Sunday, February 21, 2010

Full of Zest!

Sunday lunch was postponed this week in favour of a Wednesday dinner. I believe we will be having a chicken roast but you never know with Hamish! We often talk about the menu for next week’s lunch whilst consuming the current one, Hamish has so many ideas I’m never quite sure what he’s planning. Last week, inspired by my love of the radiccio lettuce in the salad (blogged about below), Hamish remembered a radiccio risotto he wants us to try.

I haven’t managed to get much of my own cooking in recently but I have had some very nice meals prepared for me. I seem to get lucky in that regard don’t I?

Last week, at a party, I was treated to a selection of yummys from caterer Stephen Randle, owner/director of Zest Kitchen .

Served up first was a medley of nibbles. I tried each one. You know I did.

In the serving spoons we had crab and papaya salad with Vietnamese mint. This was one of my favourites. It had a beautiful texture, sort of crunchy and creamy at the same time. The papaya was a lovely addition as it provided a nice sweet touch.

The black and white sesame crusted tuna loin with coriander pesto served on one of those cute little pikelet things called a blini was a winner. Tuna, when cooked and served like that, truly just melts in your mouth. Absolutely delicious, and so yummy when eaten cold as well. This particular canapé got me thinking about leftover cold tuna sandwiches or the tuna melts mum used to make with cheese and pickles when I was a kid.

I must check out the price of a tuna steak at the supermarket. Can anyone recommend the perfect way to cook it? Flick your methods through in an email to me. There may even be a few double pass Food Show tickets in it for ya.  

Another interesting canapé was the Peking duck. This was served in a mini tartlet, with spiced Baba Ganouche, cucumber and plum paste and complete with a raspberry on the top. Yum!

What I loved about all the canapés was the light, summery feel each one had. I loved the pairing of the fruit with the crab and the duck. Interesting, different and definitely memorable.

I’d love to hear your recommendations on pairing fruit with fish or meat.

And how could I forget the prawns? These were served on skewers in shot glasses that had a dash of coconut and lemon grass tea dipping sauce at the bottom. The prawns were dusted with coriander so the coconut and lemon grass was very complimentary.

Following the canapés, Stephen served up his famed mini meals. We had three options, I managed to get through two.

I had, salt and pepper squid served on a lovely Thai salad with a mini skewer of chilli and lime salmon and hummus. I must ask Stephen for the salad recipe as I’d really like to try it out. This salad would be perfect to bring along for a summer bbq. It’d certainly impress your buddies.

I also had the grilled prosciutto and lemon wrapped prawns with a rocket and crayfish cous cous salad. This had an accompanying cucumber and mango salsa.

The photo I’ve provided of one of the mini meals is of the roasted lamb cutlet dish that didn’t make its way into my belly. The lamb sat on a Parmesan potato salad and was topped off with a tasty tomato and mint salad.  

Thumbs up to Zest Kitchen! Stephen and his team helped make a great party gastronomically memorable. The two waiters that were on hand also did an especially fantastic job with their unfalteringly friendly faces.

Hamish left the party before me to go home for a Grappa. Not my cup of tea, I settled for peppermint and a good sleep.

Zest Kitchen - Highly recommend.