Dinner for some restaurateurs

Posted on April 24, 2006 by Aun

This past weekend, S and I hosted a few friends for dinner. We were a tad nervous because these three gentlemen own one of the city’s coolest and most popular restaurants. In other words, the meal had to both innovative and very, very good. And because these three prize good, well-cooked simple food over fussy, fancy fare, the dishes we chose to cook couldn’t be too pretentious. Dessert was an easy choice. We’d been promising them a sampler of S’s superb ice creams for months. For the other courses, we raided our cookbook collection and came up with two interesting starters. As a first course, we tried out a simple dish from Michel Roux’s devilishly cute book, Eggs. Any egg lover needs to buy this book. It’s pages and pages of egg recipes and egg-based (e.g. pastas, pastries, etc) dishes. We chose to make Roux’s baked eggs with chicken livers and shallots in red wine (pictured below).

It’s a relatively easy dish. The only time-consuming thing is creating a reduction of red wine (flavored with bay leaf and thyme), chicken stock and shallots. The chicken livers are cut into small pieces and sautéed quickly and seasoned lightly with salt and pepper. The liver is mixed with the shallots and red wine reduction and then distributed into buttered ramekins. An egg is cracked into each ramekin and baked for 10 minutes. Roux recommends serving this with toasted brioche. The dish was not bad. Not fantastic, but pretty good. It was earthy, rich and tasty and a nice way to begin the meal.

Our next course was something simple but spectacular (and something I will dedicate a whole post to later this week). Despite S having bought Jill Norman’s The Cook’s Book mostly because of Ferran Adria’s chapter on foam, we had yet to try any of Adria’s rather amazing recipes. For this course, we successfully pulled off Adria’s 21st Century Tortilla — a dish composed of caramelised onions, sabayon and potato foam.

For our third and main course, S and I recreated a dish that we’ve only just learnt how to make, khao soi. Instead of making this Northern Thai curry noodle dish with chicken, as is usually the case, we served ours with slices of wonderfully tender braised beef cheek. The beef cheeks were braised over low heat for 2 hours and then very, very slowly in incredibly low heat for 8 more hours. For the braising liquid, I used the one recommended for Osso Buco in Joyce Goldstein’s Italian Slow and Savory. The khao soi’s curry recipe came from the Four Seasons cooking school in Chiang Mai. It was a delicious course and the boys all loved it. P, who is a big fan of khao soi, paid us the ultimate compliment by saying it tasted just like the best ones he had eaten in Chiang Mai. The soft, tender and oh so tasty beef cheek was a wonderful choice of meat and I think what I plan on serving with khao soi from now on.

For dessert, as I mentioned, S had made an ice cream sampler. She served 3 homemade flavours. The first was an abacadabra ice cream, so named because the spice blend she infused the ice cream with is named abacadabra. From what I can tell it has roses, spearmint, cinnamon and cracked black pepper in it. The second ice cream was a gula-melaka coconut ice cream and the third was a chocolate malt. After dessert, S brought out a special little treat she had spent a few days making, chocolate Easter eggs (pictured at the top of this post). She had watched a very amusing video demonstrating how to make this on, of all things, Martha Stewart’s website and was rather inspired. First she drained the insides of 8 farm fresh eggs and then dyed them robin blue. She then filled each egg with milk chocolate and after that was cooled, white chocolate, creating two layers of chocolate within each egg. For an added touch of color, she paired the eggs with some lovely chocolate ribbon. It was a fun, playful and sinful final touch to a lovely meal.

About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his bouncing baby boy!

What Others Are Saying

  1. tara April 24, 2006 at 8:40 am

    I had seen those adorable eggs on Martha Stewart’s site and though lovely, I knew I did not have the patience to undertake the task. Leave it to the lovely S to do so, and with such pretty results. Brava, my dear!

    I have to admit, MS did have some interesting Easter Egg designs this year – I must try in years to come, as I’m sure my little Benjamin will appreciate the efforts. This year he was only large enough for his father to carry him to “find” the keepsake egg I painted.

  2. briana April 25, 2006 at 6:15 am

    I will run out and by the Eggs book immeaditely – sounds to be right up my alley. Now I want to do an egg themed blogger swap…

    And since I never post a comment here but am a regular lurker, I should probaly mention that your images (visual and in story form) consistanly rock my palate-

    What a smashing menu!

  3. Yohana Wu April 25, 2006 at 1:59 pm

    I owned Michael Roux’s Eggs book as well, you are right, they are a must for eggs lovers. Wow…I wish I was one of the guests…

    So, have you order anything yet from Kingarthurflour.com? I am about to order their yogurt maker with the bifidus yogurt starter.

  4. Fanny April 25, 2006 at 3:15 pm

    Omg, the first picture is absolutely stunning (so are the others, but i definitely have a weakness for those gorgeous little blue eggs!!!).

