Monday, December 23, 2013

Southeast Asian supper. Mostly.

The title of this post could just as well have been, "In which Marie bites off more than she can chew."

It is clear blue Monday in Cape Town, a little windy in Constantia, and three long trestle tables have already been arranged on the patio, under the hot African sun. A gecko clings to one of the wooden slabs, and I hope he doesn't get too warm. There will be a supper there tonight, a little farther out from the house than usual, as the space must seat 15, and it may get nippy, away from the shelter of the awning and the walls. Guests have been advised to bring wraps. There will be many candles in glass chimneys.

I was tired of my usual lunch and dinner menus. Cold soups, tarts and terrines and roasted chickens. So I turned to SE Asia for inspiration. It is food I cook often at home in New York. The litchi salad and duck dumplings are based on recipes from David Thompson's Thai food bible. I've turned his roasted duck into duck confit for the salad, and the dumplings should be quail. But who's going to debone a quail? Those days are over. The udon noodes are a bit of a stretch. Further east.

It's a goodbye supper in a way, as I fly home to Harlem, to a Frenchman and  Dominican, on Saturday.

Monday Supper Menu


Lime-leaf (garden) infused gin and tonic


Litchi salad with confit of soy duck, crispy shallots and duck skin

Aubergine salad with steamed eggs, leek scapes (garden) and XO sauce

Chicken wings a la Pok Pok with fish sauce, garlic and sugar

Cold udon noodles with spring onions, sesame oil, fish sauce and lime juice

                                                             x              x                 x 

Flavour bundles - sticky pork filling with tamarind, roasted peanuts, shallots, garlic and ginger wrapped in butter lettuce

Pickled carrots

Dipping sauce (fish sauce, lemon grass, lime, ginger, chilli)

x              x                 x 

Hot duck meatball curry with green coriander (garden), verjus and coconut milk

                                                               x              x                 x 

Pineapple fluff

Passion fruit and lime pie

Fresh tamarillos (garden)

x               x             x

There it is.


  1. Good grief, woman! That's a menu fit for a full time chef. The rest of us would have taken to our beds just considering it. Am sure it was lovely, tho.

    Hope travel was better than usual, but i doubt that it was. Glad you're headed home to your men.

    1. I did eventually take to my bed, after doing the dishes :-) It's not something I could do on regular basis, but it was a lot of fun.

  2. I am truly sorry that you have to leave loved ones and the sheer beauty of the Western Cape behind, but the Frenchman and the Dominican cat can't wait to see you.

  3. Marie, what happened to the Stuffed Tomatoes (with rice) on The Food-page... I'm lost... And craving it like heroin!

    1. They shuffled off into the book. Send me your email and I'll mail you the recipe.

    2. Done! And may I, and my stomach along with me, thank you in advance for your kind holiday spirit! Merry Merry!


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