So I know what many of you are wondering? What the heck is an Indonesian Rice Table? Let me give you a brief history lesson. It is an elaborate meal adapted by the Dutch from the Indonesian feast called nasi padang. It consists of many side dishes, served in small portions (think tapas), served with different variations of rice. While practically non-existent in today's Indonesian culture, the rice table is a huge part of the Dutch culture, stemming from their colonial presence in Indonesia, where they used the meal to showcase the abundance of their exotic colony to visitors.
So, as you probably know, John is from the Netherlands. Good friends of ours from the dog park who also spent many years in the Netherlands jumped at the opportunity to join us when we spoke about attempting a Rice Table. So John took to the kitchen all weekend, the girls got a Sunday off, and we created an elaborate, fun meal that topped our list of great evenings!
Cocktail - The Jeff
We are simply calling this "The Jeff" because he showed up with a crate full of alcohol and just started pouring things into a blender. (And the results ended up being delicious!) Full list - Kettle One orange vodka, Elderflower liqueur, Three Chiles liqueur, Ginger Beer, and Lime Juice. (I think.)
The problem with frozen drinks is that you don't realize how much you're drinking until you get home later that night. :-) It was a lovely cocktail.
The Indonesian Rijsttafel
I am going to list all the dishes we made and then show pictures in no particular order. After pictures, I'll give you a brief overview of some of the dishes. There are no recipes, unfortunately, as this came from an old family cookbook, and while my typing skills are good, I can't spend all day typing up 12 recipes in a foreign language. However, feel free to email us if you'd like a specific one, and I'll have John translate while I type!
Rundveels Smoor (Stewed beef)
Sambal Goreng Telor (Eggs in spicy coconut sauce)
Frikadel (Spicy meat balls w/ Pinda sauce)
Sambal Goreng Oedang (Spicy coconut shrimp)
Roedjak Manis (Sweet and Sour fruit)
Oerap (Spicy Vegetable)
Babi Pangang (Grilled Pork with sauce- but we substituted the pork for veggies from the Oerap at the end = vegetable pangang)
Sambal Goreng Boontjes (Spicy green beans)
Sweet cucumber salad
Kroepoek Oedang (Shrimp Crackers)
Kip with Satesaus (Marinaded chicken kebab with spicy peanut butter garlic sauce)
Nasi goreng (fried rice with vegetables and chicken)
Okay... it was all delicious. Highlights for me included the coconut shrimp and the meatballs with satay sauce. Pinda sauce (a garlicky peanut satay sauce) is one of my vices. It's something that John makes a lot for bbq's and potlucks, and I will mop it up with some baguette and make a meal out of that alone. A lot of the ingredients we got from a local Dutch store. I highly recommend doing a web search of Indonesian rice table recipes, and seeing if you can replicate one or two. You will be pleasantly surprised.
Dessert - Pisang Goreng (Fried Banana with warm honey)
Fried bananas and chocolate ice cream. Where can you go wrong?
Wines - None
We stuck to the cocktail for most of the meal. (Probably not the best idea.) We then had a couple of bottles of house whites (Chenin Blanc and dry Riesling) on the table and some beer to counter the spice of the foods. There were no particular wines we chose for the occasion since the focus was on the food. Sorry, guys! We'll go back to our wine pairing next week.
So, all in all, a fantastic evening with great food and friends. A culinary experience for myself, who has never travelled to Indonesia or Holland, let alone eaten their food, and a fantastic cooking experience for John, who broke out his skills in the kitchen. We're so excited to continue to explore the foods and culture of other countries as we continue to challenge ourselves.
Next Week - Cuban