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Guilty Pleasures: Part Deux

Guilty Pleasures: Part Deux. This time its serious!

Guilty Pleasures: Part Deux. This time it's serious!

It’s always fun to be a little naughty, let the hair down, do something different. It doesn’t come much better that indulging in your guilty pleasures. Things you know you shouldn’t have, because they’re not good for you, they’re horribly processed or they’re frowned upon (although that doesn’t bother me, frankly). So, following on from our first Guilty Pleasures Dinner Party, I hosted Part Deux last night. The premise is that all attendess bring a guilty pleasure, some food and others wine/beer. What could go wrong?

Unfortunately, what I was most guilty of was being under prepared. I have a stupidly long to do list of things that need to be achieved by the end of this week, and I only started getting organised 10 minutes before the front door bell rang, and my first guest, Helen of Food Stories arrived. I had intended to go to the shop to buy wine glasses, as my flatmate had lovely ones that I used, but she has just moved out and I am left with those tiny wretched ones which reek of the eighties amongst other things. Perhaps perfect for Guilty Pleasures, except I hate them. Unfortunately, I had no time and it was raining so heavily, I was also lacking in motivation with regard to actually leaving the house. So that put me in a bit of a position at the very last minute for I didn’t have the materials for my own Guilty Pleasures. I improvised and everything seemed fine.

Except it wasn’t. That essential appliance, the fridge, decided it no longer wanted to be cold, favouring a temperature more suited to a summers day. I tried everything I could, given I had no knowledge at all, and in desperation called the miele customer service line. Little did I know I was about to enter an alternate dimension where I could be given no info on how to fix this, without my landlords precise details, for there are data protection issues when it comes to giving out information on fridges. Eh?! It’s just a fridge, not a nuclear missile!

Helen & I poked and prodded, but no joy. So we did what we could and eventually it righted itself, sadly not quickly enough to chill the lovely Bisol Jeio Prosecco. So, we moved the Bisol portion to the end of the evening, which actually worked rather well.

Along came the other guests. Chris had with him many guilty pleasures, cheese strings, pepperami, lots of beer. We were off!

First up, was a toast to the late Keith Floyd. Dan of Bibendum said that Floyd had said the best wines for him were those from the South of France and cheap, so Dan brought along a bottle of Domaine de Montplo, Chrysalide 2005, a fine red, I think Floyd would have been happy with our choice.

I was making little chorizo pizzas with homemade dough. As I hadn’t left the house, cheese was lacking so I improvised and used mascarpone and a light covering of parmesan. After fridgegate, I hadn’t the strength to worry or do anything about it, so I just got on with it. I put the spiced pork belly in the oven to roast and Lizzie started on her spam pancake, for she is a lover of spam.

Helen prepared her boiled eggs with anchovy soldiers, saving her piece de resistance, David Lebovitz’s candied bacon ice cream until last. Now, that was fantastic! I am actually going to buy an ice cream maker just to make this stuff. Creamy with crisp pieces of bacon and bacon on top, as David himself says, bacon and eggs, what’s not to love? I have to agree.

Dan brought his superb and extremely hot sleazy cheesey chilli nachos. Lots of fun, having lots of chillis AND Dave’s insanity sauce. Dan was organised and brough his chilli already made. Added to this, we sampled some truffle popcorn. Yes, really! Reactions to this were mixed but I really liked it, and look forward to having it again. It’s very naughty and seems wrong, but tastes oh-so-right.

Denise and Dan brought lots of wine, less guilty than surprising and some delicious. There were some gems in there and I’ll be seeking them out. I expect some info on these from Denise & Dan soon on their blogs.

All the best parties have a gatecrasher and we had one too. A tiny snail crawled in the open window and sat watching from his vantage point. I didn’t even see him, hooray for Dan who gently put him outside, although we think we may have cracked his shell, he was really tiny.

