Showing posts with label Blog Party. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blog Party. Show all posts

Thursday, April 20, 2017

(Pickled Turmeric Eggs) Curried Egg Salad Bites on Naan and Chai Tea Whiskey Toddies for Blog Party #44: Tea Party!

I just had my ninth year Blogaversary and I forgot! Whoops! 

But yes, nine years ago last week I made my first blog post and it's been a fun nine years and 1,626 posts ever since that first one. Since I didn't have a party, ;-) I am joining in with my friend Stephanie of Dispensing Happiness as she has resurrected one of my favorite blogging events from those early years: Blog Party!

I *met* Stephanie not long after I started blogging through her Blog Party event when it caught my eye. The object of Blog Party is to make an appetizer and cocktail to go with a monthly theme. I didn't join in until Blog Party #34--The Buffy Bash, where for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer theme, I made Spiked DoubleMeat Sliders & Garlic Fries with Hellmouth Dipping Sauce and Soylent Green Cocktails. (Note: It was from my meat & poultry-eating and bad blog photography days!) It was fun and I took part in the next nine Blog Parties--up until Stephanie stopped having them. 

Stephanie drops by Souper Sundays occasionally when she has a soup to share and so when she tweeted a message to some of the old Blog Party attendees that she was having a Blog Party #44, I really wanted to take part. The only trouble was that it was really short notice (gotta love those impulses!), less than a week in fact--so I knew if I did join in, it would be with something simple and from my pantry. 

Flash forward to this afternoon, when I turned some of Heidi Swanson's Pickled Turmeric Eggs that were in a jar in my fridge into some delightful and delicious Curried Egg Salad Bites on Naan Bread and partnered them with quick Chai Whiskey Toddies. I gotta say, with just a little planning and using up leftovers, these were perfect for an impromptu tea party. 

I highly recommend that you try the Pickled Turmeric Eggs for the egg salad--they add such a great tangy bite to the curry mayo and are easy to make and loads of fun. 

(Pickled Turmeric Eggs) Curried Egg Salad Bites on Naan
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen with Heidi Swanson's Eggs
(Makes about 2 scant cups of egg salad)

4 turmeric pickled eggs (recipe here) or regular hard-boiled eggs
3 Tbsp vegan mayo or mayo of choice
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp celery salt
salt and black pepper to taste
2 pieces naan bread
1 tsp olive oil
Garnishes like: cilantro, celery leaves, Nigella seeds or black sesame seeds, pickled onions from the turmeric pickled eggs.

Grate pickled eggs on the large holes of a box grater into a small bowl. Add mayo, curry powder, cumin, turmeric and celery salt and mix together well. Taste and season with salt and pepper.  

Brush a pan lightly with olive oil and heat on medium-high. Use a biscuit or cookie cutter to make small rounds out of the naan bread and lay those circles into the pan. Cook until lightly toasted on each side, about 3 to 4 minutes total. Remove naan circles from the heat and allow to cool.

To Assemble: lay the naan circles on a serving plate. Scoop a small amount of the egg salad onto each round, spreading it out to cover the edges. Top the egg salad mixture with garnish of your choice (I used celery leaves, black sesame seeds, and chopped pickled red onions from the Turmeric Pickled Eggs.)

Serve and enjoy!

Chai Whiskey Toddies
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes 2 8-oz drinks)

1 cup Chai Tea Latte Concentrate (or strongly brewed chai tea)
1 cup coconut milk
honey to taste
2 ounces whiskey or Bourbon

Heat chai concentrate and coconut milk together in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Add honey to taste--depending on how sweet you want it. (I used about 1 Tbsp.) When hot, remove from heat and stir in whiskey. Pour into mugs or tea cups and serve immediately. Enjoy.

Notes/Results: I am not sure these two are perfectly paired but it kind of works and they are both delicious--and hey, in this case they are for an entire tea party with other food and drinks so you don't have to have them together. ;-)  I am going to make more Turmeric Pickled Eggs in order to have more curried egg salad--it was so good, especially on the toasted naan bread. I love the bright notes of the vinegar (it kind of takes the place of mustard) in the egg salad when it combined with the curry. A really fun way to change up a basic egg salad sandwich. The warm chai toddy was really tasty--creamy and with a little kick from the Maker's Mark Whiskey I used. For coming together with bits and bobs from the fridge and pantry, I was very pleased with how it all turned out.

