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Fodor's Foodies, I need your help. I need to show off with an amazing italian meal tomorrow!

Fodor's Foodies, I need your help. I need to show off with an amazing italian meal tomorrow!

Aug 1st, 2005, 04:07 AM
  #41  
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"if any?"

what a question, Ira.

We stuck to red, despite the fish pasta course, simply because it's what we all preferred.

I served A Mano Primitivo (from Sainsburys - a large supermarket chain in the UK). Very reasonable for a good Primitivo, nice and peppery. From Puglia, naturally. The Prosecco was also from Sainsbury's.

Our guests also brought a bottle from Puglia - a Salice Salentino. Oh, and naturally a chianti classico (can't remember which).
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Aug 1st, 2005, 04:09 AM
  #42  
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Jody - that looks very similar, except there wasn't any milk in mine
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Aug 1st, 2005, 04:17 AM
  #43  
 
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Thanks for the details, Kate & Jody. I think I actually have that copy of Olive, just haven't had time to read it yet !
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Aug 1st, 2005, 04:36 AM
  #44  
 
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Brava, Kate! Sounded wonderful!
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Aug 1st, 2005, 05:21 AM
  #45  
dcespedes
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Kate, this has to be one of my all time favorte threads. Glad your dinner party was so successful! Jamie Oliver aka The Naked Chef. A couple of summers ago we spent some time in the U.K. and, in addition to his cooking show, I enjoyed watching his reality show though I don't recall the name of it.
 
Aug 1st, 2005, 05:33 AM
  #46  
 
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Ph my... yum!

Start to finish. Kudo's Kate.
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Aug 1st, 2005, 05:47 AM
  #47  
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Thanks everyone.

Ddespedes, do you mean Jamie's Kitchen, where he took 15 downbeat kids and turned them into chefs? His mission to help these kids is still going - he plans to create a chain of 'Fifteen' titled restaurants, employing underprivileged, or just plain troublesome, young people. He's also done a programme where he tried to change the food served in schools. He's quite the food saint round these parts, watch out for SIR Jamie soon...
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Aug 1st, 2005, 05:50 AM
  #48  
 
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I don't know if a mostly non-cook is allowed in here: Now don't laugh. The entire menu sounds delicious, but the antipasti blew me away; figs are in season here. So tell me, did you cluster the figs and the buffalo moz., and the ham, etc., etc., on the board separately so your guests could assemble their own combination? -- or (remember the non-cook) should I picture a mixture? I'm thinking "A", but I'd like to be sure. Actually, it sounds like a work of art. This thread is another reason why I LOVE this forum. J.
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Aug 1st, 2005, 06:04 AM
  #49  
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jmw44 it's much more casual than that, and couldn't be easier to make.

You just cut a cross into the top of the figs and squeeze them at the bottom so they make a nice start shape at the top.

Arrange them randomly onto a large wooden board or serving plate.

Drape thin slices of serrano or parma ham around them - again, don't try to be too tidy about this.

Get a couple of really good balls of mozarella - the kind that tears in a crumbly way (nothing rubbery!), and just tear it into pieces with your hands and scatter over the dish.

Get a big bunch of basil and just tear the leaves with your hands and scatter over the dish.

Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic, and season if you want to.

Half of what makes this starter so appealing is its random messiness. Very sexy food - perfect for a romantic dinner. I just put some forks and spoons on the platter, gave everyone a small plate, and let them all dive in. You could also provide some nice bread so your guests can mop up the remains - you couldn't hold my guests back, they loved it so much.
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Aug 1st, 2005, 06:05 AM
  #50  
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That should, of course, be 'star' shape. I have NO idea what a 'start' shape is.
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Aug 1st, 2005, 06:08 AM
  #51  
dcespedes
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Hi Kate, yes--that's the one. Glad to know he's still involved. His passion is quite infectious.
 
Aug 1st, 2005, 06:11 AM
  #52  
 
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wow, what a nice menu. sounds wonderful.

I'm really curious about that desert with the grapes and marsala in filo. Is that recipe online somewhere? or would you be willing to reproduce it here? sounds awesome.

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Aug 1st, 2005, 06:15 AM
  #53  
 
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I'm stunned you could pull this off in a day. It sounds delicious, and a fantastic success. Lucky friends!
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Aug 1st, 2005, 06:17 AM
  #54  
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I'll have to come back to you with the recipe for the dessert - it was my partner's contribution!

It was actually quite easy to do in a day - everything was quite simple and took little preparation. The main problem is that most of it had to be done during the meal, but was all quite quick to produce. But the ingredients cost an arm and a leg!
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Aug 1st, 2005, 06:20 AM
  #55  
 
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Brace yourself, Kate. Are those figs peeled or unpeeled? I was picturing peeled, but the squeeze instruction means still with peelings on, yes? It's so easy to ask dumb questions when you're virtually anonymous. J.
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Aug 1st, 2005, 06:41 AM
  #56  
 
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Kate,
Brava!
You certainly know how to pamper your guests.
I'm duly impressed by your cooking expertise and your menu and I wasn't even there to taste it! However ,I'll be in London in October and I'll bring the wine if you want to invite
me to dinner. ;-)

Judy
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Aug 1st, 2005, 06:45 AM
  #57  
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jmw - unpeeled. That's the great thing about figs, even the skins are nice.

Jusy - October eh? Perhaps then I'll have recovered the energy. Til then it's tinned ravioli for me
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Aug 1st, 2005, 06:51 AM
  #58  
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JUDY, I meant Judy!
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Aug 1st, 2005, 06:54 AM
  #59  
 
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Kate,
Heck.. I imagine you add your own special touches to canned ravioli so that it tastes divine.

Not to worry..I have often mistyped my own name as Jusy!

Judy
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Aug 1st, 2005, 07:03 AM
  #60  
 
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I'm amazed you used a Jamie Oliver recipe. That man's food is such a mess. It's a bit like Paul Smith's designs in that respect, it's lacking direction and finish.

I hope that you smartened up the presentation a little, and cut the "smash this, dash of that, happy daytthhs" nonsense.
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