Sunday, December 10, 2006

My first BBQ party

I had my first self organized BBQ party yesterday. Overall turn out was good. And the food? I'll say good as well! I didn't manage to take much pictures of the food as I was busy entertaining my guest so here's just a few pictures.

I made these Chocolate Bombs and it was a big hit during the party! Thank god my house did not blow up ;P Very simple desert you can make a few days in advanced for any party. I mixed and crushed a bunch of crunchy stuff like fiber cornflakes (plain one crumbles too easily), diced nuts, crushed biscuits and dried fruits together in a bowl. Melted unsweetened cooking chocolate with icing sugar, rum and cinnamon powder. Mixed the crunchy stuff in and started shaping chocolate balls. I let it cool for about an hour and kept it in a container.

I made three types of cupcakes too. Orange, banana and chocolate cupcakes. I wanted to decorate it with some icing but I didn't have time. Thank god I didn't because everyone was too full and many of my cupcakes left untouched. If I had icing on them, I could keep them for too long.

Macaroni with creamy pesto. I fried fragrant shallots and garlic and added cream, milk and a little water into the pesto to come out with the creamy sauce. The pasta turned out delicious when warm but as soon as the pasta was cold, well, it didn't really bring 100% of the yummyness out. The cream soaked in to the pasta making it moist. Got to add a little more salt to it because the salty taste was gone when the pasta chilled. But then, I don't think I'll be cooking this for a large crowd anymore. The dish taste good when it's warm.

My Man! manicotti! It turn out quite ok for my first trial of this dish. I couldn't find the manicotti (that's the pasta) to I substitute it with Penne instead. It took way too long to tube my cheese filling into the pasta so I cheated. Some were tube some were not. No consistency so my reviews on the dish wasn't consistent too hehe. My first batch was better as it has more cheese in them. I didn't have time for tubing so my cheese was outside the pasta when baked.

I had three types of cheese in my filling. Parmesan, salted cheddar (because I couldn't find ricotta) and mozzarella. Shredded all the cheese, added pepper and a couple of eggs just to come up with a cheese paste. I layered the bottom of the pan with home cooked tomato sauce, then lay my pasta, then a layer of mozzarella and a another later of pasta. Topped it up with tomato sauce with some prawns and squid. I baked at 180c for 20 minutes, then covered the top with shredded mozzarella and baked for another 15 minutes until the cheese melted and brown a little.

My standard bolognaise. Not my best sauce. Made a new mistakes for the sauce. Added too much meat until it killed my oregano fragrant. I added more oregano to bring back the aroma but too much ended up killing my sauce. When I reboiled, it started give out the bitter taste and make my red sauce to turn brown. Not many notice the bitterness but my mom and bro noticed it. So.. boo boo to the sauce.

My salad was the biggest hint. I didn't even have a change to take a picture of it! In the past my apple salad was always a hint, this time I decided to give it a little coleslaw feeling to it. I chopped the purple in colour cabbage thing (not sure what you call it), had some strips of carrots and diced some green apples (remember to soak it in salt water first if not the apples will brown). Sounds like a normal salad? Well, the key is the mayonnaise you use. If your mayonnaise is too sour, add some sugar and lemon juice. Lemon is sour too but somehow it helps bring down the sourness of mayonnaise. Try using creamier, smooth and less sour mayonnaise for this salad. Toast the salad and cover the top with the Mamee shack food.

If you have no idea what a Mamee snack is, you can substitute it with instant Nisin noodles. Bake them until golden brown on both sides with some salt and crack them all over your salad. Make sure you don't crack them too fine as it will soften too fast.

I made smashed potato too much I don't how well that went. No comments then the smashed potatoes so I guess it was just so so. I smashed boiled potatoes and then added thick cream of mushrooms sauce to it.

And once again, my all time 1# garlic bread was good good good. Especially with pesto this time!

My marinated lamb and pork received many complements too. My aunty who doesn't take lamb even ate a few pieces and said she really enjoyed it. My parents loved them too. Many friends who were too lazy to hit the BBQ pits 'ordered' lamb, lamb and lamb. I marinated the lamb with white pepper powder, ground black pepper, dried rosemary leafs and rosemary powder, some salt and drizzles of olive oil.

Made my own mint sauce to go with the lamb too. Fresh mint leafs chopped and mixed into sugar water and vinegar. Add some rosemary powder to give it more smell and fix the taste a little.

I marinated pork chops too. I personally like the pork a lot! Some dried thyme and sage, white pepper, salt and olive oil. My pork chops didn't hint the pits that much though. The meat took really long to defrost, less than a dozen pieces were cooked.

My chickens didn't do too well though. I marinated a garlic chicken and black pepper chicken as contingency plan, in case my guest didn't like the herb style marination. The chickens came out too tough and tasteless. Later I noticed that I took out the wrong bag of chicken. They were tasteless because they were not marinated.

I bought prawns and squid to BBQ as well. I was thinking that I could stuff pesto and mozzarella into the squid's body and BBQ then. In the end, the shell fishs were only BBQ because I forgot all about the prawns and squid in the ice box. I didn't get to try the clams but some said it was ok, sweet and juicy. The 'see ham' was ok. Just too bad I didn't have any sauce to go with it.

Took me a few days to prepare and a whole day to cook all this food. My dad asked me how I felt and asked if would so this again. Definitely! But not so soon hehehe. I think I would prefer to spend more time cooking up something hot on the plate just for my family and close friend the next round.

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2 pieces of worms:


Let me give you a tip about BBQ-ing clams. Use aluminum foil to wrap the clam (1) and put some enoki mushrooms on top of the clam and wrap them really tight. Grill over fire...and you have the best thing in the world!


rasa malaysia: thanks for the tip!

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