Thanks to Stephanie for hosting! I hope Blog Party becomes a regular thing again. The deadline for Blog Party #44 is tomorrow, Friday, April 21th and Stephanie will be rounding up the BP entries on her blog soon after. You can get the details here

I'm linking up these tasty little sandwiches to Souper Sundays, hosted here at Kahakai Kitchen. Each Sunday we feature delicious soups, salads, and sandwiches from friends around the blogosphere--please join in if you have any to share. Here's this week's post and linkup  


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Vietnamese-Style Asparagus Soup with Noodles and Spicy Peanut Paste for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays and for #SoupSwapParty

It's no secret that I love soup. I love it so much that I make at least one soup every week and eat the leftovers for lunch, dinner, and sometimes breakfast. I love it so much that I have had my own weekly soup blogging event, Souper Sundays since 2008--adding sandwiches and salads to the mix the following year. So of course I jumped at the opportunity to take part in the #SoupSwapParty, a blogging event hosted by The Book Club Cookbook to launch a fun new soup cookbook, Soup Swap: Comforting Recipes to Make and Share by Kathy Gunst.

Kathy Gunst is a the Resident Chef for NPR's Here and Now and became a soup lover when a long and fierce freezing New England winter had her thinking about, making, and eating soup for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and afternoon pick-me-ups. She and her friend and neighbor Hope started a wintertime Second Sunday Soup Swap Supper where soups were made and swapped and those taking part could go home with a variety of soups to chose from. Although I live in a tropical climate and eat soup year-round, I can get behind any soup-centered function and think that Gunst and I would get along well.

Soup Swap has the basic info for hosting your own soup swap party (including some Soup Swap stickers for labeling your soups), more than 60 recipes for soups, toppings, side dishes and accompaniments. Gunst covers the basics of making broths and stocks, and recipes are divided into Vegetable Soups, Chicken & Turkey Soups, Meat Soups, Fish & Seafood Soups & Chowders, Side Dishes, and Garnishes & Toppings. Although I don't know that I'll ever host an actual soup swap, I frequently make and give soup to friends and Gunst offers handy To-Go tips for making her recipes portable for swapping or giving. Although I don't eat meat or poultry, there are plenty of vegetable and fish and seafood recipes that I can enjoy in the book like Asparagus and Leek Soup with Chive Oil, Miso Soup with Tofu and Scallions, Mulligatawny, Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder with Saffron Cream, Provencal-Style Fish Soup with Rouille, and Baby Turnip Soup with Miso Butter and Toasted Hazelnuts, and Cioppino, to name just a few. 

Soup Swap is a paperback with a thick and and touchable textured cover. It lays flat and will stay flat when opened--important when you are busy in the kitchen. The recipes all sound tasty, instructions are clear and step by step, and many of the soups have mouthwatering color photos to look at. The recipes have introductions and there are boxes with soup making tips scattered throughout the book. If you are a soup fan, Soup Swap would be an excellent addition to your cookbook collection or it would make a great gift for a soup-loving friend

Chronicle Books
September 13, 2016

After much indecision about which soup to make, I finally chose the Vietnamese-Style Asparagus Soup with Noodles and Spicy Peanut Paste. Gunst says, "The inspiration for this soup comes from Vietnamese phở, a hearty soup of hot chicken stock topped with asparagus and other vegetables, noodles, and a dab of chili paste. A spicy peanut butter-based base slowly releases its assertive flavor and slightly thickens the broth."

I love phở and Vietnamese flavors and a big bowl of noodly goodness and spicy peanut paste sounded perfect. That I can get good local asparagus most of the year here and that this soup is vegan just added to the appeal. 

I did make a couple of very small changes--namely swapping out the mung bean sprouts for peppery radish sprouts and adding some Thai basil. I am not a mung bean sprout fan and usually ask restaurants to leave them off my plate and I love the flavor of Thai basil and had some that needed to be used up. The result was a bowl of wonderfully satisfying and flavorful soup. 

