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Prodigious prawns – Come Dine With Me Dubai (part 4)

June 19, 2011

Table settingAfter a short break, where Saturday afternoons had a gourmet-sized hole in them, we were back on the Come Dine With Me Dubai circuit at A‘s house.  We were greeted by a photographer from Gulf News.  I had forgotten that someone was going to be there and didn’t have a scrap of make-up on and bags under my eyes which would have given Alfred Hitchcock a run for his money, from three late nights out in a row. Oh no!

photographer and photo

My expectation was that A‘ s house would be light, bright, neat and stylish – just like her blog – and it was.  The table was set with some lovely flowers, folded napkins and place settings each personalised with an image from our blogs.  Much to the amusement of Pankaj the photographer, we all whipped out our cameras and started shooting from different angles.  There followed a little interlude of the photographer taking photos of the photographers taking photos!

Roast asparagus

A‘s passion is trying to make recipes healthier but still tasty and this was her menu:

There was iced rooibos and honey tea or False Bay Chardonnay to cool down from the 40 C outside.   We all watched A as she whisked up the Hollandaise for the asparagus with a hand whisk (she said she had practised this so much over the week that her husband never wanted to eat Hollandaise again).  This starter was very high up on my most favourite foods list so I was eager to tuck in (although not before preserving its beautiful image with my camera).  The Hollandaise was actually quite light with lemon juice and without huge amounts of butter.  Its egginess was really excellent with the parma ham and roasted baby asparagus bundles.  Why isn’t this sort of dish served in restaurants more often?

A remained cool while Pankaj took pictures of her every move including removing some ENORMOUS prawns from the fridge.  While she assembled the next course we dipped teaspoons into cute little schnapps tankards of homemade lemon sorbet.

Prawn curry

I’ve been having a prawn craving this week, maybe due to the hot weather and we all discussed how we like to eat them best.   A and her husband can eat two kilos in a sitting just dipping them into mayonnaise, H likes her mayo spiced with white wine vinegar and a good dose of tabasco.  Then we attacked these luscious beasts, pan-fried in a slightly spicy Vietnamese curry sauce with a neat mound of brown basmati and red rice.  I ate every last morsel.

Puddings always inspire a bit of rapture when they arrive and these plates were pretty as a picture, the speckled (unbaked) crust of nuts, coconut and dates loaded with a billowing orange and honey flavoured yoghurt spattered (neatly) with a raspberry coulis and berries.  I will share this recipe with you as soon as A puts it on her site; you need to taste this, you really do.

Yoghurt tart

We rounded off the meal with a cup of steaming homemade ginger and clove tea so hot and spicy that a dragon might find it a little powerful.  No wonder A runs marathons.

Lemon sorbet and tea

I realise now that I should have been a little more probing in my poking about – I’m sure I could have found a secret drawer of Skittles somewhere to put a dent in A‘s healthy image.  My relaxed state induced by such a lovely lunch made me forget to do any serious snooping.  I did notice that she has more books about child rearing than cooking.

Books and cushions

Our next and final rendezvous is with J next week.  He told us that it coincides with his wedding anniversary and could he invite his wife?! No pressure J but expecting great things from a Masterchef contestant.

22 Comments
  1. June 19, 2011 8:13 am

    Oh Sally, you make me feel so good. I was a bit shaky and unsure after everyone left, but people noticed a big smile on my face. What they didn’t know was that I had a bottle wine with my lunch. Much needed to calm me down…. Anyway, I had lots of fun and would do it again, any time!

    • June 19, 2011 9:18 am

      That’s so funny – I didn’t see you take one sip! It was an enormous pleasure to be a guest in your lovely home and eat your delicious creations. I need that tart recipe!

  2. June 19, 2011 8:19 am

    Quite spectacular and a special thumbs up to the wine; False Bay is my home town!

    • June 19, 2011 9:20 am

      Oh Cindy – you live in the most wonderful part of the world. I’ve met Louis Boutinot from False Bay and Waterkloof a couple of times. I would love to visit the vineyards.

  3. June 19, 2011 8:56 am

    Gosh I can feel the competition hotting up! Anja, would kill for your starter…:)

    • June 19, 2011 9:21 am

      That Hollandaise was ‘to die for’.

  4. June 19, 2011 10:13 am

    a lovely recap Sally! I notice that A’s bookshelf has a big book labeled “Porno” on it – at first I thought it was food porn but then I saw the author and realized that it’s the sequel to “Trainspotting” – nice snooping :)

  5. June 19, 2011 12:03 pm

    That Viet prawn curry looks appetizing! Would love that recipe :D

  6. June 19, 2011 1:09 pm

    what a delightful lunch! I would have licked every plat! Let me know when it’s in Gulf News and I’ll view online!

  7. June 19, 2011 1:26 pm

    Wow! Another fantastic looking meal. This is such a good collection you are putting together. Love the inventive photo angles too. Fab.

  8. June 19, 2011 3:38 pm

    Nice luncheon in all aspects…the experience, the setting, and the food! Loved the blog logo place cards.

  9. June 19, 2011 4:48 pm

    Sally, what a wonderful looking lunch and so beautifully presented and photographed. I especially like the look of the starter. Thankyou so much for visiting and leaving lovely comments. I certainly would be happy to send a cosy to you, if you should win. Fingers crossed! Enjoy your day, love Linda x

  10. June 20, 2011 12:14 am

    Look at that prawn curry! Wish I could have that for lunch today, it looks divine! Great photos as always, Sally, looks like a wonderful event!

  11. June 20, 2011 1:26 am

    love the presentation and that is such a cute touch of an image from everyone’s blog! <3

  12. June 20, 2011 10:30 am

    I am so loving these posts! Have a great week :)

  13. June 20, 2011 11:27 am

    Another wonderful segment in the series and like Cindy I am elated to see South African Rooibos tea and wine. :-) Mandy

  14. June 20, 2011 1:53 pm

    i m so jealous look lovely!
    i cant deliver meals like that you guys were brave and very good at it!
    in my eyes you are all winners!

  15. Sherri Voebel permalink
    June 20, 2011 6:36 pm

    Looks absolutely scrumptious! Gorgeous pictures. Especially the desserts. Simply lovely.

  16. June 20, 2011 10:15 pm

    Ah, wonderful post, Sally.

    Particularly like the asparagus. Have done something similar. Yum!

    Very fine photography. Kudos!

  17. June 20, 2011 11:54 pm

    Sounds like a fantastic meal. I am not sure which course to comment on by saying “I like the look of the xxx” as they all look wonderful and delicious! Looking forward to the next instalment!

    Hannah @ Love to Dine

    http://lovetodine.wordpress.com

  18. June 21, 2011 2:33 pm

    Oh I have a few posts to go back and catch up on! This looked like a wonderful day and what a gorgeous meal! Ah, it makes me regret not living near friends who love good food and entertaining. Wonderful post, Sally!

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