Tag Archives: potluck

India… {Potluck!}

Saturday, April 6 –

There was SO MUCH FOOD. Oh my gosh. We had lamb korma, two types of chicken tikka, matar paneer, raita, gluten-free naan, gluten-free onion fritters, mango lassi, rice, gulab jamun, chutney, samosas, and a potato dish photo(8)that I missed the name of. There was a ton of people and we all ate so well there was much groaning and belly patting. I can’t even tell you how much fun it was to have so many cooks participate. Thank you, again, to everyone that cooked, ate, drank, and participated in the India potluck. Thank you to RubsWithLove and SirVJ for hosting this dinner!

Let me admit that this dinner was hard for me because I was having an allergy attack so bad that I couldn’t smell or taste anything. Ugh. I don’t recommend it. Four allergy pills and an air purifier later, I finally enjoyed the dinner.

I made the matar paneer recipe as it was written (however, I did not really measure the spices very well at all) but when I was all done it just didn’t look like the matar paneer that I was used to at restaurants. So I added coconut milk to it. But that watered down the flavor so much that it didn’t taste like anything other than coconut milk and a spicy-heat punch to the tongue. Not so good. So I kept adding the spices that the recipe called for trying to fix it. That worked… a little bit. I ended up dumping in curry powder and it fixed it just fine. I know I probably shouldn’t have messed with it, but it did not look like the photo – not one bit! In the end it turned out ok. Not my favorite, but ok.

The raita was easy to make and pretty much vanished because of how many spicy dishes we had. I am super glad that I made a double batch. Everything else was so good that I wanted to eat seconds (I didn’t, but I wanted to!). I definitely recommend Indian food as a great potluck idea for parties! Just make sure to have mints on hand after everyone is done eating.

India
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at:  www.sailusfood.com and www.epicurious.com)

Matar Paneer Recipe

  • 1/4 kg paneer – cube and saute in a tsp of ghee till lightly browned
  • small cup fresh green peas
  • 1 large onion, finely chop
  • ginger-green chilli paste (1″ ginger piece+3 green chillis)
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp red chilli pwd
  • pinch of turmeric pwd
  • 1 1/4 tsps coriander pwd
  • 1/2 tsp kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • pinch of garam masala pwd
  • 1 tsp Kitchen King masala pwd
  • 1 tsp malai, top of milk
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil

1 Heat oil in a cooking vessel, add the onions and sauté, approx 4-5 mts. Add ginger-green chilli paste, coriander pwd, turmeric pwd, red chilli pwd and combine. Add few tbsps water and saute for a mt.
2 Add tomatoes and cook for 4-5 mts. Turn off heat and cool. Make a coarse paste.
3 Return this paste to the vessel, add a cup of water and bring to a boil. Reduce flame, add the green peas and cook for 6 mts. Add the paneer and malai and simmer for 7-8 mts. Add salt. Simmer for a few more mts.
4 Stir in malai, garam masala pwd, Kitchen King masala and kasuri methi and combine, cook for a mt. Turn off flame.
5 Let it sit for a while before serving. The gravy thickens, so at the time of serving, add a little milk and combine. Serve hot with rotis or naan.

Traditional Indian Raita

  •     1/2 cup plain yogurt
  •     1/2 cup chopped seeded English hothouse cucumber
  •     2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  •     2 teaspoons chopped green onions
  •     1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  •     1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Preparation: Mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Season to taste with salt. Chill raita, covered, until ready to serve.

Advertisements

Greece…

Monday, December 31 –

Greece happened, just not the way I had imagined at first. I thought, New Years Eve + Greek food = great idea! But the planning and execution of the event made it more as appetizers, and most people showed up after they had had dinner, and most people didn’t make the stuff they brought (a few as wonderful exceptions). There was Greek food, it was good, but I honestly couldn’t tell you what was handmade and what was bought, so I’m not going to report everything. There were so many people there that I’m not going to go through them all here either. Just believe me, it was a damn good party.

I made the Greek salad exactly as it is written except I used cherry tomatoes and left out the olives. I made the spanikopita exactly as it is written except I put it into a casserole and cut it into squares instead of folding them.