Vietnamese-Style Asparagus Soup with Noodles and Spicy Peanut Paste
Reprinted with permission from Soup Swap by Kathy Gunst
(Makes 8-10 Tasting Portions or 6 Full Servings)

Spicy Peanut Paste:
3 Tbsp freshly grated or minced ginger
1/2 tsp Chinese chili paste or hot pepper sauce
1/2 cup (150g) chunky all-natural peanut butter
1/2 tsp hot chili oil or hot-pepper sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Asian sesame oil
3 scallions, finely chopped

4 oz (115g) angel-hair rice noodles
1 Tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
1 tsp toasted Asian sesame oil
1/2 cup (80g) julienned peeled fresh ginger
5 scallions, cut on the diagonal into 1 1/2-inch (4 cm) pieces
2 lbs (910g) asparagus, ends trimmed, peeled & cut on the diagonal into 1 1/2-inch (4 cm) pieces
6 cups (1.4L) vegetable stock, homemade or good low-sodium broth
1/2 cup (30g) packed, coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
(I added fresh Thai basil leaves)
1 cup mung bean sprouts (I used radish sprouts)
coarsely chopped salted peanuts for garnish (optional

To Make Peanut Paste: In a medium bowl, combine the grated ginger, chili paste, and peanut butter, stirring to create a smooth paste. Add the chili oil, soy sauce, sesame oil, and scallions; stir until smooth. The paste will be quite thick and should have a good, spicy kick. The paste can be made several hours ahead; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To Make the Soup: Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil over medium heat. Add the rice noodles to the stockpot and cook for 3 minutes, or until tender. Immediately transfer the noodles  to a colander to drain and cool them under very cold running water to stop the cooking. Transfer the noodles to the bowl of ice water and separate them to prevent them from clumping. (If you are good with chopsticks, use them to do this.) Set aside.

In a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat, warm the peanut oil and sesame oil. Add the julienned ginger and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Add the scallions and cook for about 20 seconds. Add the asparagus and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes, The vegetables should be al dente, not completely cooked or soft. Set aside. (The recipe can be made ahead up to this point. Store the noodles and about 1/4 cup of the ice water in a separate container and store the sauteed asparagus in plastic wrap. Store all the elements in the refrigerator until ready to assemble. Bring the peanut paste and asparagus mixture to room temperature before finishing off the soup.) 

In a large stockpot over medium heat, bring the vegetable stock to a rolling boil. Turn the heat to low and keep hot. 

To Assemble: Ladle the simmering stock into serving bowls (about 1 cup per serving for 6 servings). Whisk in about 1 Tbsp of the peanut paste. Drain the noodles well and divide them equally among the bowls of broth. Top each serving with a scoop of the asparagus-ginger mixture and sprinkle with a handful of cilantro, (Thai basil), and the sprouts. Serve with the remaining cilantro, spicy peanut paste, and peanuts, if desired, on the side and let guests add what they like. 

To-Go Tips: Transport the vegetable stock in the soup pot. Pack the noodles, peanut paste, and each of the toppings in separate containers. At the party, reheat, the soup and continue as directed. Set out all the toppings so that guests can choose what they want to add.

Notes/Results: And what a great bowl of soup this is! So much flavor in the Spicy Peanut Paste (I would probably lick this paste off of a stick) along with the ginger and fresh herbs. The paste stirs into the broth nicely and I liked mine with an extra scoop of the paste on top. It seems like a long recipe, but once you chop and prep your ingredients, this one goes together surprisingly quickly and easily. It's not authentic phở, but it is really delicious and if you love East Asian flavors and ingredients, you will love it. It's a vegan soup as written and if you use GF tamari instead of soy sauce, it can be gluten-free as well. I loved the asparagus, but you could work other veggies in--green beans, mushrooms, Asian greens, etc. in if you can't get good asparagus and it would be delicious. I will happily make this again.

Besides receiving a complimentary copy of Soup Swap: Comforting Recipes to Make and Share to review from Chronicle Books, we participants were lucky enough to get some excellent cooking tools to help with our soup prep from Chef’s Choice and Zeroll

We received the Chef’sChoice® ProntoPro™ Diamond Hone® Knife Sharpener, the fastest manual sharpener available for sharpening both 15 degree and 20 degree knife edges and
the Zeroll® 8720 4-ounce Stainless Steel Ladle which features a deep bowl, perfect for serving piping hot soup, as well as the Zeroll® #8711 Stainless Steel Slotted Serving Spoon to help stir and portion your soup. 

