Sunday, June 9, 2013

2013-2014 Gourmet Schedule

September - Annika / Michelle

October/November - Sunny / McKenzie

January - Holly / Melissa

February - Heather / Amber

March - Judith / Kristy

May - Shelly / Lindsay

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Thai Night - Judith and Kristy - May 2013

Kristy and Judith hosted Thai night in May.  
Judith was all decked out in Thai style.
Their colors were so pretty and clean I really liked the style and decor. 
The appetizer table was awesome!

I was so obsessed with the huge floating flower I seriously couldn't stop looking at it!  Very cool for sure.
For appetizers we had Toasted Sesame Lettuce Wraps,
Mango-Pineapple Smoothies
and Star Fruit.  All wonderful.
Then we headed outside to a piece of perfection!  They had 2 round tables set up with every detail.
The center pieces were these adorable candle lantern baskets.  We were all raving about them!  The had fun orange jar vases with white hydrangeas in them and some just randomly placed on the table as well.
Little tea light candles with matching paper and ribbon wrapped around them were at each place setting.
And the chairs.  Everyone was freaking out about the chairs!  Judith scored big time at a local store called Cheaper Keepers.  $16 a chair!  So cute and perfect for any event!

They also had a fun stand of orange and white lanterns hung to top off the outdoor evening.
Each place setting was crisp clean and exact.  The square dishes made it that much better. 
I loved the chopsticks that had dipped handles to add a little pop of color.  Simple details can make a big difference.  The menu tied in with the invite and had all the yummies for the evening lined out.
Name tags were simple circles cut from printed paper and tied with some contrasting bakers twine.
Onto dinner!
Coconut Lime Chicken Soup.  They had actually done this one before but didn't have the exact seasoning, so they got it and let us give it a second try!
Thai Pasta Salad with Creamy Cilantro Peanut Dressing.  AMAZING!  Everyone was dying.  I think I can confidently say this was by far the favorite of the evening.
Fresh Basil Beef over rice and Shrimp Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing for our main course.
Then a Coconut Granita and 
Mango Rice Pudding for dessert.  Again both were delicious.  Fun to have a cold and warm dessert option.
Upon arriving they had a basket full of flip flops for each gal to sport for the evening.  That along with the recipes and a bottle of the special seasoning to make the soup were our take homes for the night.
It was a beautiful Spring evening enjoying each others company in Thai style and we even got to have Kim come back and join us for the night!  And, last minute Lindsay and Shelly couldn't make it so Kristy invited two of her friends, Heidi and Chandler to come and witness what we "do".  They were darling gals and we all enjoyed getting to meet them.
Thanks Judith and Kristy for a night out!


Toasted Sesame Lettuce Wraps

2 tsp. canola oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 lb. ground chicken
3 ounces mushrooms, finely chopped (about 8 small mushrooms)
½ tsp. salt
4 cups thinly shredded cabbage
1 8oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained, rinsed, and finely minced
½ cup thinly sliced green onions
4 Tbs. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced (about 3-4 Tbs. juice)
½ - 1 tsp. Tabasco Sauce
1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1-2 heads iceberg lettuce

*To prepare your own ground chicken, cut boneless skinless chicken breasts into large chunks and pulse in a food processor until ground.

Dipping/Drizzling Sauce
4 Tbs. soy sauce
4 Tbs. rice vinegar
3 Tbs. water
2 tsp. honey
1-2 tsp. finely minced fresh ginger

Heat a very large skillet to medium-high heat on the stove top.  When hot, add vegetable oil and then garlic and ginger.  Sauté for about 30 seconds, until fragrant, and then add ground chicken, chopped mushrooms, and salt.  Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until chicken is cooked through (*At this point, sometimes I have some extra liquid in the pan from the chicken.  If it’s quite a bit, I tilt the pan and spoon it out so the chicken can cook and not boil.)  Add the cabbage/coleslaw, water chestnuts, and green onions.  Cook for about 2 minutes, until cabbage starts to wilt.  Add soy sauce, sesame oil, the zest from the lemon and the lemon juice, and hot sauce to taste.  Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

To prepare dipping sauce, combine all ingredients and whisk to combine.

To serve, carefully remove the individual leaves from the head of lettuce.  (The closer you get to the center, the easier it becomes!) Place chicken mixture in the leaves and serve with sauce.

Yield: about 5 cup chicken mixture. Makes 14-16 lettuce wraps.

Coconut Lime Chicken Soup
Top of Form
1 2- to 2-1/2-lb. deli-roasted chicken
1 15-oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups water
1/4 cup lime juice (2 medium limes)
3 medium carrots, thinly-sliced diagonally (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. Thai seasoning blend
1/4 tsp. salt
Thai seasoning blend (optional)
Fresh cilantro (optional)
Lime wedges (optional)
Bottom of Form
Remove and discard skin and bones from chicken. Shred chicken. In large saucepan combine shredded chicken with coconut milk, water, lime juice, sliced carrots, soy sauce, the 2 teaspoons Thai seasoning and salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat and simmer, covered, 8 minutes or until carrots are crisp-tender.
To serve, sprinkle bowls of soup with additional Thai seasoning and cilantro. Pass lime wedges.
Makes 4 servings.

