alternative dining, basil, bok choy, Brooklyn, cilantro, dinner, fish, food, foodie, herbs, laab, lychee, mango, mint, New York, New York City, orange, salad, supper club, underground dinner, watercress
Many thanks to my wonderful dinner guests! You always make each Foodie Friends Dinner so memorable with your vibrant personalities. For those who have never been and are curious about the supper club experience, I would say that besides the delicious food that is served, a large part of the supper club experience is meeting new and interesting people. As I listened to the conversations, I was amazed at the diverseness of the topics that were covered at my Sticky Fingers Dinner – the music scene throughout the US and Europe, TED Talks, and life in Sweden (since three of my dinner guests were visiting from Sweden) – and those were only the parts that I heard! In addition, my guests are able to observe what I’m doing in the kitchen and ask questions while I’m putting each dish together.
On Saturday, as the bulk of my guests arrived, I set out some cut mango for them to enjoy while I put the finishing touches on the Mango and Watercress Salad. The flavors of this salad had been brewing in my head for the last two weeks and I couldn’t wait to get the reaction from my guests. All of the little touches in this salad – the black-eyed peas, the red bell pepper, and sprouts – really made it phenomenal! My guests loved the combination in flavors and texture! It was such a hit that there’s a very good chance I’ll serve this again with shrimp at a brunch in the near future.
While mixing up the Fish Laab, I was talking to one of my guests. So, guess what happened? I ended up putting all of the chilies into the laab and mixing it up before I realized what I had done. For a brief moment, I thought, “Oops! I hope this isn’t too spicy for my guests.” Thankfully, I had only minced the amount I had thought I would need. I tasted it and thought it should be fine based on the fact that all of them had told me they could handle spice. But just to be sure, I had the gentleman who was talking with me taste it to let me know. He was immediately blown away by how good it was and assured me that it wasn’t too spicy. He and his comrade quickly rushed back to their seats so they could be served. 🙂
Once everyone was served, I demonstrated the proper way to eat this dish. You take a piece of lettuce and make a little pouch. Next, put some of the fish laab into it and wrap it up. Then, you eat it with a bite of Purple Sticky Rice and it’s soooo good! The added bonus is that there’s no other way to eat this than with your hands. So you get to relive those childhood moments of playing with your food without receiving dirty looks from anyone. Hooray!
The Bok Choy Slaw (not shown) is a dish I had come across when I was flipping channels recently. It was such an interesting fusion dish, I had to add it to this meal. I’m so accustomed to cooking bok choy that I hadn’t ever thought to eat it raw before. The crunchy slaw did not disappoint and as I suspected, the mildness of the rice vinegar in the slaw complemented the tangy zip of fresh lime in the fish laab. One thing to note is that I felt there was enough spice in my meal already. So, I chose to omit the chilies in the linked recipe above.
Last, but not least, was the delicious dessert! I wanted something that was refreshing and light. The weekend before the dinner, I happened to have some oranges that needed to be eaten so I made this drink for my daughter. I called it an Orange Creamsicle which is exactly the way it tastes. We couldn’t get enough of it so I knew this had to be part of the dessert that I served – orange creamsicle in a martini glass with a mint garnish on a dessert plate lined with lychee jello, and a strawberry and lychee umbrella skewer. Yum! Oh, and let’s not forget the mango lollipop! 🙂 (not pictured)
After dessert was cleared, the conversation was still going strong so I put out some clementines. The laughter and conversation continued until one of the guests had to leave. The part that I enjoy most about hosting dinners is how well everyone gets along. And because of this, the guests who aren’t ready to go home, generally tend to go out with each other. This time, the dinner group ended up together at a place in my neighborhood called Tutus. It was wonderful!
With so much good food and good conversation, I invite you to join me for my next Foodie Friends Dinner on May 11th. Also, make sure to subscribe to my blog to stay current with my food happenings and send me a note if you want to be personally invited by email to the next Dinner with Foodie Friends. Hope to see you at my table soon!