Sunday, July 17, 2005

Saturday Dinner for Six

roasted veg tart Posted by Picasa

With my fellow cooking 'partner' Steph, we decided we would organise a dinner for 6 at her place. We had decided we were never going to do another 'Soul Cravings' dinner again (visit the site soulcravings.blogspot.com) - see under Links where we documented this concept, but knew that we wanted to cook AND eat with our guests, making a night of it.

We invited another couple that Steph had worked with, and planned the menu:

Roasted vegetable Tart

Oxtail stew with Pumpkin Mash
Rocket and Butterhead Salad with a Poppy seed and caramelised onion dressing
Lemongrass, Mint and Lime Sorbet
Espresso Profiteroles and Ice Cream drizzled with a Warm Dark Chocolate Sauce

The starter, sorbet and desert was to be my domain, whilst Steph would focus on the Main course.
After my weekly Sat morning yoga, Steph and I met up at Tekka Market, quite easily the most amazing market in Singapore. There is NOTHING that you can't find here. It's about 40% cheaper than Cold Storage, and the variety is mind boggling. For a food enthusiast, going to Tekka Market for the first time after you've been subjected to limp vegetables and well, dead looking fish at your nearby supermarket is like a kid going to Disney land for the first time.
The vegetables look like they've been freshly plucked from a nearby farm, the herbs don't come in plastic packets in stingy limp proportions, but in big leafy bunches. The fish look quite positively alive and many of the stall owners are incredibly helpful and knowledgeable.

I took pictures on Steph's camera, but unfortunately it's on film so it might take us a while to finally get it scanned and posted. I will definitely do an entry on Tekka Market though, because I really do think it's a fascinating place.

Anyway, We bought what we needed for the night, and started preparing once we got home.

Let me start with the Roasted Vegetable Tart.
Make a portion of shortcrust pastry
Chop up aubergine, yellow pepper, cherry tomatoes and courgettes into bite size chunks. Place them in a roasting pan and drizzle over some olive oil and salt.
bake at 375 degrees for half an hour.
Line 6x 10cm tart tins with the shortcrust pastry and bake blind for 15 mins, remove the baking weights, puncture base of tart with a fork and bake for another 10 mins.
Chop up mozarella cheese into bite size chunks, mix into the roasteed vegetables.
Place a teaspoon of pesto sauce into the base of the tart, fill tart with roasted vegetables and bake for another 10 mins.
Remove when the cheese has melted.
Garnish with a Basil leaf.

It was quite tricky removing the tart from it's casing without breaking up the tart altogether, but i managed after my ginger attempts to ease it out. i love this recipe. I think it looks great, and it's a nice little starter.


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