Banh xeo – made by me!

OK, so this hasn’t actually been half-eaten. But I had to post something. I finally got around to making banh xeo – crispy Vietnamese crepes – my favourite Vietnamese dish. The first few were a bit disappointing, being a bit soft, but once I thinned the batter out, added a little more oil, and let the frypan superheat, we were in business! The filling in this one was mushrooms, beanshoots, mung beans and tofu (for the vegetarian guests) but the standard filling is whole (de-headed) river prawns, sliced belly pork, bean shoots and mung beans. My mum would be proud. And a bit jealous (she hasn’t quite figured out the crispy thing).

Thai dinner party at my house

Beef salad with cucumber and beanshoots, and a lemongrass and basil chicken stir fry. But wait, there’s more!

That’s right, punters! Red duck curry, with mini eggplants, pineapple and lychees. I’m going to add okra next time. Forgot to photograph the chicken satays and son-in-law eggs for entree. Oops!

Dessert trio… by me!

My friend invited me to a dinner party on the weekend, and I offered to bring dessert. The last dinner party we had co-hosted with another friend had consisted of no less than six courses, so the bar was high.

I was told the theme was loosely Mediterranean, so I was struggling a little. In the end, I went slightly Spanish, with some Moorish influences. Then I sort of just abandoned the theme…

Top left is crema catalana. A variation on creme brûlée, only accented with citrus and cinnamon instead of vanilla. Next to that, is a baked peach in filo, topped with pistachio and cardamom spiced ricotta. In the foreground is some orange, date and fig gastrique, and finally two macarons: one with a dark chocolate and tangello ganache, the other with white chocolate and passionfruit. All in all, a smashing success! Paired with a Yering Station late harvest Pinot Gris.