Monday, November 26, 2012


The fourth Serendipity Dinner for 2012 was notable for being the largest one I've ever held. Sixteen diners pushed not just the limits of my dish and chair supplies, but also the physical space of my house. But with a helluva lot of careful planning, I managed to get everything cooked and served in at least a semblance of order. And it even tasted good!

Entree was a tomato, orange and white bean soup with coriander and garlic olive oil. Main course was orange and ginger chicken, served with roasted potatoes and a complementary salad of rocket, orange slices, black olives, marinated feta and red onion. Dessert was a panettone bread and butter pudding.

Apart from the chicken taking half an hour longer to cook than advertised, everything went smoothly and every course was remarkably delicious. The soup was based on a Matt Preston recipe which unexpectedly uses baked beans as the base. However when I tested it I didn't like it much, so I made a few changes and improved it. The chicken made up for taking forever to cook by being wonderfully tender, and it was beautifully complimented by the salad. And I never liked bread and butter pudding when my mother made it, but then she used ordinary white bread rather than rich Italian pannetone... and she didn't soak it in sherry and brandy either.

As I mentioned earlier I was initially disappointed with the baked bean-based soup, which, when I tested it earlier in the week, tasted like a tomato themed milkshake - there was far too much dairy. I replaced the milk with orange juice, then added fresh coriander and garlic olive oil to offset the fairly basic flavours of the beans, tomato and orange. As such, I think I can publish the recipe without breaching copyright.

Tomato, Orange and White Bean Soup

Take a 440g can of best quality baked beans and heat it to a simmer in a saucepan, then take a stick blender and whiz them into a chunky paste. Add 50mls of cream and 150mls of orange juice and stir through, then heat back up to a simmer. Serve with a scattering of fresh coriander and a swirl of garlic-infused olive oil.


Anonymous Troy G said...

It has never occurred to me to garnish baked beans with the adjective "best quality". Then again, as soon as you find a home-brand version of any food, you are going to have a difference in quality.

12:51 PM  

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