So let me tell you about Boy’s birthday extravaganza!
All-in-all the dinner was a huge success but it wasn’t without its bumps in the road. Also, if I didn’t start the night before and then start the day of at noon we would have eaten at midnight. I’m not a very organized cook. I’m definitely a much better baker.
But so it goes. He loved it anyway.
(And we all know he’d have loved anything I made – or at least said he loved it.)
First course, Momofuku’s Pork Belly Buns adapted from epicurious.
High points: They were absolutely delicious and tasted very much like the original buns that I had with Joanne. (Hi Joanne!) Assembly was quite easy as was the actually pork belly part. Plus, they make for a beautiful looking appetizer. Boy loves him some pork belly!
Low points: I couldn’t, for the life of me, get my bun dough to cooperate. The yeast wasn’t having it, the flour to water ratio seemed off, and a box of dry milk ran me $10. After several attempts, two the night before and one the day of, I ran out to the Asian store for some frozen premade buns which still tasted delicious so I highly recommend it.
High points: Everything. This was super easy to make. For the beef, you just throw everything into a pot and let it simmer away for a few hours until it’s beautifully tender and dark! I used a cheaper bottle of red wine and it came out perfect. The watercress took minutes and was a perfect side to the beef.
Low points: Nothing!
Can’t show you the Challenge dish yet but I thought I’d share the recipe for the sorbet since it was so delicious and super easy.
Lychee Coconut Sorbet
adapted from epicurious
Makes 1 pint.
- 1 can lychees in syrup
- 1/2 c well-stirred cream of coconut (Coco Lopez brand preferred; this is NOT coconut milk and NOT coconut cream)
- juice of one lime, plus more if desired
* also need a pre-frozen ice cream maker
Drain lychees, reserving syrup.
Combine lychees, cream of coconut, 1/4 c syrup, and lime juice in a blender until smooth. Strain to remove leftover lychee pulp and taste, adding more lime if desired. Refrigerate until cold.
Freeze in pre-frozen ice cream maker.
adapted from epicurious
- Dried rice vermicelli (rice-stick noodles)
- Enough vegetable oil for 1 1/2 inches of oil in whatever vessel you are frying in
- Powdered sugar
*also need a deep-frying or candy thermometer
Soak noodles in cold water until pliable. (This took me about an hour.) Drain, pat dry, and spread on paper towels to air-dry for about 30 minutes.
When ready to fry, begin heating oil until thermometer reads 350F.
Gather mounds of noodles (about 1 tbsp) and pull apart slightly to form a loose tangle. Drop tangles into oil and fry until crisp. about 20 seconds. They will sink, the oil will bubble, and then the noodles will rise to the surface for the duration of frying. Use a slotted spoon to pull crisps out of oil and drain on paper towels. Dust with powdered sugar.
Dinner was a lot of work but definitely worth every bit of effort. It was a wonderful birthday for Boy!
Tune in on Wednesday to find out how the Daring Bakers October challenge went!