Thank you to the publisher, Kathy Gunst and these wonderful vendors--all of these tools will be well-used and loved at my house! Thanks to The Book Club Cookbook for putting together this fun event! (Note: No monetary compensation was received for this review or post and my thoughts and opinions are my own.

Stop by the #SoupSwapParty Page to check out all of the tasty soups that were made and hear what the other bloggers thought about the book!

Speaking of soup... we have some good friends in the Souper Sundays kitchen who shared some marvelous dishes last week--let's have a look! 

Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog shared these Chilled Tomato Soup Shooters and said, "Bring on the party with these delicious tomato soup shooters! Served at room temperature or chilled, these shooters are the great way to get any party or meal started and they are one of the best tomato soups ever! With just 5 ingredients, preparation is a breeze! The recipe meets my criteria for health, ease, convenience and taste. It's made from real food, is naturally gluten free, and vegan."

I think these Tomato & Basil Bruschetta that I made this week at Kahakai Kitchen would be great with Judee's shooters above! These little open-face sandwiches are simple, delicious, and a great way to use up the last of the summer's bounty.

Also taking part in the #soupswapparty festivities is Debra of Eliot's Eats who made the Italian Sausage-Zucchini Soup from the book. She said, "Since I have loads of zucchini and still have fresh herbs growing, I decided to try “Hope’s Italian Sausage-Zucchini Soup.”  This is truly a heirloom recipe..." ... This soup is adaptable to what you have on hand.   Use your choice of turkey or pork (or even chicken) sausage and canned or homemade chicken stock. The choice of herbs is yours as well."

Joyce from Kitchen Flavours shared Jacques Pepin's Chicken Jardinieri. She said, "This chicken stew is delicious. We love it. The chicken is tender and tasty, the veggies are soft and the soup slurpingly good. Great with white rice, but I've got to plan my bread baking earlier the next time (and read the instructions properly!), so that we could enjoy the crusty bread in time, with this stew!"

It was a two-soup week for me as I made Jacques Pepin's simple but delicious Garlic Soup with Croutons here at Kahakai Kitchen. This soup has 12 cloves of garlic, but with the leeks and potatoes, they mellow into a comforting and silky bowl of well-flavored soup. The crispy croutons on top add the perfect texture! 


Tina of Squirrel Head Manor popped in with BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches and says, "Behold my sandwich made with Jackfruit.  Don't you think it looks like pork?  It has a very similar texture to meat, and well....pork in particular. If you are a vegetarian (or a vegan ) and abhor the texture of meat, even TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) then you won't like this.  But if you routinely add a TVP, or like that texture, you may like this."

Finally Kim of Stirring the Pot shared Jacques Pepin's Onion Soup Lyonnaise (French Onion Soup) and said, "Now if you love French Onion Soup then hear me when I say this recipe is total and complete perfection. In fact, it's easily one of my favorite recipes I've made since blogging almost 8 years ago! Why? Well, the French Onion Soup we've all come to know and love is so delicious because it is topped with that crusty bread and melted cheese. That crusty bread and melted cheese is easily the pièce de résistance.  Now, how do we improve on that? By adding more cheese and bread, of course!"

A big thank you to everyone who joined in this week!

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
  • you are welcome to add the wonderful Souper Sundays logo (created by Ivy at Kopiaste) to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy week!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Blog Party #45--Devil's Food: Devilishly Indulgent Eggs, Fiery Lemondae and Decadent Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

For this month's Blog Party theme, our host and Blog Party founder Stephanie at Dispensing Happiness has gone to the dark side with Devil's Food, our most wicked and tempting dishes and things that we crave. In Stephanie's words, "the things you love most & tell yourself you shouldn't have...but want desperately."  

So why deviled eggs? I happen to love the little buggers and I am always excited to see them at a party as they appeal to the part of me that craves something creamy and indulgent. With spring, Easter and leftover eggs, I was craving them at least somewhat desperately too. There is a great little indoor/outdoor cafe up at The Contemporary Museum in Honolulu that has the best deviled eggs appetizer with assorted and unique toppings that vary each day. They took it off the menu for awhile but had to return it due to popular demand. I took inspiration from them and created some indulgent, Blog Party worthy deviled eggs with some fun ingredients I found in my fridge and pantry. (This is a great way to use up little bits of yummy leftovers). I made the egg filling basic but delicious, with some homemade mayonnaise, a bit of stone ground Dijon mustard, salt and pepper and then spooned on the assorted toppings.

