Oh we had a lovely night.
A few friends.
Sparklers in the laneway.
Dancing like Beyonce.
What more could you want?
Mike’s Poinsettia – A super festive and delicious cocktail
500 ml decent champagne or prosecco
300 ml cranberry juice
200 ml pomegranate juice
100 ml grand marnier or cointreau
Mix. Chill very well. Garnish with orange segments or pomegranate seeds or festive berries
Pip’s World Beating Magical Eggplant with Honey
1kg shiny, lovely eggplant – halved and cut into 1/2 cm thick slices
2/3 cup nice honey
juice of 2 lemons
1 inch piece of ginger grated finely
2 cloves of diced garlic
1 teaspoon of good quality curry powder
1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1 cup of water
about one cup of olive oil (not extra virgin)
PLUS one tablespoon of oil for later
handful of chopped fresh mint
First – heat the oil in a fry pan and brown the eggplant slices – they don’t need to be cooked through. Drain on kitchen towel to suck up some of the oil.
Next – heat the remaining tablespoon of oil and fry the garlic, ginger, curry powder and paprika until they smell delicious. Next, pour in the honey, lemon juice and 1 cup of water. Stir to combine. Tumble in the pre-fried eggplant and carefully toss. There should be quite a bit of liquid in the pan now – you want it to 2/3 cover the eggplant – if it doesn’t, add more water.
Now – simmer until the liquid has reduced, the eggplant is tender and juicy and the sauce has reduced to a dark caramelised deliciousness. Don’t reduce it TOO much as it will go a bit burnt and toffee like.
Sprinkle with the fresh mint, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
It should be served at room temperature. Not hot. Eat it up with good bread or serve as a salad.
Extremely Good Gazpacho
1 kilo of tomatoes – chopped roughly
1 small red pepper
2 slices of nice bread
2 small cucumbers
2 cloves of garlic
2 cup of water
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
2 tsp of salt
freshly ground black pepper
Process the tomatoes, red pepper, bread, garlic and cucumber until well pureed.
Place in a big bowl or bucket or vessel of your liking.
Add the rest of the stuff.
Let it sit in the fridge and chill until very cold and nicely gazpached.
Pour into tiny tea cups or shot glasses.
You can add vodka if you are naughty.
Skordalia de Mike
1 kilo of very nice potatoes, boiled until tender and mashed roughly and lumpily
2 cloves of garlic diced
1 tbsp of white wine vinegar
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly chopped mint – half a handful
Mix all ingredients together – but not too much – we’re going for rustic and lumpy here.
Spread on toast and gobble down.
Or serve as part of a mezze meal – or with a nice lamb chop.
Super Easy Peppers with Capers
3 nice medium sized deep red peppers – chopped roughly
1 head of garlic, sliced in half across ways
1 tbsp of capers – rinsed and drained
1/3 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of sherry vinegar
half a handful of fresh basil
Heat oil and plonk in the garlic (cut side down). Fry gently until fragrant. Throw in the capers. Fry for a minute. Then add the peppers. Put a lid on and allow to cook on a low heat for 15 minutes until soft and juicy. Lid off now. Turn the heat up and reduce the juices down until it looks oily and yummy. Add the vinegar and half the basil and pile into a big bowl. Allow to cool to room temperature and garnish with the remaining basil. Serve as a salad or on toast.
We also ate…
Laurie’s Famous Tabbouleh
and my Best Ever Flourless Chocolate Cake
And now I am FULL!
I hope you had a wondrous New Year’s Eve – and the year brings you things you didn’t even know you needed…. but you did. Need them I mean. Not material things though. Dya know what I mean?! Okay. I’ll shut up.