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Souffle suspense – Come Dine With Me Dubai (part 3)

May 29, 2011

Table settingThe bar had been set to vertigo inducing heights by H‘s asian fusion restaurant-style presentation menu and S‘s exotic multi-layered spicy menu.  Now it was my turn to host Come Dine With Me. Oo-er!

Normally when planning to have friends over for a meal, I sit in a comfy chair with a stack of cookbooks and take my time to get the right balance of tastes, textures and outright yumminess of the food.  For reasons which now escape me, I planned my Come Dine With Me Dubai menu in about five minutes flat and once it was submitted there was no going back.  Apart from the fact I had never cooked two of the recipes before (and got them randomly from the internet) I forgot to think whether they would be photogenic.  Argh – school girl error – I was cooking for FOOD BLOGGERS!

Preparing the fish dish

This was my menu:

Mushroom soufflés
Fish wrapped in banana leaf with coriander, chilli and coconut milk (served with rice and sugarsnap peas)
Mango, raspberry and passionfruit trifles

I also made two types of bread rolls (one with mustard seeds and one with basil and rosemary) and some rose creams.

Drinks: ‘Saudi champagne (apple juice and sparkling water with fruit and mint), Laurenz V Singing Grüner Veltliner and Kilchoman 2010 summer release malt whisky (shamelessly bribing J).

Thinking I should not walk too perilous a tightrope I tried the soufflés earlier in the week.  They tasted great but two out of four on the same baking tray collapsed to pancake proportions.  Not reassuring.  In fact my anxiety mounted because of this – if they flopped there would be close-up photographic evidence.  Argh once more.

table

My house was not the oasis of calm that the other venues had been; KP was leaving for golf, the dogs were giving their usual waggy, licky welcome and the teens were coming in from various activities and started foraging.  Avid Masterchef and CDWM watchers, they kept whispering “how’s it going?” and “do you think you’re winning?” When I replied negatively to the latter they urged “come on Mum – this IS a competition”!

Mushroom souffles

The kitchen god was watching over me and the soufflés not only held their shape but looked rather nice.  I put a little truffle oil in salad dressing for the rocket to go with the mushroom flavour.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief at this point and started to enjoy myself a lot more.  The CDWM-ers are such good company and it’s such a luxury to natter over a long lunch.

To be honest, I would have used a different fish for the next course but local sole was the best I could get, however it was sparklingly fresh (sadly hammour stocks have declined so much it seems impossible to get now) .  This mixture of Thai flavours  with coconut milk (including lemongrass from my garden) steams the fish inside the leaf and as you unwrap it the aromas are released in a  burst of ginger, coriander and lemongrass.  I personally love this combination so I hope my Come Dine With Me-ers did too (although the camera did not love it!).

Fish in banana leaf

S had to travel out of the country unexpectedly – we all missed her but it did mean I could sneak a bit of marsala into the trifles.  I used fresh mangoes in the pudding as they are in season right now but wondered at my sanity as I was making custard – my culinary bête noir.  Once more the fates were in my favour – after spooning most of the creamy vanilla custard over the trifles I couldn’t resist scraping the bowl.

Mango and raspberry trifle

As it’s my house this week sadly you don’t get to snoop – I’m not going reveal my own dark secrets am I? A did spend quite a bit of time taking photos in odd places though.

Next week we lunch at A‘s.  All the menus have been strikingly different and A always puts her own unique twist on recipes.

rose creams

You can see a round up off all the Come Dine With Me Dubai posts here (including how Ginger and Scotch got on) and read the recipes I was inspired by here.  See you at A‘s.

20 Comments
  1. May 29, 2011 7:30 am

    Modest girl. The fish WAS pretty. Coming by later for more of those rose creams too….

    • May 29, 2011 11:31 am

      Please do – too addictive to be kept in our house for any longer! Enjoyed your entertaining company as always.

  2. May 29, 2011 7:43 am

    Oh sally, the menu sounds lovely- especially the mushroom souffle. I must try this so i can use the truffle oil in my cupboard :)

    And your quote below is exactly what happened to me on CDWM! Except I know my reasons (sick baby and visiting in-laws).

    “Normally when planning to have friends over for a meal, I sit in a comfy chair with a stack of cookbooks and take my time to get the right balance of tastes, textures and outright yumminess of the food. For reasons which now escape me, I planned my Come Dine With Me Dubai menu in about five minutes flat and once it was submitted there was no going back”

  3. May 29, 2011 8:23 am

    Ooh my that fish looks and sounds delish, as do those rose creams. Mabrouk!

  4. May 29, 2011 8:31 am

    CONGRATS ON THE STANDING SOUFFLES!!! so happy for you, and yep, those raspberry creams look like I could pick ‘em out of the picture. Maybe for our next picnic / bakefest??

    Fabulously impressive job Sally!

    • May 29, 2011 11:33 am

      Thanks fellow foodies @inafryingpan @gingerandscotch and @foodiva – always high praise when it comes from you discerning diners.

  5. Tricia Evans permalink
    May 29, 2011 8:35 am

    Looks great Sally – you can now relax & enjoy the next stage of the competition! x

    • May 29, 2011 11:32 am

      Thanks Tricia. Very healthy meal coming up next. You’ll love Anja’s recipes.

  6. May 29, 2011 8:52 am

    What a beautiful table. I have major envy going on and it’s time to fire up the dining room at my house now! Gorgeous photos.

  7. May 29, 2011 9:53 am

    Congratulations Sally, a stunning meal.

    • May 29, 2011 11:34 am

      Merci beacoup Cindy and Maureen

  8. May 29, 2011 11:25 am

    Suffice it to say that everything tasted even better than it looks in Sally’s delicious photographs!

    • May 29, 2011 11:30 am

      Oh bless you. That comment has just made my day.

  9. May 29, 2011 1:13 pm

    Everything looks and sounds amazing, especially the aromatic fish in its banana leaf nest. Would love a bite of the rose creams, looks delicious.

  10. May 29, 2011 3:02 pm

    Oh Sally, what an incredible menu! No need for snoop photographs as looking at your home in the background of your lovely photographs is snoopish enough. From what I can see, your home is beautiful. :-) Mandy

  11. May 29, 2011 11:25 pm

    Oh yum! Good job! Jealous of your fresh banana leaves! I think the fish turned out beautifully! And THERE are those rose creams again… Having another “Chocolat” moment!

  12. Anna permalink
    May 30, 2011 12:17 am

    It all looks absolutely amazing, and I can almost smell and taste it!

  13. May 30, 2011 10:29 am

    oh wow, I am so pleased for you that the soufflé’s worked!

  14. May 30, 2011 5:31 pm

    That all looks fabulous! I have never attempted souffles as I don’t think I can take the pressure.

  15. June 26, 2011 8:25 pm

    Wow, impressive menu! I’ve tried to make souffle a couple of times but wasn’t very pleased with the results. I would have been in panic if taking place in something like this, you are my hero!

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