Come Dine with Me

DACWM Menu

All foodies love watching Channel 4’s ‘Come Dine with Me‘ and I have wanted to host my own ‘Come Dine with Me’ style dinner party for a while and we have decided to do just that. Three sets of friends; three nights. Ours was the first, the friends we are competing with are from overseas, so we decided to go for a ‘Best of British’ menu. The (wonderful) menu was designed by Toby.

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To start we had pimms and prosecco cocktails with a cucumber garnish and some ‘British themed’ canapes; mackerel pate, mini prawn cocktails, sausage rolls and some oyster and vinegar crisps made by the ‘Kent Crisps‘ company, a great start to the evening (we thought). Only the cocktails are pictured as we gobbled down the canapes far to quickly for any photography to take place…

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Our starter was a Crab and Salmon Tian. We went to Whitstable to source the crab, we wanted everything to be local where possible. I am usually awful with presentation so these little beauties made me feel a little better about that…

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Next up, our main course; Roast rack of Lamb with dauphinoise potatoes and redcurrant jus (gravy for us common folk). We served the lamb with green beans and carrots. The lamb was from our fantastic local butchers, Glover’s Farm in Hartley. As I suck at presentation, we put the vegetables in ‘help yourself’ dishes – I recommend this to those that can cook but not serve.

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Dessert was a ‘Trio of English Desserts’; a strawberries and cream cheesecake, cherry bakewell tart and a raspberry cranachan. My favourite here is the strawberries and cream cheesecake, Toby prefers the bakewell tart. I made the bakwell and cheesecakes the day before to ease the pressure on the day. Again, we can say that we thought that were delicious but we will have to wait and see, the proof is in the pudding (ha).

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We then had a cheese course, the cheese was from a fantastic farmer’s market in Shipbourne and a stall called Traditional Cheese Dairy. We had two award winning cheeses including a British sheep cheese and a standard cheddar for the less adventurous. We teamed this with some chutney and quince jelly.

We tried to keep our alcohol British where possible, hence adding the Pimms to the prosecco. We also had Chapel Down‘s Flint Dry, Biddenden vineyards ‘Gribble Bridge’, The Traveling Apothecary’s Cucumber infused gin, Millis Brewing’s Gravesend Guzzler and some English distilled raspberry liqueur.

We have no idea how we scored yet, the last night is still to come but it has been great fun. We just went to one of the other dinner parties and feasted upon a multitude of Australian delights including; prawn, avocado and mango salad, kangaroo and crocodile burgers – it was terrific. We are looking forward to the last night – a “French-Polynesian menu, we will let you know how we score….

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Homemade Burgers

We love burgers. Not those nasty things from Burger King and the like, but sumptuous, delicious and juicy, tasty gourmet Burgers. You might have read us rambling on about Byron before, but this time, we wanted to give burgers a try in our own kitchen.

Ingredients (for 5 burgers)

  • 500g good quality mince
  • 1 diced onion
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • Salt and Pepper to season
  • 1 egg
  • You could also add your choice of things to make these burgers your own, we recommend either chipotle paste, sun dried tomatoes, jalapenos or if you are feeling really adventurous, put the cheese in the middle and build the mince around it!

Method

  1. Put your mince in a mixing bowl ad add some salt and pepper, break the mince up a little
  2. Add one finely sliced and diced onion
  3. Add finely chopped garlic
  4. Add the egg
  5. Add any other ingredients you wish to and combine the mix all together, add more salt and pepper
  6. Now get your hands in there and shape the mix into a burger shape as shown in the photo below
  7. Once you have made your burgers cook them, we used a frying pan and did about 3-5 minutes each side, you could use a barbecue or grilling machine! We prefer medium-rare
  8. Add cheese and allow it to melt, we chose roquefort
  9. Serve in a bun with aioli, ketchup, lettuce, tomatoes and red onion
We had ours with a medley of other goodies that you can see in the main pic up top. What I can personally recommend with these burgers, is a play on the traditional Cheese Burger, with the addition of some roquefort cheese. It adds a whole new dimension to the flavour and I can also suggest that you crumble some on whilst they are finishing off in the pan so that it starts to melt.