Posts Tagged ‘appetizers’

Chocolate covered strawberries

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I wish I had some better pictures, but I had to use a flash, and I don’t like using a flash on food photos. These chocolate covered strawberries were so easy to make, I don’t even want to write down directions. I found recipes on-line that stated the level of difficulty as INTERMEDIATE! Intermediate to what, boiling water? I didn’t know what made it intermediate, and I started to panic thinking I did something terribly wrong, maybe I was missing a step that involved doing a hand-stand as I dipped the strawberry into the chocolate. I don’t know. They tasted the same as any other chocolate dipped strawberry I overpaid for at a fancy supermarket.

My husband helped me dip these, and as you can see, he likes his chocolate to cover his strawberries like a conservative turtleneck rather than a formal tuxedo.  But I guess he wanted the chocolate to strawberry ratio equal.

Level: BEGINNER-IF YOU CAN BOIL WATER YOU CAN DO THIS.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pints of strawberries
  • 8 oz. dark chocolate chips

Directions:

1) Wash and completely dry each strawberry with a paper towel.

2) Line a dish/pan with parchment or wax paper.

2) In a liquid measuring cup, melt chocolate chips in the microwave, about a 1 – 1.5 minutes. Take out of microwave, stir until top surface of chips are completely melted.

3) Holding stem of strawberry, dip into cup of chocolate. Twist the strawberry out of chocolate, place on wax paper.

4) Let cool for an hour.

Kimbap (korean sushi rolls)

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Kimbap (or gimbap, or Gim-Bahp) is basically korean sushi, but without the raw fish.  It consists of rice, meat and vegetable rolled in a seaweed wrapper. They are incredibly addictive (probably because of the naturally occurring MSG in the seaweed?).  The ones I had at a friend’s house consisted of vienna sausage, egg and pickled radish.  You can use other forms of protein, like canned tuna, or strips of  bbq beef.  My husband had a craving for kimbap this past weekend and we couldn’t buy pickled radish, so we sliced regular pickles instead. It sounds like an odd combination, but the taste actually works.  They require some time and effort; we probably made these a total of 10 times in the past couple years before we mastered rolling something that resembled sushi. But practice does make perfect. In the picture above, I rolled the big ones (my husband jokingly nicknamed them ‘fat boys’), and my husband rolled the smaller ones (I didn’t nickname his because it’s not a competition for me).

Kimbap (makes roughly 10 rolls)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cooked eggs, cut into strips (directions below)
  • 2 cans vienna sausage, cut lengthwise into 4 strips each
  • 5 pickles, cut lengthwise into 4 strips each
  • 6 cups cooked sushi rice (2 cups uncooked)
  • 1/4 cup sushi vinegar
  • 3 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 10-12 seaweed sheets
  • bamboo mat for rolling sushi

Directions:

1) Whisk 3 eggs with 1 tsp. oil. On medium-high heat, pour egg mixture into wok, cook for 1 minute, then flip and cook another 1-2 minutes. Do not scramble. Cool on cutting board, then cut into strips.

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2) Prepare ‘sushi making station’ with 3 bowls for egg strips, slices of meat, and slices of pickles, all roughly the same thickness/size as shown below. Don’t worry about the lengths, you can tear them to fit the rolls later on. Have bamboo mat(s) and seaweed sheets ready.

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 3) Cook 2 cups sushi rice in rice cooker. As rice is cooking, have vinegar, sesame oil, salt and sugar ready.

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4) Leave rice to steam in rice cooker for 10 minutes after it is finished cooking.  Then scoop the rice into a bowl, and mix the ingredients (above)  into the rice.  Immediately begin making rolls while rice is still hot.

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Step by step directions on how to roll sushi:

1) Using a spoon, quickly spread a thin layer of rice onto seaweed sheet. Leave a bit of clearance on all sides, as shown. Put strips of egg, meat and pickle on top of rice an inch above bottom of sheet.

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2) Roll bamboo to cover ingredients with seaweed, squeezing bamboo tightly with hands. 

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3) You don’t need the bamboo for this part, so take bamboo off the roll as shown below.

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4) Finish rolling the sushi by hand.

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5) Place rolls seam side down on cutting board.

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6) Wait for them to cool for a couple minutes, then cut pieces with a sharp knife.

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Below: the ‘rejects’. These are the odds ‘n ends, we usually eat these rejects first because we’re perfectionists, and we don’t like seeing them on the table for long, so they go fast.

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They go really well with beer.  I think all korean food goes well with beer. I wish we had banchan….

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Guacamole

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 This is my husband’s recipe for guacamole.  It’s his prized recipe.  I’m exploiting it.  He’s not Mexican, but it’s better than guacamole from Mexico.  Everyone loves it, including Mexicans.  We eat bowls and bowls of it. It’s wonderful.  Serves 6.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 8 oz. Jack’s Special Salsa (whatever flavor you wish, we use mild or medium)
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt

Directions:

  1. In food processor, blend avocados, salsa, and onion together.  Pour into bowl.
  2. Stir in lime juice, and add salt to taste.  Serve with tortilla chips.

* Guacamole will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days if well sealed in container.

Strawberries and Cream on Sliced Baguette

 

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I couldn’t decide which picture to use, so I used them all.  They just look so pretty.  To get my cheesecake fix without spending hours baking one, I had some cream cheese, strawberries, and half a baguette left.  If you don’t have a spare artisan baguette laying around that you purchased at the  fancy gourmet section of your supermarket, use crackers.

Ingredients:

  • 12 in. baguette, sliced (16 pieces)
  • 1/2 block cream cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 3 Tbsp yogurt (vanilla or plain)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 8 strawberries, sliced in half
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar

Directions:

  1. Toast baguette slices if they are stale, in the toaster oven. 
  2. In small bowl, mix cream cheese, honey, yogurt, vanilla extract, sugar and cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. sugar onto strawberries, mix gently until strawberries looked glazed.
  4. Spoon cream cheese onto bread, garnish with slice of strawberry.