Thai Pasta Salad with Creamy Cilantro Peanut Dressing


* ¼ pound whole wheat angel hair pasta
* 3 cups finely shredded green cabbage
* 2 cups finely shredded romaine lettuce
* 1 cup shredded carrot
* 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
* ½ cup shelled edamame beans
* 2 cups bean sprouts
* 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
* 1/3 cup chopped raw peanuts


Cook the whole wheat angel hair pasta until al dente. Combine the pasta, cabbage, lettuce, carrot, red pepper, and edamame in a large bowl. Toss with about 2/3 cup (or as much as you like) Creamy Cilantro Peanut Dressing. On a large platter or individual dishes, plate the salad and top with bean sprouts, cilantro leaves, and peanuts. Serves 4-6.

Creamy Cilantro Peanut Dressing

* 1/2 cup rice vinegar
* 1/3 cup all-natural smooth peanut butter
* 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
* 3/4 cup canola oil
* juice of 1 lime
* 3 tablespoons tamari, or soy sauce
* 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
* 2 tablespoon honey
* 1 teaspoon or small piece of dried chipotle pepper (a small piece of canned chipotle in
                  adobe may be substituted)
* 1 ½ cups fresh cilantro leaves (about 1/2 bunch)
* ½ teaspoon salt
* ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend well. Make sure that it is smooth and creamy. Store in the refrigerator for 7-10 days. Makes 1 ¼ cups.

Coconut Granita
This recipe is a cross between sorbet and granita. It tastes very much like some of the coconut ice cream you can buy from vendors on the streets of Thailand. This recipe does not require an ice cream maker - just a food processor or blender. Topped off with a sprinkling of toasted coconut, this Coconut Sorbet makes the perfect summertime dessert or afternoon treat. ENJOY!

Yield: SERVES 8-10


1 cup good-quality coconut milk (not "lite")
2/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut (baking type)
16 oz. / 500 ml. container whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
Topping: 1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut


Place whipping cream in your food processor or blender and blitz until you have thick whipped cream.
Add the coconut milk, flaked coconut, and sugar. Pulse to combine.
Taste-test the mixture for sweetness - if you'd like it sweeter, add a little more sugar and pulse again to combine.
Transfer mixture to a covered container and place in the freezer.
Briefly rinse your blender/processor, but keep it nearby.
Check the sorbet after 2-3 hours - it should be frozen around the outside, but still soft inside. Transfer it back into your processor/blender and blitz 15-30 seconds, or until smooth. Return to the container and freeze until solid.
Remove container 30 minutes before serving (this will allow the dessert to soften enough so you can easily scoop it into balls).

To make the topping, simply place sweetened flaked coconut into a frying pay. "Dry-fry" it over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until coconut turns light golden-brown. Transfer immediately to a bowl and let cool until crunchy (1 minute). Sprinkle over your sorbet, and ENJOY!

Mango-Pineapple Smoothie
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 cup pineapple juice (unsweetened)
1/2 banana (sliced)
1 mango (peeled, seeded and chopped)
1/2 cup nonfat milk
2 Tbs Cream of Coconut
Ice (as much as you would like to make it cold)

*Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth

Shrimp Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing
4 oz. bean thread (asian noodles), cook in boiling water for 2 minutes and drain
1/4 lb. ground turkey
1/2 lb. raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 T. sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
3 green onion, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, leaves only
1/2 cup chopped peanuts for topping

3 T. fish sauce
3 T. fresh lime juice
2 T. sugar
2 T. soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1/2 t. red pepper flakes (optional-spicy)
*Mix all together in a small bowl and set aside.

*Heat the wok or pan on medium heat until it is hot. Add the sesame oil and garlic, cook for a few minutes. Add the raw shrimp and ground turkey, cook until shrimp is no longer pink. Then add the sauce and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat. Add the red onion, cooked bean thread and cilantro to the meat mixture. Gently toss all together until well mixed. Let it sit for 30 minutes for the noodles to soak in the sauce. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle chopped peanuts over the top and serve. Serves 2 people

Fresh Basil Beef
2 lb. sliced top sirloin beef
2 T. cooking wine
3 T. soy sauce
2 T. cornstarch
*Marinate the beef with all the ingredients above for several hours or overnight. Add 2 T. oil to the meat mixture just before cooking to prevent it sticking together during cooking.

2 T. oyster sauce
2 T. sugar
3 T. fish sauce
1/2 t. black pepper
To make the sauce, mix all the above ingredients in a bowl together and set aside.

4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Thai chilies, chopped (optional-spicy)
1 small yellow onion, sliced
1 cup fresh Thai basil (different from regular Italian basil. Buy at Asian market)
2 T. canola oil

*Heat the wok and add 2 T. oil to the pan. Be sure the oil is hot enough and then carefully add the marinated meat to the hot oil. Cook meat all the way through. Remove the cooked beef to the plate.

Heat the wok and add 2 T. of oil to it, then add the onions and garlic to the oil. stir-fry for 3 minutes on medium high heat; add the Thai chili pepper to the pan and mix all together. Add the cooked meat and fresh basil to the wok, and then pour the sauce over the top. Quickly mix them all together. Then place in a serving dish. Serve with warm rice.

Mango Rice Pudding
4 cups cooked short or medium grain white rice (Japanese rice)
2 (19 oz.) cans coconut milk
1 can sweet and condensed milk
2 cups fresh mango, cut into small pieces

*Combine the rice, coconut milk, condensed milk together in a pot, cover and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes. Let it cool down for 10 minutes. Stir 2 cups cut up mango into the rice. Gently mix together. Serve warm or cold with fresh mango pieces on top.

*NOTE: When leftover rice pudding is chilled it will tighten up. Microwave desired amount and add milk if too tight.