Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Belated Thanksgiving Feast

Roasted herb and lemon stuffed "turkey" (chicken)

Like this post, my masak-masak friends (Sheila, Chin Yin and Sim) had our thanksgiving feast in March... which was in a nutshell--way overdue.

Though you may say that we Malaysians can have our food around the clock at any time of the day. So can we celebrate the feast of roasted turkey (or chicken) in this case, any time according to our own calendar. The dinner was scheduled in the evening of 28th March 2009 in conjunction with the Earth Hour Malaysia.

Orthodox or lack thereof, we had prepared all dishes for this feast the way it has always been--slow, enjoyable and full of natural goodness to be thankful for. Now, let's just cut all the chase and look at the menu, shall we?

Rustic five mushrooms soup as starter.

For starter, we had rustic mushroom soup with fresh garden salad. Forget about the Italian 3 mushrooms soup, we used 5 variety of mushrooms--button, brown, oyster, enoki and shiitake cooked in chicken broth and then blended into country style soup with mushroom chunks. Chin Yin, the salad expert, prepared visually-pleasing salad (mix greens and top with cottage cheese) that was not only good to see but even better to consume.

The fresh garden salad was not only colourful but was crisp and fresh in every bite.

Then, the beautiful farfalline (far-FALL-lay) pasta with spring vegetables was served as pre-entrée. Hands down to Sheila because pasta dishes are always her expertise. Sim on the other hand was busy mashing up the cooked potatoes resulting in creamy and savoury mashed potato.

Sheila's famous farfalline cooked to al dante as always.
A Sim made this mountain of mashed potato that was so good that we almost licked the serving bowl.

The lead role of the feast was none other than--tadaaaaaa the "turkey" (chicken). We roasted chicken instead of the traditional turkey because the latter is much bigger and more difficult to cook bird, so we let it slide. The stuffing recipe was a combination of Jamie Oliver's and Sheila's + Chin Yin's. It was roasted for longer than we expected but the final product was gorgeous and succulent none the less (pictured above).

This time around I was busy at work, so the ladies cut me some slack and let me prepare the dessert instead. When it comes to thanksgiving dinner dessert, most people would opt for pumpkin pie or anything cranberry and pumpkin-y. But I was never good at observing the tradition. My mantra is "shop locally eat seasonally" . So the first fruit that comes to my mind when I think of exquisite tropical fruit and a spring-y fare was dragon fruit. So, I decided to make Italian panna cotta with a tropical twist topping--dragon fruit with lime zest.

Panna cotta was made with mascarpone cheese (Italian cream cheese) and whipping cream, topped with freshly grated dragon fruit and lime zest. I was thankful that it turned out great and people were asking for second serving.

Italian dessert with tropical twist--panna cotta with dragon fruit and lime zest.

After chomping away the feast for two hours, we observed the earth hour we all pledged. Instead of staying in a house of no electricity, we all went out for a breezy stroll and we were all thankful for the goodness that the earth has to offer. It is about time that we human being paying the due respect of mother earth by conserving the environment.


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