Saturday, June 25, 2005

Friday Dinner

A couple of my friends had their last exams yesterday, so we decided to celebrate by going out dancing. They came over for dinner first, the menu for which came from the Weekend Lunch chapter.


36. Lemon Chicken
37. Sticky Chocolate Pudding

The chicken is "a not too anglo version of the Greek kotopoulo lemonato", which means chicken pieces roasted in the oven with wine, water and spices. According to Nigella's recipe, you have to fry the chicken first, to brown it.

WARNING: It splatters a lot. Don't do this in a brand new sleeveless top.

Once it's cooked, you strain the juices off, and beat them with eggs and lemon juice in a double boiler to make avgolemono, a lemon sauce.

Me making Avgolemono – check out my new shoes!

Me with chicken - I don't mean to turn this into a "oh-my-god-look-at-me-I'm-so-fabulous" blog, but usually when I cook, I'm in no fit state to be photographed. Which means I'm in trackies, with greasy hair and no makeup. And anyway, I love this platter!

Lemon Chicken - Living Kitchen serving platter and 1L Living Kitchen measuring jug for extra sauce

This was nice. The chicken was a bit tough because it was cut very small, but the sauce was well tasty. I served it with basmati rice (done in the rice cooker). Nigella suggests having salad or peas as well, but it was too frikking cold for salad, and I was too lazy to cook peas. The sauce-and-rice combo is fabulous.

I started making the pudding after we finished eating. Nigella suggests pecorino and pears for dessert if it's summer, or this pudding in "more customary English warmth". Well, it's Melbourne winter now, which means it's bloody freezing. So pudding it is. I haven't made a Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding (which is what we call this in Australia) since Year 9 camp, when my best friend Frances and I would make it every time it was our turn to cook. Easy peasy. You mix up the batter, pour it into a buttered dish, sprinkle over cocoa and sugar, then pour some recently boiled water over. During baking time, this sinks to the bottom, forming a gooey sauce beneath the sponge layer.

Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding is a really common Australian sweet (like lamingtons, lemon delicious, golden syrup dumplings, Anzac biscuits etc), so it surprised me that English food writers seem to make such a big deal of it. I remember seeing Nigella make this very pudding on Nigel Slater's Real Food program, and Nigella was about to pour the water over it, and explaining the sauce-forming process to Nigel, as if it was some huge miracle, and he said, "I don't believe you". And I was thinking, "Oh my god, get over it, just make the pudding, make the pudding, make the pudding, make the pudding..."

Sticky Chocolate Pudding - I cooked it for 15 minutes longer than the recipe stipulates, because when I took it out, the liquid-to-sponge ratio was too high for my liking.

1 serving - with fridge cold cream.

Molten - I love how gooey and soft it is.

The pudding was so intense and rich, too rich. That one little bowl I had was way too much. I nearly felt ill by the end of it. It's nice, but we just couldn't handle so much chocolate at once. "Geared towards 6" my buttocks. 6 of us ate it, by the way, with lots leftover. But pepped up on sugar and chocolate, we were ready to party...

(But despite my complaining about how rich this pudding was, I actually managed a second smaller bowl after I came home from the club. Shhhh....)

1 comment:

Maria said...

Wow those choc puddings look so fabulous! I remember making these some time ago, but you inspired me to make them again... Will take your portion comments into consideration though.
Thanks for doing this for us Sarah; I want to re-discover my HTE now!