I’ve been busy this week planning and prepping for the cooking party I am running this evening. (That explains the Friday blog this week.) I’ll be teaching, cooking and having fun with 14 women, most of whom I’ve never met! It’ll be a small plate/tapas evening with multiple courses, fruity sangria and a decadent dessert ending. As many of you know, I love teaching cooking, especially in this format in someone’s home where everyone is relaxed and in party mode.
I thought I’d share the menu and even one of my recipes so that you can be part of the party. For starters, I’ll be serving homemade guacamole and homemade corn tortilla chips, followed by crostini with a trio of spreads (brie, figs and honey; homemade pesto, mozzarella cheese and basil; and artichokes, parmesan cheese and lemon) and assorted vegetables with a homemade chickpea dip.
Then we’ll be making a variety of tantalizing small plates together, including a few traditional Spanish tapas. The menu includes Tortilla EspaÃ±ola, Middle Eastern spiced lamb meatballs with a zesty yogurt sauce, Garlic shrimp (gambas aljillo as they are called in Spain), Shrimp Summer Rolls, Curried Chicken Empanadas and Steak Empanadas with a chimichurri sauce. Then we’ll have a red leaf lettuce salad with roasted beets, avocado and feta cheese and the glorious ending to the evening will be individual molten chocolate cakes with vanilla ice cream.
I’ll be thinking of all of you tonight as I cook with a new group of women. I hope you think of me and enjoy this recipe. I am happy to share other recipes in my menu if you’d like as well. Just e-mail me or leave a comment.
Sweet and Spicy Shrimp Summer Rolls
These summer rolls have more flavor than the traditional kind since the shrimp is marinated and grilled first and the noodles are sautéed with garlic and shallots. Use this recipe as a guide and vary the herbs and flavors to make it your own. Some people may like a little less spice, others prefer mint leaves instead of cilantro. Serve with a quick soy ginger dipping sauce.
16 large round rice paper wrappers
2 bunches scallion, dark parts removed, washed and julienned
1 large bunch cilantro (or mint), washed and stems removed
1 bunch chives
6 radishes, diced finely
1 head crispy red or green leaf lettuce, washed
16 large raw shrimp
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 cups rice noodles, cooked according to package directions
2 teaspoons hot sesame oil
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 shallots, finely diced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Quick Dipping Sauce
Mix all ingredients together and serve as a light dipping sauce.
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons diced ginger
First you’ll want to prepare the shrimp. Whisk the ginger, oil, honey and soy sauce. Place marinade on the shrimp until ready to cook. Pre-heat a grill to medium high heat. Cook the shrimp for approximately three minutes per side until no longer pink, reserving the liquid. Remove shrimp from the grill and cool. In a small sauce pan, bring the marinade to a boil, cook for several minutes and drizzle over the shrimp. Slice the shrimp in half through the vein so that you have 32 pieces. Set aside.
Next, you’ll need to sauté the spicy noodles. In a wok, heat the sesame and canola oil. Sauté the garlic and shallots for a few minutes and then add the noodles. Season the noodles with soy sauce, stirring so that the shallots, oil and garlic are well mixed. Set aside.