Saturday, December 4, 2010

Reading is fun.

And tasty!

Since I wasn't hosting a post-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving dinner this year, I totally jumped at the opportunity to host and cook a feast for book club last night!

This month's book selection...
Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

Apparently I'm not really into reading fiction...I realized this as I searched and searched for a potential book. A friend suggested Shanghai Girls since it also took place (for a little bit at least) in San Francisco. So fitting!

It took awhile to get into the book, but once I got past the first few chapters, I found myself completely engrossed. In fact, I actually gasped on the bus while reading and almost got misty at one point!

Overall, I thought it was an entertaining read. I even found myself really hating one of the characters - she was incredibly annoying and frustrating. I'd recommend it for a long plane ride.

My imagination went wild with appetizer possibilities! There have been a couple things floating around in my head and this was the perfect opportunity to test them out.

Edamame Miso Crostini w/Shiitake Mushrooms
Pulled Chicken Adobo over Coconut Rice Patties
Chicken Banh Mi
Tofu Banh Mi
Bulgogi Sliders with Kimchee Mayo and Cucumber Apple Salad
Zesty Baked Crab Rangoon

These were supplemented with some wine, cheese, and sweet treats from guests, of course.

Edamame Miso Crostini w/Shiitake Mushrooms
1 package frozen, shelled edamame, defrosted
1 tsp white miso paste
1 tsp chili garlic paste
2 tbsp garbanzo beans
1 tsp sesame oil
1 c shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sherry

Puree first five ingredients together with an immersion blender. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Saute mushrooms and garlic powder until mushrooms start to soften, stirring frequently. Add sherry and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Spread edamame mixture over toasted bread and top with some of the mushroom mixture. If desired, sprinkle with sea salt before serving.

Verdict: Not my favorite. Not at all. I didn't realize that this would end up with a really funky texture. It looked like Play-Doh...or maybe wasabi. So weird. I also wanted a smoother texture spread. Not a fan.

Pulled Chicken Adobo
3 boneless skinless chicken thighs
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
4 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp coconut milk
2 bay leaves, broken in half
1 tbsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp coconut milk
1/4 c chicken broth
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp vinegar
1/2 - 1 c chicken broth

Combine first ten ingredients in a shallow dish and let chicken marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes on each side.

Heat oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Place chicken in pan, shaking off excess marinade. Cook for 3 minutes on each side.
Pour in marinade, soy sauce, vinegar, oyster sauce, coconut milk and chicken broth. Stir, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
Let chicken sit until cool enough to pull apart. Shred chicken and set aside.

Remove bay leaves and any fatty chicken bits from the saute pan and melt butter over medium low heat, scraping up any brown bits. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute. Continue whisking as you add soy sauce and vinegar. Gradually whisk in chicken broth until a thinner sauce is formed.

Strain out large bits and stir 1/4 c of sauce into shredded chicken.

Coconut Rice Patties
2 c short grain white rice
1/3 c coconut milk
2/3 c water
1 tsp salt

Place ingredients in a rice cooker and cook. Allow rice to sit until cool enough to handle.

Wet hands and gently form small patties and place on a baking sheet. If you have a hard time forming the patties, gently press the rice into a mini muffin tin.

Heat oven to 350 and bake for 10-15 minutes.

Verdict: The adobo turned out DEEELICIOUS! The rice patties, however, ended up a little too crunchy since I left them in the oven for too long. Oops. Flavor was still good though...I'd even eat them as not patties ;p

Bulgogi Sliders
1 lb sirloin, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 c dark soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp sriracha
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sugar

Combine ingredients in a bowl and let marinate for at least 2 hours.
Strain liquid and place half of the beef in a food processor. Pulse until smaller bits form, but not until pasty. Place in bowl and repeat with the remaining beef. Form patties and grill to your liking.

Kimchee Mayo
1/4 c mayonnaise
2 tbsp kimchee, minced
1/4 tsp sriracha

Mix ingredients together and let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Cucumber Apple Salad
1 /2 c seedless cucumber, finely diced
3 tbsp apple, finely diced
2 tbsp scallion, minced
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp sugar

Combine ingredients and chill for at least 1 hour.

Zesty Baked Crab Rangoon
1 package wonton wrappers
1 egg
4 oz cream cheese, softened
6 oz crab meat
1 tbsp scallion, minced
1/4 tsp Maggi seasoning or Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp lemon zest
splash soy sauce
squirt sriracha

Combine cream cheese, crab, scallion, Maggi or Worcestershire, lemon zest, soy sauce, sriracha, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Spray with nonstick spray and set aside.

Lay out wrappers and place a teaspoon of the crab mixture in the center. Swipe egg on two sides of the square wrapper, fold over to make a triangle and pinch sides to seal. Fold corners in to meet each other and seal with egg.
Bake for 5-7 minutes on one side, flip and bake for another 5 minutes or until golden brown.

MUCH better than my first attempt.

Also, courtesy of Saigon Sandwich (my fave)...
Chicken Banh Mi and Tofu Banh Mi. It was my first time trying these flavors and I think I might stick with my standard roast pork. Ta da.

Have you read anything fun lately?


MarathonVal said...

I love the idea of the edamame crostini, sorry it didn't turn out well.

How is your running going these days?!?

Karena said...

did a quick run to cheer at the CIM this morning, but taking it easy...basically trying to start over properly. hoping to be back by february!