Sunday, September 21, 2008

September Dinner

What a fabulous night!!! Christina Berg and Lindsey Esplin did an incredible job with the decor and food! We all loved the Asian/lime theme!! Thanks ladies for pampering us!!
.Our beautiful hostess'

Yummy caramels in the goody box!!

Beijing-Style Jiao Zi
(I didn't give quantities for these because chinese food really is made to your taste. I like lots more vegetables in my jiao zi; my husband likes more meat. The quantities really depend on your preferences.)
ground meat (pork or chicken; these had the more mild-tasting chicken)
finely chopped Napa cabbage, regular cabbage, spinach, or other Chinese vegetables
finely chopped green onion
chopped ginger
1 egg
sesame oil
salt pepper
wonton wrappers
Mix the ground meat, the chopped vegetables, the green onion, and the ginger in a bowl. Beat the egg and add it; sprinkle cornstarch over the entire mixture and combine thoroughly. Add salt, pepper, and sesame oil to taste. To form the jiao zi, place the wonton wrapper in the center of one hand and dollop a heaping teaspoonful of filling into the middle of the wrapper. Use a finger dipped in water to smear water around the outer edges of the wrapper. Fold the bottom center of the wrapper up to the top center of the wrapper and pinch the two together. Then crimp the edges of the wrapper towards this pinched center. Press all edges to make sure that there are no gaps through which the filling can escape. Boil a large pot of water. Add some dumplings (be sure not to crowd them). When the water boils, add a cup of cold water. When the water boils again, add another cup of cold water. When the water boils a third time, the jiao zi are cooked through. To fry the jiao zi, try to remove as much water as possible from the boiled jiao zi. Heat oil (I use canola oil) in a skillet. Add the jiao zi and fry the bottoms until they are crisp.

Egg Drop Soup

8 cups chicken broth

1 can of corn

5 eggs

chopped green onion (optional)

sesame oil (optional)

white pepper (optional)

cornstarch + water mixture for thickening

In a large pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the undrained can of corn. When the mixture reboils, slowly add the cornstarch dissolved in cold water, stirring constantly, until thickened to the consistency you like. Taste the soup at this point and add salt if necessary. In a separate bowl, whip the eggs slightly. Slowly add the beaten eggs into the boiling broth, stirring constantly. Add chopped green onions, sesame oil, and white pepper to taste.

Thai Lettuce Wraps

one head lettuce (Boston Bibb or butter lettuce is better but iceberg works if you can't find the others)

1 pound lean ground beef

minced garlic to taste

1 T soy sauce

1/4 C hoisin sauce

2 t minced pickled ginger

1 T rice wine vinegar

1 T Asian chile pepper sauce (or more or less, depending on how spicy you want it)

chopped green onions

1 t sesame oil

Wash the lettuce and separate leaves onto individual plates. Brown the ground beef. Add the garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar, and chile pepper sauce to the beef. Stir and cook until heated through. Add the green onions and sesame oil and cook until the green onions begin to wilt. Spoon the meat mixture into the center of each lettuce leaf. Curl the lettuce around the filling to form a wrap.

Pad Thai

12 oz package of rice noodles

cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces

4 eggs

2 T white wine vinegar

4 T fish sauce

6 T white sugar

1/4 T crushed red pepper (or more or less, depending on how spicy you want it)

lime juice to taste

2 C bean sprouts

1/4 C finely chopped peanuts

chopped green onions

In a large pot, boil water. Add the rice noodles. When the water returns to a boil, boil the noodles for 1 minute, then cover the pot and turn off the heat. Let the noodles sit for 5 minutes. Drain the noodles and rinse them with cold water. Meanwhile, mix the vinegar, the fish sauce, the sugar, the crushed red pepper, and the lime juice together and set aside. Beat the eggs. Add some oil to a wok or other large skillet and cook the eggs. When the eggs are cooked through, add the chicken and the cooked noodles. Pour the sauce over everything and stir to combine while heating through. Add the bean sprouts, peanuts, and green onions and cook for a few more minutes until green onions begin to wilt. Garnish with more chopped peanuts, raw bean sprouts, and a lime twist.

Coconut Lime Tropical Pound Cake