Saturday, October 22, 2005

SHF & Casey's Birthday!

Sooooo today, Casey is 30. OMG he is old :P (hi honey!!!)
Of course his birthday has to conincide with SHF AND the biggest blogging weekend I have seen yet, OMG! I don't know if I can keep it up. I have already missed out on Blog party .... so sorry Stephanie, I just couldn't.. I wouldn't have been able to post in time anyway :( horrible internet!

This months SHF (sugar high friday) is being hosted by loveschool ( I can't acess your website!!! to let you know... if you can let her know for me as I am off to bed I will be soooo thankful) Loveschool decided to have a redux of the EVER popular Chocolate theme, and I for one will almost always go chocolate! YUM!!!!! Thanks for deciding to redux this AWESOME! theme :)

So what did I do for Casey's birthday? and for SHF? Keep you pants on I will get to that bit!
I decided that thebest thing I could give Casey would be me, and my time.Aand I should make something for him, that would show him how much I care ( LOVE YOU XXX). So, I figured a four course meal, and some nice champange would be perfect.

I started off with a pea soup, yep simple. Not alot, just alittle nice refreshing, tasty, mouth watering appetiser. So simple to make. I boiled the shells off fresh pea with a few cloves of garlic. When they were cooked 5 to 10 minutes?? I pureed them with a handful of parsley and mitsuba, then strained the broth. I brought the broth back to the boil for a few mintutes. I added a slosh of fresh cream, seasoned with S&P to taste. I gave us each a ladelful, a few fresh raw peas, 1 quenelle of yoghurt and a pile of onion sprouts and a crack of fresh pepper. For something that I have never made before, and didn't have a recipe for DAMM it was good. Onion sprouts rock, ok! They added nice peppery heat to the soup, yum!

The second course that I fogot to take a photo of (grr) was a home grown rocket salad, vine ripend tomatoe, EVOO, balsamic and a shaving of pecorino. Just a few peppery, spicy, tomatoey mouthfulls mmmm

The third course a free range chicked, roasted. If you want the tastiest most succulent chicken I have ever tasted GO TO FRATELLI FRESH !!!! I cried when I tasted it! both from the taste, the expectation and so wanting to make something very special for my boy. To cook it I made some very herby butter with fresh majoram, thyme, salt & pepper. I stuffed this under the skin on the breast and the thighs. I dried the outside of the bird and I S&P it. I gave the giblets to Kiri, and put a whole clove of garlic in the center. I stuck it in a 220C oven.( I think it was just over an hour and I turned it over twice) To serve with this magnificent bird I roasted some potatoes, roasted some beetroot (served with a spoon of yoghurt and cracked pepper), boiled some dutch carrots and fresh peas. I made gravy to dress the peas and carrots, from the pan juices, a splash of Gin and some of the carrot/pea water. The best part is that we still have 2 perfect chicken breasts for tomorrow mmmmmmm chicken

For the fourth course and my SHF entry I wanted to make something special for Casey, and something original, as he deserves it :) He loves trifle and those liqueur cherry chocolates with a whole sour cherry inside... good inspiration I figured. So I went shopping with an idea and let inspiration come to me. 85% cocoa chocolate CHECK. 1 jar of Morello cherries CHECK. Then I saw these little chocolate cups, already made!!! oh you are so coming home with me! Then a mini choc chip ( normally I would get plain, but this is a chocolate themed SHF!) pannetone. Next to the bottle'o and one bottle of cherry brandy later and I know I am on to a good thing. I also managed to pick up a great bottle of champers on sale YIPPEE!

I get home, and realise I have NO IDEA how I am going to assemble this all into a chocolatey cherry trifely thingy???? and make dinner in 2 hours!