By the time I got to the champagne toast and was ready to leave I realized that I never really had dinner, and I only had a bite or two of a couple of dishes (oops!), but what I had was delicious. Thank you to everyone who made and bought stuff to share for the party – it was quite the bash!

Greece
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.allrecipes.com)

Spanikopita

  • 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (16 ounce) package whole wheat phyllo dough
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Directions:
Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet. Mix the spinach, feta cheese, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and salt in a bowl.
Arrange one sheet of phyllo dough on a clean work surface and brush with melted butter. Cover the remaining phyllo dough with a damp towel. Place a second sheet of phyllo on top and brush with butter, then place a third sheet on top. Cut the buttered phyllo lengthwise into four strips.
Place about 1 tablespoon of the spinach mixture on the bottom of each strip. Take the bottom right corner and fold the dough over the filling to make a triangle. Fold the bottom left corner up to make another triangle. Continue folding until all the dough is folded. Arrange the stuffed triangles, seam-side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly brush the triangle with butter. Repeat with the remaining phyllo dough and spinach filling.
Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

Greek Salad

  • 3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 6 black Greek olives, pitted and sliced

Directions: In shallow salad bowl, or on serving platter, combine tomatoes, cucumber, and onion. Sprinkle with oil, lemon juice, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle feta cheese and olives over salad. Serve.


England… {and guest blogger!}

Monday, August 27 –

Sometimes life throws us a curve ball and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. Sometimes life is just simply too hard or too sad to follow through on goals that mean a lot to you. That “sometimes” was my day on Monday. I had to say goodbye to one of the greatest loves of my life, my cat Tubby. It was completely unexpected and literally knocked all of the breath and goodness out of me. I know you’re thinking, “But wait! There was a dinner planned that day!” There was, and my wonderful friends rallied together to make it happen. I didn’t cook a thing, and yet the table was covered in dish after dish of amazing food. The potluck for England was a great success, and I owe all of the thanks in the world to the people who rescued the day. So much love, and so many thanks, go out to BestestFianceEver, Bestie Extraordinaire, Mistress Whiskey, NewOrleans, Hot Momma, Mr. Hero, BabyBear, MissingMan, TexanBoy, Sassy Desserts, RubsWithLove, Sir VJ, ChinUp, MyBuddy, DangerD, and OurCuz. The food was amazing. Ah.Maz.Ing. Even through the sadness I had at least a few bites of each dish, and I really wish that I could have some of them again. Right now. We had (in no particular order) Brussels sprouts gratin, shepherd’s pie, spotted dick, bangers, two different kinds of pasties (shepherd’s pie and curried potato), sage and bacon Yorkshire pudding, cod in a lemon dill caper sauce, trifle, and banbury tarts.

And now, here’s a write-up by Sassy Desserts and the two dishes she made:

Banbury Tarts:  Yum these were so yummy and easy!! I stated by making a tart crust, that was super easy will defiantly use again. I chopped the figs, boiled some water and let them sit for about 30 minutes. Mixed the egg and sugar added the figs, peeled citrus, raisins and nuts.  Filled the tarts and baked, I let them cool slightly before sharing!

http://allrecipes.com/recipes/world-cuisine/europe/uk-and-ireland/england/Top.aspx

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Easy-Tart-Crust-109282

Brussels Sprouts Gratin:  WOW these were great! With help from TexanBoy we rocked these! I started by trimming the sprouts, I choose to roast the sprouts verse steaming them because I wanted a “more complex flavor” oiled them up and baked them at 400 for about 40 minutes turning once. They came out perfect golden brown with a little crunch. Aaron made the sauce, he melted the butter added the flour and let it thicken. We whisked in the half and half, the lumps were removed and brought to a boil, reduced the heat and let simmer till it thickened again about 4 minutes. We then added about 2 cups of grated sharp cheddar cheese. Sprayed the bottom of the pan dusted it with breadcrumbs and then added the roasted sprouts.  Then we poured the cheesy mixture over the sprouts and dusted with more breadcrumbs. Baked for about 10 minutes then we decided to add some crumbled cooked bacon that was not being used and baked for 10 more minutes.  Not exactly the healthiest way to eat Brussels sprouts but they were defiantly delicious.

http://www.whats4eats.com/europe/england-cuisine


Dominican Republic…

Saturday, August 4 –

I’m back to playing catch-up again. Please forgive the length between posts. Summer is crazy for us right now and I’m trying the best I can to keep these caught up.

