Sunday, January 22, 2012

These are only intended to be entrees in Australia!

Soon after arriving in Australia, I realized the word 'entree' means something different.  Here entree is an equivalent of appetizer in America.  Unlike the others in the world, Americans use 'entree' to describe their main course.

Whenever I serve an appetizer, however, it is likely to be in the amount of an American entree, reported Mr Hippo.  

History repeats itself today.  We invited a friend over for lunch to celebrate his birthday, and he was shocked to learn the dishes in the picture (on the right) were only intended to be entrees in Australia.  In addition, I made two main courses, along with rice.  We also had yogurt and passion fruit for dinner, but that was very light and perfect for accelerating our digestion. 

It is the season of Chinese New Year, so the dishes all have an Asian theme.  For entree, I made three cold dishes and of course, a long-life noodle.  The three dishes were snow-pea and red capsicum in garlic-infused oil (top left), pine-nut, corn, carrot and baby peas stew (top right), and a Thai papaya and prawn salad (bottom).  

The papaya salad was the most popular one, probably because that was the only spicy entree dish.  The recipe for the cold noodle salad requires chilli oil, but I used Sichuan pepper oil instead--Mr Hippo claimed the friend does not have an appetite for spicy food.

I am particularly proud of the presentation of the noodle salad (picture on the left), especially considering the limited time I had to assemble it.   Our friend just walked into the door when I started shaping the noodle balls.  I could definitely make it prettier next time, with a bit more practice and extra time in hand.

It was a fun afternoon, and after lunch we enjoyed chatting over some cashew nuts, chocolate and a good cup of jasmine tea while I was making a mind note for myself: serve less food next time! 

To my excuses, to serve a feast is a family tradition (or possibly due to epigenetic inheritance as I recently learned).  Growing up with my grandma, who suffered from years of famine in her life, I tend to cook too much as well.

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