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.

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