Friday, September 11, 2009

Get Inspired: 10 Dinner Party Menus

I spend an inordinate amount of time planning menus for each night’s dinner. Partly it’s because I’m alarmingly talented at procrastinating on writing my dissertation, but mostly I love learning about the different ingredients and techniques utilized in a variety of cuisines. I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite dinner menus from the past few months. All but the first two were prepared just for Phil and me, seeing as we have no friends near us in St. Augustine, but all would make excellent menus for a larger number of people. Clicking on the title of the dish will link you to the recipe. Hope this list inspires you to throw a dinner party this weekend!

MENU #1: SPICY THAI CURRIES

Penang chicken curry, Real Thai Recipes
Beef massaman curry, Cuisine.com.au
Shrimp salad, GourmetSteamed Jasmine rice
Steamed snow peas tossed with fish sauce, pounded lemongrass, and garlic
Coconut milk sticky rice with mangoes, Hot Sour Salty Sweet

MENU #2: TREASURES OF PERUGrilled shrimp “ceviche”, GourmetCarapulcra de cerdo (pork carapulcra), Peru-recipes.com
Aji de gallina (Chicken in spicy yellow pepper sauce), Allrecipes.com
Tacu tacu (Peruvian rice and lentils), Gourmet
Garnished with avocado and kalamata olives
Volador (dulce de leche torte), Gourmet


MENU #3: KOREAN SCALION PANCAKES WITH SHRIMP AND SNOW PEAS
Crispy scallion pancakes, Tigers and Strawberries Spicy shrimp & snow pea sauté with kimchee
White rice


MENU #4: YUMMY CHINESE YUM CHABraised Eggplant with Sichuan Pepper and Chilli, Kylie Kwong

Szechuan long beans, About.com

Stir fried Shanghai bok choy with ginger, Gourmet

Fragrant crispy duck, Gourmet

Duck fried rice with leftovers the next day, Serious Eats


MENU #5: JAPANESE TEMPURA AND COLD NOODLES

Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura, Love to KnowCold rice-stick noodles with vegetables in a spicy soy ginger sauce

Soak package of vermicelli rice noodles in hot water for 20 minutes. Drain and top with sticks of daikon and carrot, sliced English cucumbers, and scallions. Toss with sauce: 3 tbsp rice vinegar, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp peanut oil, 1 tbsp chopped ginger, 1 tbsp chili-garlic sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil


Green tea ice cream


MENU #6: INDIAN CURRIES

Sri lankan aubergine curry, International Vegetarian Union
Murghi Ni Curry (Ginger Chicken with Peanuts and Coconut)
, Raghavan Iyer 660 CurriesNaanSaffron-scented basmati rice, Rahgavan Iyer 660 Curries
Sliced mangoes over ice cream


MENU #7: FRENCH COMFORT FOOD
Gratineed chicken in cream sauce (Poulet à la Fermiere), Gourmet
Salade aux fines herbes, Thomas Keller, Bouchon
Pastries from your favorite bakery


MENU #8: LATIN FLAVOR
Yuca frita (fried yuca), My Columbian Recipes
Dipping sauce for yuca frita, Pickapeppa.comVaca frita (Cuban fried beef), Stephen Raichlan, Miami Spice
Pigeon peas and rice, TriniGourmet.com
Flan, or fresh fruit

With leftover vaca frita:

Tostones rellenos (fried tostón cups with tomato shrimp filling), Tostobueno.comBeef quesadillas filled with vaca frita


MENU #9: HEARTY ITALIAN
Agnolotti en brodo (agnolotti in chicken broth), Thomas Keller, The French Laundry Cookbook (via Oishii Eats)Eggplant parmesan, Bobby Flay

Simple green salad


MENU #10: GEORGIA MEETS FRANCE

Varya tabaka (Pressed crisp-fried Georgian Cornish game hens), RusCuisine.com
Potatoes cooked in duck fat (Pommes de terre sarladaise), Gourmet
Buttered green beans and zucchini

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Cari,
How beautiful your pictures are!
I feel like I were in the international food court!
This summer I went to Hawaii and San Francisco. I cooked vegetable tempura for my friends there.
They were surprised and pleased.
Tempura is very familiar with Japanese, as you know. They are part of our lives here, but very new for some people.
That is culture, interculture!!
Your blog always make me explore in the world.
Thank you Cari.

Michiko from Kobe.

Cari said...

Hi Michiko!! I often make tempura to remind me of my time in Japan, but I haven't been able to make it as light and crispy as the tempura I remember eating in the Minatogawa market near my apartment! Oh, how I miss the market... I am sure your friends in Hawaii and San Fran LOVED your tempura - hopefully you'll be able to make it for me one day, too! xoxoxo