In a previous post I mentioned to you that while we were on a family holiday in Noosa, Maureen and Claire, two amazing bloggers who have become my friends, came over to our apartment for dinner, (except that Claire could only stay for a drink as she was double-booked).
You would think that seeing there were three bloggers in the room that one of us would have taken some photos of the very special get-together but ah, no; that just wasn’t the case. There wasn’t a camera between us. So we had a very pleasant evening that was poorly documented.
So you didn’t miss out on what went on, I decided to re-create what we had for dinner. I cooked an eye fillet of beef with Massaman curry sauce that had crushed peanuts as a finishing garnish but I forgot to buy them so we went without – never mind! Here’s the re-created version with the crushed peanuts.
Maureen had kindly offered to bring a dessert and she went beyond the call of duty and made a fabulous apple pie with a melt-in-the-mouth pie crust and the apple filling was flavoured with cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of lemon juice. When you visit Maureen’s blog, do be sure to ask her to blog the recipe – because I want it too! She also made a vanilla bean ice cream that had to travel for half an hour in hot temperatures but it had been so well packaged it made it to us without melting.
Besides the food there was meant to be some entertainment but like the peanuts, this just didn’t happen. Archie had spent most of his holiday in this position; belting out his tunes to the birds in the trees.
But an audience grew that wasn’t discovered by seeing more birds in trees, it was in the growing numbers looking up from the swimming pool. After numerous requests that went on into the evening with requests to perform in different apartments, Archie lost his voice. And he had so little voice he was unable to provide any entertainment for Maureen and Claire on the night.
Despite a few things not going to plan, we had a really enjoyable evening that just proves that those you would never, ever have had the prospect of meeting save for the internet can turn out to be your very best of friends.
This recipe is from my favourite restaurant, Spirit House, that happens to be right where we were; on the Sunshine Coast. We tried to go there for dinner but it was fully booked every day and night for the entire time we were there. Fortunately, I packed their cookbook and was able to recreate one of their favourite dishes – a dish their chefs call, ‘A bloke’s dish’.
Chargrilled Eye Fillet with Massaman Curry Sauce
Degree of Difficulty: 3/5
Cost: Eye fillet of beef isn’t cheap but I bought some for half the usual price by purchasing the wider end of the fillet that is just as tender but less uniform in size and therefore the cost is reduced.
- 500g (1lb) chat potatoes
- 250g (8oz) golden shallots, peeled
- 2 tbspns vegetable oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbspn oyster sauce
- white pepper, to season
- 500g (1lb) piece eye fillet
- 1 tbspn vegetable oil
- 2 cups coconut cream
- 2 tbspns Massaman curry paste
- 2 tbspns palm sugar
- 2 tbspns fish sauce
- 2 tbspns tamarind water
- 4 large red chillies, cut in half lengthways and seeds removed
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped roasted peanuts, to garnish
Preheat oven to 200C (400F). Quarter potatoes and place in a baking dish with the whole shallots, vegetable oil and seasoning. Bake until the potatoes are golden and the shallots are soft, about 45 minutes.
Rub the oyster sauce and white pepper into the eye fillet. Oil the barbecue and heat to high. Cook fillet for 10 minutes on one side then turn and cook a further 10 minutes to give a medium-rare steak. Cook longer if desired. Place fillet on a plate, cover loosely with foil and rest in warm place.
To make the sauce, heat half a cup of coconut cream in a wok until sizzling and starting to separate. Add curry paste and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes. Add remaining coconut cream, palm sugar, fish sauce and tamarind water. Bring to the boil, add the red chillies, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook a further 5 minutes.
To serve, slice the eye fillet into medallions, an dtransfer to individual serving plates with the roasted potatoes. Scatter golden shallots over meat and spoon over sauce. Garnish with chopped peanuts.