13 January 2009

Frenched Out

When I invite a group of friends over for a potluck dinner and most of the conversation at the table revolves around ‘How did you make this duck confit?’, ‘Are frozen prawns better than those you buy at the market?’ or ‘Guess the mystery ingredient in the sauce!’ I know I’ve hit the jackpot.

This is possibly one of the ‘foodiest’ group of friends I have and having potlucks with them is always pure bliss because I know they take their food seriously. Most of my other friends would chip in by bring something bought, but the potlucks I’ve had with this particular group were all legendary and nothing less than homemade.

With a simple French theme, the menu of the night spanned from one-of-the-most-expensive-bowls-of-tomato-soup-I’ve-ever-drunk, and amazing Moules Mouclad (mussels in cognac cream sauce), to a fantastic duck confit that unfortunately has no recipe because the cook never uses a proper recipe.

The most tedious dish would definitely be the tomato consommé that was also possibly the most expensive dish there. G bought incredibly pricy vine-riped tomatoes from Jasons Market Place and mistakenly added to his basket organic cherry tomatoes, bringing the cost of the ingredients to a whopping $70. He brought all the ingredients over to cook so I witnessed the entire cooking process from start to finish and I take my hat off to him for his resilience.

And even when the tomato consomme did not turn out as clear as we all envisioned it to be, we all still appreciated the cool crisp intense tomato soup. I eagerly went for seconds and thirds taking into account the laboriousness of it all and the cost that went into it. Sadly, I went to Meidi-Ya a couple of days after that and bought a tomato essence drink produced by Asahi at just $2 which tasted almost identical to that labour intensive soup.

Which dish was the highlight of the night? It is arguable. It is terribly difficult to choose among the tomato soup, the mussels and the duck confit (especially with some truffle salt). But since the mussels is possibly the dish that was prepared at the lowest cost among the three, though it might not have ordinarily been so, I decided to post the recipe for the mussels - especially useful in these economically tough times.

Click here for link to L's recipe for Mussels Mouclad


Anonymous said...

I loved the serving soup bowl (bowl with the spoon situated in the middle of your picture). may I ask where did you purchase this from? is this available in spore? It's beautiful, I like the larger surface area surrounding the middle where you can place either soups/stews or other maincourse.

Anonymous said...

Hi! It is a rather shallow bowl, but as impractical as it is, I love it too.

I bought it from Sia Huat at 1 Temple Street in Chinatown. Good Luck!


Anonymous said...

thanks Daffy for the not tip. the bowl are gorgeous!!!! i'll definitely check them out and lug a few home.

Anonymous said...

HOT tip. sorry, typo. lol


Anonymous said...

Hi Sienna, you're welcome! I once stewed baby octopus and presented it in the bowl. That was stunning. =)