So I open the panettone hmmm I cut it into 8 thin slices and I drench them in liquor, good start :) esp as the slices become dark pink. I figure that some choc mousse will be good, but I only have a few hours for it to set... so I find this recipe and I make it with cherry brandy and 85 % cocoa chocolate, I open the morello cherries and seperate them into juice and cherries. I set the juice with gelatine and some more alchol ( is this a trend?) and whack it in the freezer and then I have the brilliant ( I think so anyway) idea of making morello cherry and cherry brandy ( uh oh) mousse. So I puree the cherries and some brandy and and some gelatine. I whip 3/4 cream to soft peaks, stir and put it in the fridge. *note fore hints on gelatine go here*

Ok I have parts, BUT HOW ON EARTH will I put them all together? I wait a while, occasionaly I check the cherry jelly in the freezer. One time I come back and it has almost set. AHAH! I put the panetone slices into the bottom of the chocolate cups and add enough jelly to cover and I put this in the freezer. I wait some more, I realise that I am just going to have to do it. So I get the 2 mousses and the chocolate cups out of the freezer, cherry mousse and a big spoon of the darkest most chocolatey mousse on top. Done.

To serve, I grated some chocolate over the top and another (oh boy) shot glass of brandy on the side. It worked so well! The flavours came together and compliemtented each other, the mousses were great. The funniest part was when Casey thought he had finished and there was a dark brown cup on his plate, I look very strangely at him and he asks where I bought the funky plastic cups HA HA HA . Noooo they are chocolate you fool!, oh, OH he replies and munches it all up.

I think that was quite a job well done, and I have someone else who is appreciative to prove it!



Farmgirl Susan said...

Yep, just another simple little homecooked meal Chez Clare. No, we aren't envious of your amazing culinary skills. No, we don't feel like slugs for not serving anything with our roast chicken except onions (or for not even having any giblets to give to the cats). No, no, no. We're fine. Just fine. Don't you worry about us. We'll just re-read the 99 steps to that incredible dessert you whipped up out of nowhere while wishing we had even a fraction of your talent. : ) 

Posted by farmgirl

Farmgirl Susan said...

P.S. Happy Birthday Casey!!!!!!!!

eat stuff said...

you are soooo too kind, my random stumblings in the kitchen being equated with talent? No.... I WISH!

But you have to remember that this was a 30 birthday dinner!!! for the boy of my dreams... not just any old meal. Besides I tend to go over the top WAY to often LOL! 

Posted by clare eats

Anonymous said...

oooh, nice!! Doesn't look like "random stumblings" to me.... 

Posted by Kirk

eat stuff said...

Hi Kirk

Not random.... hmmm I could have played iron chef with the ingrediants LOL 

Posted by clare eats

Joycelyn said...

hi clare, what a fabulous feast! he's a lucky man ;) i love how you winged it for dessert yet it turned out looking so utterly perfect! 

Posted by J

Anonymous said...

Everything sounds amazing! Especially dessert! Any chance you want to come cook for me when I turn 30? :) 

Posted by Alice

boo_licious said...

Happy Birthday Casey! What a feast of goodies from the Clare, the iron chef of Oz! I like the way you described how u threw everything together, I can imagine knifes and ingredients flying around just like the TV show.

Nic said...

What an adventure. And great idea to do the dessert in the chocolate cups, too.
I could access the lovescool website from your link, Clare, but perhaps you are mistyping it when trying to view the page. It's * * not "loveschool" 

Posted by Nic

boo_licious said...

Nic, the site was also down last nite for a while when I tried to click on it to get the email. Managed to get it early this morning.

Kelly said...

Hi Clare, sounds like a real mission! :) Glad to see it all turned out so beautifully! 

Posted by Kelly

Stephanie said...

Happy Birthday, Casey!

Clare...we're good. I, too, understand the craziness of too many foodie events at one time. We'll just look for you next month!

Nice-looking dessert, too... 

Posted by Stephanie

Cat said...

it looks like a lovley birthday dinner it must have been well appreciated :) 

Posted by Catesa

Indira said...

Casey and Clare, how cute!
Clare, you did good and happy b'day to Casey. What a fabulous feast. 

Posted by Indira

it's only fuel said...

Holy cow that dessert sounds amazing! Way to go Clare:) 

Posted by Katie Carter

Rachel said...

Hi Casey and Clare !!

Sorry we missed caseys b'day post !! Happy 30th ! At least you can comfort yourself that Richard is a year and a half older than you are :D

Looks like you had a nice romantic dinner to celebrate! hope you had a great weekend too! That whole dinner just looks amazing ! Lucky Casey :)


Posted by Rachel

Reid said...

Drats! Hey Case, I thought I left a message, but I guess not. Happy Birthday dude! 

Posted by Reid

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