Sunday, May 15, 2011

As Weekends Go!!!!

This Saturday night was our first open fire for the coming winter season - we love winter in Melbourne. Open fires, scarves and overcoats. All the seasons have their special moments to enjoy. Coming home from work Friday arvo, the traffic was chaotic. The freeway was bumper to bumper on the Bolte bridge that spans the Docklands waterways BUT, there was a "special moment".

Storms approaching

I detest Friday late afternoon on Melbourne's freeways. One consolation is that Friday Champagne waiting for me when I get home.
Normally you are travelling at 80 kph and you don't have an opportunity to view the skyline of Melbourne. On this occasion with the stop-start traffic, high above the waterways, I could see the impending storm rushing towards the CBD. Blue turned to grey as the skies darkened. Like the Crowded House song, "Four Seasons in One Day", the storm had passed over and glimpses of blue poked through the clouds.
Friday night for us is Champagne to celebrate the start of the weekend and we had plans - firstly a very special friend with his lady were coming for dinner on Saturday night. Sunday was a cycling day where I was to introduce a group of my cycling friends to the excitement of riding on a steeply banked indoor velodrome - but more about Sunday later.

Sue being the obsessive foodie that she is, is preparing the meal as I write this. Now how obsessive is she did I hear you ask!
Well she's even instructed me on how to place these new plates on the table. I'm told to place the higher outer lip to the outer side - my God!!!!!
Oh yes, the other instructions included vaccuming, tidying, preparing the open fire, buying the wine for the meal - it's a tough life.

The wine:
A Hunter Valley Verdelho white for the entree.
For the main course, our favorite Cotes-du-Rhone from M.Chapoutier (2007).
We discovered a lovely sticky last year in France from Monbazillac through a friend who lives in Paris.
I found two bottles falling into my basket as I left Uncle Dan's cellar.
One for the desert and one for us at a later date.

The Menu:
Entree - Arancini Balls with a Capsicum Sauce. (What are these Sue? BTW, she talks in green)
Little balls of risotto stuffed with peas and mozzarella. Bought from a lovely deli. The sauce I made of roasted red capsicum, roasted garlic, blitzed with a little chicken stock, salt, pepper and a spoonful of cream added at the end. Shaved pecorino to finish.
Main Course - This is a Cous Cous chicken thing with roasted veggies of pumpkin, carrots, red onion, sweet potato, fennel, and that's about all I know - Hey Sue, can you explain this for our readers please?
Sure Leon..a bed of cous cous with raisins, perserved lemon and pomegranate. Then chicken marinated in a chermoula sauce then roasted and placed on top of the cous cous with a garlicy sauce on top. A little bed of rocket in the middle. Served with the cumin roasted veggies Leon mentioned, except for the fennel, which was sliced finely and added to spinach and fresh orange in a salad.

The dining table set ready for the guests. Sue's cook books and my CDs in the background.
And she says I have too many CDs - Ha!
Desert - Vanilla Panna Cotta with this really yummy raspberry coulis (which I got to try earlier) and almond bread. Sue how did you make that raspberry thing?
It was a vanilla and orange panna cotta, as I infused the cream with orange rind and a vanilla pod. Cheez Leon. The raspberry "thing" coulis was just blitzed raspberries with a little icing sugar and a little lemon juice.
It was a relaxing and pleasant Saturday night spent with friends.

My job is to be entertaining while clearing the table, bringing the kitchen back  from a middle eastern war zone and washing the dishes, etc. that's what he does. Sometimes my kitchen still has a middle eastern accent in the morning!

Hope I can get up in the morning for a 7.30 am start.

Yes, I did and we are at the track. It's Sunday morning and I have a gaggle of newbies for their first ride on a steeply banked board track. They enjoyed themselves taking a little while to get used to the 45 degree banked bends but by the end of the day, most were skooting around the top near the fence - I was very proud of their courage.

The smiles of anticipation (or Fear) Behind is that wall of fear to ride on.
 Its now 9.30 pm Sunday Night and time to retire - hope your weekend was rewarding. I think I may have spent all my brownie points today and will have some house repair jobs next weekend.


  1. Stormy here too today. It's nice to be inside and warm when it's stormy outside. That meal looks fantastic! I'm drooling as I write this.

  2. That meal looks fantastic Sue. Leon I have never cycled on a banked track, not sure I would be very happy to try either!
    Cloudy here today but still no rain, the situation is getting serious and the crops look very sad. Diane

  3. That meal looks superb, we would be pleased to be served it in any fine restaurant, anywhere. I can see influences from all sorts of places. Delish.....
    Glad you had a nice weekend. We are still in Sunday afternoon mode and are making bread, marinating rhubarb in lemon and ginger for some jam and Nick has gorn fishin' ... !! I am just about to earth up my potatoes and the cuckoo is calling in the woods. Lulu is snoring on the sofa after a long walk. There will be Vouvray and roast beef later... happy days.

  4. Craig - You should be enjoying your summer now while we creep into winter. There were a few areas of Victoria experiencing zero and sub-zero temps this weekend.

  5. Diane, Best place to eat is at home but We do go our as well.
    Sounds like you're having the drought we had up until last year and then the floods came.

  6. Jean - yes I agree with your comments on Sue's cooking - trouble is that friends love coming here but won't invite us - (only jokin'). It's just as much fun to enjoy takeaway Pizza with good company.
    Hope you enjoyed your Vouvray - we can get it here but expensive.

  7. I wonder if Elvis would have been smiling if he knew what was in store for him?

  8. Hi Leon and Sue, I have just returned from a brief trip to the UK and am now enjoying catching up with my favourite blogs. The cous cous chicken dish sounds good, you have certainly been busy since I last called by.

  9. Phil - That is his smile of fear. Thanks for stopping by.

  10. LLM - Its always a busy life but that's what makes it fun. Thought you might be on holiday as you been quiet lately. Hope you are enjoying summer.

  11. Wow! this Dinner sounds delicious Sue - I'm a foodie and love to hear what other people serve up to their guests. I've never tried the arancini balls but seeing I love risotto I'm sure this would be a treat - and the cous cous with chicken and roast vegs Yum!!
    Love this post!


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