Sunday, July 15, 2007

Miami Spice - July 2007

Diva: Stacey

Drinks: Ashley
Miami Vice

Mix one container of pina colada mix with requisite rum and ice. Fill a glass halfway with pina colada. Put in freezer or fridge while making one container of strawberry daquiri mix with requisite rum and ice. Top off glass with strawberry so that you have two layers.

Have fun with the garnish

Appetizer: Erin
Bacon Wrapped Dates

1 pound sliced bacon, cut in half
1 pound pitted dates
4 ounces blue cheese
4 ounces goat cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F

Slice dates in half, and open them up. Pinch off pieces of blue cheese, and place them into the center of the dates. Close the halves of the dates, and wrap a half-slice of bacon around the outside. Secure each one with a toothpick. Arrange in a baking dish or on a baking sheet with sides to catch any grease.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the bacon is crisp. Turn dates over after the first 20 minutes for even cooking.

Salad: Michelle

Avocado Salad

2 avocados - peeled, pitted and diced
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
¼ c chopped fresh cilantro
½ lime, juiced
Cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, combine avocados, onion, bell pepper, tomato, cilantro and lime juice. Gently toss until evenly coated. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper. Season with salt and pepper.

Soup: Tina (Sub for Nicole)
Black Bean Soup

1 medium onion, chopped (about 2/3 c)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T ground cumin
½-1 T crushed red pepper flakes
2 T vegetable oil
3 (16 oz) cans black beans, undrained
1 ½ c vegetable or chicken stock
3 c mild or medium thick and chunky salsa
2 T limejuice
½ c non-fat plain yogurt
50 saltine crackers

In a 4-quart saucepot, over medium heat, cook onion, garlic, cumin and pepper flakes in oil until onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. In a blender, puree 2 cans of beans and their liquid in batches with the broth; add to the pot. Stir in remaining beans, salsa and limejuice. Heat mixture to a boil; reduce heat to low. Simmer 30 minutes. Ladle 1 cup into a bow and top with a dollop of yogurt. Serve hot with crackers.

Side Dish: Emily

Mango Bread

2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¾ c vegetable oil
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ c sugar
½ tsp vanilla
3 eggs
2 c diced mango
½ c chopped pecans or walnuts

Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Make a well and add remaining ingredients. Mix until well blended. Pour into a greased and floured 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan and let stand 20 minutes. Bake at 350° for about 1 hour, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

Entree: Mariah
Ropa Vieja

Ropa vieja, or "old clothes," describes the shreds of meat, peppers, and onions resembling a mess of colorful rags. Robust stews such as this Cuban specialty are at the heart of West Indian cuisine.

For braising beef:
3 pounds skirt or flank steak, trimmed
2 quarts water
2 carrots, chopped coarse
1 large onion, chopped coarse
2 celery ribs, chopped coarse
1 bay leaf
3 garlic cloves, crushed lightly
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp whole black peppercorns
2 green bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 red onion, cut into 1/4-inch strips
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 c braising liquid plus additional if desired
a 14- to 16-ounce can whole tomatoes with juice, chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp dried oregano
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/4 inch strips
2 yellow bell peppers, cut into 1/4 inch strips
1 c frozen peas, thawed
1/2 c pimiento-stuffed Spanish olive, drained and halved

For yellow rice with toasted cumin:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tsp cumin seed1/4 tsp crumble saffron thread
2 c unconverted long-grain rice
4 c water
3/4 tsp salt

To braise beef:
In a 5-quart kettle combine all braising ingredients and simmer, uncovered, 1 1/2 hours, or until beef is tender. Remove kettle from heat and cool meat in liquid 30 minutes. Transfer meat to a platter and cover. Strain braising liquid through a colander, pressing on solids, into a bowl. Return braising liquid to kettle and boil until reduced to 3 c, about 30 minutes. Stew may be made up to this point 1 day ahead. Cool braising liquid completely and chill it and the beef separately, covered.

In kettle cook green bell peppers and onion in 2 tablespoons oil over moderate heat, stirring, until softened.

While vegetables are cooking, pull meat into shreds about 3 by 1/2 inches. To onion mixture add shredded meat, 2 c braising liquid, tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, garlic, cumin, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes.
While stew is simmering, in a large skillet cook red and yellow bell peppers in remaining 2 tablespoons oil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened. Stir peppers into stew with enough additional braising liquid to thin to desired consistency and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Stir in peas and olives and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes.
Serve ropa vieja with yellow rice.

To make the yellow rice:
In a heavy 3-quart saucepan heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sauté cumin seed 10 seconds, or until it turns a few shades darker and is fragrant. Stir in saffron and rice and sauté, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes, or until rice is coated well. Stir in water and salt and boil rice, uncovered and without stirring, until surface of rice is covered with steam holes and grains on top appear dry, 8 to 10 minutes more. Remove pan from heat and let rice stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork.
Gourmet, January 1995

Dessert: Tamara
Banana Casserole

6 bananas - sliced lengthwise
½ c light brown sugar
½ c unsalted butter
½ c raisins
½ c chopped pecans
1 T brandy

Line bottom of heavily buttered 9x13-inch pan with half of the bananas. Sprinkle with brown sugar and dot with butter.

Sprinkle with half of the raisins and pecans. Repeat layers until all ingredients are used. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, sprinkle with brandy and serve.

NOTES : May be served with vanilla ice cream or yogurt.

Lottery: Lovina

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