Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Boohoo! I'm Crying!

I should follow my own advice and store onions in my fridge...but I never seem to have room in my fridge as it's always over-stocked! When I was cooking in restaurants I always stored onions in the coldroom. This practice alleviates the tears when chopping onions. I'm preparing for a luncheon I'm having for a couple of friends and me tomorrow and I'm shedding tears over it!

I'm making a tomato sauce (provencale or Italian sauce) to go with lima beans. This will be served at room temperature as a kind of salsa. It's very nice. I've also put a whole chicken into a brine made with salt, ground black pepper, loads of garlic, olive oil, fresh rosemary, oregano, marjoram, freshly squeezed lemon juice, together with the lemon and water to cover. The chicken will rest overnight in the brine and then tomorrow I'll take it out, dry it off and then lift the skin carefully from the breast area and fill the space with butter, rosemary leaves and garlic. After that the chicken will be roasted. Then it will just be torn apart and served warm. It's not going to be a 'roast chicken' dinner.

It's going to be a leisurely lunch with an antipasto, the chicken, lima beans in the tomato sauce, a platter of tomato, red onions rings, sliced mozzarella layered, with a basil dressing. A fresh fruit platter, a cheese platter and a very decadent dessert are also part of the menu. I'll have some tasty, crunchy fresh breads to serve with the meal. The dessert is, as I said, a decadent blending of marscapone, cream, vanilla, beaten until thick with finely chopped glazed ginger to it. A little is spread over the base of a loaf tin which has been lined with plastic wrap. Ginger biscuits (Ginger Nuts) are each spread with cream on one side and placed in line, starting from the short side of the tin, down along the long side until the tin is filled with the biscuits. The rest of the marscapone/cream mix is put on top, gently pressed down to fill any gaps and evened out over the top. The overlapping wrap then covers the lot and another lot of wrap is tightly put over the loaf tin, pressing down gently before storing. I made this yesterday and it will sit in the fridge until I'm ready to serve it. I'll serve it with scoops of rich vanilla ice cream and a ginger syrup over the top!

All of the above will be accompanied with champagne to begin with, then red and white wine, coffee, truffles and perhaps, more decadence, a liqueur!


  1. How do you get onto the list of friends who are invited to lunch Lee?

  2. I get on the list because I'm the one hosting it, Peter! ;)

  3. I am with Peter -Sounds delectable!!

    I have linked my blog to Kitchen Connections.
    Best wishes

  4. Thanks, lindsay...nice to see you. I'm hoping it is delectable...I'm about to set the table...go and pick some flowers and escape from the computer!

  5. I could do with an invitation to lunch, too, especially if you're putting on one like that!!

    That dessert sounds positively sinful - what a way to go!! Have a lovely time with your friends, Lee.

  6. It was sinful, the dessert! Absolutely evil! I gave some to my friends to take home and also some to Robyn when she came for a drink later. I'd had my fill and didn't want it sitting in the fridge tempting me today! Aren't pure as the driven snow? ;)

    We ate far too much, of course...but the wine helped wash it down! My lunches are always protracted affairs. I don't plate up my guests plates...I serve the food on platters, etc., on the table, which allows them to help themselves at will...they can eat as little or as much as they like...over an extended period. It makes the whole episode much for enjoyable this way, I believe, as the conversation flows readily, and the laughter!