The Scene: Every 6 months or so, my friend and I have dinner, a little gossip and exchange outrageous stories. We mostly lead quite separate day-to-day lives, so it’s always a good wine-filled catch up. Sometimes it’s out, sometimes at his place and sometimes at mine, the focus isn’t on being fancy, but nice food, quick and easy to prep. So it doesn’t get in the way of the gossiping.
The Starters: Fresh Prawn Crackers with Thai Chilli Dipping Sauce. Light, crunchy and surprisingly moreish, the best thing to do is swing by your local Chinese takeout spot on the way home, and buy some that have been freshly made. They cost next to nothing, and you spend maybe 5 minutes plating them and pouring a Thai Chilli dipping sauce into a little bowl. Or satay sauce, or roasted red pepper chilli oil. Whatever takes your fancy. Make something from scratch, or buy a ready made sauce. Plate the prawn crackers just before you serve them, otherwise they can go soft and chewy.
The Main: Asian Grilled Salmon with Sesame Egg Noodles. This is quickly becoming one of my favourite dishes. And thankfully, everyone I serve it to seems to be equally enthusiastic. Cook the veggies and soak/boil the noodles beforehand and combine them in the (turned off) wok until you’re just about ready to serve, then toss through the sauce and heat through. Plate with the salmon on top. Perfect.
The Dessert: Chocolate & Banana Wontons. This was the first time I’ve made these wontons, and they were AMAZING. You need wonton wrappers, a banana and some dark chocolate. Cut the chocolate and banana into very small cubes and pile some in the centre of a wrapper. Wet the edges of the wrapper using the tip of your finger dipped in water, and press the edges together tightly to seal. (Watch a video on how to wrap wontons here). Cook in hot oil for a few minutes until golden, and drain. If the chocolate leaks out it will burn in the hot oil and be a big mess, so seal them well. When you’re ready to serve dessert, reheat the wontons in the oven for 5 minutes @ 180 deg – this will crisp them up nicely again. Arrange on a plate and sprinkle with icing sugar.
The Verdict: I’m so glad I did the prawn crackers with dipping sauce – it saved me SO much time and admin. I will do that again, for sure. Maybe try a new sauce. The salmon is great for entertaining, and the chocolate & banana wontons rounded off the dinner nicely. But for future reference, make more wontons! They were so delicious, I could have eaten another 5. But maybe that shouldn’t be encouraged… I might also try baking the wontons next time, rather than frying them, for simplicity’s sake. Watch this space.