Last night my kitchen was taken over by mysterious forces. Forces that inspired me to create a menu focused on all things black and dark.
Dinner from the Darkside was my way of unleashing my obsession with creating beautiful food and tying it to Halloween, without the usual tackiness of 'mummies fingers', 'brain soup' and 'witches brew'. Instead I linked each and every course to at least one black ingredient and created a dark tablescape of death for my guests to enjoy a real 'foodies Halloween'. I have been dreaming of bringing this concept into reality for a long time, and after some encouragement from my always supportive sister, here it is.
All of the ingredients have been sourced from specialty and general grocery stores in Sydney (Norton Street Grocer, Harris Farm, Sydney Fish Markets - Blackwattle Deli, Waterside Fruit Market and Peters, Coles Leichhardt,. Wines from the Hunter Valley and New Zealand.
Enjoy looking through this post. It will be the beginning of many inspiring dinner parties by tipple&fodder. I'm sure my guests will 'hate' hearing that!
Blood orange , pomegranate and mixed berry cocktail
Death & Ravens
To get into the dark mood, a cheese plate inspired by all things black. I actually loved this so much it is something I'll be recreating often. The squid ink salami (Spanish) was devine!
THE black cheese board
Cheese and cuvee with mulberries
Next course, canapes! Homemade buckwheat blini's with creme fraice and lumpfish roe, and the show-stopper: kingfish carparccio with garlic and lemon oil, sesame seeds, truffle salt and squid ink aioli.
Fresh from the sea, these salty little mouthfuls were perfect with the cuvee.
Black never tasted so good! My squid ink aioli was amazing. Even if I do say so myself.
Fairy lights in the night
Even though it was an evening for celebrating the darkest of ingredients, the entree was one of the prettiest things I've created. This was a bit of an accident, but one I'm pleased with. Entree was served with an Audrey Wilkinson Winemakers Selection Chardonnay (Hunter Valley). The perfect match to the silky richnes of cauliflower puree and buttery scallops.
The finished product! Seared scallops, boudon noir and black salt with cauliflower puree & balsamic candied beetroot jus.
The perfect match
The original black ingredient was the centre of our main course. Squid ink linguine. Instead of a seafood based pasta, I decided to create an earth-inspired dish using porcini and mixed mushrooms in a classic white wine, thyme and cream sauce. Served with a dark salad of bitter leaves and the blackest of black baguettes (Bamboo Charcoal Baguette) sourced from The Grounds of Alexandria, this was a delicious main, matched with a New Zealand Pinot Noir from Yearlands Estate, which we 'hunted and gathered' back in March at the Taste of Sydney.
Cooking up a storm
The blackest of breads is also the most delicious
Squid ink linguine with porcini and mixed mushrooms
My love (Murray, not the Pinot!)
Finally we made it to dessert for the 'Pav-reaper'. How could I throw a dinner party without creating one of my pavlova's? It just wouldn't be right.
Luckily the important centre piece of this pavlova was discovered by Erin. Originally I thought I'd create a diiferent dessert, but luckily I was persuaded to put together a dark and deathly pav...
The 'Pav-reaper' - death by chocolate in the best possible way!
My mind was racing with endless ideas for this evenings menu. It was so much fun to put together and most of all, enjoy with my beautiful friends.
I hope this inspires some of you to create your own luxurious grown-up menu for Halloween so that you too can enjoy something a bit out of the ordinary and create a few lasting laughs and memories.
Keep watching this space... Over the next few days I will upload some of the recipes I created when putting together the 'Dinner from the Darkside" so that you too can re-create some of the dishes we devoured!
If you have any variations or recipes you'd like me to feature, please pop onto Instagram and follow @tippleandfodder to leave suggestions on my posts.
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