This dinner was another potluck. We had: ChinUp and MyBuddy bring coleslaw and a coconut pudding, SlotMachine helped provide chips and guacamole, Bestie Extraordinaire made a pork roast with lamb sausage and veggie dish, GingerNuts and NoPoots brought a red bean and veggie stew type dish and mojitos, BestestEverFiance made a sweet corn rice dish, and I made two different roast chicken dishes and more mojitos. Last minute we also had DangerD and SecondMomma show up to join us for the party. NoPoots also brought her kids with her this time, and while they didn’t try the food, they still hung out with us and had a great time, so I feel like they should get complimentary blog names: MiniSass and MiniSweets.

While researching these recipes I noticed that jerk chicken and lemon/garlic chicken were both very common flavors – so I decided to do both. I took 10 chicken legs and divided them into two bowls. I poured on a store-bought jerk sauce on one and a lemon/garlic sauce on the other. I happened to use the Safeway brand, and it worked really well. I didn’t add any of the other stuff to the sauce, I just simply poured it straight from the bottles and let it sit in the fridge for about two hours.

Into the two baking dishes went the sweet potatoes, pineapples, and carrots. Then I set the chicken legs over the top, poured the sauce over the whole thing, and put them both into the oven (uncovered). I roasted them for the 30 minutes the recipe suggests and they weren’t quite done. So I put them back in for probably another 10 minutes and they measured correctly on a thermometer and looked cooked when I cut into them.

The jerk chicken was only slightly spicy but had good flavor. The lemon/garlic chicken was good, but fairly ordinary. The veggies that roasted under them were absolutely divine, and I will make chicken again this way just so I can indulge in the sweet potatoes and pineapple that were cooked this way. The carrot and cabbage coleslaw was a perfect, crisp cut to the sauces. I really, really liked the mix of the coleslaw with the bites of other food. The red bean and veggie dish was dangerously good. I could have settled down with a dish of that in front of a fire on a rainy night and been very satisfied. The corn and rice dish was perfect to scoop up all the sauces with. And the pork/lamb dish was heavy but good. On top of everything were plenty of mojitos, which is always a good plan for me!

Dominican Republic
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.dominicancooking.com)

Chicken with Lemon and Garlic Sauce

  • 6 chicken legs, skinned, cleaned of fat and divided into halves
  • 1 1/2 cup of world harlbors lemon pepper and garlic sauce
  • 6 cups of sweet potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups of pineapple, cut into cubes
  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • pepper
  • salt

Directions:  Mix the World Harlbors Lemon Pepper and Garlic Sauce, olive oil, half a cup of water, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of freshly-ground pepper. Shake well. Place the chicken legs in a zippy bag and add the sauce mix, moving around until the meat is coated with the sauce. Marinate for at least two hours in the fridge. Heat the oven to 350*C. Place the sweet potatoes, carrots, and pineapple in a baking pan. Put the chicken legs on top of them and drizzle everything with the sauce in which the chicken was marinaded. Roast for 30 minutes or the chicken is golden brown. Serve with green salad.


Columbia… {potluck!}

Saturday, May 12 –

It was so beautiful outside this weekend that we finally got to have a potluck on the back deck. That’s an instant win, if you ask me. Plus we had ZombieMode (guacamole and chips), Bestie Extraordinaire (black bean soup with avocado cumin cream and plantains), CurlyCue (wine), Hot Momma (mojitos), RubsWithLove (wine), Sir VJ (seared beef with onion and tomato stew), and I made shrimp tacos with chipotle coleslaw.