We have:
  • smoked salmon and dill
  • black beluga lentils with balsamic vinegar and thyme
  • crisped prosciutto, shaved Parmesan and black pepper
  • capers and lemon zest
  • sesame seeds, wasabi salt and chives
All were yummy but the capers and lemon zest and the crisped prosciutto and Parmesan were the favorite toppings. 

Since Blog Party is about the food and the drink...

Nothing is better than some fresh tart/sweet homemade lemonade, made a bit devilish by adding some fiery sliced Thai "bird's eye" chili peppers and a shot of icy vodka if you indulge, plain if you don't. I like to throw it in the freezer for a bit so it is perfectly frosy and cold.

And finally (after you finish the lemonade please!), what do I most crave when I want to go to the dark side and indulge myself? Chocolate of course! I got a small basket of beautiful, fresh local Kula strawberries at the farmer's market this weekend. Although they are sweet and delicious on their own, sometimes you need to be a bit bad and dipping them in good, dark chocolate takes them over the edge. 

The perfect easy, fun and decadent pupus for my favorite monthly blog event! If you want to join the party, RSVP to Stephanie by this Friday. You can get the details on Blog Party (and check out the round up after the party) on her site, here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Blog Party #44--Brunch: Aloha Sunrise Power Bars and Juice Shots

It's Blog Party time again, time to come up with an appetizer and drink that represent the monthly theme. This month, our terrific hostess Stephanie from Dispensing Happiness is revisiting one of her favorite themes: "Brunch: Worth Getting Up Late For...Again".

Although visions of mini-Eggs Benedict or corn-beef hash were floating through my head, I decided to go with a healthier option and make some Hawaii-inspired "power bars". These are similar to the Sunshine Power Bars I made a few months ago, but I made some changes in ingredients to make them even better and more tropical. To go with them I plugged in my juicer to make some delicious, healthy juice shots mixing fresh papaya, carrot and pineapple. Together they are better for you than "eggs benny" and the perfect start to a morning, or for a long night of Blog Partying.

Aloha Sunrise Power Bars

4 cups crisped brown rice cereal
1/2 cup coconut flakes or chips (I used a large coconut "chip")
1/3 cup almond slivers
1/3 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
1/3 cup dried papaya, diced
1/3 cup dried mango
1/3 cup dried pineapple
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
2 Tbsp ground flax seeds
2 Tbsp wheat germ
2 tsp ground cinnamon 
1 1/2 tsp Hawaiian Red Alaea salt
1  1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup almond butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread coconut in a single layer on a pie plate and almonds and mac nuts in a single layer on another plate. Toast, stirring as needed, until coconut and nuts become golden brown, (About 6-7 minutes for the larger coconut chips and 8-9 minutes for nuts). Spray a 9"x13" pan with cooking spray. Pour crisped rice cereal into a large mixing bowl and add coconut, nuts, chopped dried fruit, and ginger and mix together. Add flax seeds, wheat germ and Hawaiian red salt and toss to mix well.

Combine cinnamon, brown rice syrup and almond butter in a small saucepan, over medium heat and stir constantly until smooth and bubbling. (about 4 minutes).

Pour syrup mixture into cereal mixture and stir carefully to ensure it is combined and the syrup covers all of the cereal mixture. Scoop sticky cereal mixture into pan, spray hands with cooking spray (so mixture doesn't stick to them) and carefully and thoroughly pat mixture evenly into pan, pressing down lightly but firmly so everything sticks together.

Allow to cool and set about 1 hour then cut into bars, whatever size you desire. Wrap bars individually in wax paper. 

