26 October 2010

Supper Club #5

A little belated in getting this one up.  Another fun filled Supper Club with delicious food and exceptional company.  Thanks Steph for a beautiful meal and Supper Club girls for fun!

To kick things off Polpettine.  Tasty little Sicilian Meatballs by way of Annabel Langbein.  For those of you not in n NZ you should look her up.  Great fresh, seasonal inspiration.  The lemon flavour really comes through and the currants add a little sweetness...seriously moreish little morsels.


Serves 6 as an appetizer

1 cup day old breadcrumbs, preferably ciabatta or sourdough 
1/4 cup water or milk 
500g minced pork 
2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1tbsp chopped capers 
1/2 tsp chilli flakes, you could add a few more if you like a little more heat.
1/4 tsp fresh rosemary, very finely chopped
2 tbsp currants, finely chopped 
1/4 cup Parmesan, freshly grated 
Zest of 1 lemon 
Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 250 °C.
Mix the breadcrumbs with water or milk to soften. Stand for a couple of minutes before adding all the remaining ingredients.  Work the mixture together well with your hands. Use wet hands to form mixture into 24 balls about the size of big walnuts.
Place meatballs on a shallow baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 8-10 minutes until firm to the touch and lightly golden.   Alternatively they can be fried in a little olive oil until golden brown (about 12-15 minutes.) Serve hot with dipping sauce.

Crème Fraiche Sauce 
Mix 1 cup crème fraiche with 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley and 1 tablespoon chopped capers. Makes just over 1 cup and it will keep in the fridge for a few days.)

Cooks tip:  I just used traditional supermarket breadcrumbs and they were fine. These browned up well in the oven but use a metal tray (the ones on the Pyrex tray didn’t brown!)  Annabel says this is also nice served with a tomato pasta sauce. Only light Crème Fraiche was available which made the sauce quite watery – hold out for the full fat stuff!

For the main event Veal Scallopini, a classic and it was delicious.  I love mushrooms so anything in a creamy mushroom sauce works for me.

Veal Scallopini

Serves 4

4 veal steaks 
30g butter 
1 small onion chopped finely 
1/4 cup (60ml) dry sherry 
2 tsp flour 
1/2 cup (125ml) beef stock 
125g button mushrooms, sliced thinly 
2 tbsp cream


Remove fat from veal and pound it out thinly. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and cook the veal, while butter is foaming, about 3 minutes, turning once. Remove from pan and cook the onion until soft. Pour in the sherry. Bring the sherry to the boil. Stir in the blended flour and stock and stir until sauce comes to a boil. Return the veal to pan. Add the mushrooms and mix well. Cover the pan ad simmer gently for 10 minutes. Stir in cream and stir until heated through.

On the side Potato Fennel Gratin from Ina Garten the Barefoot Contessa...fail proof, flawless and always delicious recipes.  With all the butter and cream they are always going to taste great.  This was creamy, cheesy and decadent and just how a gratin should be.  Pretty sure as with most gratins these are always great the next day too.  Sadly not often any leftovers!

Potato-Fennel Gratin (The Barefoot Contessa)

Serves 10 - easy enough to half for smaller quantity.
2 small fennel bulbs 
1 onion, thinly sliced 
2 tbsp good olive oil 
1 tbsp unsalted butter 
1kg russet potatoes (4 large, I used Agria) 
2 cups plus 2 tbsp cream
2 1/2 cups (250g) grated Gruyere 
Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 180 °C. Butter the inside of a 25cm x 40cm x 5cm (10 cup) baking dish. Remove stalks from the fennel and cut the bulbs in half lengthwise. Remove the cores and thinly slice crosswise. Sauté the fennel and onions in the olive oil and butter on medium-low heat for 15 minutes, until tender.
Peel the potatoes, and then thinly slice them by hand or with a mandoline. Mix the potatoes in a large bowl with 2 cups of cream, 2 cups of Gruyere, salt and pepper. Add the sautéed fennel and onion and mix well. Pour the potatoes into the baking dish. Press down to smooth the potatoes. Combine the remaining 2 tbsp of cream and 1/2 cup of cheese and sprinkle on top. Bake for 1 1/2 hours until potatoes are very tender and the top is browned and bubbly. Allow to set for 10 minutes before serving.
These two dishes are nice served with fresh green beans. I can attest to that.

Cooks Tip: I used Veal Back Straps from Nosh (gourmet market in NZ) – amazingly tender. I tried to flatten the steaks out with a glass (no mallet) which didn’t really work but they still tasted nice!
I also noticed that the steaks cooked terribly in the electric fry pan vs. the more traditional fry pan.

Frangelico Affogato (inspired by Steph's friend Jane!)

Frangelico:a brand of noisette, or hazelnut and herb-flavored liqueur which is produced in Canale, Italy. It was released in the 1980s, gaining attention largely because of its unusual packaging: its bottle was designed to look like a friar, complete with a knotted white cord around the waist.  Frangelico is made in a similar manner to some other nut liqueurs: nuts are crumbled up and combined with cocoa, vanilla berries, and other natural flavors, and then left to soak in the base spirit. After the spirit has absorbed the flavor of the ingredients, the liqueur is filtered, sweetened, and bottled. This is also great served over ice with a squeeze of fresh lime.

Serves 4

2 cups freshly brewed strong espresso (plunger fine) 
80ml (1/3 cup) Frangelico liqueur 
4 scoops vanilla ice-cream  

Combine the coffee and liqueur in a jug. Spoon the ice cream in the serving glasses. Pour coffee mixture over. Serve immediately.

Yum...ice cream, Frangelico and coffee.  The perfect ending to another fabulous Supper Club.  Next stop Ms Teresa's so watch this space.

Gemma also enjoyed Supper Club...


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