The parentals are difficult to buy presents for these days as they have anything they need, and buy things when they would like them, so the past few years I have resorted to cooking them a special dinner after Christmas. I had planned to go down a Scottish theme this year however the menu planned felt rather heavy after the huge meals eaten in the past two weeks. I came across a recipe in a BBC Good Food magazine for a Moroccan-inspired pulled lamb and the rest of the menu evolved from that. The parents, and I, enjoy going to the opera, so I started to work on that as my theme.
The Morrocan lamb recipe fitted well with Verdi’s opera Otello, so that was the main sorted. After some research on the Internet (“famous food scenes in opera”) I discovered that food doesn’t feature prominently in opera because people can’t sing with their mouth full (makes sense when you think about it) however I came across a scene from Rossini’s ‘Italian Girl in Algiers’ where spaghetti features so that became the starter, and basically was a Spaghetti Putanesca.
To finish, I came across a recipe for French Martini Jellies and so this linked quite nicely with the opera ‘La Boheme’ which is Puccini’s opera set in Paris. They are very tasty however also completely lethal (be warned)!
I tried to make the table look as elegant as possible and underneath each name card was a couple of opera trivia questions to get the brain cells working. In the background I played a CD of Great Italian Opera Chorus works.