Notes/Results: Delicious! Chewy and flavorful, these bars are the perfect breakfast or snack. I used a crisped brown rice cereal this time for added crunch. I was able to find low-sugar dried papaya, pineapple and mango in the bulk foods section of my natural foods store, which is nice as it cuts a bit of the sugar. With the fruit, mac nuts, and some dried ginger, they have a definite tropical vibe. I added some slivered almonds, ground flax seeds and wheat germ for extra nutrients. For the bit of salty, I crave in a power bar, I added a bit of Hawaiian Red Alaea Salt, and can I say yum!?!  With every bite you get some sweet fruit, a bit of spicy ginger, the toasted taste of the coconut and nuts and that bit of salt; all in a crisp, chewy base. Of course there is a fair amount of sugar in these bars but it's from primarily natural sources and there are lots of vitamins and minerals in them too. (A bonus--they are gluten-free). Wrapping the bars individually in wax paper and putting them in an airtight container, keeps them fresh and ready to grab on the go.

Papaya-Carrot-Orange Juice Shots
No recipe here, I just drag out my juicer and throw a little of each ingredient in. Mix them together and pour into shot glasses. Papaya, carrot and orange is one of my favorite combinations; tangy and refreshing but a bit sweet too. You get some vitamin C, beta-carotene and enzymes that aid in your digestion from this blend, so you better have a few shots!

Thanks to Stephanie for another great Blog Party gathering. If you want to join in the fun you have until Friday to RSVP. The round up with everyones' brunch tidbits will be posted at Dispensing Happiness, after the weekend.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Blog Party #43--Spice It Up: Baked Samosas with Mint Chutney & Rose-Pomegranate Martinis

It's Blog Party time again (my 10th since I have been blogging!), and time to get a bit "spicy" for this month's theme, "Spice It Up". Hosted by my friend Stephanie at Dispensing Happiness, Blog Party is my favorite virtual party, where all manner of creative appetizers and drinks show up in celebration of whatever wonderful theme Stephanie has dreamed up for us.  

This month, India was my inspiration and I was madly trying to decide what to make when, like magic, the perfect appetizer recipe appeared. I took a really wonderful class this weekend on healthy, vegetarian Indian cooking (I'll share more on it later) and we made these delicious Baked Samosas and also sampled and learned the recipe for a delicious Mint Chutney to go with them. I trucked home my allotment of food, including the samosas we made, and whipped up a batch of the chutney as well as concocted a fabulous Rose-Pomegranate Martini to serve with it. Blog Party dilemma solved!

Baked Samosas
Chef Alyssa Moreau

Pastry Dough:
1 cup unbleached white flour*
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup light oil (walnut oil preferred)
1/2 tsp vinegar (rice vinegar preferred)
1/2 cup water

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.  Combine wet ingredients and then stir into the dry mix until just moistened. (If it's too dry, add in some water 1 Tbsp at a time). Pat into a flat disk, cover, and refrigerate 1/2 hour.  *You can substitute whole wheat pastry flour for white flour.

Samosa Filling:
2 cups russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
1 Tbsp ghee, butter or oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp mustard seeds
cayenne to taste
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, minced

Boil potatoes in water (to cover) until soft (approx 15 minutes). Drain and lightly mash. Set aside. Melt the butter, add cumin seeds and cook a couple minutes, add the rest of the spices and cook a couple minutes more, making sure not to burn. Add to mashed potato mixture, along with remaining ingredients. 

To assemble samosas:
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or oil well. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Divide dough into 8 pieces; form into balls. Roll out each ball into a thin round and cut with a biscuit/pastry cutter.*  Place a spoonful of samosa filling over 1/2 of circle and fold over to match edges. Use a fork to press edges together. Brush with melted butter or ghee. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until nicely browned.  *Depending on the size of your pastry cutter, you may have extra dough and more samosas to make. Serve with chutney.

Mint Chutney
Chef Alyssa Moreau

8 sprigs mint, leaves pulled off
1/2 cup cilantro, stems and leaves
1 tsp garlic , minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
1/2 green chili, seeded and chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
3 Tbsp plain yogurt

In a blender or food processor, blend all ingredients together and adjust flavors to taste.  

Notes/Results: These were nicely flavored and spicy little samosas. Using part whole-wheat flour and baking instead of deep frying makes these little treats much healthier than your average samosa but just as tasty. The dough was easy to work with and the combination of the white flour and whole wheat pastry flour was tender when baked up. The mint chutney (shh...don't tell Stephanie there was cilantro in it and maybe she won't notice with all the spices!) is good but I would suggest at least doubling the recipe, as it just makes a small quantity. I would make both recipes again.