The shrimp tacos with chipotle coleslaw were spicy and delicious. The shrimp were soft and firm, the coleslaw crunchy and spicy, all wrapped in freshly made tortillas from the market down the street. Making this recipe was incredibly easy. If you like shrimp tacos that are spicy, this is definitely a good recipe for you! The black bean soup with avocado cumin cream and plantains served over rice was warm, filling, and a great combination of flavors. The mojitos were perfect for the hot weather, made with crushed raspberries for extra summer-flavor kick. I didn’t get a chance to try the beef with the stew thanks to my crohn’s, but it disappeared very quickly so I’m going to assume it was amazing. It certainly smelled mouthwatering!

The next bunch of dinners are back to the regular dinner format (I cook and guests bring drinks). We don’t have another potluck until we hit the D countries. And… we are almost to a year of doing this! How amazing is that? Come July, this adventure will officially be almost a quarter of the way over. That’s just crazy to think about. And I still love it! (And my honey still let’s me get crazy with our dinners!)

{shrimp tacos with chipotle coleslaw and black beans with avocado cumin cream and plantains}

{guacamole}

{chipotle coleslaw}

{onion and tomato stew with seared beef}

Columbia
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.mycolombianrecipes.com – the other two recipes are made by yours truly!)

Shrimp Tacos with Chipotle Slaw

  • 24 medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 tortillas
  • 1 lime
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Chipotle Slaw

  • 3 cups cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups carrot, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 teaspoons chipotle pepper
  • Salt

Directions

1. To make the slaw: In a medium bowl combine the mayonnaise, heavy cream, chipotle pepper and salt.

2. Add the cabbage, carrots and onions to the mayo mixture and mix well. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl mix the cumin, olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Add the shrimp and toss to coat.

4. Place the shrimp in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side or until the shrimp are cooked.

5. To serve, spoon chipotle slaw on the tortilla, then top with shrimp and fresh cilantro.

Guacamole

  •     3 avocados – peeled, pitted, and mashed
  •     1 lime, juiced
  •     1 teaspoon garlic salt
  •     1/2 cup diced onion
  •     2 handfuls chopped fresh cilantro
  •     2 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
  •     4 cloves minced garlic
  •     pepper, to taste
  •     1 pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions: Hand smash the avocado in a bowl, leaving some chunks for scooping. Mix in the lime juice. Then add finely diced onion and tomato. Mix in the chopped cilantro, garlic, salt, and pepper (and cayenne if you’re using it). Voila!

Raspberry Mojitos

  • 1 wedge of lime
  • 4 mint leaves
  • 4 raspberries
  • 2 oz. white Rum
  • 2 ounces club soda
  • ice

Directions: Place the mint leaves and raspberries into a glass and squeeze the juice from a wedge of lime over it. Gently smash the mint and raspberries into the lime juice with a muddler or the top tip of a wooden spoon. Add ice then add the rum and stir, and top off with the club soda.


China… {potluck!}

Friday, May 4 –

To tell you the truth, I thought that there would be more interest in this potluck. Maybe Chinese food is so accessible in this city that it wasn’t as interesting? I don’t know. We had five people this time: ZombieMode (lychee vodka drinks), BestieExtraordinaire (shrimp and veggie stir-fry), GingerNuts (crab rangoon), and NoPoots. I made general tso’s chicken and rice.

Making the general tso’s chicken was an interesting process. First, you coat the chicken in an egg and cornstarch mix. Then you fry them, cool them, and then fry them again (just like regular fried, battered chicken). It was a little deceiving though, because the recipe tells you to watch for it to turn light brown the first time and then deep brown the second time. The cornstarch didn’t really turn light brown the first time, but the chicken did. The second time the cornstarch and chicken both turned a nice golden brown color, so it was easier to tell when it was done. If you aren’t used to frying chicken, that’s definitely something to pay attention to. The sauce was incredibly easy to make, following exactly as the recipe is written. I did change the amounts a little, however, and would probably recommend doing the same. The recipe calls for 1.5 pounds of chicken for one batch of sauce and I made 2.5 pounds of chicken for two batches of sauce – and it was barely enough. I would recommend making double the sauce it says for the same amount of chicken (if you like yours gooey and saucy like I do).

