18 February 2012

PRIVATE DINNER PARTY, Jules and Sue Porter.


My wife Karen and I first met Julian and Sue when they were recommended as our wedding photographers back in 2007. We had a fantastic wedding and it really made the difference to have an enthusiastic and friendly couple doing our photography. They were really relaxed and supportive, which reflected in our moods on the day and this was captured in all our photos. We now have a great album to store all our wedding memories. Because of Jules' and Sue's friendly ambiance, we have stayed in contact and always recommended them to other friends of ours for their weddings.

Last weekend, we were invited to Jules' and Sue's for dinner and I was to be doing the cooking with a little help from my sous chef, Jules. As Karen and I were to be dining with them, I planned a menu that would be great to eat whilst not keeping me chained to the kitchen. I know that Jules is a great fan of curries, so I used this to theme the menu. Curries are great dishes that can offer versatility in flavours and texture. They hold well when keeping hot so timing can be more relaxed, especially if you are preparing a dinner party. They are also great dishes to be served in the middle of the table for people to help themselves to, so are ideal for all appetites.

For a pre-dinner snack, I made some fresh pitta bread and a lemon and coriander hummus to go in the middle of the table for us to munch on while I made the curries with Jules. Jules made up a great champagne cocktail to start the drinking off which was amazing! He has a great repertoire of cocktails and it was quite impressive seeing his collection of spirits and liquors!


I made some vegetable bhajis from grated cauliflower, carrot, onion, garlic, ginger and mixed spices, which I served with a sweet chilli dip and a sweet and spicy yoghurt with fresh coriander. Again, these were served in the middle of the table and we sat around the kitchen table to eat our starter. They were really delicious, with a delicate balance of spices and a great crisp texture. The dips went really well with them and we finished them off pretty quickly!


We then moved into the dining room to eat the main courses, which I set in the middle of the table for us to help ourselves.


We were so full after the main-course that we moved onto the lounge sofa to digest before dessert. It was great chatting and catching up and we enjoyed a few more of Jules' cocktails!

For dessert I made a lemongrass and honeycomb creme brulee, accompanied with a chocolate, chilli and brandy pot. I also made some crisp cinnamon tuille biscuits to add some texture to the dish. We moved back to the table to enjoy it and it went down really well.

Freshly made pitta bread, chilli, lime and coriander hummus
Vegetable Bhaji
Natural yoghurt, coriander, chilli  and mint

Sweet chiili dipping sauce
South Indian inspired curry, lentils, coconut, chilli, garam masala and fresh coriander

North Indian inspired curry, diced beef, garlic, ginger, chilli, ground spices, tomato. 
Finished with natural yoghurt and fresh coriander.

Fragrant basmati rice, lemongrass and cardamom.

Freshly made garlic and sesame naan bread.

Curry Banquet.

Lemon grass and cardamom brulee, chocolate and lime cappuccino.

The whole evening was really enjoyable and it was great to see Jules and Sue and we will be doing it again soon. 

Thanks to Jules for the hosting and for taking the amazing pictures! I will keep practising on my photography but my main talent remains in the kitchen.


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