I wrote about our dear friend’s dinner on
this post last year. The 7 course Italian dinners that Janet and Phifinne make are remarkable – taste, ambiance, warmth are all to perfection. I have always wanted to try and replicate the course style entertaining but it somehow just doesn’t fit in our Indian setting. First there is drinking with heavy snacks which seem never ending. This followed, not before 10pm, by a buffet spread with heavy gravy dishes ending with the essential sweet dish. Leaving early is an insult to the host so there is no way to excuse yourself and staying for dinner is followed by, “please wait, I am serving the dessert in just two minutes.”
After a year I finally got around to hosting my sit-down dinner, the drawback of which is space. Our table holds at the most 8 people so only 3 couples could be invited. The planning and cooking were as much fun as the actual dinner.
Indians like Indian food. They have adapted their pastas, pizzas and stir-frys to their taste and in the end they prefer to have a desi flavour. When planning the menu, I found it difficult to make everything bland – not because of the guests but because of my taste as well (I am desi afterall). I made it a mix of American (Thanksgiving was around the corner) and European, but the food seemed too bland. I added a prawns rechado, a Goan dish, to give it a bit of zing.
My menu was:
1st course: spaghetti with marinara sauce
2nd course: salad
3rd course: roast chicken, maple-glazed sweet potatoes, beet and prune salad, spinach and cheese casserole, and prawns rechado.
4th course: tiramisu, pecan pie
5th course: coffee with chocolates
No one opted for the coffee course and I omitted the fruit course, just because there was just too much food. All in all everything went well and I was happy with the outcome. If I were to do it again I would have more Indian food – perhaps an entire Goan theme. Stay tuned.