Tuesday, 25 September 2012

A Birthday Supper for Thirteen in Chichester

On Saturday evening I was employed to cook up a feast for birthday boy Duncan. He’d had the brainwave to hire the colossal and gorgeous East Pallant House, a Georgian townhouse in the center of Chichester, and fill it with his friends, then hire a chef (moi) and pianist to make the evening extra special. 

Together we devised a three canapés and three courses which would appeal to all his friends (chicken being the common denominator for the main course).

With my little brother Toby as head waiter, we got through the evening to rave reviews and I became the ‘amazing scotch egg girl’ for the thai-style canapé of prawn scotch eggs (see recipe below)! Hats off to Tobes for doing some excellent serving in the midst of some rather excitable guests!

This is what I cooked:

Proscuitto & Melon bites, Pea, Mint & Parmesan Bruschetta and Sesame Prawn Scotch Eggs with Sweet Chilli Dip
Smoked Salmon Rosette, Sweet Cucumber Salad

Pan-Roasted Chicken, Slow-Roasted Tomatoes, Braised Lentils, Basil Oil & Aioli

(v) Asparagus & Gruyere Tart, Slow-Roasted Tomatoes & Braised Lentils
A choice of Almond Tart with Strawberries or Chocolate & Caramel Tart

Sesame Prawn Scotch Eggs

I made these first for a Christmas drinks party and everybody loved them. I saw the recipe in Waitrose Kitchen and it's by Ravinder Bhogal who I had never heard of (and still haven’t – must look her up). While the basic prawn paste takes seconds, the peeling of the eggs is a bugger and even though their assembly consistently makes me question why I bother  - the result is so good that I forget the pain!

Makes 12 (or 24 halves/48 quarters, but allow for casualties)
  • Gently lower 12 Quail’s Eggs into boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Remove to a bowl of cold water and peel. Toast 5 tbsp Sesame Seeds and cool.
  • In a food processor blitz: 500g Raw King Prawns, ½ tsp Chilli Flakes, 2 crushed Garlic Cloves, 1½ tsp grated Fresh Root Ginger, 1 tsp Caster Sugar, 1 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil, 1 tsp Soy Sauce and 1 Egg White. To this add 4 Salad Onions, finely chopped.
  • Get 3 Shallow Bowls. In one combine the Sesame Seeds and 125g Breadcrumbs. In another 2 whole, beaten Eggs. In the last 3 tbsp Flour.
  • Divide the prawn mixture into 12 even balls (wet hands keep it from sticking too much). Flatten each ball, place an egg on top and gently mould the prawn around the egg. Dip each into the flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Chill for 30 minutes.
  • In a large pan heat 1.5 litres Vegetable Oil until a cube of bread turns golden in 40 seconds. Fry the scotch eggs in batched for 2-3 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Drain and sprinkle with a little salt.
  • Serve with some Sweet Chilli Sauce.

n.b. They are best served immediately but I made them in advance and then reheated at 200C for five minutes, which worked out fine. 

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