Sunday, October 11, 2009

Saturday dinner avec kiddies...



Dinner pulled together in 1 hour for 5 adults and 7 kids. I always love spontaneity (little planning, quick food) and variety (choices!), especially in dinners with good friends and all of our kids running around. A big spread of colorful dishes pressures kids (AND adults) to try new things as they graze the night away.

Saturday night we had:
(1) Grilled chicken
(2) Macaroni in muenster and sharp cheddar
(3) Wild mushrooms in garlic and miso
(4) Asparagus in fish sauce and sesame
(5) Grilled tilapia in cilantro tomato vinaigrette
(6) Shrimp tofu eggrolls
(7) Fish porridge with ginger, cilantro and scallion
(8) Tapioca with banana in coconut milk
(9) Tapioca with sweet potato, seaweed, mungbean, coconut milk
(10) Cut fruit - dragon fruit, blueberries, raspberries
(11) and of course, the Jasmine rice
**GRILLED TILAPIA in Nuoc Cham (people just LOVE this dish):

First, set the grill on High. Marinate thick fillets of Tilapia at room temperature in granulated garlic, salt and pepper. Coat with olive oil before putting on the grill. Grill one side until golden with black grill marks, about 4-6 minutes (grill cover closed). Then turn the fillets over and leave on for another 1-3 minutes. Take the grilled fillets and arrange on plate. Pour Nuoc Cham dressing (recipe below) along with scallion, cilantro and cut tomato over the grilled fish. Serve while warm. This dish is fresh and light and FULL of flavor. Perfect over white rice.
Left-overs make the PERFECT sandwich...a toasted baguette, small smear of Grey Poupon, bunch of cilantro sprigs and slices of cucumber. Next day's lunch for and hubby and Zach!

**NOUC CHAM dressing for the grilled fish (and dip for eggrolls), combine the following:
3 large garlic cloves smashed or minced
juice from 12 limes
1 cup fish sauce
1 cup coconut juice (not coconut milk)
2 Thai chili peppers, finely chopped (or 1 tsp chili paste)
dash of white vinegar
Above snapshot of delicious cookies brought by friends, the awesome fish porridge, and shrimp eggrolls. Suddenly, not in the mood to think too hard to get ingredients and recipe - sorry, maybe later in the week...

Dessert - Not one, but TWO tapioca dishes!
(1) First one is EVERYONE'S favorite: tapioca pearls and tapioca strands (awesome chewy texture variety) in coconut milk (add sugar) with sliced Asian Banana - don't know what to call this particular banana which isn't even a plantain (scroll down for picture)?!
(2) The second one has the same coconut milk, tapioca pearls and strands, but also contains 2 varieties of Vietnamese sweet potato, some mungbeans and strips of seaweed (texture galore!).
Here is what the bananas look like. The peel is VERY TOUGH, like, must-use-a-knife tough. And it must get at least half BLACK to be ripe enough to cut through the peel. A very tough banana. Not a plantain, see?

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