Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thanksgiving spread September!!

Alright peeps, nothing like an early thanksgiving trial dinner.  Like i always say, there's company in town, its always thanksgiving day!  Last day of the IT guy in town before getting his grove in the Midwest, Cleveland, to be specific.  Minnesota viking goodiefoodie sista is also in town, and chocolate bear is here for the occasion too.  Most of the family is in the same city for ONCE! Thanksgiving dinner on a Sunday in midSeptember!! (shoutout to the missing skinny brother who is stuck in Boise Idaho)
On the menu: (bear in mind our thanksgiving meals are never traditional to start with, heck, the family is not even a traditional family)...French onion soup (this was a failure, viking's sista's recipe, so we will not even mention this until it has been revised), home made garlic bread (this too was over salted, will need revision), oven roasted spare ribs (too cold for outside grilling, but equally super delicious), lemmongrass chicken satay with peanut sauce, curried summer squash and corn pie, roasted vege (for recipe see previous post) and for dessert, spiced apples cream cheese brulee with vanilla ice cream.  OMG blogging this at midnight just makes me hungrier....this is impossible!

Appetizer: Satay and French Onion Soup

Chicken (or beef) Satay with Peanut Sauce:
1.5 lbs or so Boneless Chicken thighs or breast, depending on your preference for the meat type
2 stalks of fresh lemon grass
3 shallots
1 bulb of garlic
1 inch of fresh ginger
3 or more thai chili or serano or whatever spicy pepper of your choice, amount to be added to your personal taste
1 tsp tumeric powder
2 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp coriander and cumin each (these are optional)
Everything else, you must have the ingredients, otherwise the taste, man it just wouldn't be satay!

Rough chop whatever that needs to be processed, ie. shallots, garlic, lemongrass etc, and throw everything in the food processor. If you don't know by now, i try not to use a lot of oil in my cooking, hence we get be stay to be skinny bitches! But we substitute fats with powerful flavors...KAPOW! so, if your food processor is not spinning due to the lack of liquid, you can add some oil to it, or just substitute with some more soy or fish sauce, or just add a little broth or water to it to get the motor going.

slice your chicken in strips, and marinate the blended spice with your meat for 2 hours or longer.  Safe about 1/4 of the blended marinade for the peanut sauce later on.  Skewer your meat and throw them on the grill.  I did mine in the oven, standard, 375 for bout 20 minutes. Voila, super yummy appetizer. Serve it with or without peanut sauce, its equally yummy.

Peanut Sauce:
Warm up a small skillet or sauce pot with a little oil, and sautee the leftover blended spice for a few minutes, add some stock (less than 1/4 cup) into the mixture, and proceed to add a couple tablespoon (heapsfull) of chunky peanut butter into the mixture, and continue to heat it until thickens. Add sugar to balance the saltiness out, and add some more spicy chili flakes if you want.  The sauce will look watery and running while boiling and warm, but when it cools, trust me, it will thicken up.

French Onion Soup:
For the most part, this recipe needs a little bit more tweaking, but we have much hope for improvements, so wait for take 2 of this recipe (the error here is that we overdid our Guinness stout...yup..lesson learned.more is not better).  But here's a picture of the lovely brioche and fontina cheese topping.  The same with the attempt to make home made garlic bread, it was good, but tooooooooo much salt!! Will re-post once i perfect it.

ps: i even bought 6 ramekins for this occasion too.  While i'm at it, i will give a shout out to Crate and Barrel, my first fancy purchase from that store.  These ramekins are AWESOME! Super cheap, i thought everything from Crate and Barrel are for hoity toity people and is out of my budget, but these are 10oz and only cost $17 for 6 of them !! And if you're looking for a smaller size that fits your wallet, this one is AWESOME too:

hmmm, my first promotion / advertisement for a product, i wonder if i get any freebies or commission?

