Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chloe Likes To Eat

I missed Chloe Likes To Eat last week because I was away in London. That's not to say I didn't eat lots of things that were well worth a mention here (my aunt's roast chicken and trimmings springs to mind, as does the beef fillet she wandered in with on Saturday night), it's just I failed to take any photos of anything and I had no Internet access to get the post up last Tuesday as I was somewhere between London Euston and the Lake District.

I am, however back with a meal full of yummy things to share. This was dinner for 6 of us one night last week when we had family visiting. It started off being "just" a simple a dinner- a pasta bake, then dad was able to spend a whole afternoon in the kitchen....

In pairs (top and bottom) from L-R
Pasta Bake
Mezze Plate
Strawberry Pavlova
Shall I start from the beginning?
Clockwise from Top Left
The full plate,
and again
Spadini cooking
Spadini on the plate
 A mezze plate can be a great starter- lots of flavours without going overboard on quantity. This particular version is probably as far from it's North African roots as possible, but it was tasty never the less.

On ours you will find.... (Clockwise from top centre of top right image above)
Vine leaf stuffed with rice salad and a drizzle of minted yoghurt
Spadini- minced chicken, garlic and herbs, rolled into a long thing cylinder, coated in bread crumbs and shallow fried.
Potato Salad
Rocket Leaves
Manchego Cheese
Cherry Tomato
Our own Hummus
Carrot and Sesame Seed salad (centre)

My dad also made some very yummy focaccia with pine kernels and sultanas in it and the top is drizzled with our own tomato sauce and chunks of mozzarella. So. Damn. Tasty.

Onto the main course next
Main Course
Pasta bake before on left and after on right
 A pasta bake. I love a pasta bake. They can be so simple to put together and yet they're so tasty and they can be pretty healthy if they have a lot of veg and you're not too heavy handed with the cheese.

This one is a break from the usual tomato sauce based version. The sauce is a saffron bechamel and it had courgettes, french beans, spinach and green peppers in it, topped with a light sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. I love the pre-cooked look of it, as the colours are just so happy, that said the cooked version I'd happily have in front of me a few meals running!

Dessert. A must say, when he announced he was making pavlova, I wasn't really sure what to say to my dad. I hate cream, in particular desserts covered or filled with it. My mother also doesn't eat cream. But this is a clever pavlova.

Clockwise from Top Left
Ready to go out
It's actually made with yoghurt and creme fraiche instead of cream. A 50:50 mix of both with vanilla to add some flavour, it really lightens the dessert (both in flavour and calories) and makes it a touch healthier. The sharpness of the yoghurt, although less intense with the added vanilla, still cuts through the sweetness of the meringue and the strawberries nicely.

We served it with a little splash of chocolate sauce, which was a little bonus and added a bit of richness to the whole thing and to say it went down well would be an understatement. In fact, I hoovered up about a half of the leftovers, which may or may not have equated to half of the whole pavlova...

Do you have a go-to family dinner that you use when there are a lot of you to feed? Do you like to mix up ideas- Italian, North African, British and Spanish all on one plate?!

Oh... and if you haven't already entered, I'm running a little Thank You giveaway at the moment, 4 chances to get your hands on a little thank you from me for following and supporting Chloe Likes To Talk.

*Giveaway now closed.*


Alex said...

I really need to avoid reading your blog when hungry (ie all the time at the moment!). God, that food looks delicious. Must have a go at making spadini. They sound utterly yum.

Does your dad have a recipe for the focaccia or is he one of those impressive people who just makes it up as he goes along?

Etta said...

This food sounds and looks amazing!
Lush photos and post as always

Sienna said...

oh my god...the pasta bake...and the pavlova...STARVING!!

Temporary:Secretary said...

Oh, Chloe! This is my favourite sort of posts! FOOOOOD!! More please!!! (this has cheered me up, what with all the awful news of riots) x

Rebecca Smith said...

Oh my, that food ALL looks delicious! x

Maria Fallon said...

Again my food minister approves, this all looks divine!

Maria xxx