If you held a dinner party, and you could invite any 5 people in the entire world, dead or alive, who would you choose…?
I would invite Bear Grylls, Matthew Kenney, Will Smith, David Attenborough, Ellen Degeneres but they unfortunately couldn’t attend this dinner party, so I invited 5 of the closet people to me. This was a surprise birthday dinner for my Mum…
A dinner party I called, ‘White Zest’.
Anyone who knows me well enough, knows that I prefer experiences to ‘stuff’, memories to gifts and overall a good feed over anything. I love being able to share an experience with the people in my life, and a lot of those experiences always start with food!
For my Mum’s birthday, all she ever asks for is for me to cook, so I cooked and made a dinner party of it, my present to her was an experience turned memory! 5 courses, 5 people, a garden and a good time. Let this photo story show you a little love and a whole lot of joy!
Two words that represent me. Possibly a cookbook title? Possibly a new blog title? It’s another phrase for Casey Trebilcock, my tagline?
I play around with words all the time, synonyms, antonyms, verbs, nouns, I frolic in grammar and swing on sentences. White Zest formed from my minds scrabble board, it’s a word play, a dictionary meaning of Casey.
White is the foundation of bLANk (www.abLANkblog.com), the vision of hope and creativity, it offers me that of growth, liberty and scope, it welcomes the unplanned and seeks to preserve visual expression. White is how everything starts in my life, white can embrace any colour, any situation and adapt, transform and invent the new. White is the starting point.
As for ‘Zest’, it’s the one adjective I have heard multiple times that describes me, that reflects who I am, my personality, my ‘zest for life’. Zest is the way I live, I always give a little piece of myself to everything I do, I do it with enthusiasm – keenness – gusto – taste – relish – appetite – tang – bite, all words that are synonyms to Zest fit to me to a T.
Put white and zest together, you get Casey Trebilcock, you get the ‘White Zest’.
So my first dinner party had to reflect exactly who I am and where this passion came from, it came from white and it came from my zest. I had to pour it onto a plate and let my food carry my essence and personal expression.
Pre dinner drinks accompanied with a classic coriander homemade tzatziki dip with a walnut and beetroot flair alongside pricked tomato and basil.
A trifecta tasting plate display of (1) Lime and herb marinated chicken black skewers, (2) Rosemary infused smashed pumpkin bruschetta finished with rocket and a balsamic drip (3) A chargrilled zucchini rolled ‘sushi’.
Double stuffed portobello mushrooms with black sesame and rocket with free formed, quinoa flaked, seeded wholemeal dinosaur bread rolls.
Green Beans and smashed cashews.
Lemon and rosemary roasted asparagus and roma cherry tomatoes.
Lightly tossed green garden salad.
Atlantic infused seeded salmon with a cumin, herb and nut, white quinoa salad.
Avocado whipped mousse underneath a dark chocolate pistachio and ginger bark finished with garden fresh mint.
bLANk’s Homemade tzatziki dip with a walnut and beetroots flair - Makes 1.5 cups – 5 Minutes
170g Chobani Plain 0% Greek Natural Yoghurt – 15cm’s of Cucumber – 1/2 cup Coriander – 1/4 cup Chives – 1 tsp crushed garlic – 1 tsp Lemon Juice – 1/2 cup Beetroot – 1/4 cup Walnuts – 1 Packet of Sorj Wholemeal Wraps
1. Preheat the oven to 160c. Finely chop the fresh chives, coriander and dice the cucumber. In a bowl, mix the Chobani yoghurt with the fresh herbs and cucumber and crush a tsp of garlic and mix together. Squeeze the lemon juice into the mixture and stir a few times. Set the dip aside.
2. Spray the Sorj Wholemeal Wraps with some olive oil or drizzle with some coconut. Add to a baking tray and allow to become golden in the oven for about 10 minutes. Take them out when crispy and set aside.
3. Finely slice the beetroot and then dice. Crush the walnuts roughly with a knife or rolling pin.
4. Break up the Sorj Wholemeal Wraps into decent savoury biscuit pieces. Top the dip with the walnut and beetroot and an extra handful of coriander to taste.
Tip: The trick with my homemade dip is to let it sit in the fridge for a little while to let the flavours combine.
“It’s the company not the cooking, that makes a meal.” – Kirby Larson
“One of the very best things of life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating” – Luciano Pavarotti
Pricked Tomato and Basil – Makes 20 – 5 Minutes
20 Small cherry tomatos – 20 Toothpicks – 20 Fresh basil leaves
1. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and rip of some basil leaves.
2. Prick the toothpick with half a cherry tomato and fold the basil leaf in half in the middle. Add the other half of the tomato on top of the basil leaf.
Rosemary infused smashed pumpkin finished with rocket and a balsamic drip – Makes 6 – 25 Minutes
Fresh rosemary sprigs – 1 cup Pumpkin – 1 cup Rocket – Wholemeal or rye pumpernickel bread – Balsamic dressing
1. Preheat the oven to 180c. Roughly chop the pumpkin (The secret to beautiful roasted pumpkin is cutting it in different shapes) and place on a baking tray. Mix with some rosemary sprigs and a dash of olive oil. Allow to roast for about 15 minutes in the oven or until soft.
2. Cut three pieces of pumpernickel bread in half and lay out on the tasting plate. Add the roasted pumpkin.
3. Drop some rocket on top, it doesn’t need to be neat. Drip over some balsamic dressing and serve next to the marinated chicken tenders.
Lime and herb marinated chicken black skewers – Makes 10 – 25 Minutes
10 Chicken tenders – 1 Red Chilli – 1 Fresh lime – 1 tbsp Mixed dried herbs – 10 Skewers – 1/2 cup Coriander – Cracked Pepper
1. Soak the skewers in water for around 20 minutes prior so that they don’t splinter.
2. Lie the chicken tenders in a large dish and dress with the juice of a whole lime. Sprinkle with the mixed herbs, finely sliced red chilli, coriander and season with cracked pepper.
3. Allow to marinade over night or for 20 minutes depending on your own time restrictions. Once the flavour is strong, add the chicken tenders to the skewers.
4. On a hot grill, place the skewers side by side and allow to become charred before turning them. Cook until tender and serve on the tasting plate.
[The Natural Fork, Knife & Plate Series - Just be]
*Disclaimer: All photographs in bLANk’s ‘Natural Fork, Knife & Plate Series’ are taken by bLANk and rightly owned by bLANk