5 Sep

Hello and welcome to the first blog post for the legal tart!

I have to admit that I look for any opportunity to create an event. Even the smallest of achievements or milestones can be turned into a dinner or cocktail party if one just tries hard enough. For this reason not a single birthday in our house passes without me resorting to my recipe books or food magazines for inspirations on some party food.

Last month was the birthday of my dear friend and flat mate Miss Wallflower. Unfortunately I picked up that awful bug going around and ended up wallowing in my own self-pity with the aroma of Vicks vapour rub permeating the house to ensure that no one was under any misapprehension as to the state of my
health. So I had to beg out of my commitment to cook her a fabulous birthday dinner and put it off to the following week. This of course just gave me more
time to flick through food porn while I decided what would be a nice birthday treat.

Along came Sunday afternoon and with both flatmates returning home for dinner I embarked upon the selected menu. The menu was made a little complicated by Miss Meat (flatmate 2, the vegetarian). While I have to admit that I often don’t eat meat for days at a time, I seem to get trapped in a meat/seafood fixation when it comes to serving ‘special’ as opposed to every day meals. I decided on a Risotto, that I had come across in Madison Magazine, slightly altered to taste. I used vegetable stock instead of fish stock to ensure it was vegetarian friendly and I added chilli flakes for a bit more punch. It looked pretty in the magazine, all golden from the saffron anwith contrasting pink prawns, pleasantly the final product looked very similar to the magazine photos and equally appetising.

Finished product in soft focus

Miss Meat got roast cherry tomatoes instead of prawns adorning her risotto which she reported were delicious. Next time if I was to use vegetable stock again, I would probably use a more robust white wine instead of champagne. I feel that a white wine would have given the risotto more oomph and as a side benefit there would have been more champagne for drinking!

Dessert was a Salted Caramel and Chocolate Tart that had featured in Delicious magazine months ago and since I had seen it I had been vowing to make it. I have made caramel before but never a salted caramel and was concerned that I would over salt it, and once that happens there is no going back. In addition I mistakenly bought unsalted butter instead of salted butter because that is what I usually keep in the house for baking purposes. This worked quite well as I could really salt to taste and ensure that I didn’t go too far, if you are nervous about over salting I would recommend unsalted butter.

The dinner seemed to be well received and the chocolate tart was met with much moaning in delight through mouthfuls of chocolate goodness. Always
a good sign.

How do you like to celebrate?


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