February 05, 2006

Blog dinner

I like to celebrate everything celebrateable (did I invent a new word there?) so yesterday five friends, frozen stiff from a belated journey on the commuter train, joined me to celebrate my now 2 500 visits on my blog. On the picture you see some leftovers - as usual I forgot to take photos before the guests gobbled up the food - but don´t they look tasty anyway?

I have planned this for quite some time, considering different dishes and approaches, but decided to go for a rather simple and hearty menu. I wanted to be able to relax and enjoy my dear friends´company!

For a starter I went for the same as on New Year´s Eve with some Italian charcuteries, crostini with tapenade and Knäckisar with red pesto. I served it in the living room where we chatted away and warmed up!
For the main course I turned to my own food guru, Anna Bergenström, and her wonderful cookbook Kärlek, oliver och timjan (Love, olives and thyme) in which there is a "swedish-french fish soup" I have been wanting to try for a long time. It suited me perfectly since you can prepare it in advance. When my guests felt a little warmer I just went out in the kitchen, heated up the soup and added the fish. 8 minutes later I told them to be seated and served them the soup with some freshly baked bread (another of Anna´s recipes, called The fantastic bread. More on that another time, I bake it very often), and aioli. It was very good, but I wish I had checked my supply of fish stock in advance. Turned out I had two packets of meat stock, two packets of chicken stock and one packet of veggie stock but no fish - gaaaaah! I bought a new packet today...
For dessert I made the melting chocolate pudding I got in the EBBP parcel from Celia in UK. The recipe can be found in the February issue of Olive but it is a keeper so I will make a post about it some time too. Verdict? "Oh!" "This is the best I have ever had" "Just like fondant au chocolat". And some of the guests just groaned! It was really very very good. Not too sweet, very much chocolate and also dead easy to make! I didn´t have individual ramequins but made it in a bowl and it was fine. I served it with fruit salad and some whipped cream.
Then dessert number two was served, see the individual post on that one!

And then my guests practically rolled out of the door. A very successful dinner party!

Swedish-french fish soup
serves 4
600-700 grams fish fillet, I used salmon and coal fish (sej)
2 chopped yellow onions
3 chopped garlic cloves
olive oil
1 fennel (350 g), shredded
1 carrot in "toothpicks"
5 raw potatoes, diced
1200 ml fish stock
a good pinch of dried thyme
1 tin whole tomatoes, roughly chopped
salt and pepper
0.50 grams saffron
200 ml dry white wine
400 grams prawns, peeled
juice of half an orange
fresh basil or thyme

Step one, can be made a day in advance or in the morning if you want to:
Prepare all the vegs, then fry onion and garlic for some minutes in olive oil in a big pot. Put in fennel, carrots and potatoes and the fish stock, then the tomatoes, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and let simmer with lid on for 15 minutes. Then add the saffron and the wine and let simmer for another 15 minutes.

Step two:
Bring the soup to a boil and add in the fish, cut in large cubes, and let simmer for 3-6 minutes until ready (but don´t overcook!). Add the prawns and spice to taste with orange juice and fresh herbs. I served it with aioli "my way" which is mayonnaise mixed with a little creme fraiche and some garlic.


A said...

It was a wonderful dinner. The starter was good, the main course was excellent and made me forget about saving space for the dessert. But of course I couldn't resist the delicious melting chocolate cake (fondant au chocolat is how I know it)...and even managed to press down some japanese sweet beans!

One of the happy guests

celia kusinera said...

Kristina, this is the go-ahead I've been waiting for! :) Now I can do the choc puddings (I bought my own copy of Olive) with confidence. That dinner sounds so wonderful ...

Zoubida said...

Oh how I wished I was invited to this event and celebrate with you. That chocolate dessert looks terribly good, so good I'm craving it right now.
Do you realize you're making us holding our breath for the articles about the chocoalte dessert and the fantastic bread? I can't wait.
Thge soup will be in this week's menu. Probably tomorrow evening because I have some business to do tomorrow morning near the fishmonger's shop. I'll stop there on my way back home.
That was a great party and I so appreciate you shared the celebration with us.

Clivia said...

A, thanks for coming! It was so good to see you all!

Celia, thanks again for the recipe and ingredients! It was so great, and very easy to make. I also found many other tempting recipes in Olive which is now on my to-do list.

Zoubida, if (or when?) you come to Sweden you are of course very welcome to dinner! And I promise I will share the other recipes with you the coming week so you don´t have to crave it any more. When you make the soup you don´t have to increase the soup base, it was more than enough for six people. Just add some more fish!

Anonymous said...

The soup sounds really good and I'm glad the dinner party was a success! I'm trying to eat much more fish these days, and I might give your soup (minus shrimps, as I don't eat these) a go one day soon.

Clivia said...

Pille, please do try the soup! It is fantastic, and very easy to pull off especially if you prepare it in advance. I am sure it is just as good without the shrimps!