Katy mentioned that she was having a small commemoration for Fido’s passing, so today we’re having a Dog Lovers Stress Free Dinner Party.
We’ll be focussing on things dogs love to eat.
While dogs should generally only drink water, we’ll be drinking matching alcohol as usual.
Sombre, as befits a memorial event.
Black armbands at the very least.
As ever, six guests invited to arrive 6.30 for 7.00pm.
6:30 Apéritif: Pork Crackling with Apple Cider
I’m not sure about your dog, but mine loves pigs ears and stealing apples from the tree. (Apples are ok for dogs, but you should take the seeds out). You can buy packets of pork rind/scratchings/crackling or make your own.
Preheat your oven to 220° C (430° F). Score a 24 cm (9½”) piece of pork rind, and brush with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper or a blend of herbs and spices according to taste. Place on a rack in a baking dish and cook for 40 – 50 minutes until it is crisp and golden.
7.00 Entrée: Chicken Salad with Sauvignon Blanc/Pinot Grigio
When they were small and had razor sharp baby teeth, we fed our dogs raw chicken wings. They are good for teething because the bones are hollow and won’t damage their teeth or mouths (or guts). Ripe tomatoes are ok for dogs, but not the green ones or the leaves or stems.
Fry 12 slices of pancetta or bacon in a little oil until crispy. Tear a ciabatta (or baguette) into pieces and fry in the leftover fat until golden. Combine the bread and pancetta in a bowl with about 1 kg (2¼ lbs) cooked chicken, 145 g (1½ oz) semi-dried tomatoes, and the leaves from a bunch of mint. Serve on a handful of rocket (arugula) with a balsamic vinegar dressing (1 tablespoon of vinegar whisked with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a little salt and pepper) drizzled over the top.
8.00 Main: Fillet Steak and Steamed Green Vegetables with Pinot Noir
Potatoes are bad for dogs, and we had bread with the entree, so we’re just having vegetables.
Steak: You’ll need a steak that’s around 225 g (8 oz) per person. Dust both sides with salt and pepper (or your preferred flavour mix) and allow to come up to room temperature. It takes 10 – 15 minutes to grill a 2.5 cm (1″) fillet steak, turned once half way, with a 5-minute rest before serving.
Vegetables: Prepare 70 – 255 g (6 – 9 oz) of green vegetables (e.g. beans, broccoli, asparagus) per person. When you are ready to start cooking the steak, start heating the water ready to steam. It will take a little over five minutes to heat the water to steaming and then around 10 minutes to cook the vegetables.
Sauce: simmer 200 ml (6¾ oz) of the Pinot with the same volume of balsamic vinegar until it thickens.
9.00 Dessert: Banana Parfait with aged tawny port
I don’t know why, but my dogs love peanut paste. And bananas.
Combine 2 L (or quarts) of Greek yoghurt with 750 ml (25 oz) of peanut paste and sweeten with honey or maple syrup to taste. Layer in a six pretty glass dishes with banana slices, muesli (granola) and dried fruits of your choice (e.g. figs, pineapple, coconut). Freeze dried fruit is particularly nice.
9.00 Digestif: chocolate, cheddar and charcoal biscuits with Whisky (tea and coffee).
Chocolate is bad for dogs, but most of us humans eat it anyway and just try not to drop it on the floor. Dogs love cheese (which you can feed them in moderation), and mine prefer cheddar (as we eat a wide variety of cheese they have become turophiles). And when I say charcoal biscuits, I mean fancy pants ones from your supermarket’s gourmet aisle, not your dog’s.
Aside for the pork crackling, none of this will take very long. If you have your steaks seasoned and vegetables ready to go, you could just cook this as you eat.