We had our first dinner party last night and since it was a nice cool end-of-summer-evening we decided to have it out on one of the balconies. Picnic style. We couldn’t have asked for a better evening. Good company. Good conversation. Good wine. Home made pita. Starters from Claudia Roden’s Middle Eastern cookbook. A Moroccan menu from Bobbie Flay. And some super chocolate fudgey piey browniey desserts.
The only downfall. We took no pictures. Sorry. This guy made the menu too though, so check his picture out, the ambiance of the night is definitely missing though.
It’s surprisingly affordable to make Middle Eastern food here in Chengdu (think not Sichuan=expensive) as most of the ingredients can be found locally. Chicken, tomatoes, carrots, apricots, almonds and cilantro from local markets. Even the many spices such as cinnamon, cumin, coriander, tumeric aren’t hard to come by. Import markets gave us chickpeas, saffron and diced tomatoes. And friends brought wine, pita and chocolate. While a very global meal it was doable here in Western China.
Also, a big thumbs up to our newest favorite cookbook. Claudia Roden’s recipes, while meant to feed a large group, are very attainable, and while I haven’t been anywhere near the Middle East, are very authentic (at least in my head). I plan to work my way through her 100+ mezze recipes before I start tackling her mains and desserts.
But what’s a blog post about food without a picture of food?!?! Phil made an awesome breakfast (which is rare, as breakfast is usually my job) with some leftover pita and frozen pesto this morning, which we did take a picture of, so that will have to suffice.