The Reunion feast

Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan

Volunteering to host a reunion of the old gang of post graduate doctors from the department where I studied, I can't help but remember the past. More than half a decade has passed since we left the hospital where we studied and our respective paths have taken us to different corners of the country, ranging from the capital of India to God's own country.

Yes, some have become 'bigshots' (as we used to say) but when it comes to meeting up with each other, the stethoscopes come off and once more, we are those same students who would meet up in a hostel room inside the hospital at the end of the day and discuss the juicy gossip and tough cases of the day while eating our respective dabbas together.

The weekend reunion - for that is still all that our busy schedules allow us - means that I have my work cut out for me. Rather than meeting up at a restaurant where the head waiter's glances at his watch would be a reminder that we were welcome but not welcome indefinitely, I thought hosting it at home would be more relaxing for all of us. Once more, we could relive those unharried moments where we could lounge around and eat slowly (but steadily! We are a bunch of snackers and munchers at the end of the day), sure that there will be no call to attend as we chat the night away.

Knowing that they will be starving from lunch onwards just to gorge on dinner together, what would an easy yet tummylicious menu made at home be like, in my hands?

1. Cheese and JalapeƱo Nuggets with Olives and Pimentos:

McCain Cheese & Jalapeno nuggets are an absolute zinger of an appetizer to start off with.

The fiery wallop of the capsaicin from the jalapeƱos is perfectly moulded to blend with the melted cheddar cheese within the Nuggets. The end result is a spicy, rich starter that will be elevated with a helping of tangy olives and pimentos, straight from the jar. A nice cocktail / mocktail would be ideal with this, something to heighten the senses of your palate.

2. Stir fried Shrimp & greens with Potato Triangles:

McCain Potato Triangles are classic hashbrown patties lightly seasoned with onions and as such, serve as the ideal base for a lot of fancy ideas. With the abundance of seafood at my disposal in Kerala, I will do a deconstruct of the traditional prawn and potato curry dish, instead serving the prawns stir fried in garlic and chilli alongside some seasoned greens, the combination sitting prettily atop the potato triangle. A good hot & sweet chilly tomato sauce should do the trick for this combination.

3. Sunny salad with Chilli garlic potato bites:

The first two dishes are pretty heavy, even if we all have moderate portions and we are going to need a break from the heavy stuff as the night goes by. And yet, I know from experience that people like me will continue to want to nibble, giving our tummy 'a mild breather' as we lounge in the living room with the television on.

For that, it's going to be a pretty fresh tossed salad of lettuce, baby tomatoes, onions and chinese/red spinach. Want some crunch in there? How about we throw in some McCain chilli garlic potato bites as well to give it that extra nip?

4. Eggstatica: 

As the night wears down and we are finally ready for the grand finale, what better way to end it than by getting everyone involved?

Of course, we all have that one friend who will just watch us as we cook
without really lending a helping hand! Hmmph! 

Eggstatica is an all-purpose one-pan meal that combines the best of many worlds together! 
First, we fry McCain Super Wedges which will be ready in literally a few minutes. Already seasoned by themselves, wait for their golden colour to start forming before cutting them into smaller bits while still in the skillet. Add sliced onions, bell peppers and chopped zucchinis. When you start to feel the vegetables soften, make mini-wells within the mixture in the pan, one for each person. Break one egg into each well and place it in a pre-heated oven and bake for 10-14 minutes or until the eggs are set. The final dish looks spectacular and will be well worth the effort.   

Do you want to know the best part of this tailored menu?
In addition to being easy to prepare thanks largely to the McCain products, It is a lot healthier than you can imagine. For starters, with an air fryer, I am literally able to get the best of two worlds - enjoy the tasty potato snacks once more without having to fret over the amount of oil used. Since I don't have to monitor the food once they are placed in the fryer, I can essentially multi task, saving on time too.
But more importantly, check out the food chart below.

Think of what we have actually used - potatoes & vegetables remain the core
while seafood, eggs and cheese are there in limited quantities.

Tadaa!! With minimal effort, I have given my friends and myself the ideal food chart without even having to add sweets or chocolates into the fray!

They are going to be a deliriously happy (and heavy) group by the time dinner is finally over long after the clock has struck twelve and it is okay because there is room for all of them to sleepover at my place, just like old times. Only then, it would be while trying hard to study together. Now, it is to enjoy the fruits of our labour the way friends should... with each other.

"If you really want to make a friend, go to 
someone's house and eat with him. The people 
who give you their food give you their heart." 
- Cesar Chavez

Authors note:

I am participating in McCain More Smiles Month contest.

Update: This post was one of the runners-up for the contest.

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Let me know what you think.

  1. Quiet GirlJuly 03, 2018

    OK so apart from helping me with my grocery list, I think those "hash browns" ahem.. potato triangles are addicting. i must try the Eggstatica. Busy days at my home are...everyday and this looks like a quick, yummy meal! Have fun!

  2. hehe.. let me know how it goes :)
    One pot meals are actually quite fun and as you can see in this case, quite heavy too. If you have an even more demanding crowd to cater to, you can consider adding sausage bits (slice them into thin pieces and toss them in early)...

  3. Anita JeyanJuly 03, 2018

    I love Eggstaica because it is a one pot meal and looks too good for instagram ;-)

  4. yes... as you can see from the idea, its also pretty darn easy to make and it is quite heavy by any sense of the imagination.

  5. Aditi KaushivaJuly 03, 2018

    Yum! This post made me hungry! I'm sure you must have had a deliriously happy reunion! ;)

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