Sunday, April 01, 2007
We had some friends over today, with their 4 months old daughter Zoe. I was in a creative culinary mood, so I drove to the foreigners’ market in Antwerp yesterday morning to stock in on veggies, seafood and meat. I hoped I could do something with fresh spring vegetables, but it’s still a bit early for that and the best I found were beautiful green beans, green asparagus (although rather pricey) and spring onions. Of course there was loads more, but most of it is imported from far away and therefore it doesn’t have the same fresh taste as new veggies. I added a touch of winter by buying some nice big oyster mushrooms.
For the entry, I wokked salmon filets, giant shrimp and coquille Saint-Jacques (scallops) which I served with the green asparagus and Hollandaise sauce. For the main course, I made tenderloin which I sprinkled with salt, pepper and spicy paprika powder. Then I coated the two pieces with mustard and a bit of ketchup (to take the sting out of the mustard). I put it in a pan for a minute or two to make it crust and then it went in the oven for twenty minutes. I served it with sweat potatoes, boiled and then roast in the oven and with a nice topping of home-made garlic and parsley butter. And when I say garlic butter I mean garlic butter. All neighbours in a 500m. radius have been evacuated by the police and the chemical disaster unit. Luckily, our guests were fond of garlic but next time I’ll reduce the number of cloves from seven to three.
So tenderloin with sweet potato with garlic butter with green beans. I used the oyster mushrooms to make a lovely cream sauce, to which I added the spring onions and some fresh parsley.
I’m happy to say that our guests gorged themselves, apart from baby Zoe who is still on a milk diet. She did try some of the sweet potato and seemed to like it. I liked it too, it was the first time I prepared it. Actually, the whole menu was a first that rolled out of my head as I passed between the different vendors on the market. I like taking a bit of risk when I receive guests. But everything turned out splendidly and I got a lot of compliments.
Desert was catered for by the wife, as I really don’t have a sweat tooth. Her cake too was splendid in all its simplicity. All in all a very nice day, with good conversation, a very nice walk in the beautiful spring weather and fine food.