August 3, 2008

An Indonesian Feast in the South of France

 I can't believe that more than a month has flown by since our last World Food Evening. This is a post that I've been meaning to write for about five weeks now.
Oh's summer. Blame my tardiness on lazy, hot days and lots of rosé.
In late June we took a little culinary journey to Indonesia. Everyone agreed that it was one of the best nights so far. All of the food was fabulous!

We sat outside on our friend's roof terrace and savored a beautiful summer's evening.
Sadly, it was our last evening at their house as they've sold up and are moving soon. We decided a Champagne toast was appropriate (and really, isn't Champagne always appropriate?) to celebrate their new adventures.
The first course was a cold dish of steamed vegetables with a peanut sauce dressing called Gado-Gado. The flavors were cool, fresh, a bit spicy and absolutely wonderful.
fresh and peanuty Gado-Gado
The hot dishes were Chicken Rendang and Bami Goreng served with steamed white rice.
When I first heard about the Chicken Rendang I was worried. I'm not a huge fan of dried coconut and it appeared that this dish had an ultra coconutty sauce. Luckily, the spices and chiles and coconut milk totally balanced the out the flavor, so I was barely aware of the shredded, dried coconut. It was delicious!
Is it weird that I love coconut milk but hate dried coconut? Yeah, probably...

The Bami Goreng was sublime. The perfect combination of noodles, diced ham and shrimp with spicy and sweet flavors.
Here's the recipe.

coconutty Chicken Rendang and Bami Goreng

Dessert was not along the theme of the evening, however.
We had three birthdays to celebrate so we decided to have a traditional birthday cake. My contribution to the evening was a dark chocolate layer cake with dark chocolate frosting, complete with birthday candles.

Plans for the next evening are in the works. We'll be cooking the cuisine of Cuba sometime in August. Mojitos will be mandatory.

Some of our previous World Food Evenings:
Manhattan Cocktail Party
South African
American BBQ
Southeast Asian
An Evening at the Races Pin It


My Mélange said...

How fun!! I'd love to do that once a month, but don' t have the space, unfortunately :(

I have a ladies group though and we all get together to go out to dinner once a month. We choose a different restaurant each time...we are eating our way through the Hudson Valley :)

francophile-anglophone said...

Love coconut milk but not that dried sawdust-like desiccated stuff - not so weird, that's my taste exactly! I love Indonesian food just don't sprinkle it with white flakes!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Bami Goreng would be my first choice...maybe my only choice, I dont really like coconut milk...

I would certainly try the vegetables with the peanut sauce, but then I am not a big sauce person.

Bami goreng reminds me of when we used to live in Singapore...another great dish is Nasi Goreng made with get both these alot in Holland as well..

Pleased you all had a great evening, shame your friends are moving..but at least you got to have one last meal there.

georgiegirl said...

I suggest Thai cuisine night in the near future. I can suggest some dishes for you. Almost every trip I made to France, I cooked several Thai dishses for my French friends. One family lives in Ardennes, another in Dijon.

wcs said...

Yes. Champagne is always appropriate.

Loulou said...

my mélange
We have a very small space too, but manage to fit the 8 of us around a table if we move furniture around!

I agree! Luckily the chicken dish had other flavors and textures that hid the dessicated coconut.
Disgusting stuff.

It was the first time that we had tried it. Loved it! I will definitely make it sometime.
Peanut sauce is one of my all time favorites so the Gado-Gado was perfect for me.

I'm glad you don't have to sign on as anonymous anymore. :)
We will add Thai to the list. We also want to do some specific regions of France.
I try to cook Thai at home when I can get a hold of the ingredients, which isn't always easy.

Isn't it!

Half Baked said...

What a wonderful idea! It looks like so much fun! And yes champange is always appropriate:)

Loulou said...

half baked
They are great evenings. We look forward to every one. Even without Champagne...