A lunch with food bloggers always means food. Lots of delicious, mouth-watering, and interesting food. The awesome Richard opened up his home and a gaggle of food-bloggers descended upon it bringing bountiful plates of meat, desserts and other waist-line expanding goodies.
Perhaps one of the most intriguing foods was Suze’s almost-lethal Luther Burgers. Hidden inside a sticky Krispy Kreme donut was a beef patty, oh-so-crispy bacon, cheese, pineapple, and a fried egg. So wrong, yet so tasty!
The Ninja brought along some tasty gourmet sausages, while Shez contributed some fresh, home-made ham, cheese and cherry tomato bread. Leona also brought along some Indian snacks purchased from Newtown, but sadly I didn’t get a photo of these.
I made a simple potato salad, using some boiled potatoes, whole-egg mayonnaise, sour cream and chives, with a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
Simon contributed a plate which he called Chicken Surprise. These were deep-fried balls of chicken with a literal surprise filling inside, including cheese, asparagus and ham. The other surprise was that one of the crumbed chicken balls was filled with wasabi, which The Ninja was lucky enough to consume.
When it comes to food bloggers, one plate of pork belly simply isn’t enough. Richard and Billy provided two types of pork belly to satisfy our tastebuds – Richard’s was sweet and sticky whereas Billy’s was more like the chinese “siu yuk” but with the most amazing crackling and hoisin dipping sauce. Both of them were delicious and I would have just kept going back for more if I wasn’t getting really full!
Of course a meal would not be complete without dessert – or several desserts! Steph made a melty, gooey S’mores Cheesecake which she toasted at the table with her nifty blowtorch! The chocolate cheesecake filling was slightly bitter which went great with the sweet toasty marshmallows.
Teresa brought some cookies that were flown all the way from Momofuku in New York! These chunky cookies were massive and crunchy with some interesting flavours including chocolate, peanut and pretzel.
Lisa’s green tea-ramisu had a fantastic matcha flavour to it. Sir D liked it even more than the classic coffee-flavoured tiramisu.
Sadness – I forgot to take a photo of Shez’s orange sponge cake which had whipped cream sandwiches between it, and also the chocolate fruit pudding with whipped cream. I was probably too busy eating them both; the orange cake had a wonderful citrusy rind flavour to it and the chocolate fruit pudding was like a Christmas pudding only better with the addition of chocolate ;)
Yas and Lex came later but still brought more food! Yas bought two sushi platters from Makoto (who doesn’t love sushi?) and Lex made some amazing grilled king prawns with garlic and anchovy butter which were gone in a flash! Hence no photo of those either.
I also made a Peach and Vanilla Panna Cotta which turned out surprisingly well for my first attempt. I was worried about using gelatine but I had no problems with the recipe and the pannacotta was smooth, creamy and wobbly, while the jelly with peach halves on top was made by poaching the peaches for that peachy flavour then adding gelatine.
Peach and Vanilla Panna Cotta
from Donna Hay Modern Classics 2
For the peach jelly
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
3 peaches, halved and stoned
1 tbsp powdered gelatine
For the panna cotta
2 tbsp powdered gelatine
1/3 cup water
3 3/4 cups cream
1 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Place the water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the peaches and allow to simmer for 3-5 minutes or until soft. Remove the peaches (reserving the poaching liquid), slip off the skins and set the fruit aside.
2. Place 1/4 cup of the peach liquid in a bowl, sprinkle over the gelatine and set aside for 5 minutes. Add the gelatine mixture to the remaining liquid in the saucepan, stir through and simmer for 2 minutes or until dissolved. Place the peach halves, cut-side up, in a well greased 26cm x 8cm x 7.5cm loaf tin and pour over the liquid. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.
3. To make the panna cotta, sprinkle the gelatine over the water and set aside for 5 minutes. Place the cream, icing sugar and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat and stir. Add the gelatine mixture and simmer over low heat for 4 minutes or until dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature then pour the mixture over the set jelly and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight. To serve, dip the tin into a baking dish of warm water and invert onto a plate. Slice and serve immediately. Serves 6-8.