Monday, September 8, 2008

Monday Recipe - Party Edition

A while back, my father told me about a restaurant he went to where they had a big glass vat of pineapple soaking in vodka. So this starting my brain-a-whirling. Sounds incredibly yummy to have at a party, right? Then I figure, I should get one of those glass jar with tap things, so I went to BB&B to pick one up. Chop up two fresh pineapples, put them in. Then poured a BIG bottle of vodka overtop....and the vodka starts leaking everywhere. So I figure, the tap must be on the "on" position. Nope. It's just that much of a piece of crap. Transfer to plastic pitcher (sealed). Set to steep for three weeks before party. The pineapple did turn colors a little bit (a little brownish, some of them bleached to white a bit), but it tasted fine. So here's what I did with it:

Orange pineapple vodka
(I wasn't measuring these out precisely, especially after I got through one or two of them. I just kinda poured and went with what I got)

2 parts pineapple vodka
1 part orange curacao
1/2 part orange juice
1/2 part 7up
dash grenadine (optional)
dash ginger liqueur (optional)

I just discovered the ginger liqueur the other day and haven't tried too much of it yet, but it comes in the prettiest bottle ever and looks great as decoration.

This drink is definitely quite strong. I only had three and that was fine for me for about five hour span (including the requisite headache the next morning).

Since it's corn season, I wanted to make a corn with butter, lime, and cilantro recipe I've done before. Then I went to the farmer's market and found a whole slew of yummy stuff. I'd never tried kohlrabi before, and in this dish it doesn't have much flavor, but adds a nice crunch. Also, I managed to find fresh local ginger, which is very hard to find (most ginger comes from Hawaii). The only difference (apart from price) is that it doesn't have that thick brown skin on it, and it's not very fibrous in general. So when I chopped it up for the slaw, you get the ginger flavor without feeling like you're chewing on gingery strings. I'm a convert now, really I am.

The recipe below made enough for a small party, plus leftovers for several meals.

Gingery Corn Slaw

8 ears of corn
1 kohlrabi bulb, peeled and julienned
4 large colorful radishes, sliced and quartered (I used 2 purple and 2 red radishes, which adds yummy color to the dish)
1/4C scallions (give or take, mix it around and just judge on how many you think you'll need to spread evenly throughout)
2-3T butter (or olive oil)
basil (or cilantro) - I think I might have used a 1/4C, but I don't know. I have a basil plant and I just kept plucking more until I thought it was evenly distributed
2" ginger, julienned

Cook the corn lightly (so that it's just barely cooked. You don't want it to get soggy). Take ears out of water, let cool. Slice corn kernals off of the ears and return to pot (without water). Add butter, salt, pepper, ginger, lime, and basil. Cook until fragrant and flavors are mixed through. Put corn in a large bowl to cool.

Add kohlrabi, radishes, and scallions. Adjust salt/pepper as needed. Eat leftovers cold.

This is one of my standards that I've made for parties. You could probably substitute chicken or turkey instead of the pork, if you wanted to. This is a dangerous recipe, because the wontons are so small and tasty, they tend to disappear pretty quickly! But because they're cooked relatively healthily, they won't add to your waistline as much as fried ones would. I made a double recipe from the one below and it made a full plate of wontons which nearly disappeared at the party, as well as having 2-3 "meals" of leftovers.

Pork Apple Currant Wontons

6.5oz ground pork
1 tart apple (granny smith is a good option), grated
3T dried currants (or more)
T hoisin or fish sauce (I used hoisin)
T plum sauce
wonton wrappers (one package should be fine)
1-2 eggs
olive/grapeseed oil

Preheat oven to 375.

Heat oil in a pan, add ground pork. Cook 2-3 minutes. Add grated apple and cook until pork is browned. Remove from heat. Add currants and sauces. Let cool.

Grease baking sheet (or use silicon cookie sheets on top). Set up assembly line of wonton wrappers, plate to wrap the wontons, bowl with egg(s) scrambled up, and pan.

Set out wonton wrapper. Put a small dollop of the meat mixture in the middle of the wonton. Using your finger, line the outside edges of the wonton wrapper in egg. Fold the wonton in half, sealing the edges together, in the shape of a triangle. Turn the triangle so the hypotenuse faces you. Fold the right bottom corner of the triangle towards the left as far as it will go (without tearing the wrapper or folding the meat over). Fold the left side on top of that. It should now look like the picture.

As you finish each wonton, put it on the pan. Once the pan is full, pop it in the oven and cook about 10-15 minutes, or until browned. Let cool (trust me on wontons, while tasty, will sear the taste buds right off your tongue).

To reheat, just set out again on a pan and bake until warm.


MizFit said...

and not.

I fear being able to make a statement such as this:
This is one of my standards that I've made for parties.

because I want expectations LOW when people come over. foodwise I mean. my friends completely expect CATERING BY COSTCO and it makes me feel less pressure (Im being quite serious).

if I were energized by cooking & creating it would be entirely different.

Im tempted to try the wontons though.
and think I will.
it's like how I look. the bar is set SO LOW that if I shave my legs and put on real clothes my husband is shocked and piles on the compliments :)
same with the food.

Ill keep you posted.


The Lethological Gourmet said...

Miz, I totally hear you! I did feel some (self-imposed) pressure to provide something tasty, because I usually do cook yummy stuff for my parties. I've made stuffed grape leaves, tomato avocado ziti, and other yumminess. And I didn't have too much time this time (just started an hour and a half boot camp class Saturday mornings), so I literally finished the wontons just after the party was technically scheduled to start.

The corn was pretty easy, and I also bought some cheese (mmm lemon lavendar goat cheese) and bread, so that was easy. But you're totally right about setting up high standards. I don't think my friends would mind if I just picked stuff up at the local Shaw's, but I want to make yummy good stuff, so I make myself do it :)

Leah J. Utas said...

Oooohh, something new to do with corn. Thanks.

Barbara Gavin said...

Did you return the container with the tap to BB&B?

Did you get teh local ginger at our Copley Square farmers market?

And...thank you for teaching me something: I thought hoisin sauce was plum sauce. But wikipedia tells me that:
Mandarin-style Hoisin sauce ingredients include water, sugar, soybeans, white distilled vinegar, rice, salt, wheat flour, garlic, and red chili peppers, and several preservatives and coloring agents. Traditionally, Hoisin sauce is made using sweet potato.


The Lethological Gourmet said...

No, I've been lazy and haven't returned it yet, but it's on my agenda for this weekend. The local ginger did come from Copley Square (from the flower stand on the CVS side)).