Achieve More @yourhome…

We have now just completed yet another @yourhome dinner and we must say we think it went well rather well…

It’s always a challenge to cook in someone else’s home as there is the vagaries of a strange cooker and different surroundings… but as ever Hari loves a challenge and this was an ask that we could not refuse. So the party was a birthday celebration for a super fit (ask her about her press-ups challenge!) and climbing enthusiast Ruth Malone. I had cooked a couple of times for her sister Hannah and they are both “Twuddlers” who have been very supportive of my little enterprise.

Well, after having spent a week at our home in France I returned laden with some special goodies for their chosen menu…Ruth had left the menu choices pretty much carte blanche to me with the only proviso they had fairly conservative tastes so nothing too off the wall!!!

Well we kicked off the evening in her home with some canapés that are very much my favourites of the moment. I had made some Parmesan Lollipops that with the addition of some caraway seeds made a good visual impact, some mini toasts topped with black olive tapenade provided a nice salty Mediterranean memory and finally shot glasses with a warm pea & curry soup.

One of the guests (Alex) had previously joked he was expecting a KFC meal from Ruth… so we duly obliged him by serving the lollipops in a KFC meal bag… the lengths I had to go to purloin a bag was fun… and another story!!!

We then served the first course a light delicate salmon quenelle mousse that had been poached and served with a warm vinaigrette sauce made with extra virgin olive oil and more unusually a light Cameroon Mango vinegar. The addition of some finely chopped peppers and diced mango and chopped chives provided a stunning visual impact to the salsa, this was well received as plates came back licked clean.

Next we served a dish that had been well received at our last dinners a chicken breast roulade that was stuffed with spinach, toasted pine nuts and feta cheese. We then poached the breasts in a light stock and served the roulade with sherry sauce infused with sun-dried tomatoes. We served this with a creamy gratin dauphinoise and some green beans wrapped in pancetta

So as the meal progressed we had got to grips with the kitchen and we served our next course a selection of specially selected and imported cheeses from our local fromagerie (Chez Juliette Gauby) in France… having just returned on the Wednesday it meant we could import some more unusual and locally difficult to obtain cheeses.

We had managed to find a wonderfully ripe Vacherin Mont D’or for me a king of cheeses… this unpasteurised milk cheese is a winter speciality that has a wonderful unctuous flavour best served with a spoon!!! We then also served a cheese made by the cheese shop owner called a “Bleu de rancio”… the blue is a Bleu d’Auvergne and then raisins marinated in a local rancio sherry like wine that is mixed with a cream cheese and layered – it has inspired me to have a go to copy with Hari’s Buttons as served at some of our previous dinners but the real McCoy was very well received.

We had a fresh goats cheese from the Sancerre region creamy and with a light acidic tang and for our hard cheese we had a classic Tomme from the Pyrenees that had been made from the mixed milk of cows, sheep’s and goat and well matured to produce a really strong flavoured cheese. All served with our classic porridge oat biscuits seasoned with sea salt and Szechwan peppercorns.

To complete the meal we then served a dish of grilled slices of fresh pineapple that was then marinated in a syrup of honey and cardamom that with the addition of some ruby red grapefruit segments, blood orange segments and candid peel provided a sweet and citric balance of flavours…With this we served a scoop of coconut ice cream.

Ruth had warned me she was somewhat lacking in the plate department…so we also used our own plates, which have a bit of history… in fact one of my best buys… Robert Niederer designed Hergiswil glass plates from Switzerland. I bought them some fifteen years ago direct from the factory and they are only ever used for special occasions… we felt Ruth’s birthday celebration was such a worthy occasion!

Ruth’s partner Nathan had arranged a celebratory cake that arrived with the men folk singing “Happy Birthday” to her…

It was a very scrummy and moist Carrot Cake topped with four vegetable garnishes… a picture to behold and I presented some homemade chocolate ganache and some Spanish chocolate & almond Turron.

As I left the party with them finishing off the copious wine and leftover cake!!! As I cleared away our debris I managed to reflect upon the evening… It’s always a pleasure to cook and serve a meal to an appreciative audience and we think this one had loved their very exclusive event… so if you find it difficult to make a dinner date chez Hari then why not consider booking Hari for your own exclusive @yourhome event!

Cheers

Hari

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4 thoughts on “Achieve More @yourhome…”

  1. I’d heard so many excellent things about Hari Covert so he was the obvious choice when I was thinking about how to celebrate my birthday.

    Hari had given me the menu beforehand and I had suspicions that he had been in touch with people to find out what my favourite foods were. He hadn’t – he just did an excellent job of putting something together that I would love. Now the night is over I struggle to name my favourite course because they were all so delicious. Every course was thoughtfully prepared from the KFC Parmesan Lollipops to the cheeses which were brought back from France.

    It was exciting to see so much delicious food appear from my small kitchen and it was a pleasure to also have Hari’s company during the evening.

    I hope we weren’t too rowdy. The combination of being relaxed at home whilst having excellent food may have made us a bit excitable… I bet Hari’s never cooked a meal whilst someone does press ups by his feet every few seconds.

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    1. Hi Ruth
      Thanks so much for the fantastic comments… I am so glad you enjoyed the evening… it was a real pleasure to cook for you all and no I have to say a body prone at my feet doing press ups was definitely a first!!! That will take some beating… I am glad you had a good celebration dinner and I hope the left over cheese went down well!!!
      Cheers
      Hari

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  2. Having eaten at Hari Covert’s underground restaurant on two previous occasions, I was intrigued to see if my positive experiences would be matched when he cooked Ruth’s birthday dinner at her house. Needless to say, they were.

    I imagine it would be hard for some chefs to cook in front of an ‘audience’ – particularly in a strange house – but Hari looked unruffled as ever as he bustled about in the background. He even kept his composure as our behaviour deteriorated in direct proportion to the amount of wine consumed, and took a lot of trouble to answer our culinary questions and explain the composition of each dish to us.

    All we had to do was sit back and enjoy as plate after plate of flawless food appeared in front of us. The parmesan and caraway lollipops were a lovely touch, especially in their KFC bag – and much better than the real thing! The super-tender chicken breast roulade was a real highlight for me, although the quality of the food made it very hard to pick just one favourite course from the night – they were all standout successes. Hari really knows his cheese and this selection did not disappoint, in particular, a delicious ripe Vacherin which we dug into with spoons!

    For me, there’s a simple reason why @yourhome works so well: it’s the perfect compromise between eating out and staying in. You’re completely relaxed because you’re on your own territory (or your sister’s!) but having Hari cook for you in that setting lets you enjoy a standard of cooking and attention that you just couldn’t replicate if you did it yourself.

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    1. Hannah
      Well what can I say, but thanks for your lovely positive comments… It was certainly a fun night – I am glad you enjoyed the food and regards the behaviour of the guests I thought you were all very refined and appreciative… even the quiet ones!!! Good to see you all enjoy the night and I am glad I was asked to contribute in the way I did.
      It was a real pleasure for me to see you all enjoy the meal and the clean plates hardly needed a wash when I got them home!!!
      Tell James to keep doing those push ups and I look forward to seeing you all again soon…
      Cheers
      Hari

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