The lychee vodka drinks were a little sweet for me, but I’m not such a huge fan of lychee flavor. ZombieMode and GingerNuts seemed to like them quite a bit. BestieExtraordinaire was drinking sake and NoPoots and I drank wine. The crab rangoon was good, but by the time we got to eat it they were a little soggy. Unfortunately, GingerNuts lives pretty far from us, so sitting in a Tupperware for the drive wasn’t very kind to them. If they had been crispy, they would have been amazing. Real crab meat in them makes a huge difference! The shrimp and veggie stir-fry was really good. He used rice noodles to make them gluten free, and the texture of the veggies and the shrimp was a perfect combo. And finally, the general tso’s… was AMAZING. That recipe makes the flavor exactly like the best I’ve had at some of the restaurants around here. If you like the flavor of the sauce, I would highly recommend saving this one. I will be making it again soon with sauteed chicken rather than fried. Double yum!

Like last week, I was taking these photos as quickly as I could so people could eat. I apologize for them being so hurried. Food quality before photo quality in my house, so if you want to enjoy the full experience you will just have to come over! The next dinner will also be a potluck for Columbia (Sat. 5/12). Hopefully more people will come to keep the potluck idea alive for some of these dinners. Stay tuned for more amazing dishes!

{general tso’s chicken}

{shrimp and veggie stir-fry}

{crab rangoon}

{crab rangoon with sauce, shrimp and veggie stir-fry, general tso’s chicken, and rice}

China
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.allrecipes.com)

General Tsao’s Chicken II

  •     4 cups vegetable oil for frying
  •     1 egg
  •     1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  •     1 teaspoon salt
  •     1 teaspoon white sugar
  •     1 pinch white pepper
  •     1 cup cornstarch
  •     2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  •     3 tablespoons chopped green onion
  •     1 clove garlic, minced
  •     6 dried whole red chilies
  •     1 strip orange zest
  •     1/2 cup white sugar
  •     1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  •     3 tablespoons chicken broth
  •     1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  •     1/4 cup soy sauce
  •     2 teaspoons sesame oil
  •     2 tablespoons peanut oil
  •     2 teaspoons cornstarch
  •     1/4 cup water

Directions:

Heat 4 cups vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Beat the egg in a mixing bowl. Add the chicken cubes; sprinkle with salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, and white pepper; mix well. Mix in 1 cup of cornstarch a little bit at a time until the chicken cubes are well coated.

In batches, carefully drop the chicken cubes into the hot oil one by one, cooking until they turns golden brown and begin to float, about 3 minutes. Remove the chicken and allow to cool as you fry the next batch. Once all of the chicken has been fried, refry the chicken, starting with the batch that was cooked first. Cook until the chicken turns deep golden brown, about 2 minutes more. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Stir in the green onion, garlic, whole chiles, and orange zest. Cook and stir a minute or two until the garlic has turned golden and the chiles brighten. Add 1/2 cup sugar, the ginger, chicken broth, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and peanut oil; bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes.

Dissolve 2 teaspoons of cornstarch into the water, and stir into the boiling sauce. Return to a boil and cook until the sauce thickens and is no longer cloudy from the cornstarch, about 1 minute. Stir the chicken into the boiling sauce. Reduce heat to low and cook for a few minutes until the chicken absorbs some of the sauce.


Chile… {potluck!}

Saturday, April 28 –

Chile was done as a potluck because there were too many delicious recipes to even begin to only choose one. So there were twelve of us total for this dinner, and everyone brought something to eat and/or drink: ZombieMode (aka Wonderful Boyfriend) {prosciutto wrapped kiwi and cucumber}, Roommate Extraordinaire {rabbit in orange sauce}, Mr. Hero {cilantro chicken}, BabyBear, MoneyShot {naan}, SlotMachine {wine}, WingWoman {salmon with lemon butter sauce}, LightsOn {fish with mango habanero sauce and corn salsa}, RubsWithLove {sangria}, Ser VJ {Chilean sea bass ceviche}, SpicyLady {salsa and chips}, and me {pork empanadas and lemon dill yogurt sauce}.