    Beautiful dinner…

    xoxo
    Fanny

  5. gastrochick April 25, 2006 at 7:34 pm

    What a delicious menu.
    It must be a real strain figuring out what to cook for the professionals, simplicity seems to always be key. If you look at what the chefs cook in that book Off Duty it always looks relatively unfussy.

    BTW I love ‘Eggs’ it is one of my favourite cookbooks

  6. J April 25, 2006 at 8:25 pm

    hi, beautiful beribboned eggs – adore the shade of robin blue! silly question – when the eggs were peeled, was the chocolate shiny?

  7. Marilyn April 25, 2006 at 9:52 pm

    Hi CH, just wanted to say that having stumbled on your website some time ago when looking for reviews on the New Majestic Rest., your website has kept me company many nights working late in the office (and missing dinner!). For someone who likes cooking & eating but hasn’t had time for it this year owing to work, yours and S’ obvious passion for food has been truly inspirational. I’m finally hosting my first dinner for friends in a long while this Sat!

    Just wanted to find out where’s a good source of cooking equipment e.g. the Staub cookware etc?

  8. S April 26, 2006 at 6:58 pm

    Hi J

    They turn out reasonably shiny. Take a look at Martha’s here.

  9. S April 26, 2006 at 7:00 pm

    Oops, Marilyn, please email me at S@chubbyhubby.net. I’ll give you the lowdown on kitchen supply shopping in S’pore.

  10. Kat in the Hat April 27, 2006 at 7:45 pm

    have you tried putting an entire truffle (not that most of us mere mortals ever have a lump of the precious fungi kicking around the pantry) with some farm fresh eggs in an airtight container. The truffle essence infuses the eggs naturally, and voila! truffle scented scrambled eggs. Everyone from Delia Smith to Nigel Slater swears by this. I dream of the day…

    Oh by the way, which is Singapore’s most popular restaurant? Pray tell.

  11. San April 27, 2006 at 11:03 pm

    Yum! I finally made the plunge and purchased a Philips ice cream maker. Was so inspired by S’ homemade ices. I guess I would need to also purchase a blender? Any suggestions on a good make? I read about liquid glucose in many recipes. Can I use corn syrup instead?

  12. S April 28, 2006 at 12:09 pm

    Hiya San,
    A blender is not essential for making ice cream. What recipes are you using? I prefer custard-based recipes, so a bainmarie actually comes in handy. You can buy liquid glucose at Phoon Huat.

  13. San April 28, 2006 at 12:56 pm

    Thanks, S! I am trying some fruit-based sorbet recipes. Oh, I thought bainmarie was a technique, not an equipment? CH’s blog layout has changed – I honestly prefer the old version, which is more user and page friendly.

  14. Ange April 28, 2006 at 1:51 pm

    The eggs look gorgeous & I ahve seen quite a few people make these, from all accounts much more difficult than Marta makes out so congratulations on the successfull outcome!

  15. S April 28, 2006 at 5:06 pm

    Hi Ange,

    I’ll have to admit that I pored through Elaine Gonzalez’s The Art of Chocolate and Recchiuti & Gage’s Chocolate Obsession before attempting these eggs.

  16. mg May 9, 2006 at 7:22 am

    The khao soi looks superbly delicious. The colour is so attractive too. I want. some. now.

  17. Gingersnap May 10, 2006 at 8:45 am

    Hi S

    The eggs are just so utterly charming! Love the blue. How do you attach the chocolate coloured ribbons?

  18. S May 10, 2006 at 10:53 pm

    Hi Gingersnap,

    With great patience and care. The hole I created at the wider end of the egg served as a place for the ribbon to sit flat and not move around so easily. I basically wrapped the ribbon around the egg and tied a bow at the top. This way, the ugly hole gets hidden as well :P

  19. Anonymous May 16, 2006 at 2:12 pm

    Hiya S

    I was reading through some old archives and read about the salted caramel ice cream. Would you like to share a recipe? I am a mad ice cream enthusiast ever since purchasing the Simac Ice cream maker!

    Thanks.

  20. S May 16, 2006 at 5:52 pm

    Hi Anon

    I’m really sorry, but I am not able to reproduce the entire recipe here at the moment. (For one, work is consuming my waking hours.) I will one day ask CH to let me write about ice cream making. Until then, you might want to start by checking out Terrance Brennan’s recipe for caramel salt ice cream in Artisanal Cooking. I used his recipe.

  21. Anonymous June 11, 2006 at 7:45 pm

    I have been reading your blog. I regularly visit singapore and was wondering where I would be able to purchase a simac ice cream maker. (It was mentioned in one of the posts on your website). It is, I believe, a De Longhi product.

    Or anyone else who might be able to supply one. I was wanting one that has its own cooling system.

    Many thanks

    kay

  22. linq1 November 12, 2006 at 4:39 pm

    hi,
    do u mind me asking? Is it possible for u to post the gula mealaka ice cream recipe? And where did u get the abacadabra spice? Sounds interesting. Thnx….

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