Tag: Entertaining

Coffee and Donuts

This past New Year’s Eve, S and I hosted a small dinner party for 6 other friends. Because neither of us wanted to work too hard that night, we hired a super-talented chef, Jimmy Chok, […]

Catering

Last Friday, my wife and I did something that was entirely new to us. It was rewarding, exciting, educational and challenging. But it’s also something I’m in no rush to do again soon. Last Friday, […]

Dinner for some restaurateurs

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 […]

Perfect pies

Having spent 14 years of my life in New York City, I, like most New Yorkers, consider myself a pizza aficionado. In the mid 1970s, my family lived in the East 70s, in an old […]

A Truffle Menu

Sometimes it really pays off to have foodie friends who know you like to cook. This past Sunday, we had the most amazing feast, thanks entirely to the gift of a fantastically aromatic (and of course ridiculously expensive) white Alba truffle. The only caveat imposed by the friends who gave us this precious delicacy, of course, was that that they, in addition to ourselves and two others, be present at the ensuing truffle feast.

Inspired by the white truffle, S and I put together a whole truffle menu. Two of the four savory courses would use the white truffle, while the two others would call upon its black cousin. The dessert course would also be truffled, thanks to a wonderful white truffle-honey that S buys in a local gourmet store.

Given the grandeur of the occasion, S and I went all out, laying out a crisp, starched, white table cloth, pulling out plates and crystal we rarely use, and chilling several bottles of good Champagne–which we felt would match most of the dishes better than any other kind of wine. We also dimmed the lights rather dramatically, which while great for entertaining stinks for photography. I was forced to shoot the pictures at 1600 ISO, which exlains the graininess of the shots below. Truth be told, I wasn’t really that interested in shooting this meal. Just in eating it.

Tweaking tradition

We held another dinner party yesterday evening, hosting two friends from Singapore and two friends visiting from out of town–Washington DC and Bhutan. S and I planned a simple menu of 4 small courses, each a slight tweak of some of our favorite classic dishes.

Duo of Mentaiko Pasta and Prawns with a Salted Egg Crust
Our first course was a plated combination of two of my all-time faves. I’ve written about Mentaiko pasta in the past, so I won’t go into details here. For the prawns, I used a recipe from Jereme Leung’s New Shanghai Cuisine, a book that S helped to write. I love seafood cooked and coated in a salted duck egg yolk sauce. The sauce has a super-rich and utterly delicious umaminess that I can never get enough of. My favorite version of this prawn dish here in Singapore is the one served at Hu Cui, a fantastic Shanghainese restaurant in Ngee Ann City. Every time I have it, I can’t help but lean back in my chair and moan in pleasure. It’s that good. Understandably then, I was thrilled when I discovered a recipe for “crab claws and prawns with a salted egg crust” in Jereme’s book. I was even more excited when I realized how easy it was to make. Essentially, the egg yolks (separated from the whites) are steamed for 5-7 minutes and then allowed to cool. Once cooled, the yolks should be chopped up into tiny bits and set aside. The prawns need to be coated in potato flour and then fried over high heat in some (normal vegetable) oil. Once they’re just cooked, drain the oil and set aside the prawns. Then melt some salted butter in another fry pan. Once the butter begins to foam, toss in the chopped up egg yolk. Stir until it becomes a saucy paste. Then throw the prawns in, stirring everything gently until the egg yolk sauce coats the prawns thoroughly. For our dinner party, we used a long rectangular plate, setting a twirl of Mentaiko pasta, topped with nori, on one end. On the other end, we gave each person 4-5 prawns, topped with a small spoonful of tobiko.

A love of great plates

My darling wife S and I are both devoted design fans. It’s one of the things that we bonded over very early on in our relationship. The fantastic thing is that we also have amazingly […]

A special dinner revisited

S and I got married on 9 September 2001. To celebrate our anniversary this year, we decided to recreate our wedding dinner–for ourselves and for two close friends who weren’t able to attend the wedding. […]

Back after a break…

It feels like years since I last posted. In reality, it’s only been a little more than a week. But it feels much longer. The past couple weeks have been really busy. My team at […]

IMBB #17: Tea x 3

It’s time once again for Is My Blog Burning?. IMBB #17 is being hosted by A La Cuisine, who has picked tea as this month’s theme. It’s a great theme. So many wonderful dishes can […]