On the 27th of July was my parents’ 37th anniversary so my sisters and I decided to have a dinner dedicated to them.
The menu was 3 course meal starting with carrot and coconut soup served with focaccia. The first time I had this soup was courtesy of my friend Eileen, (thanks Eileen) anyone who knows me knows that heat and any form of chilli does not make me happy so when I heard there was chilli in this I had my doubts. Turns out it was amazing because it was such a delicious soup I had to put it as the starter it’s the perfect balance between creamy and hot its weirdly comforting.
The reason I chose focaccia it’s the easiest bread I’ve ever made and tastes so good considering the simplicity of it. It is a recipe I got from university and I had only made it once before and I got such good feedback I figured, why not? I did add two table spoons of sugar because it helps the yeast activation and the bread taste better with it. This bread is beyond easy to make no major kneading process the flavour of the olive oil and thyme go so well on its own and with the soup you’ll be making this bread and eating it all the time.
The main was fairly simple roast chicken with herbed mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. I did not follow a set recipe for this I used my personal preference but I will give you a rough amount. I cannot plate food to save my life so excuse my presentation the taste is all that matters today.
- 8 potatoes
- 200ml of cream
- fresh or dried herbs (two table spoons)
- prep: boil the potatoes for 20- 30 minutes depending on the size of them add all above ingredients slowly until you get the required consistency.
- 8 chicken thighs
- 3 garlic cloves
- mixed herb spice
- salt and pepper to taste
prep: season the chicken 4hours in advance to give the flavours time to sink in then place in a greased oven tray for 30- 45 minutes depending on your oven. keep rotating the chicken whilst its still in oven to get an even colour.
For dessert I figured chocolate cake because everybody loves chocolate and if they say they don’t get rid of them you don’t need that negativity in your life. This surprisingly is a hard cake to find a good recipe because most chocolate cake recipes tend to be really dry and just not worth the pain.as usual with my paranoia in making cakes I double the recipe after all there is no such thin g as too much cake. I assure you this is a fool proof moist chocolate cake and tasted even better (I know seems impossible) the next day, the only thing which I would say is that I did not have espresso I used instant coffee. Coffee lovers do not kill me I know it is not the same but I was working with what I had this is by far one of the moistest chocolate cakes I have made personally I am on a quest to find a better one I hear Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) is the one to beat.
link to recipes-
250g strong flour
10g fresh yeast
70ml olive oil
180ml warm water
2 table spoons sugar
1 table spoon chopped thyme
place the sugar , warm water and yeast in a bowl allow to sit for 1 hour. Then add the rest of the ingredients and begin the kneading process for five minutes ensure that the surface is well oiled . The more oil you incorporate into the bread the better it tastes.
leave to rise until doubled in size
line oven tray with baking sheets pressing down to required size let it rise for another hour
drizzle more olive oil place fingers throughout dough to create holes and insert thyme in them
place in 220c oven for 2o minutes until golden brown
carrot and coconut soup:
1 thumb ginger
11/ 2 carrot chopped finely
1 tin coconut milk
800ml vegetable stock
salt and sugar to season
fry ingredients off till soft . add stock , coconut milk and blitz. season and pass.