Cat-loving Katy felt that if we could commemorate dogs, we should also celebrate cats with a Cat Lovers Stress Free Dinner Party. (Edited 6 March 2017) Potential guests could include Max from Sydney (and probably his servant Royce). Max may or may not be good company; he has broken his front teeth and might need his food mushed up for him.
We’ll be focussing on things cats love to eat.
Just like dogs, cats should generally only drink water, but we’ll be drinking matching alcohol as usual.
Warm, relaxed and a little drowsy.
Very relaxed casual. Pyjamas even.
As ever, six guests invited to arrive 6.30 for 7.00pm.
6:30 Apéritif: Salmon Roe with Champagne
Cats are good with eggs and salmon (though onions are bad) so this snack covers off both of those.
Mix as much chopped chive as you like with a container of crème fraîche, the zest and a little juice from one lemon, salt and pepper and leave to infuse. Separately, mix together a finely chopped boiled egg with some minced onion. Trim some pumpernickel to bite size pieces, smear with the crème fraîche, top with the egg and a little roe.
7.00 Entrée: Minted Melon, Tomato and Prosciutto Salad with Riesling
Cats can benefit from a little melon, and they like a little ham (though you shouldn’t give them a lot of it if only for the salt).
Make a little dressing by whisking 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Cut up a cantaloupe (or use your melon baller) and mix with an equal amount of fresh tomatoes. Put 2 – 3 slices of prosciutto on each plate and divide the melon mixture over the top. Drizzle with the dressing and top with chopped mint leaves and a grind of fresh pepper.
8.00 Main: Jamie Oliver’s Sicilian-style tuna carpaccio with Rosé
This is more or less another entree, but as you probably know, cats only eat a little at a time.
Depending on who you listen to, cats shouldn’t eat raw fish. I’m not sure if that’s due to bones, how quickly it can go off, or some other reason. They also shouldn’t eat chilli or garlic.
Put 6 tablespoons of capers in a bowl to soak in 12 tablespoons of rosé for about 10 minutes. Thinly slice 600g of tuna across the grain, split between six plates and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over each. Finely chop a bunch of fresh basil and a bunch of fresh dill, and add to the drained capers with two chopped cloves of garlic, two finely chopped charred chillis and 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Mix well. Top each plate of tuna with a handful of rocket (arugula) leaves and divide the herb mixture between the plates. Serve with lemon wedges.
9.00 Dessert: Banana Parfait with Aged Tawny Port
Cats are often better with yoghurt than milk, which is probably to do with the probiotics (same as lactose intolerant people). They could take ice cream in cat-sized moderation. Weirdly they are also good with bananas, blueberries, and oats so we are going to copy the dog’s banana parfait, and add blueberries to the mix.
Sweeten 2 L (or quarts) of Greek yoghurt with honey or maple syrup to taste. Layer in tall glasses with banana slices, blueberries, and toasted oats. Add dried fruit and chopped nuts if you like.
9.00 Digestif: Chocolate, Cheese Board and more Port (tea and coffee).
Cats can also eat cheese (though you don’t want to give them too much lactose overall). They can’t eat chocolate.
This meal has been quite light, so you might want to offer a more substantial cheese board with big chunks of a young (soft), an old (hard) and a blue cheese. Add some crisp fruit like an apple or pear, some fruit paste, nuts and crackers.
This is almost all made from very fresh raw ingredients that can be thrown together as you go. All you really need to do is give yourself an hour or so to get the garnishes ready before your guests arrive.
My cats are fussy. And couldn’t eat that much
Sadly most cats are Phillipa; perhaps yours could skip the entree and cheese courses, and just have a half serve of tuna?
My cat Max/ barrell wants to know why he was not chosen to model for your photo as he is a much better black cat?????
I understand completely Royce. As Max’s representative, if you would care to send me his picture and permission to use it, I am happy to add him to the post.