Wednesday, January 5, 2011

You Don't Know Spicy

And we are back! We took a week break for the holidays. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did. With the absence of Sarah and Jason the souperstars enjoyed a sushi dinner for new years followed by lots of drinking. Below are some pictures from that night. I couldn't help myself; we are just so darn cute.

This week Anand had some help from his girlfriend Deepti, who was a great addition to our group. In classic Anand fashion they cooked a very spicy soup.

Edamame and Wasabi Peas
Vegetable Dumplings
Szechwan Noodles with Peanut Sauce
Carrot Ginger Soup
Coconut Cake with Ice Cream

Edamame and Wasabi Peas

Vegetable Dumplings
Makes 35 dumplings
*adapted from the food network

1/2 pound firm tofu
1/2 cup coarsely grated carrots
1/2 cup shredded Napa cabbage
2 tbs finely chopped red pepper
2 tbs finely chopped scallions
2 tsp finely minced fresh ginger
1 tbs chopped cilantro leaves
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs hoisin sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Bowl of water, plus additional water for steamer
35 to 40 small wonton wrappers
Non-stick vegetable spray, for the steamer

Special Equipment
Bamboo Steamer


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.

Cut the tofu in half and lay between layers of paper towels. Place on a plate, top with another plate, and place a weight on top (a 14-ounce can of vegetables works well). Let stand 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, cut the tofu into 1/4-inch cubes and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the carrots, cabbage, red pepper, scallions, ginger, cilantro, soy sauce, hoisin, sesame oil, egg, salt, and pepper. Lightly stir to combine.

To form the dumplings, remove 1 wonton wrapper from the package, covering the others with a damp cloth. Brush the edges of the wrapper lightly with water. Place 1/2 rounded teaspoon of the tofu mixture in the center of the wrapper. Shape as desired. Set on a sheet pan and cover with a damp cloth. Repeat procedure until all of the filling is gone.

Using a bamboo steamer, bring 1/4 to 1/2-inch of water to a simmer over medium heat. Spray the steamer's surface lightly with the non-stick vegetable spray to prevent sticking. Place as many dumplings as will fit into a steamer, without touching each other. Cover and steam for 10 to 12 minutes over medium heat. Remove the dumplings from the steamer to a heatproof platter and place in oven to keep warm. Repeat until all dumplings are cooked.

Szechwan Noodles with Peanut Sauce
Serves 6
*adapted from Epicurious

1/2 cup canned vegetable broth
1 cup super-chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tbs chili-garlic sauce
5 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces dried chow mein noodles
1 tbs canola oil
8 large bok choy leaves
2 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise
2 large carrots, peeled
1 bunch green onions
2 cups shredded Napa cabbage
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds


Mix 1/2 cup vegetable broth, peanut butter, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, chili-garlic sauce and minced garlic in medium bowl to blend well (sauce will be thick). Cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, about 6 minutes. Drain. Rinse noodles under cold water and cool. Cut noodles into 4- to 5-inch lengths. Transfer noodles to very large bowl. Toss with oil to coat.

Cut bok choy, peppers, carrots and onions into matchstick-size strips. Add shredded cabbage and vegetable strips to noodles. Toss with enough peanut sauce to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Carrot Ginger Soup
Serves 6
*adapted from Williams-Sonoma

3 Tbs. olive oil
2 leeks, including tender green portions,
 thinly sliced
6 carrots,
 peeled and thinly sliced
1 red potato, about 1/2 lb., peeled and
 coarsely diced
1 1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
5 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tsp. grated orange zest
Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
Sour cream for garnish (optional)
Fresh mint sprigs for garnish (optional)

I strongly recommend to use blood orange slices as palate cleansers for this meal.


In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the leeks and sauté until just slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots, potato and ginger and sauté until the vegetables are just softened, about 5 minutes more.

Add the stock, cover partially and simmer until the vegetables are completely softened, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Using an immersion blender, mix until the desired consistency is reached. Set the pan over medium heat and stir in the orange juice and zest. Season with salt and white pepper. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of mint.

Coconut Cake with Ice Cream
Serves 8
*adapted from Moroccan Recipes

2 cups grated coconut
¾ cup evaporated milk
2 cups sugar
1 oz. butter
2 tbs lemon rind

In a 2-quart saucepan combine coconut, evaporated milk, and sugar. Simmer gently until soft ball is formed in cold water. Add butter and lemon rind. Cool to room temperature in the pan. Beat as you would fudge until thick and glossy. Pour into a square (8 x 8-inch) pan lined with wax paper. Chill and cut into 1-inch squares. Serve with ice cream and a sprig of mint.

Wine served

Beer Served
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