Sunday, December 30, 2007

Dinner Party - Roast Pork

After my last very successful dinner party where I did a roast lamb, Kin suggested that I do another one. It was a good suggestion seeing as I'm pretty broke at the moment after spending up big this Christmas, so it was cheaper to eat at home.

After Jo and I went through her cookbooks, I decided (or Jo asked me to) make a Roast Pork with Mango Chutney. So here were the results.

The roast pork turned out fantastic. It was so simple. I just scored the skin and rubbed in heaps of olive oil and salt. I then sat the meat on a bed of unpeeled garlic cloves.

The mango chutney was the thing that took the most time actually. It too turned out much better than I thought. The acidic, tart, sweet flavours of the chutney goes really well with the rather bland pork.

The blood clams with worcestershire sauce is one of my favourite dishes. Again the tang from the worchestershire sauce in conjunction with chilli, garlic, sugar and vinegar is great with the blood clams.

A simple salad of mixed greens, cheese, red onions, anchovies and a balsamic vinegar dressing gave some lightness to the meal. The mash potato was all Kin's work (so he claims. I had to guide him through every step). It was beautifully creamy was he put some cream as well as butter into it. Salt of course is a must in mash.

Garlic bread was simply some grilled bread with butter on it. Then I rubbed garlic on the bread to infuse the flavour and sprinkled some dried parsley.

Finally, the pièce de résistance, in my opinion anyway since I'm such a dessert fan, was the Baked Cherry and Almond Cheesecake I made. The recipe was originally for a blueberry and hazelnut cheesecake, but I modified it and made it my own. This is definitely THE BEST cheesecake I've tasted ever. The base is so yummy, with the almond flakes, the brown sugar, oatmeal biscuits and flour being baked to this crunch mixture. The cheesecake portion is just cream cheese, egg and cream. However, the cherries were boiled in a mixture of honey, lemon juice and sugar and tastes so good. The combination of flavours and texture is perfect. I don't think cheesecake can get much better. I would like to be proven wrong. I will post the recipe for this cheesecake soon.

Here's Tu and Phuong finishing off their meals.

The rest of the night was spent playing the highly addictive Guitar Heroes. Here is Kin rocking it.

I must say, I never considered myself a cook and always say I can't cook. But lately I've given it more and more of a go. I can't say I enjoy cooking, like I have started to enjoy baking, but I do like making a finished product. I find that cooking, unlike baking, requires more instinctual touches. It forces me to think, what would go well with this flavour. And in most cases, I find I have a solution. From watching so many cooking shows, and just my natural love of food and flavours, in most cases I can pair things together. I mean I've been doing that for ages. I always give people opinions on what they should cook together, but now I have to do what I say to others. I don't think I'll ever enjoying cooking due to the terrible preparation work, but I do enjoy creating something from scratch where I can control all aspects of the flavour and texture. I might stick to baking more though as my true passion is desserts and sweet things.


  1. Thanh, I think your courage in the kitchen has moved in leaps and bounds! I often find the cooking process a little stressful, but the satisfaction of a successful new meal and the appreciation I get from friends and family make it more than worth it. Looks like your cheesecake was more than worth it too. :-D

  2. Cindy, I find cooking a bit stressful too. It's so hard to get the timing just right for everything. I guess that's one area where the skill lies. The other is to match flavours, which I think I'm quite good at. The appreciation from others is one aspect that has started me cooking.

    The cheesecake is so good. I've got two "orders" for it already. I made another one for my Aunty for her party and the guests were fighting over it. They each quickly got a piece and claimed it as theirs. She even said she would pay me to make another one for her. I said there was no need to pay me and I'll make her another one the next time I make one.

  3. Where did you get yr blood clams from?! I like to just steam/boil mine, and dip it in home made chilli sauce. Yum...

  4. Hi Marc, you can buy them by the kilo from the many fish and seafood shops in Springvale.

    I also like to eat them boiled too. I dip them in a home made fish sauce mixture.