Spare ribs:
1 rack of pork ribs (good size, probably had 20 ribs).
1/2C brown sugar
a squirt of honey
1/2C BBQ sauce, any flavor (we used a mixture of honey and mesquite, yes, you can mix!)
1tbs curry powder
1 tbs dried rosemary (NOT OPTIONAL!)
1/4C sweet asian chili sauce (if you can't find it, i suppose i should say its optional)
liberal amount of garlic salt, regular salt, a lot of pepper, and some more chilli flakes in the mixture to satisfy your spice buds.

rub all things together with the meat, cook in oven at low heat at 250-300 deg for 3 hours, at least, longer is encouraged, and crank it up to 350 for the last 30 minutes, and..voila, fall of the bone meat..yummy...

i wished we had taken a classier picture of the spare ribs. What the heck, its ribs, 'spose to be messy!

Summer Squash Pie:
This is an awesome recipe for those out there that loves a one dish entree meal. Super easy to make, and goes a long way (not for me, as i eat at the equivalent of 3 men), but for you skinny models out there...this dish will go a long way.

4-6 yellow and green zucchini (depending on how fat or skinny they are)
2 cloves garlic
1 shallot or 1/2 onion
1 egg
1 -2 tbsp curry powder
1 can cream corn (or regular corn, whatever thats in your pantry)
1/2 to 1 C of shreded mozzarella
Pie crust, one pair, dos, top and bottom.
Salt, pepper  and sugar to taste  (by now you should now that salt, pepper and sugar always go hand in hand when balancing out your pallet!)

Heat up your skillet with some oil, sautee onions and garlic (don't brown them, this is not chinese stir fry where you brown your spices, just until they turn translucent is good enough).  Throw in your veges, spices, and seasoning, let them simmer and brown the zucchinis for a little while.  Add in cream corn, and stir in egg to thicken up.  Veges, done.  Let it sit at room temp for a moment so that all liquids evaporate.  Grease a square pyrex (standard size, i cant remember how many inches, see picture and you will know what i am talking about), put in bottom of the pie crust, set in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees to set the bottom crust.  Proceed to throw all your sauteed veges into the pyrex with bottom crust, and top it with cheese (optional).  Fold in the top crust and nicely crimp the sides (or if you're me, you just randomly crimp it as you go).  Oven the entire thing per pie crust's manufacturer's suggested temperature.  I think it took 40 minutes for the pie go brown.  You can always check your oven and see if the pie crust browned or not, you know...;)

Again, viking foodie forgot to take a picture of a nice, sliced pie to show, so this will do.

Roasted Veges:
See previous post by viking foodie, pick any hardy, woodie veges like brocoli, carrots or cauliflower. Yummy as is...

Dessert: Spiced Apples cream cheese cake.
What is the start of Fall without some apple dessert?!?! and some good quality french vanilla ice cream... oh writing this just makes me hungry!!
Prepare your apples with your favourite apple crumble recipe, and here is mine:

4 gala or red delicious (sweet eating apples) i know this goes against convention, but i love the natural sweetness.
1 or 2 tart granny smith apples
3 tbs sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger each
a dash of salt (remember..balancing salt and sweetness, mui importante!)
a squeeze of lemon juice, and some lemon peel if you so desire.
Mix all above, and set into your buttered / greased pyrex baking pan while preparing for the best part of the dish..the cheesecake topping!!!

1 block of cheesecake (no fat free ones please!)
1 stick or 8 tbsp butter, softened
2 eggs
3/4C sugar (you can go up to 1 or 1 1/4C if you are on the sweet side, 3/4C does fine for me)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C of flour

In a mixer,  cream the butter and sugar. When it's nice and fluffy white, beat in the eggs, then the softened cream cheese and vanilla extract. Fold in the flour by hand.  Pour this thick batter mixture onto your apple, it won't cover evenly, don't worry. The outcome will be fine.  Remember to preheat your oven (i knw i should've mentioned this before hand, but you'll survive this round), and bake your apple cheesecake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes.  This is super yummy paired with vanilla ice cream, or as is.  What a great recipe, if i may say so myself, for the Fall.  Can you imagine, cheesecake and apple pie hybrid!?!?!

And to top of the wonderful meal, some lovely bubbles..and some aperitif supplied by the neighbor pic though. 

And Voila, the spread.... Happy September Thanksgiving!!!!

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