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Am I being mean?

(34 Posts)
Thomcat Wed 25-Feb-04 14:33:55

Making monk fish with ginger, chilli, coconut milk on Saturday for 2 friends. Supposed to wrap all the ingrediants in a banana leaf. Finally found a place that sells them and they are £2.40 a leaf. Receipe says you can use tun foil but the leaf would obviously look so much better.

However on 1 salary at the moment and £2.40 x 4 plus the monkfish and all the other things for a 4 course meal for 4 people is not going to be cheap. I do hate scrimping and saving and presentation is so important. Silly but I just don't know what to do!

What do you reckon - scrap the cheeses (the 4th course) and buy banana leaves or use tun foil and buy a couple of nice cheese to have with the very nice port I already have?

momof2 Wed 25-Feb-04 14:40:39

Being a cheese person I would prefer the last course option to the banana leaf.
Is there anything else you could use than tinfoil?

JJ Wed 25-Feb-04 14:41:34

Use the foil and save the cheese. I love cheese and port and the dinner sounds delicious as well!

Sonnet Wed 25-Feb-04 14:42:39

Agree with Mumof2....
Good luck and hope you enjoy your evening...

LIZS Wed 25-Feb-04 14:42:41

I don't think you're being mean at all - sounds a bit ott at 2.40 per leaf especially as presumably you don't actually eat it! Think I would appreciate the cheese more. Could you use a slice of lime or lemon as a garnish instead, or make mini parcels out of greaseproof paper, if you don't unwrap before serving ?

Freddiecat Wed 25-Feb-04 14:43:17

Ditto. You'd have to tell everyone how much the banana leaves cost in order for it to be worth it then they'd just think you'd been a bit extravagent (especially if you then admitted you'd not bought the cheese as well)

CountessDracula Wed 25-Feb-04 14:45:39

Yes, greaseproof paper sounds better - could you cut it to banana leaf shape? Or buy one leaf and chop into bits to make a tie for parcels?

Personally I think you would be bonkers to spend £10 on banana leaves if money is tight at the mo!

Thomcat Wed 25-Feb-04 14:48:39

LOL Freddiecat!

Yes, thankyou, you're all right and I know it makes sense. Cheese and port it is then.

I'll try and make the tin foil parcel look as pretty as possible!

Thanks xx

CountessDracula Wed 25-Feb-04 14:49:46

Oh god not port! Prepare for headaches all round in the morning (I love it but it doesn't love me )

Northerner Wed 25-Feb-04 14:50:56

Thomcat - do you serve the dish in the tinfoil then?

Pacific Wed 25-Feb-04 14:56:21

Probably talking rubbish here, but could you use cabbage leaves? Or even lettuce leaves...they would not flavour the food and should go all limp to allow them to be unwrapped.

miggy Wed 25-Feb-04 15:01:16

Is this the jamie oliver recipe-we had this served by friends-fab! But they used some leaves that they had bought from an indian grocery shop-sorry cant remember the name but looked good and did same job, they said they were cheap so couldnt have been anywhere near 2.40 each.

Northerner Wed 25-Feb-04 15:04:39

I was thinking savoy cabbage leaves also.

Thomcat Wed 25-Feb-04 15:07:44

Well here's what Mr bloody Oliver suggests doing -

laying out banana leaves, or in my case at this satge tin foil.
rob with o.oil & sprinkle fresh chillis, lemon grass, garlic, coriander, juice and zest of limes, & ginger, place monkfish on top, , make a parcel and then pour in coconut milk, secure parcel with rosemary sprig and bake for 15 mins. Serve in parcels for guests to open and serve with rice.

He does actually say you can use vine leaves but I could only find vine leaves in brine and the instrutions on the back went on and on and on about soaking them and doing this and that to them that i just put them back in the end.

He does suggest tin foil if you can't get leaves, or can't really justify spending nearly a tenner on them!

I was going to serve mozzarella & grilled chilli salad to start and then make a home made lime and coconut ice-cream with home made orange and polenta biscuits for desert, then nice cheese and port, coffee and chocolates.

Drac - Port is a lagging brew!!!

handlemecarefully Wed 25-Feb-04 15:14:42

As your friends don't know its supposed to be presented in banana leaves, they won't notice the clever substitution with tin foil - particularly since they will be distracted by the scintillating company and flowing wine!

LIZS Wed 25-Feb-04 15:15:40

Sounds scrummy , can I come !!

wilbur Wed 25-Feb-04 15:23:04

A restaurant I used to go to sent doggy bags home with people and they were tinfoil shaped into swans and various fun things like that - maybe you should get your scuplting talents out, Thomcat! Dinner sound delicious - personally I would be thrilled with any food parcel to open at the table, foil, paper or banana leaf, so I'm sure your guests will love it.

Thomcat Wed 25-Feb-04 15:26:14

You're all so great!

Maybe I'll pleat the tin foil or something!

Twink Wed 25-Feb-04 16:48:45

Tbh, if you DID use banana leaves, the sauce would leak (or am I just crap ??) .

We have this quite a lot (often use other types of white fish to save £ and I do it in a shallow casserole dish covered with foil as it's less faff than making individual parcels.

Why not use foil and pop a lime leaf under the fish and have a dish of chopped coriander on hand to sprinkle over after the parcels are opened ?

twiglett Wed 25-Feb-04 17:49:53

message withdrawn

Pook Wed 25-Feb-04 20:17:52

Blimey Thomcat! What a feast. The most I've ever managed when cooking for friends is passing the phone for a curry to be delivered or making a shepherds pie. I am SO impressed!

Thomcat Wed 25-Feb-04 22:14:49

Well D, DP wants to change menu altogether now as he says not only can we not afford banana skins we can't afford the tin foil, or more to the point the monkfish!
He has however just come home from his day at college (!) with a bottle of chablis and 2 bottles of pinot. If you spent over £15 you got an extra 375 nectar points apparently!!!!!!!!!!!!

Twink Wed 25-Feb-04 22:29:36

OK, why not make a really good chilli, using mince & loads of beans to bulk it up. Then roll it up in some soft tortilla wraps, top with creme fraiche & grated cheese, bake in the oven for around 20 mins then top with chopped coriander.

It will taste fab and will have fed the 4 of you for around a fiver, and by the time you've drunk the wine he brought home you'll all be convinced it was the best meal/night ever.

Thomcat Wed 25-Feb-04 22:34:42

Bless you Twink

I just wanted it to be a bit special, they haven't been over for a while and it was originally planned as a thank you to them for having Lottie for me 2 days a week for about 2 years and I just wanted to make something a bit spec that had some thought, effort and money thrown at it. fact is though we are skint

Going to go through all my receipe books again in a minute.
chilli is lovely, but I had that this week so it wouldn't feel special enough, dykwim?

stupidgirl Wed 25-Feb-04 22:35:47

Sorry for being ot (fwiw I agree, cheese over leaves), but since when have we had a recipe forum?????

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