Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dinner Plans

My BFF Megs and her hubby are coming down for the Easter long weekend. I can't wait to see them!

They are coming for dinner at ours while they're here so I have been hunting through recipe books and trying to create the perfect menu.

I have decided to go with Asian style dishes. One old favourite, and trying some new recipes too.

Entree: Thai Coconut Scallops

2 tablespoons peanut oil
24 scallops without roe (600g)
1 shallot, chopped finely
2cm piece fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons red curry paste
400ml can coconut milk
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon grated palm sugar
1 fresh kaffir lime leaf, torn

Herb Salad
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup loosely packed thai basil leaves
1/2 cup shaved fresh coconut
2 fresh long red chillies, shredded finely
1 green onion, sliced thinly

* Combine ingredients for herb salad in large bowl
* Heat half the oil in medium frying pan; cook scallops in batches until browned
* Heat remaining oil in same pan; cook shallot, ginger and garlic, stirring until shallot softens. Add paste; cook, stirring until fragrant. Add coconut milk, sauce, juice, sugar and lime leaf, bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered about 5 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. Add scallops, reheat gently.
* Divide scallops among serving plates, pour sauce around scallops, serve with salad.

Main: Prawn and Peanut Panfried Udon
(I have mentioned this recipe before, but will post it again here)

300g dried udon noodles, or 500g fresh
Vegetable oil
4 shallots, very finely sliced
2 large red chillies, seeded and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons sesame oil
300g large cooked prawns, peeled
200g fresh bean sprouts
½ cup coriander leaves
2 fresh limes, cut into wedges, for serving

Peanut Sauce
200g salted roasted peanuts
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2.5cm ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
200 mls coconut cream
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon hot chilli sauce

* Plunge the noodles into a large pan of boiling water. Bring back to the boil, simmer for 1 minute until tender, then drain well. Cool under cold water.

Peanut Sauce:
* Place the peanuts, garlic and ginger in a food processor and whiz until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the coconut cream. Add the soy and chilli sauces to taste.
* Heat 1 cm of vegetable oil in a wok or large frying-pan. When the oil is very hot, add the shallots and chillies and cook for 3 - 4 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper.
* Pour most of the oil out of the wok, leaving just a thin coating , then add the sesame oil. Cook the noodles for 1 - 2 minutes, then stir in the prawns and peanut sauce. Stir through enough water (200 - 300 mls) to make a thick, glossy sauce and cook for 3 - 4 minutes until piping hot.
* Stir in the bean sprouts and coriander. Divide between plates and scatter over the crispy shallot mixture. Serve with wedges of lime for squeezing over.

Dessert: Pineapple, Coconut and Thai Basil Semifreddo

Makes 1 litre
6 egg yolks
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 cup coconut cream
1 cup cream
2 Tbs dessicated coconut
1/2 cup fresh pineapple, finely chopped, plus extra to serve
1 Tbs Thai basil, finely chopped, plus extra to garnish

* Put the yolks into a bowl and, using electric beaters, beat until very pale.
* Put the sugar and pineapple juice into a saucepan and heat while stirring, to dissolve the sugar. Pour the hot syrup on to the egg mixture and beat until cool.
* Whip the coconut cream and the cream together then fold through with the dessicated coconut, chopped fresh pineapple and the basil.
* Freeze in a lined loaf tin for at least 4 hours before serving with extra pineapple and basil.
I am not 100% decided on the dessert yet. I want to make something light after two rich courses, but am just not sure if this recipe is the one. If you have any suggestions for a nice light (preferably Asian inspired) dessert I'd love to hear them!

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