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Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Table for Nine


My camera parking spot

Given that we were in his 'hood, Billy was recently kind enough to invite us to an Easter barbecue lunch. It was not his usual Table For Two, but rather a table for nine, and a great chance to catch up with mutual friends over good food and tasty sangria.


Snapper stuffed with lemon slices

If there's one thing I admire in any home chef, it's the presence of calm. Billy has everything under control and when we present him with prawns and a snapper, he soon has the fish stuffed with slices of lemon and sprigs of parsley, and safely ensconced in foil.


Sausages and fish on the barbie

Big D and The Pom are in charge of the barbie, and I while away time casually inspecting the cooking developments out on the verandah, as well as Billy's hand-drawn table setting on the table inside, an inspired map of place settings for food and people marked out on two large sheets of butchers paper.


The hand-drawn allocated table settings


A space for everything


The laden lunch table
- the original table marking was abandoned due to the abundance of food



Satay chicken and lamb skewers

Billy's satay chicken and lamb skewers are a big hit. Moist and succulent, Billy says these were marinated in the fridge overnight. I'm particularly impressed with the lamb which is soft and tender.


Satay sauce for the skewers
served alongside cucumber and Spanish onions

There's no shortage of options: snags are cooked to a satisfying char, and a fluffy couscous salad has jewels of diced tomato, Spanish onion and parsley with the occasional plump chickpea.


Sausages


Cous cous and chickpea salad


Grilled prawns

I'd had a small hand in the prawns, cooking them in the electric frypan till fragrant and just-cooked. The moment of unwrapping a foil-wrapped fish is always filled with anticipation. We're rewarded with the aroma of lemon and a snapper cooked to a delicate flaking of flesh.


Snapper


Brussel sprouts with bacon

The Pom has a soft spot for the brussel sprouts with bacon but I'm more entranced by the chillies stuffed with fish paste, bright orange rockets that pack plenty of tongue-tingling heat.


Homegrown chillies stuffed with homemade fish paste


Apple tart

Dessert? A crisp and flaky apple tart served with Billy's homemade pistachio ice cream.


Scooping the pistachio ice cream


Apple tart with pistachio icecream

Made with ground pistachios, the ice cream is a huge crowd pleaser, even for those who don't normally like pistachio ice cream. The pistachio flavour is not overwhelming, a sweet and nutty nuance without the bitterness that one sometimes finds in ice cream or gelato shops.


Never too late for a Christmas present

And because it's never too late for a Christmas present, I received my little gift from Billy from last year: a glass paperweight photo cube with happy snaps and the cutest personalised gift tags - polaroids of our names with a Dynamo label greeting.

Thoughtful, creative and a great cook. Thanks for lunch Billy, as well as the gorgeous pressie :)

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Holiday at The Entrance: Burger with the lot
Holiday at The Entrance: Trinidad chilli chutney

12 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 4/25/2009 11:34:00 pm


12 Comments:

  • At 4/26/2009 1:31 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    awesome so much food im very impressed! heh and i love the table drawings

     
  • At 4/26/2009 1:56 am, Blogger FFichiban said…

    OOhh what a great BBQ ^^! and I love the table plan hee hee but I love the fact that it was abandoned due to abundance of food even more!

     
  • At 4/26/2009 2:49 am, Anonymous Brittany (He Cooks She Cooks) said…

    Love the perfectly organized table idea. And of course, everything looks delicious. Especially those kabobs and the fish.

     
  • At 4/26/2009 9:11 am, Anonymous Steph said…

    The table drawings are such a fantastic idea! I agree, it's so impressive when home chefs are stress-free in the midst of a dinner party, I'm the total opposite!

     
  • At 4/26/2009 9:21 am, Anonymous Simon said…

    Must have been a great meal. Satay looks real nice!

    Loved the idea of the table map and even more so that it was abandoned. Was any of the placing adhered to, cause it didn't seem so from the photo?

    Also, found it curious that Billy's plate outline was smaller than everyone elses.

     
  • At 4/26/2009 10:32 am, Blogger Simon Food Favourites said…

    loving the butcher paper place holder drawings, so cool, and the xmas card is very clever. all that's missing is the compressed cubed rice for the satay sticks.

     
  • At 4/26/2009 11:38 am, Anonymous Yas said…

    Awww looks like you guys had fun!
    Damn, I'd go up north if he told me about this early!

     
  • At 4/26/2009 2:18 pm, Blogger Natalie said…

    Who wouldn't kill for a friend like Billy???

     
  • At 4/26/2009 11:21 pm, Anonymous Howard said…

    The variety of food here is amazing. The brussel sprouts with bacon looks interesting, a nice take on an often perceived bland vege!

    Is that a 'Mr Snowy' ice cream machine ? I'm about to buy one, looks like it does the job!

     
  • At 4/27/2009 12:39 am, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi chocolatesuze - The food was great, and yeah I didn't expect anything less from Billy the artiste :)

    Hi FFichiban - Yep nothing better than too much food!

    Hi Brittany - The skewers were great and it was a delicious lunch, all the more tasty by great company!

    Hi Steph - I try to internalise my stress but even so, I wish I could be calm and carefree like some people!

    Hi Simon - Billy's place was only smaller because he accidently omitted someone than had to add and edit! And some of the placing was adhered to, but not much of it!

    Hi Simon Food Favourites - I don't think I've had compressed cubed rice with satay sticks. Sounds interesting!

    Hi Yas - lol. It was fun, although it looks like you've been doing plenty of feasting yourself!

    Hi Natalie - Ahh I know I'm lucky to have such good cooks for friends :)

    Hi Howard - I often do my brussell sprouts with bacon and onion. I find the saltiness and fat really plays off the sprouts well, much like they pair well with cabbage (because aren't brussell sprouts like little cabbages?). I love brussell sprouts too - one of my favourite veggies!

    And no, it's the Breville Crazy Scoops. I have the Sunbeam Mr Snowy though and can verify it does work :)

     
  • At 4/27/2009 11:01 am, Anonymous billy@ATFT said…

    Howard, I thought the brussel sprouts with bacon is a Jamie Oliver's recipe? Yeah I am pretty sure of it. If not, it will be Nigella.

    Thanks for coming Helen. I am still yet to have a dinner party at your pad!

     
  • At 4/29/2009 1:30 am, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Billy - Lunch was great and lol. Point taken. I should organise something, I know :)

     

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