With our parents away cruising down the Mekong, we thought it a perfect opportunity to have some friends over for a party. Originally set to be Morman-theme, the party was rebranded at the last minute to something a little more culturally liberated: JUNGLE.
We told the crews to arrive Saturday pre-sunset to properly welcome in the eve. Nibbles, jungle punch and dinner were supplied as jungelist sustenance.
The nibbles offered: caramelised onion, olive and oregano foccacia, sea salt foccacia, eggplant dip, salsa and fancy cheeses that had kindly been left for us in the cheese drawer.
1 large grilled eggplant, sliced into 1cm rounds
2 tblsp flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 tblsp red wine vinegar
30mL olive oil salt and pepper
Chargrill or fry eggplant until cooked and browned. Put into a processor with parsley, vinegar, olive oil and 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper and process (we leave it a bit chunkY). Taste for seasoning.
Dinnertime was upon us, and we prepared burgers, lentil burgers, satay sauce, and potato salad (which was forgotten in the fridge until it was rediscovered with glee and devoured later in the night).
205 g (1 cup) red lentils
vegetable or chicken stock
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, plus extra for frying
1 onion, grated
2 garlic cloves, peeled & finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 medium carrots, grated (about 2 cups)
1 celery stalk, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander
3/4 cup breadcrumbs, plus extra for coating lentil burgers
1 egg, beaten
Natural yoghurt and sweet chilli sauce, to serve
To make lentil burgers, combine lentils and stock in a saucepan and cook, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, until soft. Place in a sieve to dry and cool completely.
Heat oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger and fry for about 5 minutes, until onion softens. Add curry powder and fry for a minute until curry powder is fragrant. Add carrots and celery and fry for about 8 minutes, until softened, then remove from heat.
Combine carrot mixture in a large bowl with lentils, add remaining ingredients and mix well. Shape into patties and set aside.
Pour some breadcrumbs into a shallow dish. Dip patties into the breadcrumbs and coat on each side. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add burgers, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for a further 2-3 minutes on the other side.
Then it was time to get down to business…
The next day called for ciders, beers, hot chips, the Sunday quiz and badminton…
Later in the day, we harvested fresh basil, made pesto to accompany fresh pasta, also with chorizo bolognaise and anchovy/ parsley etc pasta
2 chorizo sausages
4 cloves garlic
4 x 400g tinned tomatoes
2 tblsp tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper
Peel the skin from the chorizo. Heat saucepan over a medium heat. Add chorizo meat, onions and garlic and fry until chorizo is slighlty browned and onions cooked (about 5 – 8 munutes). Add tomato paste and fry another minute. Add tomatoes, sugar and some salt and pepper and stir until combined. Bring to boil then reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning.Some chilli also goes well in this sauce
With full bellies, we were all tucked in bed at a reasonable hour.