It’s been a few months since I last shared the exploits of our cookery group with you. So it’s time to catch you up on what we’ve been cooking AND eating! :) A note before I start – I don’t have the recipes for all of the dishes we cooked. Where possible I have included the links to the relevant recipes.
Early in the summer, my friend in Narbonne hosted our get together with an Italian theme. It was prime peach season, so we started our session with Bellini cocktails – peach juice and sparkling wine – way to go!!
For the starter we cooked stuffed round courgettes, which were accompanied by home-made foccacia bread.
Our main course was vitello tonnato, thinly sliced cold veal (poached the day before), covered with a tuna fish mayonnaise sauce, and decorated with anchovy fillets. With the vitello tonnato we had a beautifully crunchy salad of green beans and radishes.
For dessert we prepared peach amaretto mess – a take on Eaton mess. For those of you not familiar with this dessert, it is generally made with whopped cream, meringues and crushed strawberries. You can see how decadent it looked, and it tasted very, very good!
A month later I hosted a Mexican themed session – I adore Mexican food, and perhaps I got a little carried away in my menu planning. We had a lot to cook and eat!! Here are the Mojitos we started with:
Some years ago visitors from Texas brought me a cast-iron tortilla press (THANK YOU, Susan and Alan!!), and I decided we could make use of that, to make our own corn tortillas. For the first course we prepared Ham and chesese quesadillas with mango salsa:
This was followed by a Ceviche of scallops with avocado:
Our main course was Meat in tasty broth in the fashion of Guadalajara. It really was very tasty, and a meal in itself, accompanied by beans and grilled spring onions.
We also had a Spinach salad with amaranth seeds with our main course! We were starting to feel rather full at this point!! So full in fact, that we decided to forego the dessert we had prepared (bunuelos, a kind of doughnut, served with an anise flavoured syrup), and the Mexican hot chocolate!! :) We had a great time with all that lovely food though!
An afternoon of Caribbean food was hosted by my friends in Caunes-Minervois. I was put in charge of preparing the Simple Coconut and bean soup. It was pretty simple and incredibly delicious!!
Jerk chicken kebabs with mango salsa were our main course, but we all agreed that the jerk seasoning mixture was too spicy and lacking depth of flavour.
With the chicken kebabs we had exotic avocado salad, made prettier with the addition of pomegranate seeds. :)
Our dessert that day was spiced glazed pineapple with cinnamon fromage frais – quite a mouthful, that recipe name, but a delicious ending to a wonderful meal!
Our most recent get-together was held in La Caunette, and it had a vegetarian theme. I have to admit that I was too distracted with the cooking, to be able to take many photographs. The recipes we used were all taken from Simon Hope’s book “Entertaining with Friends”.
Our first course was a delicious salad topped with a goat’s cheese crouton:
The grilled tomatoes were for a sauce to accompany the corn fritters, which got eaten so quickly that I did not get a chance to take a picture :(
The parsnip croquettes were delicious too!
I was in charge of making the wild mushroom filo parcels – a delicious, if somewhat involved recipe.
I managed to slightly overcook the filo parcels – they were nicely crisp, but a little too brown to be photogenic!! :) No, they weren’t burnt to cinders, how could you??
For dessert we had kiwi compote, which I enjoyed more than my fellow cooks did.
So here you have it, four very different cookery sessions, with very different foods. What all the sessions have in common though, is that they were all highly enjoyable and that we would probably not have tried to cook the food we prepared on our own. If you enjoy cooking and food, why not start your own cookery group with some of your friends?? You’ll have fun, I promise!!