Monday, June 7, 2010

WHITE TIE WINTER BISTRO – Eggplant spagaloni

I’m still buzzing from our fabulous White Tie Winter Bistro – we had our first one for this year on Thursday 3 June – and it was just wonderful!

We held the event at C4, our favourite roasters of coffee in Christchurch. The roastery is housed in a funky warehouse style building in Lichfield Street with exposed brick, wood floors and industrial strength iron girders in the ceiling. They have a great display of coffee machines, stove top espresso pots, and the world’s best Barbie record player!

Our 80 guests chose from a wine list showcasing Canterbury’s finest on offer – pinot noir from Black Estate, Pegasus Bay’s Semillon and a Crater Rim Late Harvest Pinot Gris to name a few…

Entrees included green olive and anchovy beignets, Malouf’s mushrooms on traditional fried bread and our homemade ciabatta grilled with chopped tomato salad, prosciutto and the award-winning Clevedon buffalo mozzarella.

The mains proved there’s just something about hearty bistro fare breaking through the winter cold, slow braised veal, old fashioned roast lamb, parsnip and carrot mash the way your Nana made it and a sell out crispy skinned groper with a fine ratatouille and gruyere potato croquettes.

And if you thought making decisions was hard, then you really would have been in trouble come dessert time; lemon curd pavlova roulade, a C4 coffee tasting plate including an outstanding brown sugar espresso pannacotta, spiced chocolate bread and butter pudding and rice pudding to end all rice puddings…we had a ball!

Everyone was in party spirits and the noise level was heart warming. The C4 crew jumped up from their table to make coffees on demand while guests from all over the city table hopped to catch up with new friends made at last year’s bistros...

This was an initiative that started last year and it was so successful – it’s given us the opportunity to be our own client, to create a range of contemporary bistro dishes we don’t often have the opportunity to do through White Tie’s events. We create a restaurant for one night in a secret venue, only texting guests 24 hours in advance to let them in on the secret. People are clamouring for seats at the bistros on 8 July, 12 August and 16 September… if you would like to come along and celebrate hearty winter food with friends then give White Tie Catering a call on (03) 365 2837 to book your seat!

One of the dishes we offered was a White Tie twist on pasta – Spagaloni (half spaghetti, kind of half cannelloni!) – a special treat for our vegetarian friends and even a few meat eaters who saw it on its way to other tables. This is a wonderful warming family dish for Winter, extremely cost effective and the leftovers make the best lunch the next day. Cook it & Love it.


Serves 6

2 large fat eggplant
olive oil
thyme, finely chopped
oregano, finely chopped
1/3 packet spaghetti noodles
100g Parmesan cheese, grated
½ cup cream
¼ cup torn, fresh basil
1 x 400g tins seasoned Italian tomatoes, chopped
extra grated cheese and parmesan

Slice eggplant lengthwise ¼ inch thick and brush with oil and herbs. Chargrill both sides and allow to cool.

Cook spaghetti in boiling water, drain and while still hot stir through parmesan cheese, cream and basil. Add a heaped tablespoon of spaghetti to each eggplant strip and roll.

Pour a third of the tomatoes over the base of dish and place rolled eggplant on top. Spoon rest of tomatoes over eggplant rolls and sprinkle with extra cheeses. Bake in hot oven for 15 – 20 minutes until top is browned and bubbling.

1 comment:

Susan said...

this was such a wonderful night. I had the beignets closely followed by the veal and much to my disgust I followed it with the rice pudding and had to be literally rolled into the car at the end of the night! I have already booked for the next 3 and am bringing friends to prove how fab it was ... thanks for putting it on ...