As part of using my TIME (WOTY) wisely in 2023 my goals include reintroducing our regular Home Restaurant Date Nights as well as Day Trips. There was a time when we would both take turns each Saturday to prepare a three course meal or at times we would prepare the meal together. It was fun finding recipes and writing up the menu whilst trying to keep it a surprise for each other.
Unfortunately, like many things in life, our weekly dinners fell away as responsibilities for looking after my parents-in-law increased.
I’m happy to say that Home Restaurant Date Nights are back in 2023 in the Loncaric house. In my last What’s On Your Plate? post I wrote how receiving the Italian Street Food cookbook for Christmas was the catlyst to start cooking restaurant meals at home again.
I had skimmed through some possible recipes for our first restaurant at home dinner but then we re-discovered Nigella! Mike and I were watching her TV show and were inspired by a couple of recipes she made. So, the Italian Street Food cookbook was put aside for the moment and I dived into our first Nigella inspired restaurant at home meal.
On the menu
I’ve shared the links to Nigella’s post with the recipes and my ratings for degree of difficulty and also the taste.
Dessert – Italian Rice Pudding Cake
Our Home Restaurant Meal in Pictures
- I had to consult Google to find out what Lardons were and discovered they are small or cube pieces of fatty bacon or pork. I had some bacon but you could use ham.
- I used canned lentils so I didn’t put them in until the last 10 minutes just to heat them through.
- I also threw in a large handful of baby spinach at the last moment just so it was wilted but not overcooked.
- I also added a tablespoon of cornflour to thicken the sauce a little as it is more of a broth. I had enough sauce left over to freeze for another meal.
- I didn’t have nutmeg on hand so substituted cinammon.
- Make sure the tin you use is greased well with oil or butter to avoid sticking
- For the raspberry coulis, I just boiled down some fresh raspberries and added a little water. It would be easier with the ready made jam but I didn’t have any as we don’t eat jam very often. I prepared this earlier and reheated before serving.
- I left some fresh raspberries to decorate and added a dollop of vanilla yogurt. You could use ice cream or fresh cream if you prefer.
- I prepared earlier and put the cooled puddings still in the pans into the refrigerator until I served the main. Then I removed from fridge. When it was time for dessert, I removed the puddings, placed on the serve plate and added coulis, fresh raspberries and Yogurt.
How did the recipes rate?
Poached Chicken with Lardons and Lentils
✰✰✰✰✰ – Easy to make and ingredients readily available
✰✰✰✰✰ – Tasted delicious and I would make it again. The recipe could lend itself to a slow cooker version. It is also healthy so a win/win on taste and being good for us.
Italian Rice Pudding Cake
✰✰✰⬙ – This cake was not difficult to make but was time consuming. I also only made it for two servings so there were mathematical calculations to the ingredients (lucky I have a calculator).
Having to stir the rice for 30 minutes then cool, then beat eggs and egg whites separately was very time consuming. However, I did enjoy time in the kitchen and preparing something new so that’s why I’ve given a 3- 1/2 star rating. It would be good for a special dinner party or afternoon tea.
✰✰✰✰✰ – The effort was worth it as it was very tasty and with the combination of the tart raspberries with the smooth creamy yogurt was a perfect ending to our meal.
I would make this again despite the time it takes to prepare.
Do you take time to prepare Restaurant-style meals at home? Do you have a favourite recipe? I’d love you to share with me.
I look forward to sharing our Home Restaurant Dinners with you during 2023 and perhaps improving my food photography skills at the same time.
I’m linking up as usual to join the What’s On Your Plate? Blog Challenging co-hosted by Donna from Retirement Reflections and Deb, The Widow Badass. Take some time to pop over and see what’s been on their plate during the month