As it turned out, the band were good, including a particularly well versed Pink Floyd rendition (although the Frankie Goes to Hollywood cover kind of threw me off track, despite taking me right back to my youth) and a Kasabian number. The people were not the kind to force feed anyone and in fact, in that particular crowd, I'm probably the imbiber. This was no bacchanal evening however and a few gin and tonics with a glass of wine thrown in met our needs.
I was unsure beforehand of course and took the precaution of having scooby snacks ready in the fridge, lots of bottled water and a low fat, tasty dinner just an hour before going out. Cannae take that hangover, girls.
I opted for a undyed smoked haddock fillet and having quantities left of pesto sans pine nuts, I decided to try it with the fish. Pesto goes amazingly well with lemon sole and that is in fact one of my favourite dishes: lemon sole with pesto, crispy courgettes, spinach and sauce verde. More on that later! I placed the fish on foil, smothered it with the pesto and squeezed a little lemon juice atop alongside a few thin slices.
I packaged up the foil and placed it onto a tin, ready for the oven. I then chopped up a selection of tomatoes, spring onions and red pepper, mixed it all with a little pesto, added some fresh thyme, salt and pepper and placed in the tin alongside the wrapped fish.
The fish and salad veg was placed into a hot oven, bottom shelf as the chicken was cooking for the kids and Brian on the top shelf, for 10 minutes. I served it on a bed of mixed leaves including watercress and spinach as well as some rice and green beans.
The kids and Brian had roasted lemon and thyme chicken, roasted pearl potatoes, thrown into the chicken 30 minutes before the end. Once the chicken was cooked, it was plated and wrapped in foil to rest. The heat was turned up on the oven and the potatoes put back in-they start to caremalise at this stage because of the lemon juice and chicken gravy still inside the dish. That was served with rice and green beans.So, today, I awoke with only a very mild sore head, thanks to the water, toast and butter and sleep I had last night. It was all go today with parties, walking and the likes so the traditional rolls and bacon were consumed with some frozen yoghurt and berries as an afternoon snack. I felt in the need for some stodge but needed to get it from somewhere other than the chippy! So I made my own version of fried fish and chips....calamari. The recipe for this is as follows and it really was perfect, not too high in fat and I'm full and happy.
Salt and Pepper Calamari with Mixed Rice
A handful of calamari, washed and dried. Calamari is incredibly cheap, the amount I used costing around 70 pence.
salt and pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
Cooked Rice (I used yesterday's leftovers)
Chopped peppers, cucumber and spring onion and whatever else takes your fancy.
Drizzle over the calamari a small amount of sesame oil, salt and pepper, and mix. Roll in the following mixture: two tablespoons flour, lots of freshly ground black pepper, a good pinch of sea salt, chilli flakes to taste.
Pour oil in pan to cover bottom. Get really hot and add the calamari in batches...don't crowd the pan. The secret to tender, tasty calamari is to treat it like meat: you either cook it very quickly over a high heat or stew it slowly for a long time over a low heat. Cook quickly until the outside turns brown and then turn over. This should only take a few minutes. Place on kitchen towel to dry.
Mix chopped veg into the rice, sprinkle over some soy sauce and place the calamari on top. Eat with chopsticks and enjoy. Hangover, begone!