Dinner for four

We had the pleasure of some delightful folks’ company on Saturday evening so we went all out and made a four course seafood extravaganza. Sasha also treated them to an array of his own beers which were all well received. I’m not in much of a creative writing mood today so I’ll get down to the business of posting the photos and accompanying recipes.

First course was fresh oysters with a home made Tetsuya’s vinaigrette, chives and salmon roe. I was concerned this was going to be too oily for the oysters but I should have had more faith. It was perfect.

Ingredients include

4 tbs rice wine vinegar
4 tbs grape seed oi
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp castor sugar
1 tsp finely grated ginger

Mix and spoon into oyster shells topping with finely chopped chives and salmon roe


Second course was my own invention. Scallops with fennel puree and baked chorizo with aged balsamic. I was inspired to pair chorizo and scallops together after an outstanding meal I had at Blancmange, a fantastic little restaurant in Petersham. I would love to know how they managed to get their chorizo to so closely resemble the scallops in texture. I will just have to settle for the wonderful flavour match for now.

Fennel Puree

1/2 a bulb of fennel
1 tbsp butter
1 tbs cream
2 tsp water

Slice fennel and sweat in saucepan with melted butter until soft. Mix in water and cream and cook for a further minute or two. Place in blender and blend until smooth. I then served about 1 tspn of this on top of scallops grilled with a dash of lime juice.

I slow baked the chorizo with a dash of olive oil in a sealed oven dish on about 150º for over an hour. This was then served with a drop of aged balsamic on top of each round of chorizo.


Main course was the Boathouse snapper pie. I adore this recipe and my personal touch is to serve it in individual ramekins. I’m off gluten at the moment so it also makes it easier for me to simply remove the pastry crust and eat the creamy goodness inside. I served it with cherry tomatoes roasted in red wine vinegar and watercress salad.

3 small yellow onions, peeled
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup fish stock
3/4 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground white pepper
1 lb. frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg yolk
1 lb. red snapper filets
2 tsp. white truffle oil

1. Slice 2 of the onions and set aside. Heat 2 tbsp. of the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add sliced onions and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, until very soft and golden, 20–30 minutes. Add stock and reduce by half, about 4 minutes. Add cream, bring just to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until pale golden and thickened, 10–15 minutes. Purée onion mixture in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside. Meanwhile, dice the remaining onion. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat, add onions, and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then add to bowl with purée and set sauce aside.

2. Preheat oven to 425º. Roll out puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to 1/4″ thickness. Invert a 4-cup deep oval baking dish lightly onto pastry. Using the tip of a small sharp knife, cut out an oval 2″ wider than the dish, discarding trimmings. Remove dish from pastry and set aside. Mix together yolk and 1 tsp. water in a small bowl and set egg wash aside.

3. Season fish to taste with salt and pepper. Put half of the sauce into the baking dish and lay fish, skin side down, on top. Cover with the remaining suace and drizzle with truffle oil. Drape puff pastry oval over dish and brush with egg wash. Bake until deep golden brownand puffed, about 25 minutes. To serve, cut puff pastry in half crosswise, lift off each piece and set on the side of two plates, then divide fish and sauce between both plates.


Dessert was a simple glass of strawberries, blueberries and rasberries with a vanilla flavoured whipped cream and dark chocolate shavings.


Hopefully our guests enjoyed eating it as much as I enjoyed making it all. It was a fun day it the kitchen. 🙂


3 Comments Add yours

  1. KAREN says:

    Wow Mel, your dishes look and sound apsolutely divine. I look forward to being the very lucky guest some day of such dishes! You are really an amazing and talented person!! 🙂

  2. carly trashbag says:

    If i come back over east can I come to dinner with you and Sasha??? Please please please please please!!! Your food looks amazing…. well done lovely 🙂

  3. idevour says:

    Thanks guys. 😀 You’re both Welcome in our home anytime. We actually need to make a date Karen. I’ll email you.


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