My beverage this month is a delicious Rose-Pomegranate Martini. Not particularly spicy but delicious with spicy foods. A few years ago I traveled frequently to Puerto Rico on business and ate often at a restaurant called Tantra, a sort of fusion Indian and Latin restaurant. Tantra had an extensive martini menu, including one with fruit juice and rose water that was delicious and really complimented the food. Their martinis always had rose petals floating on top, a decadent and festive touch, so this martini is inspired by Tantra.   

Rose-Pomegranate Martini

4 oz pomegranate juice
1 1/2 oz fruit-infused vodka
dash of rose water
rose petals for garnish

Mix pomegranate juice, vodka, rosewater and ice in a cocktail shaker.  Shake and drain into a martini glass (or margarita glass, or whatever glass you prefer). Garnish with fresh, clean, pesticide-free, rose petals and enjoy. 

If you want to join the party, RSVP to Stephanie no later than Friday the 20th. You'll be able to check out who else came to Blog Party and how they "spiced it up" at the round up which should be up on her site after Sunday the 22nd. Cheers!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Blog Party# 42--Tiki, Two: (Turkey) Bacon-Wrapped Enoki Mushrooms & Pineapple-Mango Paradise

I think in my mind I am running a week behind. Last night I suddenly thought "Blog Party!" and realized I am supposed to have my entry in by Friday for Blog Party #42--Tiki, Two.  

With Barefoot Bloggers scheduled to post tomorrow and Tyler Florence Fridays (on Friday of course!), that left me today to make my pupu and drink and get it posted by the deadline. Not one to turn down a challenge and not wanting to miss my favorite monthly virtual gathering hosted by my friend Stephanie at Dispensing Happiness, I needed a fast, somewhat healthy (got to keep those goals) and most importantly a "tiki-fabulous" offering. A couple of months ago I had some bacon-wrapped enoki mushrooms at a Japanese restaurant and have been thinking about them ever since. Since rumaki, (bacon-wrapped chicken livers and water chestnuts) is a popular retro tiki pupu, it seemed like the perfect "new wave rumaki" to bring to the bash.

Bacon isn't exactly on my health plan, so I thought I would try my new favorite, nitrate-free turkey bacon, adding some more flavor with a basting sauce of a little low-sodium soy sauce and brown sugar.  To drink, Pineapple-Mango Paradise, my concoction of mango and pineapple juice, made bubbly by club soda, and adding a bit of rum for my friends who want to drink, but perfectly delicious for those who are not imbibing. 

Turkey-Bacon Wrapped Enoki Mushrooms
(Makes 12)

1 package enoki mushrooms
6 pieces turkey bacon
black pepper
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp light brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 400.  Heat soy sauce and brown sugar over low heat, stirring until combined, turn off heat and set aside. Trim enoki mushrooms and divide them evenly into 12 "bundles". Cut bacon crosswise into 12 pieces. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil,  Set the mushrooms on a bacon slices and season lightly with pepper. Roll up into a tight cylinder, secure with a toothpick and place on baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the mushrooms and bacon. (Bundles should not be touching on sheet). Baste each bundle lightly with the soy sauce mixture and bake them 10-15 minutes, basting again halfway through, until the bacon is brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels and serve warm.

Pineapple-Mango Paradise

1/3 bottled mango juice
1/3 bottled or canned pineapple juice
1/3 club soda
pineapple chunks
*rum optional

Combine all ingredients and serve over ice with an umbrella or decorative stir stick.

Notes/Results: Yum! These are quick, easy and delicious and not that bad on the arteries and waistline either. With a little of the sweet-savory basting sauce, I didn't miss the real full-fat bacon at all. This is a keeper recipe for sure!  The drink is cool, fruity and refreshing either with or without the rum.

Just one of the bonuses about living in Hawaii is being able to throw together a quick Tiki Party.  A Hawaiian print sarong, my tiki mug and swizzle sticks, a basket and a couple of leaves from my backyard and of course a vintage "To You Sweetheart, Aloha, Andy Williams" album for atmosphere.  Add a little of the ultimate Tiki party band, Don Tiki playing on my IPOD and we are ready to party!

So glad I didn't miss this one!  Check out Stephanie's Blog Party Round-up here on Sunday to see what other tiki-terrific pupus and drinks are served.