July 19, 2009

Post-typhoon lazy Sunday

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I was invited to a friend's house for lunch today, along with a host of foodie friends and chefs. Fortunately the typhoon that brought us wind and rain made landfall in Guangdong hours ago, and the weather was fast clearing up.

With help from a friend, our hostess put together a huge spread for us. This included some shrimp and vegetable wraps with Vietnamese rice paper, homemade saucisson, couscous, ratatouille, chicken liver pâté, grilled homemade sausages and pork neck...

I absolutely loved the homemade sausages...firm and a bit spicy, made with real natural sausage casing.

The pâté, made with duck fat and parsley, was simple yet delicious. A few of us actually fought over the soft and fluffy matter... and I for one enjoyed spreading it lovingly over the baguette slices.

The pork neck was also sufficiently fatty and succulent...

The cheese platter was also real delicious, especially the Saint-Félicien that was perfectly ripe. Watching it fall off the knife and folding it over the cracker was a lot of fun.

Our hostess is well-known for her desserts, so naturally we had lots of mignardises. She made some delicious canelés since she knew that I love these little treats. There were also some yummy salted caramel chocolate tarts, with a sprinkle of fleur de sel on top.

But the dessert that wowed us all were the financiers. They were simply divine - loads of buttery and nutty flavors, with perfectly browned edges while being soft in the centers. If I had room in my tummy, I would have devoured a few more of these.

Finally we had the homemade ice cream - strawberry, salted pineapple and apricot. A great way to finish the meal on the summer day.

Of course we couldn't go through Sunday lunch without some alcohol! Our hostess provided us with some very yummy and deadly white sangria, which all of us downed happily.

To accompany dessert, I brought a bottle of Cortesia di Morgassi, given to me by the winemaker during last year's Vinexpo. Aside from the typical orange marmalade notes, it was also a bit spicy, with chilli and peppery notes. Pretty interesting.

We spent a real enjoyable post-typhoon afternoon together, courtesy of our generous hostess. I was so full that I actually didn't need to have dinner this evening... Definitely looking forward to our next gathering!

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