Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Little Saturday Night Entertaining

Cheese Platter | It looks good, right?
Last night I had some of the girls over for dinner.  I had spent the most part of Saturday in the kitchen preparing and cooking up a feast.  By 6pm I was well and truly in my element, a little music was on, I had a glass of red in my hand, and the meal was cooking away nicely (and smelling amazing).  On the menu was some Melanzane to pass around before the meal, classic Bruscetta to start, My Bolognese Ragu (that featured earlier) for the main, and a lovely cheese platter to finish.  And of course a few bottles of red!

First things first, I had to put the ragu on.  I won't re-blog the recipe, but check it out here if you are interested.

While the ragu is cooking away for the 2 1/2 - 3 hours that it needs, I move onto the other dishes on the menu, so I will do that now and come back to the finishing of the ragu further on.

Melanzane - to read the full menu, click here.

In this recipe it is crucial to dehydrate the eggplant before you crumb them.  So I do so as Josh had taught me.  Although I forgot one crucial element.  Only salt them once, not 3 times like I had done.
Other wise you end up with overly salty and uneatable rounds of eggplant that tastes of nothing but salt.

 Sorry ladies, but no Melanzane tonight.  I decide to hide my little blunder in the garburator!

Onto the cheese platter.  I decide to prepare this now as I like to serve my cheeses at room temperature. Given that I am currently living in Vancouver and it is the middle of winter, this takes a little longer than it does back home in tropical Queensland.

To view the recipe of my Cheese platter, click here.

With the cheese platter all done, I have time to go and get myself ready.  I decide to leave the Bruscetta until the last minute because I think it tastes much better eaten almost straight away.
Once I'm ready, it's back to business...decant the wine.  I think it tastes so much better (red that is) when it has had a chance the breathe - Especially when it's a beautiful Sangiovese like what we have tonight.

The girls will be here in just under half hour, so I start to prepare the Bruscetta.  I chop the tomatoes and basil and give them a good glug of quality olive oil, heaps of salt (the more you add, the more juices the tomato releases), and fresh cracked pepper.  I mix them up well and set them aside to develop some flavour and those all important juices.
nothing tastes better than the perfect marriage of tomato, basil and olive oil!
To view this classic Bruscetta recipe, click here.

The only things left to do is cook the pasta for the ragu, toast the breads for the Bruscetta, which I decide to do once the girls have arrived so it is super fresh and tasty.

Dinner is served my ladies!

Classic Bruscetta
Bolognese Ragu with a glass of Sangiovese
Cheese Platter to finish

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