Appetizer with Shrimp, Avocado and Mango Salad

Ingredients

2 large avocados
Lemon juice
1 large mango, peeled and cubed
1 lb large shrimp, cooked and peeled
1 cup peeled, diced English cucumber
1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
2/3 cup chopped green onion
cilantro, for garnish

Vinaigrette

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
salt and pepper

Method

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients. Set aside.
  2. Halve the avocados. Remove the pit and cut the flesh into cubes. Drizzle with lemon juice to prevent browning.
  3. In a bowl, gently toss the avocado cubes, mango, shrimp, and vegetables. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently.
  4. To serve, spoon the salad into small cups. Garnish with cilantro.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Hong Kong magazine

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Beef Satay with Peanut Sauce

Ingredients

14-16 oz beef tenderloin
2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 red chili, seeded and minced
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely crushed
with a pinch of sea salt
sea salt and black pepper
mixed herbs or small salad leaves to garnish

Peanut Sauce

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large shallots, peeled and finely diced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely crushed
3/4-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and finely grated
1 red chili, seeded and minced
4 tsp light soy sauce
generous 1 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp superfine sugar
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

Method

  1. Trim off most of the fat and the sinew from the beef.
  2. Mix the vegetable oil, chopped chile, garlic, and seasoning in a small bowl and brush this over the beef. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight.
  3. To make the peanut sauce, heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sweat for a few minutes until they begin to soften, then stir in the garlic, ginger, and chili and cook for a few more minutes.
  4. Add the soy sauce and let it bubble until almost totally reduced. Pour in the coconut milk and add the sugar, stirring to dissolve. Bring to a boil, then immediately remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter until well blended. If you prefer the sauce thinner, stir in a little boiling water.
  5. Take the beef out of the refrigerator about 15 minutes before cooking. Heat a griddle pan until it is very hot (you should be able to feel the heat rising). Griddle the beef for about 2 minutes on each side to cook it medium rare (or cook to your liking).
  6. Remove from the heat and let rest for 5 minutes, then cut into 3/4 to 1-1/4-inch thick strips. Thread each strip onto a short wooden skewer and brush over a little of the peanut sauce.
  7. Divide the satay between warm serving plates and top with a scattering of mixed herbs. Serve immediately, with individual bowls of peanut sauce for dipping.

Makes 4 servings of appetizer.

Source: Gordon Ramsay’s Maze

Toasts with a Taste of Provence, Italy

Ingredients

4 small red or Yellow Finn potatoes, unpeeled, cut into scant 1/2-inch (12-mm) dice
1 ahi tuna steak, 10-12 oz
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
salt and freshly ground pepper
6 anchovy fillets
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 plum (Roma) tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano, plus small sprigs for garnish
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1/4 cup capers, rinsed
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup Nicoise or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and quartered
8 large, thick slices coarse country bread

Method

  1. Put the potatoes in a steamer basket over simmering water, cover, and steam until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Preheat a broiler (grill).
  3. Brush both sides of the tuna steak with olive oil, then season generously with salt and pepper. Place on a broiler pan and place under the broiler about 4 inches from the heat source. Broil (grill), turning once, until just opaque throughout, about 6 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
  4. Soak the anchovy fillets in warm water to cover for 5 minutes. Drain, pat dry, and mince.
  5. In a large saute pan over medium-low heat, warm the 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion, stir to coat with oil, and cover the pan. Cook gently, stirring infrequently, until very soft, about 20 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic, anchovies, tomatoes, bay leaves, and chopped oregano. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in the tomato paste, capers, vinegar, olives, and potatoes and cook, uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes more.
  8. Preheat the broiler again if needed.
  9. Cut the tuna into generous 1/4-inch chunks and stir into the tomato mixture. Remove from the heat and let stand while you toast the bread.
  10. Cut the bread slices into quarters and lightly brush both sides of each piece with olive oil. Arrange on a broiler pan and place about 4 inches (10 cm) from the heat source. Toast, turning once, until golden, 4-5 minutes on each side.
    Arrange the toast quarters on a large platter. Remove the bay leaves from the tuna mixture and top each toast quarter with about 2 tablespoons of the mixture. Garnish with the oregano sprigs and serve at once.

Makes 32 canapes.

Source: Hors Doeuvre

Marinated Skewers of Fresh Tortellini, artichoke hearts, and Cherry Tomatoes in a Savoury Italian Mixture

Ingredients

1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained
24 cooked small fresh spinach tortellini with cheese (cooked without salt)
24 cooked small fresh cheese tortellini (cooked without salt)
12 small cherry tomatoes, halved

Marinade

1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon dried whole basil
1 teaspoon dried whole oregano
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup cider vinegar

Method

  1. Combine first 8 ingredients of the marinade in a saucepan. Gradually stir in water and vinegar. Bring to a boil and cook 30 seconds, stirring with a wire whisk. Remove from heat, and let cool.
  2. Cut 6 artichoke hearts into quarters. Reserve remaining artichokes for another use.
  3. Alternate tortellini, cherry tomatoes, and artichokes on 24 (6-inch) skewers. Place in a 13- x 9- x 2-inch baking dish. Pour cider vinegar mixture over kabobs, turning to coat. Cover and marinate in refrigerator 4 hours, turning occasionally. Drain and place on a serving platter.

Makes 24 skewers.

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Appetizer with Avocado, Mango and Jicama

Ingredients

12 large very thin slices jícama
1 large slightly firm but ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and coarsely grated
1/3 cup diced slightly firm but ripe mango
1 tablespoon minced green onions
1 tablespoon shelled, unsalted pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon chili verde (green salsa) (lowest sodium available)
grated lime zest (from 1 or 2 medium limes)

Method

  1. Using a round cookie cutter, cut a 2-inch round from each slice of jicama.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the avocado, mango, green onions, pumpkin seeds, and chili verde until well combined. Top the jicama slices with the avocado mixture. Sprinkle with the lime zest.

Makes 12 servings.

Source: American Heart Association