New Year’s ideas

27 Dec

Seafood dumplings, baby duck -- optional

Seafood dumplings, baby duck -- optional


For New Year’s Eve, our thoughts turn to a wintery outdoor activity followed by a cozy night in with friends.

We swoon for trendy Asian bites or our still as yet unfilled dreams of chicken hash or creamed sherried mushrooms on toast points with Champagne.

How about steam baskets of seafood dumplings (above. And yes, they were amazing. Baby Duck joke bottle unopened, FYI), chicken and green onion yakitori on skewers, and these babies:

Thai Beef Rolls with Sweet Chili Sauce
Click here to see how amazing they look!
For the sauce:
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon thinly sliced green onions
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons Sriracha

For the filling:
1 pound ground chuck (80% lean)
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon finely chopped Thai chilis
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 bunch of Thai basil
12 wooden skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes

Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl until the sugar has dissolved.

2. In a large bowl, gently combine the ground chuck with the rest of the filling ingredients.

3. Shape a tablespoon of the filling into a small log. Wrap 1 basil leaf around the beef and thread onto a skewer. Repeat until all of the filling is gone.

4. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread coals out evenly over the charcoal grate. Clean and oil the cooking grate. Grill the rolls until the filling is fully cooked and slightly firm, about 6 to 8 minutes, turning once during cooking. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.
——–
YAKITORI
New York Times Published: May 4, 2005
Time: 1 hour for soaking skewers, plus 45 minutes for preparation and grilling

1½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
1 large bunch scallions, 1 reserved, others trimmed and cut into 1½-inch lengths
1 cup soy sauce
¾ cup sugar
½ cup mirin
1 clove garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
1 ¼-inch slice of fresh ginger, lightly crushed
1 ½-inch-by-2-inch strip lemon zest
Vegetable oil to brush on grill
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish.

1. Soak 16 6-inch bamboo skewers in cold water for 1 hour, then drain.

2. Rinse chicken under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into uniform 1½-inch pieces. On each skewer, thread alternating pieces of chicken and scallions, pressing them together. Cover and refrigerate until ready to grill.

3. Lightly crush white part of reserved scallion. Slice green part into thin rings and reserve. In a small saucepan, combine soy sauce, sugar, mirin, scallion white, garlic, ginger and lemon zest. Place over medium heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until syrupy, 5 to 10 minutes. Strain into small bowl and cool to room temperature. If desired, reserve some as a dipping sauce.

4. Heat a grill or hibachi. Brush and oil grill rack, and place yakitori on grill so that ends of skewers are not over direct heat. Sear meat by continually turning skewers for about 2 minutes. Baste with sauce and turn occasionally until chicken is cooked, 8 to 10 minutes. When chicken is done it should feel firm and be coated with a shiny glaze.

5. To serve, place skewers on a platter and sprinkle with scallion rings and sesame seeds. If desired, serve reserved sauce in a small bowl as a dipping sauce.

Yield: 4 to 6 appetizer servings or 4 main course servings.

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