Ok, so the grand-ass plans for this dinner involving sealed secret fake passports distributed to guests upon arrival, the staged intrigue game like atmosphere all night and the revealing of the "which side of the iron curtain are you from" at the end............well, they were just grand ideas. What we did get, was a great night of food with two "eastern block" dishes along side to decidedly western dishes. A Sunday evening of gluttony, and a wonderful way to say au revoir to our dear friend Joyce whom after months of spoiling us in Bangkok with her lovely presence has had to leave the Kindom of Smiles for the colder and less sanook lands of Taiwan and beyond.
And let the food begin. Drumroll please...... From the West we started off with just about the most American starters there is: the CHEESE LOG. Three different kinds of cheese including good ole "american" white cheese along with edam and also some grated italian stink cheese courtesy of Tommy just in from Rome. Then covered in dill and cilantro and served with fresh out of the oven baked bread. Yes. We all approved.
Moving onto the east we had an AMAZING (in my humble opinion) borscht from Poland called "Chłodnik" which was cold and without meat but with minced freshly boiled shrimp meat. I could eat it every day. Very different flavors going on there. And the brightest most in your face purple you've ever seen thanks to the beets.
Onwards to the main course from the west, the 3 kilos of LONDON BROIL that were served up to the carnivores of the bunch. PS - that's a LOT of meat, people. Very simple almost orthodox (garlic, salt, pepper) and under the supervision of Craig these bad ass slabs of bovine breast were still moo-ing as they jumped off the blood soaked cutting board onto the diners plates. I obstained from the carnage, but others seemed to love it.
The east also had a "sleeper cell" favorite (Roger liked it the most) of Cuban beans. We substituted kidneys for black beans since we didn't put them on to soak in time, but the salt pork seemed to make up for it. No pics sadly, and we have only the savory fog of memories in our stomachs.
Thanks to everyone who made the evening another success in the project: Joyce, Craig, Joe, Dale, Julia and Tommy. Good times.
Oh and one last, shall we say low point of the evening. What was supposed to be the "tie-breaker" giving the west the decided advantage: A JELLO MOLD. Too bad I didn't line the bowl or give it enough time to set up, which resulted in an ABJECT JELLO FAIL. Still tasted good, sorta, if you didn't mind slimey goo.
Thanks again for Joyce for taking the pictures as I was too busy getting drunk, I mean cooking, to be bothered with archiving the event. :)