Thursday, March 03, 2011

CHATTER 32 Dinner at HIS/HER Table 03/2011

It's only right that a blogger who names his site 'At My Table' should share his skills, knowledge and dinner table not only on the i'net but also in real time, 3D, with friends and colleagues. It was our very good fortune to be the lucky recipients of Neil and Dorothy's hospitality last night, and what hospitality it was!
After a bottle of Mumm we were treated to a remarkable meal, leaning towards Spanish flavours.
A coarse textured guacamole was irresistible, its flavour enhanced by just the right amount of lime juice and chopped ripe tomato and coriander. This was accompanied by a very light pork crackling and corn chips. Like magic it disappeared at about the same time as the champagne, only to be replaced by another course.
This was a special version of paella, arrosa a la banda in Spanish,

using a short Spanish rice with saffron, cooked in a home made fish stock in a pan and garnished with lightly cooked calamari and herbs. The stock was especially flavoursome and suffused the dish with a gentle, mouth watering taste of the sea.
If you do not know the word moorish, which here does not refer to an Othello like North African, but to a condition which can only be satisfied by experiencing more of what you have only just had, this dish would make it's meaning quite clear. It simply cannot be bettered.
A tomato, Marengo cheese, scorched almonds, peppers and anchovie stuffed olive salad was so attractive it was a shame to eat it but we over came our reluctance and again could hardly stop.

It was beautifully dressed with a light olive oil and a sherry vinegar which combined to bring the best out of the other ingredients, especially the cheese.
What might have been the piece de resistance, had everything else not been so very good, was fresh, line caught, King George whiting fillets from Westernport Bay. These were lightly cooked in butter.
Almost sweet and moist, they were a fine end to the main courses, I could have eaten a dozen of them!
Two more bottles of light white wines, one Spanish and one Portuguese matched the food, making it even better.
Dorothy put together a mixture of berries
which we had with lashings of lightly beaten sweetened cream,

coffee and a fantastic, slightly soft, hazelnut nougat.
Here are the links to the recipes for the dishes we had guacamole.
For more of Neils recipes, and opinions too, see his blog at

Neil and Dorothy demonstrated a lightness of touch, and provided a visual pleasure for us with a meal to make many a chef jealous.
I wish we could have seen Neil on Masterchef!


neil said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Had been meaning to do the arroz a la banda for you, but just needed the fish bones first. Hard to believe that with so few ingredients a dish could be so packed with flavour.

Elliot and Sandra said...

Hi Neil
It's a constat source of pleasure that home cooking can be so good. Simply delicious and deliciously simple. Great that there's no copyright on using other peoples recipes!!
E & S

thanh7580 said...

Looks like a brilliant meal. Neil, you truly are a great cook.

Elliot and Sandra said...

Perhaps we should organize another blogger dinner. Neil loves cooking, maybe he might consider it, perhaps with help from some of us. Alternatively I'd love to get one of the Masterchef finalists to cook for us all.