Even though Thailand doesn’t officially recognize Christmas, we still had the opportunity to celebrate, gathering at the house of friends for a 16-person dinner. It was several days in the making and, of course, I was in the kitchen, too.
This was the third or fourth meal that Nat and I have cooked together, supported by his staff. I’m definitely the sous chef in the operation, responsible this evening for only the soup and appetizers, although insert myself in plenty of other tasks. Left, looking a bit like the Soup Nazi in Seinfeld, I call people over with their bowls for a serving of cioppino. Right, Nat and I share a laugh while cooking. (Thanks to Nat’s cousin Kik for the pictures.)
Simple canapes: white bean hummis with roasted red pepper and sundried tomato chutney, and shredded roasted beetroot with fresh mozzarella and a drop of balsamic and black truffle syrup.
My latest version of cioppino, the classic San Francisco Italian style seafood stew. This recipe is from chef Michael Mina and is even nicer than the previous recipe I used.
A beautiful foccacia bread sprinkled with flaked sea salt – perfect for sopping up the broth from the cioppino. One of our two stuffings, this one made with mushrooms and the other with chestnuts.
Potatoes dauphinoise, thinly sliced with a rich and creamy interior. Sous video turkey, super moist and perfectly cooked, dropped in a deep fryer at the end for a crispy exterior.
Carrots roasted with maple syrup and sprinkled with corriander. Creamy Brussels sprouts with roasted pine nuts.
Desserts are served! Angel food cake with whipped cream and strawberries – elegant – and a coconut cake with fresh coconut in both the cake and the buttercream frosting. Served with homemade peppermint and pineapple ice creams.
Bee, Doug, Oates (former Xangan), and Tawn pose mid-way through dinner, trying to pace themselves so there is room for the cake.
After our dinner, half the group stuggles to remain upright. From left, Linda, Doug, Bee, our hosts Nat and Cha, Tawn, and me. Hope you and yours had a happy celebration, too!
wow look at that beautiful food. we just had finger foods but always too much!ya’ll look feastive and happy
I’ve had a craving for sweets lately, and looking at those cakes really hurts.
Nice dinner! Look at that cake, so huge when displayed on the dinner table! 😛
Awesome dinner. My grandmother would make a coconut cake every year for Christmas and mail it to us. Didn’t always arrive in one piece.
I’m glad your friend shares the kitchen with you. Some people can’t stand to have anyone else use their kitchen. The cakes look great and Im ready for a slice of the coconut!
Damn, what a spread. Is there cayenne in that cioppino? Everything looked delicious, except the brussel sprouts. Lol.
Wow what a delicious meal!! I really love the cioppino!!!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
YUM! I want to try one of the beet things with the mozzarella, ooh and carrots with syrup, and potatoes, and turkey…. what a lovely meal. I’m glad you and friends had a wonderful time celebrating your own way.
you look so happy and in your element. as always the food is to die for. so yummy looking i just want to eat myself into a coma
That food looks awesome. Sounds like a really fun Christmas.
I knew I shouldn’t have looked at this on an empty stomach… beautiful food porn, Chris.
cioppino and focaccia are some of my favorite food.That soup recipe looks daunting.
Now that is the way to celebrate-good food-good friends and a wonderful time.We had a calm, relaxing time filled with laughter and joy. Friends came later in the evening, and we played chess and had home made snacks and simply sat and laughed.A friend sat with me and explained more about windows 8 and IE 10 which I totally appreciated.Have a wonderful end of the year and New Year and be blessed.
everything looked wonderful
This must have been the year of the Brussels Sprout! I would love to have the recipe for creamy ones… Merry Christmas! Glad to see you were surrounded by the 3 key ingredients – friends, family and food!
yum. one of these days i better fly off to bangkok to join you and tawn for a christmas dinner.
I love that seafood stew. Just give me a couple of bowls of that with some sourdough bread and I’ll be very happy.