on triple chocolate & pecan brownies with whipped cream. Sarah was the “slacker” of our first night (we are all gonna take turns doing that, hehe), kindly tending to the pre-dinner snacks and booze.
We were all impressed by the efficiency and seamless coordination of our host and Scottish sista in preparing the first course and, I dare say, me and SSiobhan were even kinda skeptical as to whether or not we would live up to their high standard 🙂 . The fact that we were actually supposed to make the dessert wasn’t exactly boosting our confidence either. We are both quite good cooks, but as everyone knows you can’t easily correct things that go wrong with desserts. As Kerstin remarked making them is a form of chemistry and requires a high level of scientific precision!
In any case, a good couple of hours of peeling, chopping, measuring and mixing later everything was safely on its way to the dinner table, where the bottles had already been opened and the conversation was flowing. Turns out everything was DELICIOUS too and I even figured out the only way to actually enjoy salmon (not to mention how to whip cream without the help of an electrical appliance, hehe).
For the following couple of hours we gorged ourselves on the fruits of our labor, had a serious amount of laughs and exchanged our news -the highlight of which was Siobhan’s announcement that she is expecting a baby!!!!! I believe the oohhh-ing and aahhh-ing will reverberate through the ages…
At around 23.00, and having congratulated ourselves for a job well done, we decided to call it a day and go home. Next meeting will be arranged asap through e-mails, as per usual. In fact, we all enjoyed ourselves so much that we can’t wait and have already starting looking at dates. This time Natasha will be our gracious hostess (and official “slacker”), Sarah & SSiobhan will make the main course and me and Kerstin will take over the dessert (I need all the practice I can get…).
And now, I guess it’s time to stop my blabbing and give ya the recipes of the week (with bonus pics). So, here we go:
Crispy covered salmon
Small loaf of white bread, slightly stale
Sun dried tomatoes in oil, 1 jar..100g
Garlic, 1 clove
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 220C. Cut the bread into cubes. Mix bread, tomatoes and their oil, garlic, basil and a dash of salt and pepper. Put the salmon in a baking tray. Spread the bread mixture on top of the fish and bake for approximately 20 minutes.
Baked potatoes and carrots
Peal the potatoes and carrots & boil for approximately 4-5 minutes. Spread in baking tray and put in the oven until golden.
Serve the fish with the baked potatoes & carrots and accompany by cheese sauce.
Bake the potatoes for 5-10 minutes.Then put the fish in the oven, underneath the potatoes. That way the crispy bread cover will not burn and everything will be done at the same time.
Triple Chocolate and Pecan Brownies with Whipped Cream
Makes 12 brownies
220g plain chocolate (preferably with at least 70 per cent cocoa solids) broken into pieces
75g pecan nuts broken into pieces
200g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
75g milk chocolate broken into chunks
75g white chocolate, broken into chunks
Preheat the oven to 180C/ Gas 4. You will need a greased and lined 20cm baking tin. Place the plain chocolate and butter in a large bowl and sit over a pan of gently simmering water. Leave to melt slowly, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the sugar, beaten eggs and vanilla extract. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in. Finally add the pecan nuts and chocolate pieces. Pour into the tin and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the top is firm but the center is fairly soft when pressed lightly. Leave the brownies to cool in the tin and then cut them into squares.
They’re perfect eaten as they are, but they’re also delicious served slightly warm with a good dollop of extra-thick cream or ice cream. You can warm up the brownies in the microwave or just wrap in foil and place in a low oven for a few minutes.
(recipe taken from the BBC Food website)
So then, until next time…enjoy 😉