You're Invited! :D
Dana, Brooke, Zach
- 2-inch piece fresh ginger, cut into thin rounds
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 10 whole cloves
- 6 cardamom pods
- 6 cups cold water
- 6 bags of black tea (preferably Darjeeling)
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- Combine first 5 ingredients in medium saucepan. Using mallet or back of large spoon, lightly crush or bruise spices. Add 6 cups water; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover pan, and simmer gently 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add tea bags and steep 5 minutes. Discard tea bags. Add milk and sugar. Bring tea just to simmer over high heat, whisking until sugar dissolves. Strain chai into teapot and serve hot.
Hot Appetizer #!
30-minute Vietnamese-inspired spring rolls with fast crispy tofu and a savory-sweet almond butter dipping sauce. Flavorful, crisp, delectable, and so fresh and perfect for spring and summer.
Author: Minimalist Baker
Recipe type: Appetizer, Main
Cuisine: Vegan, Vietnamese
Serves: 4 (8 spring rolls total)
- 1/2 cup each julienned carrots, red pepper and cucumber
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro
- 1 bunch fresh mint
- 4 ounces vermicelli or rice noodles (the thinner the better)
- 8-10 Rice Spring Roll Papers
Almond Butter Dipping Sauce
- 1/3 cup salted creamy almond butter
- 1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce (GF if gluten free)
- 1-2 Tbsp brown sugar, agave or honey if not vegan (depending on preferred sweetness)
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce
- Hot water to thin
- 8 ounces extra firm tofu, drained and thoroughly dried/pressed
- 4 Tbsp sesame oil, divided
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2.5 Tbsp almond butter dipping sauce
- 1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar or agave nectar
- Start by preparing rice noodles in boiling hot water for about 10 minutes (read instructions on package), then drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat and cut pressed tofu into small rectangles. Toss in 3 Tbsp cornstarch and flash fry in ~3 Tbsp sesame oil, flipping on all sides to ensure even browning – about 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Prep veggies and prepare almond butter sauce by adding all sauce ingredients except water to a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add enough hot water to thin until a pourable sauce is achieved. Adjust flavors as needed (I often add a little more chili garlic sauce and brown sugar).
- To add more flavor to the tofu, transfer ~2.5 Tbsp of the sauce to a small bowl and add an additional Tablespoon each of soy sauce, sesame oil and brown sugar (or agave) and whisk to combine.
- Add tofu back to the skillet over medium heat and add “sauce/glaze,” stirring to coat. Cook for several minutes or until all of the sauce is absorbed and the tofu looks glazed, stirring frequently (see photos). Set aside with prepared veggies and vermicelli noodles.
- To assemble spring rolls, pour very hot water into a shallow dish or skillet and immerse rice paper to soften for about 10-15 seconds.
- Transfer to a damp cutting board or damp towel and gently spread out edges into a circle. It may take a little practice, so don’t feel bad if your first few attempts are a fail!
- To the bottom third of the wrapper add a small handful of vermicelli noodles and layer carrots, bell peppers, cucumber, fresh herbs and 2-3 pieces of tofu on top (see photo). Gently fold over once, tuck in edges, and continue rolling until seam is sealed.
- Place seam-side down on a serving platter and cover with damp warm towel to keep fresh. Repeat until all fillings are used up – about 8-10 spring rolls total.
- Serve with almond butter sauce and sriracha or hot sauce of choice. I like to mix mine and go dip happy.
- Leftovers store well individually wrapped in plastic wrap, though best when fresh
Hot Appetizer #2
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- About 4 cups peanut or vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
- 1 1/2 bunches scallions (about 10), white and pale green parts cut into 2-inch lengths, then cut lengthwise into very thin matchsticks (2 1/2 cups)
- 2 celery ribs, cut into very thin matchsticks (2 cups)
- 2 medium carrots, cut into very thin matchsticks (1 cup)
- 8 large fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps sliced 1/4 inch thick (3 cups)
- 1 lb medium shrimp in shell (31 to 35 per lb), peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped
- 1/4 lb Chinese roast pork (char siu) or leftover roast pork, cut into 2-inch lengths, then cut lengthwise into very thin matchsticks
- 1 (1-lb) package Asian egg roll or spring roll wrappers
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Special equipment: a deep-fat thermometer
- Accompaniments: Asian sweet chile sauce; Chinese mustard
- Make filling:
- Stir together oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and salt in a small bowl until sugar and salt are dissolved.
