Last night we had a couple of friends over for dinner, for some good food (I hope!), good vino and good conversation. The evening turned into a competitive, physical, sweat-inducing tournament of Wii Tennis instead, but hey I hope the food was still good! 

I served a four-course dinner, starting with chicken, pork and chorizo pate (oh my god it was divine) on crispy flat bread for an appetiser and ending with a mixed berry pavlova for dessert. Both of these were courtesy of Marks & Spencer Simply Food, so while they were delicious, I take no claim to fame.

What I do take responsibility for are the entree – an Asian style beef salad – and the main course – a spicy seafood tagliatelle in rose sauce, washed down with some chilled Japanese plum wine.

I have to call the beef salad ‘Asian’ style because while it has the taste of a Thai beef salad, and the tang that convinces you it must be Vietnamese, it contains neither lemongrass nor fish sauce, so it really doesn’t fall into either category.  Instead the dressing is simply a concoction of rice wine vinegar, fresh chilli, lemon, sweet chilli sauce, sugar and a touch of soy.

The spicy seafood pasta is an old recipe of mine. This one has always been a party pleaser, and I’ve protected the recipe for almost a decade! But look what this website has reduced me to. A disloyal blabbermouth, ready and willing to just give this recipe away right in this website. It’s a good one, but just don’t tell your guests how much butter goes into sauce, otherwise there might be a heart attack or two, right there on your dining table.

Asian style beef salad
500gram rump steak (or beef of choice)
1 teaspoon olive oil
Mixed green leaves (my choice: spinach, rocket & watercress)
Baby cherry tomatoes, halved
Cucumber, sliced
Sweet corn in water, drained
Bean sprouts
Red onion, thinly sliced
Crushed peanuts
Red capsicum, thinly sliced – optional
Yellow capsicum, thinly sliced – optional
7 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
7 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
Fresh chilli, diced
Quarter lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon sugar
Kikkoman soy sauce
  1. Prepare the dressing by adding the rice wine vinegar with the sweet chilli sauce in a bowl and stirring until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Add a touch of fresh chillies to taste, bearing in mind the earlier you make the dressing the spicier the dressing may be as the chilli will have had time to infuse.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar, stir until well mixed, or dissolved.
  4. Add lemon juice.
  5. Add soy sauce to taste – the purpose of the soy is to complement the tang of the lemon, so if the dressing is too sour, add more soy. Not too much though!
  6. Prepare the salad by adding the green leaves, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, sweet corn, bean sprout, red onion and crushed peanuts to serving plates. It’s up to you if you want to mix the salad, or present in layers. It’s also up to you if you want to add red and yellow capsicum slices for colour.
  7. Heat olive oil on pan and cook the rump steak (unsliced) on medium heat for 8 minutes, turning only once. This is to achieve medium rare cooking – adjust to taste.
  8. Once cooked, remove from heat and slice. Place beef strips on salad plates and add dressing.
Serves 4 as entree or 2 as a main course.


Spicy seafood tagliatelle in rose sauce
500gram pasta sauce of choice (for example Dolmio sauces) or 190gram tomato paste
150mL single cream
125gram butter
1 large onion, diced
250gram mushrooms, washed, sliced
3-4 medium cloves garlic
Chilli flakes
Cracked pepper
Dried mixed herbs (or dried basil and/or oregano)
1 teaspoon olive oil
500gram mixed seafood (my choice: prawns, scallops, squid) or single choice of seafood
500gram fresh egg tagliatelle
  1. Add half the butter and garlic to a pot and heat slowly until butter is melted. Continue heating until garlic is starting to brown*.
  2. Add seafood and stir, ensuring all seafood is cooked through.
  3. Add remaining butter, and add cracked pepper to taste.
  4. Once seafood is cooked, take off heat and set aside.
  5. Heat olive oil in pot, and add onion. As onion is browning, add mushrooms.
  6. Add bottled pasta sauce (or tomato paste – if using tomato paste, add water to dilute consistency) and cream. Stir well.
  7. Add chilli flakes and dried herbs to taste. I love adding a substantial amount of chilli flakes and this dish goes very well with a bit of kick!
  8. When sauce starts to boil, turn heat down and add seafood mixture to the sauce. Continue to stir and bring to boil.
  9. Boil a pot of water and add the fresh pasta. For fresh pasta, boil for no more than 3-4 minutes to retain al dente texture. Drain.
  10. Serve pasta on plates, and top with sauce.

* An alternative is to try Kerry Maid’s garlic butter, a lovely ready made concoction!

Serves 4.

4 Thoughts on “a Wii little dinner party

  1. Hi, gr8 post thanks for posting. Information is useful!

  2. The beef salad looks amazing. Thanks, I’ve always been curious about the dressings in these sorts of Asian salads.
    (Seafood tagliatelle also looks fantastic by the way).
    So what is Japanese plum wine like? Is it more of a dessert wine type thing.
    I’ve been to Japan a few times, but don’t think I’ve ever had this..?
    Great post and great blog by the way… 🙂

    • Thank you! Japanese plum wine is sweet like a dessert wine but not as thick and sticky. It’s quite light and often served with ice cubes which as they dissolve I guess makes the wine even lighter. You should try some, it’s great with Asian food and all kinds of spicy food!

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