Sunday, October 4, 2009

Indian Inspired Gourmet Group Dinner

We belong as partial members to a local gourmet dinner group. When the founder found herself ill, she called and asked if we would fill in for her husband and her. Dessert for an Indian curry dinner was our assignment. After two long evenings deciding what to make or buy, I made a final decision.

Driving up a long, forested driveway we arrived at our hosts' home. She began by serving appetizers of eggplant, prosciutto and Fontina cheese; and bacon-wrapped scallops. Delicious. I was glad to see the eggplant appetizer because now I've got a way to use the 5 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) eggplants sitting in my kitchen.

The male host explained that Caesar Salad was our next course. The recipe was given to his mother by the inventor of the original Caesar Salad. Though anchovies are not a part of the original recipe or dressing, we all liked anchovies so they went on the salad.

For the main course, two of the U.S. Navy's recipes for "Indian" curry were used. Being a "Navy Brat," he explained that the Navy used Filipino cooks, and they were the ones who created the recipes.
Over rice we placed the two curries, with a center toppings bar that included three different kinds of chutneys: pear, apple and persimmon. I was very full by the time I finished my plate.

We rested a little while before I served my Indian inspired dessert. None of the desserts I made are traditionally Indian, they're all newly created recipes. In thoroughly cleaned and emptied egg shells, I put a "no bake" coconut custard, under the egg shell I placed gems with cuttings from a peacock feather. The custard cup was topped with swirled hard honey configurations.

Saffron infused oil was used to make my grandmother's sugar cookies. Using a star cookie cutter, colored sugar with a lettering template for initials, and gold leaf I decorated the cookies.

Finally, a blended mango, yogurt and coconut milk drink was topped with Indian spices such as nigella. A good dessert plate for the occasion, and I felt I did some justice for the outstanding dessert making founder of the club.

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