Thursday, April 9, 2009

Gala Parfait: Southeastern Asian.. Baby Shower!


For my sister's baby shower, she decided to make the menu all of the food she's been craving. It happens to be Southeastern Asian pu pu platter type fare, fresh vietnamese and boba tea.
And of course red wine and Dr. Pepper!

The Menu:
BBQ Chicken Satay
Shrimp Toasts
Summer Rolls
Peanut sauce
Pineapple Fried Rice
Thai 3 Cabbage Slaw
Orange Cup Cakes
Boba Thai Iced Tea

Here are the recipes the chefs (my mother, sister and her friend Abbey) shared with me:

BBQ Chicken Satay

8 skinless/boneless chicken breasts , cut into small pieces or strips
1 package wooden skewers
Marinade:
2-3 stalks lemongrass, fresh or frozen (approx ¼ Cup minced)
1 small onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic
1 thumb-size piece galangal or ginger, peeled and sliced
1 ½ tsp. dried turmeric
1 Tbsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. cumin
4 Tbsp. dark soy sauce
4 Tbsp. fish sauce
5 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
For complete instructions on how to buy and cook fresh lemongrass, go here. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water while you prepare the meat. This will prevent them from burning (I find the kitchen sink works well for this).
Cut chicken or beef into thin pieces or strips (small enough to easily skewer). Place in a bowl.
Combine all marinade ingredients in a food processor (discard the upper stalk of lemongrass, if using fresh). Process well.
Taste-test the marinade - you will taste sweet, spicy, and salty. The strongest tastes should be SWEET and SALTY in order for the finished satay to taste its best. If necessary, add more sugar or more fish sauce (instead of salt) to adjust the taste.
Add the marinade to the meat and stir well to combine. Allow to marinate for at least 1 hour, or longer (up to 24 hours).
When ready to cook, slide the pieces of meat onto the wooden skewers. TIP: Fill only the upper half of the skewer, leaving the lower half empty so that the person barbecuing has a "handle" to work with. This makes it easier to turn the satay during cooking.
Barbecue the satay, OR grill on an indoor grill, OR broil it in the oven on a broiling pan or baking sheet with the oven set to "broil" (Place satay close beneath the heating element and turn the meat every 5 minutes until cooked). Depending on how thin your meat is, the satay will cook in 10 to 20 minutes.
Serve with rice and peanut sauce for dipping.Shrimp Toasts

16 ounces cooked shrimp, peeled and tails removed
2 large egg whites
1 scallion, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, sliced thin
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
12 slices day-old white bread, crusts removed
Optional: cilantro leaves for garnish
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
In a food processor, pulse shrimp till finely chopped. Add egg whites, scallion, ginger, garlic, cornstarch, salt, sugar; process until mixture forms a smooth paste.
Spray baking tray with cooking spray (vegetable or peanut oil). Spray each piece of bread (top side). Spread an even layer of shrimp paste on each slice. Cut each slice of bread diagonally to make four triangles; you should end up with 48 triangles all together.
Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Garnish with cilantro and serve with peanut dipping sauce.Vietnamese-Style Summer Rolls
Makes 8 rolls
Give yourself plenty of time (and counter space) to make these. And be sure to have a few extra rice paper wrappers on hand—it may take a few tries before you’re rolling like a pro.
Look for medium-size shrimp. Rice sticks and rice paper wrappers can be found in most Asian grocery stores.

12 medium shrimp in their shells
2 ounces dried rice sticks or rice vermicelli (I used bean threads)
8 (8-1/4-inch) round rice paper wrappers
1/2 cup mung bean sprouts, rinsed
24 small mint leaves
Pickled ginger
16 basil or Thai basil leaves
8 small sprigs cilantro
Julienned carrots
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4" x 1/4" x 2" sticks
2 large scallions, trimmed, halved, and sliced into 3" lengths
4 Boston lettuce leaves, cut in half

