Kathryn took on both the soup and salad courses, and spared no effort. She went exotic this time, making a delicious Jamaican pepperpot soup of okra, sweet potato and shrimp, with delicious home-baked bread on the side. It had a delightfully savory-hot taste, and the sweet bread was excellent in complement.
Her salad was a pleasant surprise, combining cucumber, mango, avocado and cilantro with a sweet-salty dressing. A perfect salad for the summer.
We also got to play with her adorable kittens, who were slightly less shy this time around.
Earlier that day, I had begun preparing my main course, themed Portuguese. For the Portuguese tomato rice on the side, I sauteed a cup of chopped onion and stirred in 2 cloves of chopped garlic, a teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of red chili pepper flakes, and two bay leaves. I then added a cup and a half of chopped fresh tomatoes for a little more time cooking, finally bringing to a boil after adding two cups of water and two tablespoons each of chopped parsley and cilantro.
After we got to my place, I added the cup of long-grain rice I had been soaking, and let that cook for about 20 minutes until the water disappeared. This turned out really well, if I may say so myself.
For the main course dish of Portuguese baked fish, I also kept the sauce ready in advance. I started with a chopped onion, a sliced leek and four minced cloves of garlic, sauteed in olive oil. I then added two cans of peeled tomato in tomato juice, two tablespoons of tomato paste, half a teaspoon each of cumin, rosemary and oregano, and salt and pepper.
When we arrived at my place, I poured some of the simmering sauce in to a baking dish, placed the grouper fillets on it, and laid out strips of a sliced green pepper over the fish. Finally, I poured a cup of white wine over everything, laid out some slices of lemon over the peppers, poured on the rest of the sauce and sprinkled on a chopped bunch of parsley.
I baked this for about half an hour at 180C. The fish took in the flavor of the sauce, as well as the lemon slices and the wine. It made for a lovely and fairly healthy main course.
Phil's dessert of home-baked carrot cake was dense and hearty, frosted with his own preparation of sweetened butter and cream cheese. Despite having been refrigerated for two days, it tasted great.