Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Way Overdue Birthday Dinner

In January a good friend of mine, Nilam, celebrated her birthday. My gift to her was a lovely sit down dinner for her and her boyfriend Stephen. Unfortunately with our busy schedules it was almost impossible to pin down a date that worked for us...until last Saturday, 25 April. Yes, it may have been 3months overdue...but we had a lot of fun and I certainly enjoyed preparing the meal. I'll be posting up the recipes of most of what I made over the course of this week...but this post will mainly be an overview of the dinner with one recipe for a drink.

For the cocktail of the night I decided to make an original Alex concoction. A ginger blackcurrant vodka spritzer. I made a simple syrup by heating equal parts of sugar and water with roughly chopped pieces of ginger. Once the sugar melted I let the syrup simmer for a while and cool overnight with the ginger pieces. To assemble the drink I poured a shot of blackcurrant vodka into a glass with 1tablespoon of the syrup (this amount depends on how sweet you like your drink)...I then topped it off with spritzer water and dropped in 2 blackcurrant gummies for presentation and also as a fun thing to chew on once the drink is done.

As a starter I made a little phyllo dough stack topped with smoked salmon...fresh cream and dill...I served a balsamic mushroom salad on the side.


Smoked salmon...cream...and phyllo dough work very well together. I might even play around with this and in the future make little phyllo wonton parcels.

The main dish was a 40 garlic clove braised chicken with a white wine sauce and my special Quinoa Pilaf on the side with fresh figs.

It was my first time making this chicken dish and I must say it was very tasty...the chicken was slightly overcooked simply because I chose to work with fillet pieces rather than full chicken breasts...next time I won't cook it as long....but it's definitely a recipe I'll use again.

And for the dessert I made individual servings of a rich chocolate pannacotta with caramelised bananas...

This was as thick and rich as a ganache ...very creamy and chocolatey. I purposely made the rest of the dinner quite light and healthy because I knew that this dessert would be extremely sinful.

All in all the night was a success and I certainly hope Nilam enjoyed her overdue birthday dinner!

11 comments:

Nilam said...

Hi Alex! It certainly was a lovely dinner. Thank you for that. Everything was perfect. I'm glad Stephen was there to help me with the dessert!

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

What a lucky you have! I would love to have a meal like that cooked for me! Did it take long to prepare?

Arwen from Hoglet K said...

I like the look of the extra sinful dessert! I'm glad you reminded me about the quinoa pilaf too, because I finally bought a packet last week. I still haven't cooked it, but it will be fun to try something new.

Dharm said...

Sounds like a lovely meal! When are you cooking for me??!! LOL

thenomadGourmand said...

wow babe!! cooking up a storm there arent ya?? incredible dishes!! darn..wish i can cook like tat too ;(

burpandslurp said...

wow! you're such a great friend! I know how laborous it can be to organize a dinner party! I can't wait for the recipes!

Alexandra@Chefspiration said...

Nilam - You're welcome! It was my pleasure :)

Lorraine - The dessert was made the night before...the rest was done in about 4hrs on the day itself.

Arwen - Do give that quinoa pilaf a try..it's one of my favourite things to make now.

Dharm - Just say when! hehe...we should have a flogger potluck gathering.

TheNomadGourmand - I'm sure you can! Just takes a bit of research and time in the kitchen...it is so much fun preparing a dinner party.

BurpandSlurp - Thanks :) I'm also looking fwd to seeing what you made for your friends!

sue said...

oh wow, that dinner sounded so delightful. Its like an excerpt from the food channel. Ever thought of opening your own restaurant business? LoL..I think you will make it.

Jeena said...

Hi I love your blog.

You are lucky having a gorgeous meal cooked for you it all looks so delicious. :-)

gourmand extraordinaire said...

You gave your friend a gourmet dinner as birthday gift? Can I be your friend too? :P

Alexandra@Chefspiration said...

Sue - haha...maybe not a restaurant business...but niche market catering possibly...

Jeena - Thanks for visiting :)

Gourmand Extraordinaire - haha sure why not! the more the merrier!