17 February 2013

Dinner for four

Dinner for four

Hi there!
So, I invited 2 friends over, and cooked a dinner for four, which I hope they enjoyed.
You can prepare almost everything in advance, so that you can enjoy the time with your friends!
Here what I have done

Sliced home-made bread spread with ricotta, figs, dried tomatoes and scattered peanuts

Bread. You can make this in the morning (or even the day before)

500 grams of seeded flour (but you can use any bread flour you want)
1 tsp of quick yeast
2 tsp of sugar
1 tsp of salt
Lukewarm water (enough until you have an elastic dough)
5 tbsp olive oil

To spread
50 grams of Ricotta
3 dried figs thinly sliced
few dried tomatoes in olive oil (or you can use fresh small tomatoes)
a small handful of peanuts

Main course
Pork rolls with grilled vegetables
2 packs of pork medallions, which are about 16 slices
2 aubergines
2 round courgettes
Be careful, always wash your hands when you manipulate raw meat, wash every surface/cutlery/utensils you use. Try to buy pork that was responsibly farmed!


For the cream, you find the recipe here.
For the choux buns
150 ml of water
60 grams of flour (I use bread flour)
50 grams of butter
2 eggs

Mix all the ingredients together, just be careful yeast and salt do not come close together (mix well before adding the salt), until you get an elastic dough. Cover and leave in a warm place to rest until double in size.
Slightly grease a 2lb tin (900 grams), knock over the dough, mix again for a couple of minutes, fit it into the tin and leave it again to rest for 1 hour.
Pre-heat the oven at 230 degrees, cook the bread until risen and golden brown.
When you knock on the top, it has to sound hollow! I usually cook it for 25-30 minutes, then I unmolded and cook it upside down for further 5 minutes.
Leave it to cool on a rack.

My home made bread

Before your guests arrive, slice the bread, warm it in the oven under the grill, spread over the ricotta, add figs, tomatoes and scatter over the peanuts. Serve!

Main Course
You can grill the vegetables in advance. Cut the aubergines and the round courgettes in round thin slices, you can use half slice for every slice of meat, and bring the rest of the veggies to the table.
You can prepare everything before your guests arrive, leave it in the fridge and cook it just before eating. They take about 10 minutes to cook.
Flour each pork slice, add half slice of aubergine/courgette, roll and set aside.
When you are finished, cover with cling-film and leave it in the fridge.
When you are ready, heat a non sticking pan, add some olive oil and cook your rolls at full whack for about 10 minutes, making sure they are golden brown, and cooked thoroughly (you cannot serve uncooked pork!)
Bring to the table together with the grilled vegetables (warm the up before!)

For the cream, you find the recipe here.

For the choux buns
150 ml of water
60 grams of flour (I use bread flour)
50 grams of butter
2 eggs

Pre-heat the oven at 200 degrees.
Add the butter to the water and bring it to boil.
 As soon as it is boiling, switch off the heating; add the flour and stir well until combined. Add one egg at the time, and mix until you end up with a smooth and silky paste.

Wet a baking sheet under running water, squeeze it, cover the oven trail and spoon small quantities of you batter, making sure they are at least 2 cm aside.
Cook the choux-buns for 10 minutes, increase the temperature at 220 and cook for 10 minutes or until risen and golden (they may take 2-3 minutes more).
When they are ready, take them out of the oven and pierce them with a tooth peak to let the steam out.
Fill the choux buns with the cream JUST BEFORE SERVING, or they will go soggy.
Scatter some dust sugar on top and serve

Buon appetito!!!


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