Sunday, February 2, 2014

Cooking Dinner with Friends

In Manu's kitchen; wearing Zadig &Voltaire trois-quarts Tunisienne.

 The best part of remembering the holidays is actually writing about them. Since going out was not very advised because of the unstable political situation, we made most of our nights chilling at home with friends. One of the most successful nights was when we cooked together at my friend Manu’s house and invited over some friends to eat dinner. Manu and I were preparing the menu a few days ahead and we tried to come up with a theme for the night, only, problem is, we wanted to cook many different dishes. Long story short, we ended up splitting responsibility: Manu took care of the salad while I decided for the main dish; and we both worked on the dessert. Nour, our best friend, joined us in the kitchen to help us out as well as to learn from us, (she never really tried cooking). After a trip to the supermarket nearby, we had finally decided what to include in our dinner for 8 people. Although, I am showing the dishes in the correct order of eating dinner, you should start by preparing the desserts first (the mousse before the pie), then the salad, and the main dish at last.

Manu’s Quinoa and Tuna Salad (for 8 guests)

Ingredients: 2 cans of Tuna,1 cup and a half of Quinoa to cook, 4 or 5 cucumbers sliced in 4, 300 g can of sweet corn, and ½ cup or more of Vinaigrette (Manu used a ready made sauce, but you can use this quick recipe instead). You can also add parsley and ground pepper.
Note: This salad can be as light as for a starter as much as it could be filling as a big portion dinner. Refrigerate at least 20 minutes before serving.

Nour cutting cucumbers in 4

Elsa’s Sweet and Sour Shrimps with Noodles (for 8 guests)

Ingredients: 1 onion chopped finely into cubes, 1 clove of garlic sliced, 2 tbsp of minced or grated ginger, 1 red pepper bell and 1 green pepper bell cut lengthways, 2 grated carrots, 1 can of bamboo shoot (optional), around 250 g can of slices mushroom, 500 g of cooked large shrimps, the juice of 1 orange, around 500 g can of slices pineapple cut into 4 with its juice, 1 tbsp of white vinegar, 3 tbsp of sesame oil, 1/2 cup of  cornflour dissolved in 1 cup of sweet soy sauce. Finally, 8 portions of egg noodles to be cooked last with 1 tbsp of of olive oil and 1 tbsp of soy sauce. (We don’t mix between noodles and the sweet and sour shrimps)
>The pictures below will give you a hint about the order in which you should introduce the ingredients to the recipe.

Boil and keep under fire until the sauce thickens

Manu’s Chocolate Mousse (for 6 guests)

Ingredients: 5 large eggs, 200 g of dark chocolate baking bar ( + 1tbsp of water if you melt in the microwave), one pinch of salt and few drops of orange juice (can use from that of the sweet and sour shrimps).
The Preparation: Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Add the egg yolk to the melted chocolate and mix together fast until it becomes a homogeneous mixture. Add the pinch of salt and few drops of orange juice to the egg whites and beat until stiff. Incorporate the whites to the chocolate gradually while moving the whisk in a circular motion up and down. Serve in small recipients and refrigerate at least for 2 or 3 hours.

Manu looking kinda lost

Elsa’s White Chocolate and Strawberries Pie (for 8 guests)

I got the recipe from a book that required almond powder and raspberries, but since we couldn’t find both of them at the grocery store, I decided to substitute them instead with coconut powder and strawberries.
Ingredients: 1 pie-crust pastry (in french, pate brisee), 100 g of white chocolate (I used Lindt), about 250 g of strawberries cut into 4, 250 g of mascarpone, 100 g of granulated sugar, 75 g of coconut powder, 2 eggs.
The Preparation: Preheat the oven at 160 °C (th. 5-6). After having put the pastry in the pie mould, put in oven for 20 minutes. Mix all the other ingredients together starting with the sugar, the coconut powder, the eggs. Then, add the strawberries and the melted white chocolate to the mixture. Pour the filling in pie and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the crust turns golden. Turn off the oven, open it, and let the pie cool inside slowly. Refrigerate at least for 1 hour before serving and cutting into parts.

The white chocolate and the strawberries

Spreading the filling in the pie


Anonymous said...

Loved the menu you selected, would definitely try the Salad and the Main Course :D


Elsa Abi-Khalil said...

Thankss :)) Will visit your blog!