So, another fun night and another culinary adventure. Guilty Pleasures Parties are my new preferred mode of entertainment! Do have one. It’s recession proof raucous fun.

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Guilty! Guilty Pleasures Dinner Party

Cheese & Sausage Biscuits

Raised an Irish catholic, I am a natural with the guilt, an expert some would say, and venturing in and out of the seven deadly sins on a semi regular basis as I do (gluttony: check), I’ve got the guilt to offer up at a Guilty Pleasures dinner party.

Guilty pleasures. Isn’t that a great phrase? And, it’s so appropriate! Sneaking that bag of crisps or chocolate bar, those deep fried treats or the haribo. Nibbling at the cheese straight from the packet after a night out. Those few stolen, guilty minutes offer rare pleasure. We all have them. Really, we do. Even if you deny it, I know you have at least one… don’t blush, I won’t tell, I promise.

Some people think, or assume that I am a food snob. Nay! I love good food, home cooked or high end. I love simple food and complex food, as long as it’s done right, it’s delicious. I try to be healthy and be nice to my body, but like (almost) everyone, I slip up.

I don’t want to brag, but I think I have more guilty pleasures than most. I like lots of dodgy food stuffs. No, I love them. CRISPS! Now, that was my first food love. My mother always said that I could live in the back of a crisp lorry with no other food stuffs quite happily. She might be right, although, where’s the pork belly? ;-) Other favourites include tinned peas, toxic green like kryptonite, with lots of white pepper. Fish fingers, flaky and crispy and less wrong now than they used to be, but still GUILTY. There’s lots more: haribo, fish and chips, instant noodles, FAT. Ooooh, fat.

Do you still respect me? Maybe a little more? ;-)

helen with her guilty pleasures

Born out of a fun conversation after a blogger meet up some months ago, six of us congregated in South London with our guilty wares in hand. Decadent as we are, we started some dirty martinis, and they were fine! Then, the food. Helen (Food Stories) started us off  with her offering of cucumber and marmite sandwiches, they were lovely, and very naughty with that white processed bread. I’ll make them again. Denise (The Wine Sleuth) our lovely host, followed with cheese and sausage biscuits. She promised they’d be so good, you’d want to slap yo mamma! And, she was right… Lucky there was no mammas there for us to slap! How have I never had these before? Next stop for me: grits.

bovril on toast

How do you follow this? Chris (Cheese and Biscuits) did admirably with bovril and butter on toast. I love bovril, it was a childhood staple, but I’d forgotten about it and bovril on toast may become a guilty staple of my own.

Lizzie cooking up her guilty dish

Next up was the most controversial dish of the evening, Lizzie’s (Hollow Legs) spam ramen which we approached with caution and devoured with speed. Delicious! A guilty triumph. This dish is very popular in Hong Kong where Lizzie grew up, and in homage to this, Lizzie used a chinese brand of spam. I loved Denise’s nickname for it: spamen noodles. That’s going to stick!

One more dish: mine. I had wanted to do crisp sandwiches with cheese and onion tayto (irish crisps), white bread and mayonnaise, but Denise was surprised and disappointed that not one guilty blogger had offered to make macaroni cheese. So, I did. I did a version of the one already on this blog, using raw buffalo milk, a sharp and strong english sheep’s cheese, cheddar and lots of pancetta including it’s rendered fat. I topped it off with 50/50 panko and grated cheese. It was nice but NOT GUILTY ENOUGH. It needed more crispy pancetta and it’s fatty flavour. Ooof.

Threaded through our guilty dishes were some wonderful wines supplied by Dan of Bibendum Wines. We blind tasted and compared some wines which was really interesting and delicious. You can read more about this on Dan and Denise’s blogs.

wine!

So, I suggest we start a craze. Have your own guilty pleasure dinner party. And do come back and tell me all about it.

Want a head start? Here are some of the recipes from ours.

Lizzies spam ramen

Denise’s Cheese & Sausage Biscuits

My macaroni cheese