Monday was one of those ghastly days where everything seemed to go wrong. I was exhausted and on the verge of tears as I worked feverishly to fix one mess after another when suddenly, like a burst of sunshine after days of fog, everything righted itself and all was well. Phew.
Just in time too, for it was Deep Fried Game Hen night at CEC, my cooking club, and I so didn’t want to miss that! My brain was mush by this point so I sent a plea over Twitter for recommendations for gluten-free desserts. @saffronberry recommended financiers, @Valerie_78 suggested my favorite Nanaimo Bars, and @DuchessinBK urged me to try mini pavlovas with cream and berries. Although they all sounded divine, a quick scan of the contents of my cupboard and fridge decided it for me: the pavlovas. Duchess was lovely enough to type the recipe out for me (thank you!!) and after reading it through I figured I could tweak it a bit to suit my ingredients: limes and mangoes. Oooee, I could hardly wait to give it a whirl. 🙂
I arrived at CEC with arms full, oh so ready for a glass of Petite Sirah to calm my frazzled nerves. Selwyn started us off with a dazzling array of fabulous cheeses: Stilton with Dried Cranberries, Hot Wasabi Aged Cheddar and Smoked Gouda with bacon. Mmm, mmm!!
This was followed by a lovely mixed green salad topped with Toby’s delicious Reduced Balsamic Dressing.
We could smell the main course before we saw it, heavenly scents of deep fried game hen and grilled veggies wafting in through the screen door.
At last Cameron brought in the first batch of hens, slicing through the salty, crispy skin to reveal a spiced pear stuffing inside. Amazing!!!
Alas, I cannot share the chicken recipe with you for it involves a “Secret Family Recipe” of spices, but if you can come up with your own concoction of spices, simply rub it all over the chicken before frying to give the skin an out of this world flavor.
We ended the evening with my Lime Pavlovas topped with vanilla cream, fresh mangoes and blackberries. I gotta say those meringues were fantastic. Duchess knows what she’s talking about!!! I adored the addition of lime zest and the mangoes went beautifully with the citrus.
What is the best food you’ve eaten this week, dear ones? 🙂
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Today is my first day of participation in WanderFood Wednesday! 🙂 It’s a place for travel writers to share photos, stories, recipes, book reviews and any other food-related topics with other foodies (and non-foodies!).
Toby’s Reduced Balsamic Dressing
(Adapted from Epicurious)
3-4 teaspoons reduced balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Hawaiian sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small clove garlic, peeled, green germ removed, and minced
1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
7 ounces (210 g) mixed salad greens (8 cups, loosely packed), such as escarole, oak-leaf, and romaine, rinsed, patted dry, and torn into bite-size pieces
- Place the vinegar, salt, pepper, mustard, and garlic in a medium-size bowl and whisk together until blended. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking constantly, until the dressing is emulsified.
- Add the greens and toss well until they are coated with the dressing. Season with pepper to taste and serve the salad immediately.
Lime Pavlovas with Mangoes and Blackberries
(Adapted from @DuchessinBK)
3 egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 tbs vanilla
2 tbs orange zest (optional)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 230 degrees, and cover a cookie sheet with parchment.
- Start whipping whites, when just broken and slightly frothy, add tartar – whip it in well.
- Slowly, painfully slowly, add sugar while whipping (scrape down sides gently with rubber spatula)
- When soft peaks form, add 1 tbs of vanilla. Keep whipping until firm peaks form but be careful not to over-whip.
- Very carefully fold in orange zest
- Spoon onto cookie sheet. Depending on size, you’ll get 12+ per sheet. You’ll probably need two sheets.
- Bake for 1 hr. If its humid, 1 hr 20-30 minutes. (By the way, if its super humid, don’t even bother, the whites won’t whip up enough.)
- When finished, they should be completely white, give a hollow noise when you tap them, and still just slightly gooey inside.
- Let them cool completely.
- Meanwhile whip cream with 1 tbs of vanilla.
- Add a dollop of whipped cream to each meringue and add fruit on top.