(Update: For VDP No. 7, click here)
With most of us in self-isolation or even total lockdown, a VDP (virtual dinner party) is one way to catch up with friends and to continue to test your cooking skills.
We have now had a number of VDPs. Here is the link to the first of those: Virtual Dinner Party No. 1
From there you can link through to subsequent ones.
Saturday night was VDP No. 6 where we were joined by three other couples from Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne, the same group as the previous week.
Following are our menu and running sheet.
Put together by our Brisbane friends, the menu included a few interesting challenges in terms of timing.
(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. 6
Our aim is for a menu that is easy to prepare and finish off and for dishes that are not too heavy or rich.
(Some of the links below might not open if there is a paywall.)
Salad of scallops with green beans – Rick Stein – Recipe
Cider poached pears – Maggie Beer (Maggie’s Recipe for Life) – Recipe
A Chardonnay followed by a Pinot Noir, then a sticky white for dessert.
While it might seem somewhat prescriptive, the aim is to keep things moving and coordinated and for everyone to serve the same dish at the same time. The times given below are Adelaide time (half an hour behind Melbourne time). Much of the preparation is done beforehand.
Adelaide time 3.00 pm (3.30 pm Melbourne)
3.00 – Prepare and cook the pears and allow to cool
4.30 – (Optional) Reduce pear liquid on the stove to reheat later
5.00 – Prepare the cold ingredients for the scallops
5.30 – Prepare the ingredients for the potato salad, up to cooling the potatoes
6.00 – Prepare the marinade for the fish
6.10 – Prepare the herbs for the fish
6.50 – Get the salmon ready on the baking paper
7.00 Adelaide time (7.30 pm Melbourne) – Log in via Zoom
7.01 – Raise our glasses. Cheers to us all!
7.15 – Frying pan on
7.20 – Finish off scallops and salad
7.30 – Serve entree
7.30 – Oven on for the fish
7.45 – Finish off the fish and place in the oven
8.00 – Finish off potato salad
8.10 – Serve main course – fish and potato salad
8.30 – Reduce or reheat pear liquid on the stove
8.45 – Serve dessert
How it all panned out
What a lovely menu. And what a great night – again we ran overtime by two hours! However, the running sheet helps for the sequencing of key tasks and also gives the timing of each dish.
All the dishes were memorable. The highlight, however, was the baked salmon. It, will become a standby for us and we will search out similar recipes. It is quite outstanding and not as difficult as you might expect. The use of mayonnaise in the baking might be a surprise, but because of its composition of eggs and oil it works well in many cooking situations, including baking cakes. If you don’t have the right type of mayonnaise or maple syrup use a suitable substitute.
Following are some photos taken on the night in menu order, with contributions by all couples. Forgive the poor quality of composition and plating as it does become rather hectic trying to keep up with everyone and still take photographs. We don’t always bother to plate the dishes in a fancy way as there is no one else but us to see the results, and it does save on washing up! And because it gets a little hectic, we don’t remember to photograph every dish, or don’t have time.
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.