Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Success!

Christmeidukkah was a hit! All the guests had a wonderful time (or at least they acted like they did) and what’s even better is that I had virtually no leftovers!! YAY!!! Unfortunately for me, only four days after the party, Mark Bittman (aka “The Minimalist”) published his 101 Simple Appetizers in 20 Minutes or Less in the New York Times. Mark, why couldn’t you have put this out BEFORE my party?? No matter. Like I said, virtually NO LEFTOVERS.

Even though I have no party to prepare appetizers for, I want to try some of Bittman’s recipes. These are the ones I’m thinking about doing:

1. Put peeled raw shrimp in a food processor with garlic, chili, ginger, shallot or red onion, salt, pepper and cilantro; chop finely. Shape into small patties and shallow-fry or broil, then serve with napkins or on buns, with lime juice or spiced mayonnaise.

2. Make parsley pesto (parsley, garlic, oil, lemon juice) in a food processor. Sauté whole shrimp or small pieces of fish in oil. Arrange fish on small beds of the pesto. You can put this on bread and forget the plates.

3. Might not be the new ketchup, but great stuff: purée skinned roasted peppers or piquillos with some of their liquid, salt and olive oil. Serve alone or with other foods — a piece of cheese, even.

4. Cut tenderloin or other tender beef into bite-size chunks. Toss with a lot of roughly chopped basil (say, 1 cup basil per pound of meat) and peanut oil. Stir-fry with garlic and red pepper flakes until rare. Sprinkle with soy sauce or nam pla and lime juice.

5. Chicken teriyaki: Cut 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs into 1-inch chunks. Toss with 1/4 cup each soy sauce, sake and mirin, and a tablespoon of sugar. Skewer. Boil remaining sauce for a minute or so. Broil the chicken, turning and basting with the sauce after a couple of minutes.

There are 96 other amazing sounding appetizers but many of them have pork products, which of course, I don’t eat. But if you do eat them, you should definitely check out the list.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

Desi Macaroni

The Equation: Macaroni + Cheese + Indian/Asian flavor


Comment: Don't be afraid of the ketchup.

Desi Macaroni
Serves 3-4

1 cup dry macaroni
1 T garlic, minced
½ cup bell pepper, finely diced
½ cup onion, finely diced
2 T cilantro, finely chopped
½ white vinegar
1 T soy sauce
1 T ketchup
1 T tomato paste
½ tsp. chili flakes
½ cup mozzarella or grated parmesan
1 T olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Cook macaroni according to package directions. In a skillet, heat olive oil. Add garlic, onions and bell pepper. Saute for a few minutes – at least until onions soften. Add cilantro, vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, and tomato paste. Mix well. Then add cooked macaroni to the skilled. Mixing thoroughly so that all macaroni gets a bit of “sauce”. Transfer macaroni to oven safe dish, then spring cheese on top. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes, until cheese melts.


Saturday, December 8, 2007

Onion Koftas

Since Christmeidukkah is only a week away, I’ve been trying out some of the finger foods that I would like to serve at the shindig. One dish that I tried recently was my Uncle J’s koftas. He made them for me and my sister when we visited him and my aunt in Baltimore a couple of months ago. He provided me with the basic outline of ingredients and preparation, so I decided to give it a shot this week. I was hoping that I could serve the koftas with toothpicks, but I soon realized that these koftas cannot qualify as a finger food, but are a fantastic entrée on their own. Served with some daal and rice, or in a deli-roll, these koftas will make you very happy. At least they made me very happy.

For the meatballs:

1 lb. lean ground beef
½ cup chopped onion
1 tsp. minced ginger
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 serrano chili
1 tsp. ground red pepper
1/8 tsp. turmeric
¼ tsp. salt

For the sauce:

2 T oil
1 cup sliced onions
1 tsp. minced ginger
1 tsp. minced garlic
½ cup chopped cilantro
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup water


For the meatballs, add onion through salt into a blender. Add this mixture to the ground beef and mix well. Form the meat into little meatballs – just about 2 inches round. Set aside.

In a heavy-bottomed (hee, hee) pan, heat oil and sauté the onions until they become soft and kind of golden brown. Add the ginger, garlic, cilantro, salt, and water. Bring to a simmer.

Add the meatballs to the pan.

After about five minutes, rotate the meatballs in the pot, so that they get browned on all sides. Cook for about 20 minutes – rotating the meatballs every 5 minutes or so.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I'm Shameless

The Well Fed Network is taking nominations for the 2007 Food Blog Awards.

If you think that this modest little blog is worthy of an award, please feel free to vote. If not, that's totally fine. You can vote for all of the other amazing food blogs instead. Just never come back to this site...EVER AGAIN! Just kidding.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Salty Sweet Kisses

In a couple of weeks, I will be having my annual Christmeidukkah Open House. It's a party to celebrate Christmas, Eid, and Hanukkah. Since I will be having about 30 people traipsing through my home, including little ones, I thought that this easy treat would be good to have on hand.

Salty Sweet Kisses

1 bag small square shaped pretzels
1 bag milk chocolate Hershey kisses
1 bag M&Ms

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place pretzels on a cookie sheet. Top each pretzel with one Hersheys kiss. Place in oven for 3 minutes. Remove from oven and smoosh one M&M on the top of each kiss. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then serve.