That's right, the great monthly cook-up has started. We talked about this on and off with different people for a little while and then over dinner at Aloi Nah. From there we scheduled a meal to plan and we came up with some rules:
1. Each person in our group of 5 has to cook a late Sunday afternoon meal, with the main according to 1 of 2 themes given to them. They can invite whoever they like provided the original 5 are all included. The monthly chef has to cook 2 dishes: entree and main or main and dessert.
2. The person who will cook next month must bring the third dish
3. The person who cooked the previous month must bring the wine (as must any special guests).
It was Westie's turn to kick it off (named so because she lives in West Melbourne which is quite different to Western Sydney or far western NSW as the name might suggest). She had to choose between Moroccan or seasonal and with a menu like Moroccan lamb followed by apple crumble, I'd say she hedged her bets and covered both.
Foges is scheduled next and was therefore responsible for entree. When she turned up with a large stockpot under one arm we knew we were in line for soup. Many a carton of cream went into that pot and in no time at all we were served steaming mushroom soup. I've never had mushroom soup before and this was delicious. I could really detect flavours of thyme and lemon. Just kidding...I knew what recipe she used. The soup is meant to be very smooth but Foges decided that a little blending was enough. She was right as the soup had a great texture. It is rather rich so we're all glad Foges followed the recipe and served small portions (well, they weren't that small but we didn't fill the bowl to the top or go back for seconds....promise. Although the only thing that held us back was the knowledge that Westie was about to feed us moroccan lamb.
Westie claims to have never cooked couscous before but I'm hesitant to believe her. Sometimes I find couscous to get a little dry and boring by the end of the plate but she did a wonderful job. Apparently the butter was omitted accidentally but the couscous was so light and fluffy that I'm tempted to try that out next time. Adding to the delicious-ness of it all was amazingly fresh herbs (parsely, mint and oregano) very generous servings of lamb backstrap of the moroccan variety.
And just when we thought we couldn't eat any more, out of the oven pops "mum's apple crumble" Foges asked for a small serve but the boys and I figured we'd come so far, why stop now? Vanilla ice cream and some cream left over from the soup topped us right up. Fifteen minutes later the boys were falling asleep on the couch and us girls were staring into our wine glasses. The most we could do was make a cup of tea and keep staring out the window. Quite a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon and an excellent start to our challenge.