Mid-August we held VDP No. 14 – six of us in attendance. The menu was prepared by our Melbourne friends and designed so that all dishes could be more or less ready when we sat down.
There were two inspirational recipes from the night.
One was the terrine in green aspic. The terrine recipe is a favourite of our friends who prepared the menu. A link to the recipe is given in the Menu below. The main photo above (of the finished terrine) and the following one below (of the terrine being layered with aspic) are Liz’s. The surface of Liz’s was glistening and translucent. (We had made two small terrines and had forgotten to layer them with aspic until the last minute. The mince we used was also rather coarse, and while it gave a lovely taste, in future we will use a finer grind.)
The recipe has inspired us to try more terrine recipes, and photos (and basic recipe) of another terrine we have tried since are given below.
The other highlight recipe was for a rich tomato sugo, perfect for pasta and other dishes. The tomato sauce was served with rigatoni, which reminded us of an extraordinary lunch at Hotel Luneto Convento on our first trip to Amalfi some years ago. The Amalfi coast has some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere. And the lunch at the converted convent was just as spectacular – served in the old dining room with marvellous Mediterranean views.
For our VDP we used the tomato sugo in the negroni sauce. The link below provides the details of both the sugo and negroni recipes. The tomato sugo recipe is complex but well worth the effort if you wish to try it, or use it as a guide to enhance your own recipe. The pasta has simple presentation but is full of flavour.
We served the pasta with a fresh salad and ended the evening in retro fashion with an Australian take on an Italian trifle, from a cookbook dating back to our friend’s school days.
Here is the link to the first of our VDPs: Virtual Dinner Party No. 1. From there you can link through to subsequent ones. (If you think you might give a VDP a try, at the end we give four useful web links that are worth reviewing.)
The Menu for Virtual Dinner Party No. 14
- Terrine in Herb Aspic – For recipe see here
- Negroni Rigatoni – For recipe see Marty’s essential red sauce.
- Green salad
- Italian trifle in the Australian style
Negroni cocktail. Rutherglen Rose. Italian red – Nero d’Avola. Bellarine sticky.
It all worked out as planned. We started at 7.30 pm Melbourne time; 7.00 pm Adelaide time. We finished almost four hours later!
The first photo below is of the two small terrines we made for the VDP – to be later glazed with the green aspic. Next is a photo of the terrine we tried a week later, and a second photo of the layered inside. The last photo is of the amazing Amalfi Coast terrain.
Our second terrine was a more traditional style, with bacon around the base of the mould, rather than chopped through the mixture. We layered some coloured carrots, a small leek and some chicken strips into the pork mixture. Here is a basic recipe. It uses the green terrine recipe as a base, and about double the volume.
Some Useful Links
If you have had your own VDP (virtual dinner party) or virtual foodie or wine experiences, we are happy to hear about them, including the menu, wines, etc (and good quality photos if you have any) and why it turned out so well.