Monday, February 14, 2011

Dinner for Friends Part 1

Smokey Chorizo Israeli Couscous Salad

Spiced Eggplant and Peanut Salad (undressed)
Spiced Eggplant and Peanut Salad (dressed)

Sticky 5 spice Pork Ribs
Last night my dearest friend Annie, her partner Deb and their children Jesse and Ruby came over for dinner. It was long overdue to be our turn to host dinner so I wanted to make sure it delivered on the food front. Because the weather has been so hot here, it needed to be something that was not going to be too labour intensive nor require too much last minute cooking I figured that by then I would have had a couple of my fantastic frozen margarita's and may not have had the 'drive' nor motivation to finish off any cooking...if you know what I mean. 

For Xmas I was lucky enough to get the new 'Ripe' cookbook which is packed full of wonderful recipes from their fantastic deli in Grey Lynn. They are well known for their salads and homemade cakes and slices as well as their really good coffee...and essential in the morning after school drop off! I really wanted to try some of the salad recipes from the book so it was the perfect opportunity to do so.

I ended up making these delicious pork spare ribs (using happy-pig pork) from Bill Granger's book 'Feed Me Now'; chermoula chicken skewers; sausages for the kids; corn on the cobb (which I duly forgot to put on in time...those pesky margaritas'!); spiced eggplant and peanut salad; and the smoky chorizo israeli couscous salad. The flavours were fantastic and I have to say the salads were delicious. I think my favourite salad was the couscous one but I think that's because chorizo can make anything taste pretty spectacular. The spare ribs were a total hit and were very tasty and moreish. Although it was Bill's recipe I changed the cooking method a bit to how I like to cook ribs. Luckily I managed to get these last minute photos before the food went to the table so excuse me if they are a little dodgy. I totally forgot to photograph the chicken (recipe from Annabel Langbein's latest book) but it was pretty bloody delicious- if I do say so myself! 

Smoky Chorizo Israeli Couscous Salad

1 1/4 c Israeli couscous cooked for about 10 mins in boiling salted water, drained, rinsed in cold water then drained again
2 red peppers, cut into bite sized pieces
2 red onions, cut into wedges and the layers separated
1 Tbsp sweet chilli sauce
3 cloves garlic, cut into thin slivers
3 chorizo sausages, sliced into angled 1 cm pieces
1/2 c kalamata olives
2 tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper
3-4 tomatoes cut into wedges
1 c fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped
1 c  fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1 large handful baby spinach leaves
smoked paprika dressing

Oven to 180 C.

Put the peppers, onions, sweet chilli sauce, garlic, chorizo, olives and a good splash of olive oil into a roasting dish. Sprinkle over the paprika, salt and pepper, toss well to combine and roast for about 30 mins until the chorizo and onions are beginning to colour. Cool.

In a large serving bowl combine the chorizo mix with the spinach, tomatoes, couscous and herbs and drizzle over the dressing. Stir to combine well.

Smoked Paprika Dressing (This is for half the recipe and I only used a half of this)

Juice of half a lemon
40 ml white wine vinegar
1/2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika
3/4 c vegetable oil
salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix well until the oil emulsifies a bit. Season to taste.

Sticky Five-Spice Ribs

2 kg  rack of pork ribs
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
1/2 soy sauce
1/2 c hoisin sauce
60 ml honey
1 tsp 5-spice
2 Tbsp mild oil

Mix all the ingredients together and pour over the pork ribs reserving a bit for basting later. Marinate overnight (well I did). Put into a roasting dish and cover with foil. Bake at about 190 C for about 20 mins then remove the foil, baste and cook for another 45 mins, basting throughout and watching that it doesn't burn. Cut into ribs and enjoy with a flannel to wipe your hands and face as this is very messy.

The BEST Frozen Maragrita's you could ever want!

30 ml cointreau
30 ml tequila
15 ml lime juice
15 ml sugar syrup (made by bringing equal amounts of water and sugar to the boil then let to cool)
lots of ice and a great blender

Mix in a blender and serve. These pack a real punch and are perfect for these hot summer days. Try not to over indulge as I guarantee that after 2 you will be feeling very, very happy and not very inclined to do all that much!

Stay tuned for the next installment which is DESSERT and NOT to be missed!!!

1 comment:

  1. Gosh this looks yummy. I also blog on food amongst other things. You might like this post on my spicy and crunchy cole slaw