Dinner party!

03 February 2015

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Last Saturday, Mikey and I cooked dinner for the fam. This is a relatively rare occurrence so we thought we'd go a little bit 'all out'. And to us that meant the lengthy and testing task of breading cheese. This is something we did in Paris once and despite it being one of the most heavenly treats on the planet when cooked, does require some patience. But it is so unbelievably totally worth it when you finally bite into the dribbling, warm, cheesey goodness. So, we began breading cheese for the starter...

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After we'd breaded them and popped them into the freezer (Mikey's little bit of local knowledge to make sure the cheese melts juuuust right when oven baked), we began work on the main course. Now, I'm a huuuuuuuuuuuge great big fan of Jamie Oliver  (despite his 30 minute meals never taking less than a full hour to prepare) so there was only one way we were going to go, and that was à la Jamie. Luckily, my mum owns almost every recipe book ever been printed since 1901 so we browsed through about 6 Jamie books before settling on a Mustard Chicken dish (the recipe is online here which makes my job of explaining the processes a lot easier!). Genuinely - make this dish. There is absolutely no possible way in high heaven that you won't thank yourself later when you're drowning in a plate of creamy, seasoned mustard poultry. It was seriously better than expected and I can't wait to make it again.

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Obviously the best part of cooking for a dinner party is the glass of wine you can justify having in your hand throughout. And we started breading the chicken at 11.30am which means that the superlatives I will later use to describe the pudding may be slightly over zealous, but still very legitimate.

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Sooooo: the finished starters. With both of us being rather keen on the presentation side of food, these actually looked like something out of Masterchef even if I do say so myself. The line of greens dribbled in a balsamic source covered in little breaded triangles of brie, spicy gloucester, and wendsleydale looked a total treat on camera and I have had to physically restrain myself from devoting an entire blog post to the millions of pictures I took of them. For real. And what's more - they actually tasted as good as they photographed!

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After the first course had been practically licked off the plate, we moved onto the mustard chicken. With it, we had little potatoes and greens. For me, potatoes are one of the most important aspects of a dinner and when done right, can either make or break a meal - I know, serious stuff. But I can wholeheartedly admit that these ones (under Mikey's faithful guidance), made the meal. Perfectly crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, salted and seasoned with rosemary and rolled around in butter - how all potatoes should be treated in my opinion. And the greens, well obviously I can't say much about them other than that they boiled really well in their saucepan and made for a tasty and colourful accompaniment.

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Now for the most exciting part of a meal for me and the reason I never go back for seconds of a main course: PUDDING. You always have to save sufficient space for sugar.......is a phrase that could actually be my life mantra. And pudding was amazing. I'm a nutter for cheese cake anyway - I once made Mikey trawl around Eindhoven with me for half an hour looking for a shop that sold them - so when you team the idea of cheesecake with Baileys and a chocolate brownie base, I'm going to get pretty excitable and happy about life. The recipe we used was from this book and is called a "Mocha Creme Brulee". It took quite a long time to make but I can confirm that the making process tasted just as good as the finished product so the time taken is irrelevant. And bowl-licking tasty for sure.

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This photo simply does not do this pudding justice. Unfortunately, the exact recipe we used isn't available online (I cannot for the life of me work out why the internet isn't being blessed with its amazingness), but I will remedy this and upload it in another blog post this week as I've warbled for long enough tonight. It will be worth the wait!

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