Two years ago I was honoured to be invited to a dinner party like no other, The Nattu sisters Jamie and Steph, over the last couple of years, organised 2 events a year, best known as Summer feed and winter feed respectively, mainly because those were the seasons they occurred in.
Summer Feed is a collection of friends brought together by food, every one brings a dish, either a starter, main course or dessert, according to the theme set in this respective occasion.
2011’s theme was food from South East Asian, countries on the list included Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. These countries are only heard of, when we watch the opening ceremony of the Olympics.
Jamie and Steph are remarkable party hosts, and the venue being in their home, other venues included the park, I love alfresco dining.
The premise again, everyone invited, brings a labelled dish, a starter or main course, drinks, serving spoons and extra containers to take leftovers home. The Nattus provides the nibbles and desserts.
It’s always a joyous occasion, an opportunity to catch up with old friends in a relaxed atmosphere, looks of chatter, hugs and kisses.
Then the competition begins, food is divided into starters and desserts, and everyone helps themselves from the buffet table getting a chance to sample everything, and then must vote on the best dish in each category i.e. best starter and best main.
With so many options, it does get tricky, although the best dish will always come up trumps.
Everything on the table from home made spring rolls, sticky pulled pork, honey chicken noodles, stuffed figs, and my Main course Malaysian fish curry, Mullet slow cooked in a rich, coconut milk curry sauce.
The votes are secretly collated, and displayed for all to see, it is the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. I did however win an even more prestigious price, might be a consolation, but nevertheless, the most authentic Southeast Asian Dish.
Then it’s time to plunge into summer desserts, ice-creams, fresh fruit and creamy sauces.
And then the party really begins.
I love the idea that food can bring people together, a group of friends to party and meet up, a family round the dinner table. Good food always puts a smile on everyone’s face
My version of the winning main course dish for that year is below, Vietnamese duck and egg noodles
Till next time
Roast Duck and Soft boiled Duck egg and Pak choi noodles.
4 Duck breasts
2 Duck eggs
2 Bunches Pak choi blanched (cooked 1 min in boiling water
2 cloves of crushed garlic
1 small piece of ginger finely chopped
1 bunch spring onions chopped
4 Frankfurter sausages (optional)
Dark Soy sauce
Dried or fresh noodles (I prefer Udon thick noodles)
2 tea spoons Olive oil
Marinate Duck breasts with salt and pepper, more salt on the skin.
Heat up a non stick frying pan, and without any fat or oil, place duck breast skin side down on the pan, for 2 – 3 mins, as the skin browns.
Flip over and place the whole pan in a preheated oven at 180 degrees to cook for 4 mins,
Remove duck breasts from pan and rest for at least 10 mins, for all the juices to be reabsorbed into the duck meat, keep cooking juices in the pan separate
Mean while soft boil the duck eggs in salted boiling water (6mins for soft boiled, 7 minutes for hard boiled) remove and run under cold water to stop the cooking.
In the salted water, add the noodles, cooking time according to packet instructions.
In the duck frying pan, on medium heat, fry the chopped spring onion, garlic and ginger, add the blanched pak choi, Soy sauce, and simmer with duck juices, toss in the cooked noodles
Slice the duck breast into 5-6 slices, and half a runny duck egg, seasoned with sea salt and pepper, serve with noodles and pak choi