The prosciutto wrapped kiwi and cucumber was an interesting combination of flavors, slightly salty with the sweet and crunchy textures in the middle. I’m not sure I’d chose to make them again, but they were fun to try. The rabbit in orange sauce was rich, sinful, and delicious. The rabbit was salty but tender and the sauce was a creamy gravy with orange tones. While he was making it our whole house smelled amazing and it didn’t disappoint when it was done. The cilantro chicken is a dish I would make for dinner any time. The chicken was tender, the sauce was the happy medium between thick and thin – just gooey enough to want to smack your lips while you’re eating it. So were the salmon, corn salsa, and the fish with mango habanero sauce. The salmon was buttery and flaky. The fish with mango habanero sauce was surprisingly spicy (in a good way) but if you weren’t ready for it the sauce probably would have been too much. The corn was a good cut to the sweet and hot flavors. The sangria was sweet with a bite at the end – just the way I hope sangria will be every time. The ceviche was ridiculously good. The fish was buttery with buttery avocado with hints of other veggies and flavors. The homemade salsa was super spicy but I kept going back for more. My empanadas were on the dry side but the flavors were ok. If I had to do it over again I would slow cook the pork and cook them for slightly less time. Once I had made the yogurt sauce to go with them they were much better.

At the end of the evening, Sir VJ inspired everyone to try a Chilean specialty – tiger’s milk. This is where you take vodka and the juice from the ceviche and you make a shot out of it (picture is below). I didn’t work up the courage to try it, but they kept going back for more so it couldn’t have been too awful!

I know the photos below don’t do this dinner justice, but I was trying to take them quickly before everything was devoured! The next two dinners will also be potlucks: China (Fri. 5/4) and Columbia (Sat. 5/12). So stay tuned for more amazing dishes!

{Chilean sea bass ceviche}

{tiger’s milk – vodka with ceviche juice}

{salmon with lemon butter sauce}

{corn salsa}

{rabbit in orange sauce}

{mango habanero sauce}

{spicy salsa}

{cilantro chicken}

{pork empanadas}

{prosciutto wrapped kiwi and cucumber}

Chile

(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.foodnetwork.com and chileanrecipe.com)

Piggy Pie Spicy Pork Empanadas

Filling:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (12-ounce) pork tenderloin, trimmed, cut into 1/3-inch medallions
  • 1 serrano chile, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 6 tablespoons chopped toasted almonds
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder

Dough:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup masa harina (cornmeal)*
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces (1 stick)unsalted butter, melted, cooled
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 large eggs

Directions:

For filling: Heat oil in large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add pork, serrano, chili powder, cumin, chipotle powder, cinnamon, and allspice to the skillet and stir for 3 minutes. Add raisins and lime juice, bring to a boil and cook until almost all liquid evaporates, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Mix in the almonds and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper. Cool.

For dough: Butter 2 large baking sheets. Mix flour, masa harina, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Stir in melted butter. Whisk water and 1 egg in a small bowl to blend. Add to flour mixture; knead in bowl until smooth pliable dough forms, about 2 minutes. Working with half of dough at a time, roll out on floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch diameter biscuit cutter, cut out rounds. Reroll scraps and cut out additional rounds for a total of 12 rounds per dough half. Whisk remaining egg in a small bowl to blend. Place 1 tablespoon filling in center of each dough round. Lightly brush edges with egg. Fold dough over, pressing edges with fork to seal. Place on prepared baking sheets. Cover with plastic wrap; chill. Note: dough can be made 1 day ahead.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush empanadas with beaten egg. Bake until light golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Kiwi-on-a-Stick

  • 4 large kiwi fruit,peeled
  • 1 small diameter cucumber (yield 12 slices) washed with end removed
  • 3 oz. Proscuitto, 6thin slices, cut in half lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 garlic powder
  • 12 short 5 or 6-inch skewers

Methods:

1. Stroke kiwi fruit and cucumber lengthwise with fork to decorate. Carefully slice in slices of equal thickness. Kiwi should yield 6 slices each, cucumber 12 slices.

2. Stack one slice of cucumber in between two slices of kiwi fruit, matching diameter of slices. Carefully wrap each kiwi stack with a half-slice of proscuitto and mount diagonally on the tip of a skewer. Proceed with remaining skewers.

3. Brush all with combined lemon juice and garlic powder mixture and allow to chill, covered, until ready to serve.