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