I was a bit disappointed with dinner the night the foodies came to dine. Perhaps I put too much trust in the Silver Palate gals? Began with their minted sweet pea & spinach soup again, that was fine, and had plucked a menu idea from the book.
Beef stew with cumin
Orange & onion salad
(I suppose, incidentally, I really ought to resist the temptation to cook new dishes when friends come to dinner … that would manage the stress levels a bit!). The rice was simple, and worked well; the salad unusual, but very successful … the juicy explosion of orange I really liked with the stew. But the stew! Comfort food really, didn’t sit well between the soup & the crème brulée, and far spicier than I’d imagined. But, OMG … I’m just looking at the recipe now and I’m thinking, aaarrgh! No wonder it didn’t work well, overpowered the excellent Australian shiraz someone had provided … the recipe says a TEASPOON of chilli powder … I threw in a generous TABLESPOON!!! Wondered at the time, especially with the experience of the khao soi fresh in my mind, but, you know, never made before, trust the recipe … perhaps I should trust myself?! And perhaps, after all, my disappointment was less to do with the elegance (or otherwise) of the stew and more with the heavy handedness of the short-sighted cook. Give the dish another outing perhaps? But, blast, I had wanted to impress that night.