Thursday, February 16, 2006

A Dinner for Two, and Two.

I'm not one to celebrate Valentine's Day, or advocate it.
It get's really expensive eating out on that day, since it's the perfect time to pull off a con job on couples.
So when my friend Clayton calls and asks me where he should go, I thought I'd be cheeky and ask if he wanted me to cook for them.
And so, I had the joy and honour of cooking for Clayton and Esther this Valentine's Day.
I had a great time planning the menu, going marketing, preparing the mise en place (say, meez-ahn-plahs) the night before, and cooking on Valentine's Day.

The evening got more interesting when Teri came over, bringing coffee and rib eye steak at my request, and just having someone to talk to did't make the evening too quiet.

Here's what Clay and Esther had.

Grilled Eggplant and Asparagus with Rocket, Butter Lettuce, Alfalfa and Grilled Portabello mushroom dressed with Limoncello Vinaigrette.
Baked Miso-Glazed Black Cod topped with Nori, and Tobiko served on a bed of Sunflower Sprouts tossed with Mirin, Rice Vinegar and Seasame Oil
Blueberries with Lime Sugar
Organic Beef Tenderloin on the grill
Organic Beef Tenderloin with Creamed Spinach
Steak and Eggs

In between the 4th and 5th course, Teri got hungry and I realized was really hungry too, and I made her get cracking on our dinner.
I can't believe I've never heard of Steak and Eggs before. I find it extremely odd, but it was really good. Apparently it's an all-American diner type of food.
Strawberry Jus with Steamed Meringue and Honey
Strawberries on Honeyed Mascarpone on Candied Mint Leaves and Chilli Padi Chocolate Truffles

I had fun doing the whole thing, and I'm glad I was given opportunity to practise what I love doing. I received constructive comments too, which I valued very much. I've alot to learn and I concluded that it's best to actually try the food that you're going to serve.
Save for tasting the miso marinade, I have no idea how it was with the cod fish. I understand that it's abit overpowering, for the cod fish, which I think already taste really good without any flavourings. And the strawberry jus was abit too tangy, for a refreshing finish. I've also learnt to be more organized when the spinach was cooked to a mushy slop when I left it unattended while reheating. Doh!
I really need to work on presentation too. I found them abit too tacky.
The strawberry jus screamed :"You're trying to hard to make this look good!"

Anyways, since monday, I've worked the opening and closing shifts, which means working from 10:30 am to 10pm. I reached home close to 11pm, prepared the mise en place till 2am in the morning, sleeping at close to 4am. Waking up at 8am tuesday morning to prep somemore and go marketing at Tekka Market (It's a local wet market), going to work again at 10am, and work till 2:30pm. Then helping another friend, Isaku, plan his Valentine's Day dinner and do the marketing at the supermarket. Going home again for a breather before setting the table and starting dinner.

Right now, I'm physically tired and exhausted. Will I do it all over again? Yes.

Here's a quote from my good friend, Jeremy.

Cooking is a servanthood. It is humility in passion.
-Jeremy Lim

Hear all ye good people, hear what this brilliant and eloquent speaker has to say!
I'm in total agreement with Jeremy.

Thanks Clayton and Esther, I'm glad you enjoyed the dinner.


Clay said...

Cheers bro! Your dinner was fabtabulous!! haha... Thanks for everything.. We really appreciate you.

Nicholas said...

And you know I love you guys too.

esther said...

hey!!! Thanks For the Wonderful Dinner you prepared for us... I WURVE IT>>>WURVE YA TOO!!!

Teri said...

Isn't good ol' steak and eggs to die for haha.. i'm surely gonna miss it.. be sure to whip me a storm the next time i come back again.. with jeremy of course.. enjoyed my good ol' american junk food with a good ol' pal.. cheers dude.. keep cooking!!!.. until next time.. adios! oh yeah.. enjoyed the company..thanks!! i'll miss you guys..