Sometimes pizza and friends is all you need for a perfect night in.
Our happy group of food-loving friends (also known as Stomachs Eleven) converged on the home of Miss Rice and Mr Potato Head. It was always going to be a casual affair, A Little Feast Around the World said the handwritten menu on the coffee table.
It was a pot luck dinner - everyone volunteering to bring a little something to add to the spread. There was no central theme except a celebration of taste. An antipasto platter held strips of roasted red capsicum, olives, salami, gherkins and cheese. Pig Flyin contributed his own homemade pesto, tortilla espanola potato omelette and a mushroom dip made from pureed mushrooms, thyme and labneh.
Spicy prawn cocktail
Miss Rice's travels through Mexico prompted a recreation of one of her favourite dishes - a spicy prawn cocktail made with avocado, lemon juice and tabasco.
Slow-roast chicken wings with Sichuan-style dry spice rub
In-between mouthfuls of J's homemade spring rolls, we scooped up the G-man's blue cheese guacamole and nibbled on Pig Flyin's slow-roasted chicken wings with Sichuan-style dry spice rub. Inspired by a similarly designed lamb rib dish at Spice Temple, Pig Flyin cooked the wings in the oven and then liberally tossed them in a spice rub of cumin, chillies, sichuan pepper, fennel seed, cinnamon and salt, a mix he made up himself based on what he tasted at Spice Temple.
Rolling out the pizza dough
And what is homemade pizza without getting everyone else to pitch in?
Some of us made the salad, others helped dress the pizza.
Red pizza: Spicy chorizo and chilli
with cos lettuce salad and raw beetroot salad
White pizza: Brussel sprout and pancetta
Brussel sprouts, according to Miss Rice, were all the rage in New York City when she visited recently, even turning up on pizzas. The brussel sprouts were blanched and then lightly pan-fried before being assembled on the pizza with pancetta and grated mozzarella cheese.
I loved this idea, and we perched on lounges or sat cross-legged on the floor, eating slices of pizza with our hands, sipping glasses of Pimm's lemonade and digging into two bowls of cos lettuce and grated beetroot salad.
Fresh fig and brown sugar tarts
Dessert was equally simply but delicious. Fresh figs on puff pastry, scattered with brown sugar and baked in the oven until caramelised. And yes, this post has been in backlog for some time, as figs were at their peak during this dinner.
Flaky pastry, sweet figs and scoops of cool vanilla ice cream. Friends draped all over the living room and nothing but empty pizza trays in the kitchen.
Related GrabYourFork posts:
Stomachs Eleven: Christmas 2010
Stomachs Eleven: Teochew feast
Stomachs Eleven: Mole poblano and pulled pork tacos
Stomachs Eleven: Pizza and friends
Stomachs Eleven: Ten kilograms of mussels
Stomachs Eleven: Shanghainese banquet
Stomachs Eleven: Wagyu shabu shabu and dessert sushi
Stomachs Eleven: Stuffed deboned pig's head + nose-to-tail eating
Stomachs Eleven: French feast
Stomachs Eleven: Whole suckling pig and Chinese banquet
Stomachs Eleven: Hotpot night
Stomachs Eleven: Crackling roast pork and black sesame cupcakes
Stomachs Eleven: No ordinary steak dinner
Stomachs Eleven: Polish feast
Stomachs Eleven: Christmas 2009
Stomachs Eleven: Char siu and Hainan chicken
Stomachs Eleven: Amazing impromptu dinner party
Stomachs Eleven: Dumplings and Shanghai soy duck