Face to beard cook off January 2013…

Well you’ve all by now seen G-bags version of events from Sunday past… I thought it only fitting to let you all into what happened in my mind at least, and hopefully between the two accounts something will be true. All I know for sure is if you where to deduce what had happened the previous night by the state of our house, you would of most likely come up with this analysis…

‘Sunday night was filled with copious amounts of drinking or collecting empty bottles from the neighborhood either would account for the many bottles Struan around the place. After everyone was drunk they decided to get every single pot/pan/cooking utensil, piece of cutlery and crockery ever owned and lay them out on the benches making sure not to leave even an inch of space. This was obviously the game they had created and won very successfully, I might add.’

But lucky for you guys I have the ability to remember quite clearly what actually happened, and whatever pieces evade my memory, I quickly insert made up shit ☺

G-bags only informed me less then a week prior to his arrival that he was coming and bringing his hobbit like creatures with him (I found out later they are actually his children) so knowing I had no time to go buy ingredients I formulated a challenge using only what ever I already had at home. Lucky for us I have a commercial dry store in the garage and a few tasty treats in the freezer for such occasions. So I defrosted a Black pudding and some Atlantic salmon pieces, and decided that we would be able to have 5 ingredients each as main players and use whatever spices etc we wanted, as well as whatever veg we wanted.

And yes I did have my heart set on black pudding, polenta and cauliflower by the time Sunday rolled round, and yes I did plead for them and yes he did give in… WIN ☺

So they arrived G, Seba and Obi (seriously very cool kids/hobbits/really small men) and it was on, I had my ‘grey goose bloody Mary nacho’s, torched mozzarella, vegemite guacamole’ dish ready to be torched as they arrived. They all seemed to love it as do I, so in keeping with the dish we had our first beverage of the day a grey goose with fresh lime and soda (from my newly bought soda stream).

Then we do what we do best, we talked food for several hours whilst consuming many beers, until it dawned on me that we actually had to make dinner for actual people!!! These actually people where G-money, Carla DA Bruce, Nick (aka Deekline,), Richo and Lauren. It was actually Lauren arriving home that launched us into a cooking frenzy, this was short lived and within less then an hour our mis en place was complete and it was time for red wine.

It’s always nice to get in the kitchen with an old friend and have a few ideas of your own and then ask him or her what they would do with this ingredient or dish. It may not always be what you want to hear but sometimes they come up with a different way, some might say a better way… not me I like to say different ☺

While we where still waiting for all to arrive I grabbed some plain kalamata olives out of the fridge and whacked them in a saucepan with…
• Skin of 1 lemon
• 6 whole birds eye chilli’s
• 8 sprigs of thyme
• 3 cloves of garlic
• ¼ cup merlot vinegar
• 1 cup olive oil
And brought the pot to a simmer and let the flavours infuse for a couple of hours (heat off) until the peeps arrived.

With the olives we served a warmed and sliced loaf of bread with extra virgin olive oil and Dukkah that I had made previously (will give Dukkah recipe in next few weeks)

Now with guests all here, and with drinks in hands we started to cook our dishes, It was about now I realized how effing drunk I actually was… but I kept on going.

G-bags plated his banging…

“Salmon tartare, brown rice & quinoa salad with beetroot textures finished with smoked salt & avocado’

It was a cracker even If I did mock him for using a ring mould ;)… as stated before its worth its weight in gold to cook and create with someone you respect, as with the same 5 ingredients they will create something completely different to anything you would… in turn broadening your culinary horizons.

Now for the drunken master to try and coordinate the heat and cooking of soft polenta, deep fried fritters and seared black pudding…. That’s shit is hard 7 hours into your drinking session. But I just managed it, polenta may have been a bit over but acceptable. So I ended up with…

“Seared black pudding, soft marsala polenta, spiced cauliflower fritters, chilli caper sauce”

I was happy with my work, in fact so happy that whilst the girls where clearing the table I stumped back outside with a pot of polenta, bowl full of fritters and black pudding and whacked it in the middle of the table so all could demolish the left overs. Those who know me would know this is quite out of character, as I like my food plated nicely.

During all the festivities I gave my good friend G-money his birthday present, which was a Breathalyzer so I thought I’d check my reading just after dinner… it was 0.214, not bad at all me thinks.

In summary it was and always is such a pleasure to catch up with G-bags and boys, as well as sharing a meal with old friends and new. But without a doubt… foodisthebestshitever