I have wanted to host a Come dine with me Session for a long while and I finally managed to pluck up the courage to host one. I was given some encouragement and was asked by Ocean Finance to run an evening so I said Yes. I accepted the challenge that they gave me and just went with it.
I was out one night with friends too and just said to them all, "Come Dine with Me, at mine soon, you are all invited." They all agreed to come along and I actually couldn't wait. I think with all my foodie adventures and #Shayansglobalcooking challenge I have improved with my chef-ing skills and this was a good time to put it to the test.
With three couples invited, the eight of us crammed into my flat. I actually at this moment in time do not own a dining table or set of chairs. I had to be inventive and borrowed an outdoor table from my parents and office chairs from work. Added to this was a £3 table cover and we were all set for a Come Dine with Me special.
The menu was as follows:
As the guests arrived in their twos we offered them a generous glass of champagne (albeit in plastic flutes). The aim for me was for the evening to be relaxed and fun for everyone. I wanted to make sure I was not in the kitchen all night long and that I could spend time with my friends.
The prep work for most of the dishes was done in the day and for the cheesecake the night before. Parts I enjoyed were getting the croquette balls ready and after my first try earlier this year, I feel like I am an expert at this now. I considered shaping the croquettes into Rugby balls because of the England v Australia rugby game, and now considering the result I am glad I did not.
The Pad Thai and Coulis were both new recipes to me, and that is why I enjoyed making the dishes. The Raspberry Coulis added a lot more to the Cheesecake and also elevated the dish from a simple cream cheese and biscuit topping to something with some sort of elegance. Less said about the plates they were served in the better (Red paper plates with stars).
As it was a 'Come Dine With Me' evening we did some scoring at the end too.
Luckily for me, because I was with friends I got some very generous scores, intertwined with some good feedback and some jokes too. The scores were 8/10, 8/10 and 10/10- they are too kind.
The negative feedback was that the portion size for the main course was a bit on the stingy size and I completely agree. Mass catering is tough work, especially in a small kitchen and not having a enormous wok. I think the flavours were good but maybe with Pad Thai, something extra is needed on the table. I learnt a lesson here.
Also for the cheesecake, a fair comment was that there was no real vanilla flavour in it. Again, I completely agree and that is why the Raspberry coulis was so important as it gave the cheesecake something extra which otherwise may have been a bit plain and boring.
If you would like recipes please do let me know.
I really did enjoy the whole night and it felt good to have a dining table and sit round and chat with everyone.
I just wish I had a dishwasher.