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add shrimp and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes, or until they are bright orange and just cooked. Drain shrimp in a colander and run cold water over them until they are cool. Peel shrimp and halve them lengthwise down the center. Cover and refrigerate.
Cook the rice sticks according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Clear a work surface, such as a large wooden cutting board, for rolling the summer rolls and prepare a pan that is roomy enough to hold the finished rolls in a single layer. Place all filling ingredients in separate containers, and arrange them in the following order around the board: rice paper wrappers, shrimp, rice noodles, bean sprouts, mint, basil, cilantro, hot pepper, cucumber, scallions, and lettuce. Put shrimps down, then leaf of lettuce and placed everything else in the lettuce, to enable tighter wrapping with no rips
Fill a wide, shallow dish, large enough to hold the rice paper wrappers, with hot water. Evenly submerge one rice paper in the water for about 30 seconds, or until it is soft and pliable. Remove from the water and place on the work surface.
Working quickly, lay three shrimp halves in a row, cut side up, just above the center of the wrapper. Layer a scant 1/4 cup of noodles over the shrimp, followed by a few bean sprouts, 3 mint leaves, 2 basil leaves, 1 sprig of cilantro, and 2 pieces of the hot pepper (if using). Place 3 to 4 cucumber sticks and 3 to 4 scallion pieces on either side of the noodle pile. Roll one piece of lettuce into a cigar shape, and place it on top of the noodle pile. Fold the bottom half of the rice paper wrapper over the filling. Holding it firmly in place, fold the sides of the wrapper in. Then, pressing firmly down to hold the folds in place, roll the entire pile up to close the top. (Don’t despair, this takes some practice!)
Turn each roll so that the rice paper seam faces downward and the row of shrimp faces up.
Serve summer rolls with Peanut Sauce.

Peanut Sauce
You can make this sauce a day ahead. Just keep it refrigerated in a covered container. Let it sit for a bit at room temperature before serving.

1/2 cup natural-style creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 small garlic clove, mashed to a paste
1 teaspoon chile-garlic paste
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup water
Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Stir until well combined, adding more water to thin the sauce if necessary.

Thai 3 Cabbage Slaw
with spicy red curry vinaigrette
From the Rebar Modern Food Cookbook

Salad:
½ small head sui choy (or napa cabbage)
½ small head green cabbage
½ small head purple cabbage
2 carrots
2 peppers, red and yellow
1 small red onion
½ bunch cilantro or Thai basil (or cilantro)
2-3 scallions
roasted peanuts and fresh lime wedges for garnish
Core and finely shred the cabbages. Peel carrots, thinly slice diagonal coins and then julienne each coin into thin, long matchsticks (or just shred them!). Finely julienne the red onion and the sweet pe ppers. Mince scallions on the bias. Stem cilantro and roughly chop the leaves.
Toss together all of the vegetables with enough dressing to coat. Garnish with roasted peanuts and serve fresh lime wedges on the side.

Dressing (yields 2 1/3 cups):
¼ cup chopped shallots
2 tbsp chopped ginger
1 serrano chile, seeded
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
¾ tsp Thai red curry paste (Thai Kitchen brand)
1 tbsp sesame oil
½ cup peanut oil
¼ tsp salt
Pulse shallots, ginger, garlic and chiles in the bowl of a food processor. Add the next seven ingredients and blend until smooth. Season to taste, but not that the chile heat will continue to develop as it sits.

Pineapple Fried Rice
Cook Jasmine rice a day or two before, the rest can be made entirely the night before or morning of and then reheated in a fry pan.

1 pineapple, fruit removed and cut into chunks - to prepare pineapple and use as “boats” for serving go here.
4 cups of cooked Jasmine rice
2 chicken breasts – trimmed and cut in thin strips
1 lb uncooked shrimps – cleaned, peeled and cut in half
1 small onion – diced
3 cloves of garlic – minced
2 scallions– thinly sliced (reserve 1 Tbsp for garnish)
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup raw, unsalted cashews
2 teaspoons of curry powder
2 Tbsp of fish sauce
2 Tbsp of soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
3-4 Tbsp oil
In a small bowl, mix together curry powder, soy sauce and fish sauce. Set aside. In a wok or a large pan, heat up about 3 tbsp of oil over high heat. Add in onions and garlic and stir-fry until lightly brown and fragrant. Add in chicken, stir-fry just until it changes color, add in shrimps. Stir fry for another minute or two. Add cashews, raisins and pineapple and stir fry another 30 sec to 1 minute and add sauce mixture. Add in rice. Stir-fry until everything is well combined and hot. Check seasoning and add salt if necessary. Add in spring onions and stir.
Serve rice in pineapple boat or serving dish and garnish with reserved scallions.

This site has several recipes for making your own boba (or bubble) tea at home.

Enjoy!

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