Anyway where were we? Oh yeah back in Samui it was our friend Mike's birthday. We decided there could be no better way to celebrate such an occasion than to sacrifice a small animal, and so a plan was formed. We made calls and we found the specialist we were after, satisfied he could deliver further calls were made to inform all of our intentions. And so the day of celebration arrived, we began the morning with a trip to the markets to buy a few ingredients for the dishes we were contributing to the day - bbq'ed asparagus with a sherry bacon vinaigrette and grilled wild mushrooms wrapped in banana leaf with chilli and Thai basil. After some quick prep work it was onto the scooter and off to the other side of the island where the soiree was taking place.
After arriving at Glen and Kellys place and a quick drink we finished up our prep and awaited the arrival of the guest of honor...oh and Mike. Without warning it arrived, set on a long wooden plank and wrapped in butchers paper,
we all so desperately wanted to peel back the paper and take a peek but without the birthday boy all we could do was wait and anticipate. You know the saying idle hands, well ours soon set to work with a marker turning present into card with a few budding artists amongst us adding some final flourishes.
Finally Mike arrives not only to our relief but also the trio of dogs who were patiently guarding the aromatic parcel sitting on the table.
With Mike here it was all on, first the unwrapping of the present, paper was torn away to first reveal a golden brown snout followed by two crispy ears and down a superbly crackalicious body to the curly tail.
Fifteen kilos of perfectly roasted pig, yum! First cut is given to Mike before the savagery began.
Asparagus and mushrooms were put onto the bbq followed by corn, twice baked potato's and deviled eggs prepared by the insanely energetic Vern, Jess and co as well as Kel's mad coleslaw and fresh bread rolls from down the road.
The pig was amazing, the chef had deboned the beastie before rubbing the inside with Thai spices and then building a wooden frame to hold the shape as it roasted.
Seriously we're starving here
There was much feasting and drinking, then games with more drinking and silly hats as well as some impromptu magic, some more drinking and then some drink fueled eating, a good time was had by all.
Half down, half to go.... and yes I ate that ear. Tasty
I hope it's a birthday you remember Mike, it was a pleasure to be part of it.
Asparagus with sherry bacon vinaigrette (adapted from webers book of grilling)
It's a pretty loose recipe. Make with quantities suited to your taste.
Take some bacon and dice fairly finely, saute over a med low heat so the fat renders out of the bacon, don't rush it and cook until the bacon is golden and crispy.
Strain the bacon and return the fat to the pan.
Add diced garlic to the fat and saute until golden, at the end of sauteing the garlic throw in some picked thyme leaves for a few seconds to release the flavor and aroma.
Strain the garlic and thyme and add to the bacon. Keep the fat.
Whisk the bacon fat into some sherry vinegar until you have a loose dressing add the fried bacon, garlic and thyme then season.
Pour over freshly grilled asparagus or broccoli rabe.
Mushrooms in banana leaf with chilli and Thai basil.
Another simple one. Again quantities to taste.
Take a sheet of banana leaf and quickly run over an open flame, you will see as the leaf changes shades of green. This makes the leaf pliable and more giving as it is folded.
Onto the leaf add a handful of mixed mushrooms, some crushed garlic cloves, roast chilli powder, sliced shallot, a good handful of Thai basil and a squeeze of lime.
Fold the leaf around the mushrooms and secure with a couple of toothpicks if your not quite up to the leaf folding you can then wrap the leaf wrapped mushrooms in a sheet of al foil, you'll still get the leaf aroma in the mushrooms.
Place the package on the grill and cook. Unwrap at the table to get the full spectrum aromas.