Saturday, May 9, 2009

Random Eatings - BBQ & Cheesecake Fail

I am a hectic mess in the kitchen. I love to cook and bake but I freely admit that I am a magnet for disaster. And disaster and dinner parties tend to come hand in hand. A invited his family over to our place to test out the new BBQ that they bought him as a birthday present, so I tried to come up with some quick, easy food that would be the perfect recipe for a tasty, stress-free BBQ dinner.

First, send A to Hornsby to pick up some fantastic snags from Tender Value Meats. I love their sausages, especially the chicken and corn ones. This time he chooses chicken and corn, Moroccan lamb & raisin and lamb, mint, rosemary & honey. No, I'm not exactly sure why he got so much lamb, but I just shrugged and moved on.

Bottom: Chicken & corn, Top: Moroccan lamb & raisin, Right: Lamb, mint, rosemary & honey
Step 2: Marinate some chicken thigh the night before in kecap manis, chilli sauce, light soy, sesame oil, white pepper, lime juice and sugar for some lazy asiany skewers.

Make some cute little individual strawberry filled cheesecakes the night before so you don't have to worry about preparing dessert on the night. And finally, roast some pumpkin covered in olive oil in a super hot oven for an hour. Add this to a baby spinach, cottage cheese and pine nut salad with a balsamic dressing. I couldn't find pine nuts but I did find some nifty roasted organic soy nuts in the health food section and they went beautifully in the salad!

So all that was done. Now I just had to wait for A to fire up the BBQ, then I could finish everything off. Easy peasy, right? WRONG!!

The cheesecakes fell when I took them out of the oven. See below for the painful account of events. So I wasn't sure if I would serve them so the next morning I decided to whip up some of my Mum's Apple Crumble Cake. Except that as I put it in the oven, I realised I'd forgotten the milk AND the salt. Sigh. It was still edible though.

Anyway, I got everything else ready, A went to fire up the BBQ....then exactly 40 seconds before the guests arrived, *SMASH*! A knocks over a huge glass bottle of olive oil all over the balcony floor, oil and broken glass everywhere. We are on our hands and knees trying to soak up oil and gather bits of glass up when the doorbell rings. Then we have to put towels down everywhere to try to stop our feet from dragging oil inside. THEN we finally get the BBQ going and I rush to bring the chicken skewers outside and I manage to spill kecap manis marinade all over the carpet. Ack! To top of off A left the balcony door open and this sets off our smoke alarm. Twice. So you can understand that I was a tiny bit to frazzled by the time all the food was cooked to take many photos.

Toasted garlic bread with melted brie

Roast pumpkin, baby spinach, cottage cheese and roasted soy nut salad
In the end, the food still tasted pretty good, and A's family were pleased and sympathetic about the mishaps. It happens! The sausages were faaaantastic! Those Moroccon lamb and raisin ones are solid gold. The chicken and corn ones are always juicy and sweet but I didn't get to try the other lamb ones. I also whipped up a batch of mash potato, perfect for a cold night and everyone ate a ton of mash :) For dessert I served up a big platter of fruit, cheese, cheesecakes and ginger nuts.

Sooo...about the cheesecakes. I blame my determination to squeeze in as many ideas as possible into my baking recipes for this one. I was just going to bake these cute individual cheesecakes from Exclusively Food but then I was so inspired by all the Daring Baker cheesecake posts that this morphed into doing half a batch of strawberry sauce filled cheese cakes and half a batch of mandarin cheesecakes with a ginger nut crust. I eventually talked myself out of doing the mandarin ones but I stuck to my guns and made this lovely strawberry sauce from Tartelette. I followed the Exclusively Food recipe but just added some sauce in the middle of the cheesecake filling.

It was looking so promising, the cakes puffed up so beautifully in the oven. Then I got far too impatient and took them out of the oven at exactly 20 minutes, forgetting that my bipolar oven tends to take a few minutes longer than what is usually indicated in recipes. They were well undercooked and after a few minutes went from being this:

To this:

Oh :(

So I tried to recover from the set back and decorate them with fresh strawberries...

But cutting one open revealed just how wrong they had gone:

Epic fail :(
Fortunately even though they weren't very pretty or the right texture, they still tasted lovely. So I still served them up and his family enjoyed them enough that they asked to take some home. Relief!

Tender Value Meats
12 Florence St,

Hornsby 2077

(02) 9987 4028

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  1. Oh, your pics are so cute! I'm sure they didn't even realise... Those sausages look great too...

  2. Hehe thanks :) yeah I love their sausages! Wish I could have them more often!

  3. You poor thing! things like that happen to me too often :( I agree with Betty, I bet they were too busy scoffing them down to notice!

  4. Haha it's Murphy's law isn't it? As long as it's edible, I guess you just have to sigh and move on :)

  5. I think the cheesecakes look really cute :) ... and the garlic bread with brie

  6. :) thanks! I love brie, I use it with everything

  7. do you have an oven that isnt fanforced? i do. it sux!!!

  8. YES I DO. It wouldn't bother me except for the fact that all the coils are at the bottom, so all my stuff burns on the bottom and stays raw on top!


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