Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Hen Party - No time to be chicken!

I know, I know, me at a hen party, at this time of year and in these clothes!

Unfortunately there was no vacancy for a male stripper at this particular event. I didn’t even think of volunteering.

The young lady and her friends had organised a day which was centred around drink, beauty treatments and more drink. All this was taking place at a house in the wilds of North Shoreham.

I arrived with some sandwiches and other bits at lunchtime (Humus and Pea Shoots is a really good combination) and then I fled to finish preparing the dinner.

Dinner was to be a hot buffet which the girls served themselves.

In the afternoon the girls had organised beauty treatments and a little drinking.

Stuffed Tomatoes
Quails Eggs
Starters were to be a selection of canapés and dips with crudités. The star amongst the canapés were the halved quails eggs on cucumber and the baby tomatoes stuffed with tuna. Apart from mayonnaise I added capers, a drop of Worcester Sauce and a touch of chilli to the tuna. These small additions lift the tuna from the mundane.

 The main course was a choice of Beef Bourguignon, Moroccan Style Meatballs  and a Vegetable Tagine, all served with new potatoes, green beans, broccoli & cous-cous.

Beef Bourguignon is a standard dish that you can find a million recipes for so I won’t re-hash it here. The main ingredients have to be a ballsy red wine and good quality meat. (Please don’t use stewing steak).
Vegetable Tagine

The Vegetable Tagine combined Mediterranean Vegetables  with a tomato sauce flavoured with Harrisa (a Moroccan Spice paste widely available)  Start by frying vegetables in oil, once sealed add the tomatoes and simmer until the vegetables are cooked al dente.

The Moroccan Style Meatballs are a variation of Koftas (sausage shaped meat patties)

Beef 750g
Sausage Meat 250g (or use top quality Pork sausages and remove skins)
Sumac (Moroccan Spice available at good food shops)

Sauce Ingredients
Onion (small) chopped
Garlic (3 cloves) chopped
1 Chilli Pepper (seeded) chopped
7508g Tomato (peeled and chopped)
2tsp Harrisa (Moroccan spice paste)
Pine kernels

Make the meatballs first, round about ping-pong ball size. Fry in Olive oil turning once. Drain in a colander lined with kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.
Moroccan Style Meatballs

Once you have finished cooking the meatballs, tip out most of the oil leaving the pan just lightly covered. Introduce the sauce ingredients one at a time cooking slowly. Once cooked, (20 minutes) add the meatballs and  scatter withe pine kernels and some chopped parsley, cover. Reheat gently.

Dessert was a delicious Orange, Rosewater & Pistachio Cheesecake made by friend Yoav at the Home Cakery (http://www.homecakery.co.uk) or there was a Brie served with grapes.

Great party, all the food went. Proves that the one thing you can’t give at a hen party is chicken feed!