- Heat a dry 12-inch heavy skillet (not nonstick) over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then add 2 tablespoons peanut oil, swirling skillet to coat. Stir-fry ginger, garlic, and scallions until scallions are wilted, about 1 minute. Add celery, carrots, and mushrooms and stir-fry until vegetables are softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Push vegetables toward edge of skillet, then add shrimp to center and stir-fry until shrimp are just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Add pork and oyster sauce mixture and stir together all ingredients in skillet until combined. Season with salt and transfer to a large shallow bowl. Cool, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
- Make egg rolls:
- Gently peel apart wrappers to separate if necessary (wrappers may not be perfectly square).
- Put 1 wrapper on a work surface, arranging wrapper with a corner nearest you and keeping remaining wrappers covered with plastic wrap. Stir filling, then spread a scant 1/4 cup filling horizontally across center of wrapper to form a 4-inch log. Fold bottom corner over filling, then fold in side corners. Brush top corner with egg and roll up wrapper tightly to enclose filling, sealing roll closed with top corner. Transfer roll, seam side down, to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Make more egg rolls in same manner, transferring to baking sheet as formed (you may have some filling left over).
- Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 250°F. Line a large colander with paper towels. Heat 1 inch peanut oil in a 5- to 6-quart wide heavy pot until it registers 350°F on thermometer, then fry 4 or 5 egg rolls (don't crowd pot), turning with a slotted spoon, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer with slotted spoon to colander and drain rolls upright 2 to 3 minutes, then keep warm on a rack set on a large baking sheet in oven. Fry remaining egg rolls in batches, transferring to colander and then to rack in oven.
· Filling can be made 1 day ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered. Stir before using. · Egg rolls can be fried 4 hours ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered. Reheat in 1 layer on a rack set over a baking sheet in middle of a preheated 350°F oven, turning once, until crisp and centers are warmed through, 15 to 20 minutes. (Reheated rolls will not be as crisp.)
Hot Appetizer #3
Cream Cheese Wontons
- Author: Stephanie Manley via CopyKat.com
- Recipe Type: Appetizer
- Prep time: 15 minutes
- Cook time: 10 minutes
- Serves: 8
Make your own homemade cream cheese wontons.
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated white onion
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 package of wonton wrappers
- oil for frying
Combine cream cheese, sugar, and grated while onion. Stir together the cream cheese mixture until it is well blended. Prepare an egg wash by combining one egg and water in a small bowl. To fill wontons with cream cheese mixture, brush egg wash on two sides of the wonton wrapper.
Drop about a teaspoon of cream cheese onto the wonton wrapper. There are many ways to close the wonton wrapper. Wet the sides of the wrapper with the egg wash. Lift up the middle of the 2 opposite sides so that they meet. Squeeze lightly together Bring the middle of the 2 other sides to close the wonton Gently squeeze to close the wonton. The wonton will remain slightly open.
Add enough oil for frying into a pot to cover the bottom 4 inches of the pot. Heat the oil to 350 degrees. Drop the wontons in a couple at a time until they are golden brown. Drain on a wire rack or on paper towels. Serve immediately.
Dessert Recipe #1
- 2(12 ounce) packages butterscotch chips
- 1(5 ounce) package crunchy Chinese noodles
- 7 ounces salted peanuts
- Melt butterscotch chips in heavy saucepan over low heat.
- Fold in peanuts and Chinese noodles until coated.
- Drop by tablespoon onto waxed paper.
- Let stand in cool place until firm.
Dessert Recipe #2
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 large egg yolks
- Your choice of flavoring (see note)
- In a small pot, simmer heavy cream, milk, sugar and salt until sugar completely dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat. In a separate bowl, whisk yolks. Whisking constantly, slowly whisk about a third of the hot cream into the yolks, then whisk the yolk mixture back into the pot with the cream. Return pot to medium-low heat and gently cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer).
- Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Cool mixture to room temperature. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight. Churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturers’ instructions. Serve directly from the machine for soft serve, or store in freezer until needed.
- This recipe for ice cream base may be churned on its own, but it is meant to have flavors added. See the chart here for flavor options and directions for incorporating them into the base recipe.