13 courses, 2011
We had our annual dinner last night - where we, and our friends Lena and Dagmar and their husbands, get together to cook a 13-course meal. As usual, it was absolutely fab! To give us a bit of a challenge, we decided to have an around-the-world theme. We agreed on 13 countries (or in some case, regions) and randomly assigned them. Every couple then fixed four courses each - an appetizer, a main course and a dessert, and one more. I made five dishes, to make it an (un)even 13.
First out: Japan. I served tonkatsu (breaded and fried pork) and edamame beans with chili-garlic mayo and a wasabi-soy dip, and a sparkling sake that was surprisingly tasty. (Chikurin Hou Hou Shu)
Sweden. Lena made a sort of cheesecake from Swedish Västerbotten Cheese, on rye bread. It was quite spicy and very delicious.
Cuba. Dagmar served sauteed shrimp with a three-citrus mojo. Very zesty, spicy and yummy.
China. My turn! I adapted a recipe from Steamy Kitchen to make Five Spice Chicken legs, served on some sauteed spinach.
Titus got his own chicken leg - he liked holding it, but he didn't actually eat any.
Colombia. Quite a challenge as none of us knew the first thing about Colombian food! Lena made Papas Rellenas Colombianas, which was essentially meat-filled potato dumplings, deep fried.
Iran. Dagmar served Ash-e Anar, a traditional soup/stew with pomegranates, rice, and lamb meatballs.
Argentina - I had no trouble on this one, but knew right away I wanted to make flank steak with chimichurri. It was the first time I cooked with flank steak, but most definitely not the last!
USA. If anyone was still hungry at this point, Lena's Macaroni & Cheese with bacon and chicken wings took care of that.
Italy. I wanted a cheese dish, and opted for the simplicity of an aged Pecorino cheese with truffle honey.
For our first proper dessert, Dagmar had made Indian ice cream, Kulfi, with a mango sauce. Isn't it just gorgeous?
Lena made Danishes. From Denmark, obviously. She swore never to make puff pastry again.
I had Australia/New Zealand and again, easy. I had to make pavlova. It's both easy and delicious - meringue nests filled with whipped cream and fruit, in our case mango, kiwi and passion fruit.
And for our big finale, Dagmar made a classic French Croquembouche, filled with cream and a homemade lemon-lime curd.
Want to read about the previous years?