Sunday, December 14, 2008

World Tour - December 2008

Diva: Erin

Drinks: Stacey
Champagne Cocktails

1 part champagne
1 part pomegranate juice
huckleberries for garnish

Mix and enjoy.

Mango Lemonade

1 part lemonade
1 part mango juice
huckleberries for garnish

Mix and enjoy.

Appetizer: Mariah
Sweet Potato and Bocconcini Skewers (New Zealand)

1 large sweet potato cut into large chunks
1 T of olive oil
1 tsp of dried chili flakes
1 T of cilantro seeds
1-2 cloves
½ tsp of sea salt
2 mozzarella balls or 1 container of small bocconcini balls
1 small container of pesto
Wooden cocktail skewers
Mortar & pestle for grinding

Makes approximately 20

If you are using large mozzarella balls, then cut them into bite-sized pieces and marinate them in the pesto for at least 1 hour. If you're using little bocconcini balls, they are small enough and so not need cutting so just marinate them as they are.

Pre-heat the oven to 375F (190C).

Place the sweet potato chunks in a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 35-40 minutes or until firm but tender.

Remove from oven and cool. Once cooled, cut the sweet potato into 1 inch (2cm) cubes.

Using a mortar and pestle, grind together the chili flakes, cilantro seeds and salt until the ingredients are quote fine.

Press down one side of the sweet potato into the spice mix and then first skewer on a piece of pesto mozzarella followed by a piece of spiced sweet potato. Repeat process.

Salad: Aven
Moroccan Orange and Olive Salad

5 navel oranges
1 ½ c kalamata olives
2 bunches spinach

½ c olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp cayenne
pinch sugar

Section the oranges and put them in a bowl with the olives. Mix up the dressing and pour over the oranges and olives and marinate for at least one hour. Spoon this mixture over the spinach and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Soup: Tamara
Vietnamese Hot Pot

4 c low-sodium vegetable broth
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, pounded with rolling pin or mallet and cut into 3-inch lengths
½ c cilantro (I left this out)
¼ inch piece fresh ginger, cut into 6 rounds
4 cloves garlic peeled
2 Thai chilies (I just put in some chili paste)
¼ c low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
2 T light brown sugar
1 T rice wine vinegar

1 lb broccoli florets or Chinese broccoli, cut into pieces
16 large white or cremini mushroom caps, stems removed
2 stalks bok choy, cut into ½-inch slices
8 small potatoes
16 prepared vegetable dumplings, ready to cook*
1 lb snake beans or green beans, trimmed
12 oz seitan, cut into bite-size pieces*

*I omitted these items and prepared less dippers because it would have been a lot of food for a soup course!

5 oz dry rice noodles or rice vermicelli
1 c bean spouts
hoisin and chile sauces, optional

To make broth: bring vegetable broth and 5 c of water to a boil in electric wok or electric skillet over medium-high heat. Add lemongrass, cilantro, ginger, garlic, chiles, soy sauce, brown sugar and vinegar. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes. Remove lemongrass, ginger, garlic and chilies with slotted spoon and discard. Place broth in center of table for communal dipping.

Let guests dip vegetables, potatoes and dumplings in simmering broth to cook. (Most vegetables take 2-3 mintues, potatoes and dumplings 5 minutes.) Serve with sauces

To make soup: when all the dippers have been cooked, add rice noodles and sprouts to broth (and any uneaten dippers can remain in the souop). Simmer 5 minutes or until noodles are tender. Serve garnished with onions, mint cilantro and peanuts. Add hoisin and or chile sauces if desired.

Dipping Sauces (nuoc cham chay)

Sauce #1

¼ c soy sauce
¼ c freshly squeezed lime juice or white vinegar
¼ c pineapple juice
¼ c fresh or canned pineapple chunks
3 T sugar
2 tsp Asian sesame oil
2 tsp salt
2 T coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 T coarsely chopped garlic
¼ tsp chili-garlic sauce, chopped fresh hot chilies, dried red chili flakes, or other hot sauce

Combine all the ingredients in a mini food processor or a blender and blend until smooth. Serve in small bowls at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Makes about 2/3 cup.

Sauce #2

3-4 tsp lime or lemon juice (start with the smaller amount & adjust to taste; in a pinch, vinegar can be used instead)
4 tsp wheat-free tamari or soy sauce
3 tsp sugar
6 tsp (2 Tbsp) water
Dollop (about a tsp) of chili-garlic paste, to taste OR a clove of minced garlic plus minced serrano pepper, to taste
Finely shredded or julienned carrot for garnish (optional)

Stir the first four ingredients together in a small bowl or shake in a jar until all the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the chili-garlic paste. If using fresh garlic and serranos, I add an extra splash of lime juice or vinegar to balance the flavors. Add the shredded carrots, and serve in individual bowls for dipping. Makes about 3/8 of a cup

Sauce #3

¼ c whole fermented soybeans*
½ c water
1/3 c coconut milk
2 T rice vinegar
3 T chopped yellow onions
2 T sugar, omit with Hoisin
1 T ground chili paste, to taste
1 T chopped roasted peanuts

Place the first six ingredients into a blender and process until smooth. Transfer to a pan and bring to boil over moderate heat. Reduce heat when it boils and simmer until thick enough to coat a spoon about 5 minutes. If too thick add a bit of water. Set aside to cool.

Garnish with the paste and peanuts. Also you can use garlic, chilies and ginger.

Keeps 2 weeks.

*If you can't find the soybeans omit it and use 1/3 cup hoisin sauce and leave out the sugar.

