I don’t remember the last time I enjoyed French champagne, crisp white linen and silverware on a Tuesday night – what a treat!
I’m at Christine and Michael’s for dinner to toast my best girlfriends move to London.
The kitchen smells like mulled wine – the poaching liquid (red wine, orange peel, cinnamon, thyme and vanilla pod) from the spiced red wine pears is reducing on the stove top.
The dining table is immaculate and beautifully dressed (like Christine always is).
Sitting in the lounge with my champagne, I have to be careful not to fill up on the canapés; pastry tartlets with hummus and roasted cherry tomatoes, and I love the prune and walnut loaf with blue cheese.
I pick at the lovely rustic bread on the table. We sit down for our dinner of ocean trout with mussels; cooked in foil with lemon butter and julienne carrot and leek – recipe from Pete Evans latest cookbook ‘My Kitchen, Casual Home Cooking’ and a salad of finely slice fennel, radish, apple and walnuts, dressed with white balsamic and dill. I love this! Crisp and refreshing – it’s one of Karen Martini’s recipes and I can’t wait to make it over summer.
Dessert is spiced red wine poached pears and one of my favourites, crème caramel. Christine has made the custard with goats milk, that makes it’s lighter and more delicate than its cream based cousin. My girlfriend isn’t happy with her poached pears – she would have liked them to cook for a little longer (might need a knife and a spoon to avoid any red wine stains on the table cloth), but they’re deliciously dark and spicy.
To top it all off – a little plate of truffles, chocolate ginger and nougat is served with my peppermint tea… what a perfect meal.