Side Dish: Ashley
Pan-fried Tofu and Bok Choy with Vietnamese Caramel Sauce

2 (14-ounce) blocks extra-firm tofu, rinsed
½ pound shallots (4 to 5 large)
1 c vegetable oil
1/3 c sugar
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
½ T finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
3 T soy sauce
3 T rice vinegar (not seasoned)
1 1/3 c plus 2 tablespoons water
2 T cornstarch
1/3 c loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 c loosely packed fresh mint leaves
steamed or sautéed baby bok choy

Drain tofu and fry shallots:
Halve tofu crosswise, then cut lengthwise into fourths to form 16 slices. Put tofu slices between several layers of paper towels to drain, replacing towels as needed, until ready to use.
Finely chop enough shallots to measure 1/2 cup and reserve. Cut remaining shallots crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices and separate into rings. Heat oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron) over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then fry sliced shallots in 2 batches, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 1 1/2 to 3 minutes per batch (watch closely, as shallots can burn easily). Quickly transfer shallots as fried with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon oil from skillet and reserve skillet.

Make sauce:
Cook sugar in a dry 1- to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it melts around edges and begins to turn golden, then continue to cook, stirring, until all of sugar is melted and turns a golden caramel.
Add reserved chopped shallots (use caution; caramel will bubble up and steam vigorously) and cook, stirring, until shallots shrink and are very fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Stir in soy sauce, vinegar, and 1 1/3 cups water and simmer, stirring, until any hardened caramel is dissolved, about 1 minute.
Stir together cornstarch and remaining 2 tablespoons water until smooth, then stir into sauce and simmer, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm, covered.

Panfry tofu:
Heat oil remaining in skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Meanwhile, blot any excess moisture remaining on tofu with paper towels, then add to hot oil in skillet in 1 layer. Fry tofu, turning over once, until golden and crisp, 7 to 10 minutes total. Transfer to clean paper towels to drain briefly.
Reheat sauce, then serve tofu topped with sauce, basil, mint, and fried shallots.

Cooks' Notes:
·Sauce can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, uncovered, until completely cooled, then covered. Reheat sauce over moderately low heat, thinning it with additional water if necessary.
·Shallots can be fried 1 day ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then kept at room temperature in an airtight container lined with paper towels.

Entree: Lovina
Chicken Curry (Sri Lanka)

double to make 12 servings

2/3 c chopped onion
5 large garlic cloves
2 T chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 T curry powder
1 T ground cinnamon
¾ tsp dried crushed red pepper
½ c chopped fresh ciliantro, divided
12 chicken thighs
2 T vegetable oil
2 c canned unsweetened cocunut milk
1 c canned chicken broth
½ tsp turmeric
Freshly cooked rice

Blend first 6 ingredients and 1/4 c cilantro in processor to paste, stopping frequently to scrape down the sides of bowl. Rub paste over chicken.

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and brown on all sides, about 6 minutes. Add coconut milk, broth, and tumeric. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, turning once, about 30 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate. Boil liquid in skillet until reduced to sauce consistency, about 4 minutes. Season with salt. Return chicken to skillet, heat through. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cilantro. Serve over rice.

Vegetarian version:

Red bell pepper and shallot curry

½ c vegetable oil
1 T cumin seeds
3 cups thinly sliced shallots (about 10 large)
1 bunch green onions (about 6), white and pale green parts separated from dark green parts, all chopped
1 lb plum tomatoes (about 4 large), chopped
3 lg jalapeno chiles, seeded, finely chopped
1 tsp ground tumeric
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp black mustard seeds
3 large red bell peppers, thinly sliced

Heat vegetable oil in heavy large skillet, over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and cook until aromatic (do not allow seeds to turn dark brown), about 30 seconds. Add shallots and white and pale green parts of green onions. Cook until golden brown, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, jalapenos, tumeric, paprika, and mustard seeds to skillet. Simmer mixture about 10 minutes. Add bell peppers and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover skillet and cook until bell peppers are soft, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Season curry to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in chopped dark green parts of green onions.

Dessert: Colleen
Chocolate Fondue (Switzerland)

dark chocolate chips
evaporated milk

melt and enjoy fruit, pound cake, angel food cake, etc.

Pumpkin Pound Cake

2 c sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp salt
3 tsp cinnamon
1 ½ c oil
2 c. flour
2 tsp soda
1 ½ c pumpkin

Blend together sugar, eggs and oil. Add dry ingredients and add alternately to first mixture with pumpkin. Mix well. Bake in greased and floured tube pan at 350 degrees for 1 hour. (I baked in two 9x5 inch loaf pans)

Peanut butter fudge

1 c peanut butter
1 c butter
1 lb powdered sugar

Microwave butter and peanut butter on high 2 minutes. Stir. Microwave for another 2 minutes. Stir in powdered sugar. Place in 8x8 inch pan lined with greased wax paper. cover with wax paper and refrigerate.

In a large bowl, cream together the confectioners' sugar and shortening until smooth. Gradually mix in the milk and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth and stiff, about 5 minutes. Color with food coloring if desired.

Wild Card: Sara

Flag Cookies

Sugar Cookie Frosting

4 c confectioners' sugar
½ c shortening
5 T milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
food coloring

In a large bowl, cream together the confectioners' sugar and shortening until smooth. Gradually mix in the milk and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth and stiff, about 5 minutes. Color with food coloring if desired.

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies

1 ½ c butter, softened
2 c white sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 6-8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

Decorate with frosting. Sara made flags for each of our families' nationalities. They looked amazing. These are the flags she created:

Russian Federation

Lottery: Bonnie

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I just love, love,love the Diva site!! New Year's Resolution: start a new chapter in Olympia!

My love to all you girls!

always a Diva-at-heart,