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Dips - Pacific Feast

DK PublishingDK Publishing 2/07/2014 DKBooks
© Provided by DKBooks

Photo: Lemongrass beef skewers © Provided by DKBooks Lemongrass beef skewers

Thai corn fritters

Photo: Seafood spring rolls © Provided by DKBooks Seafood spring rolls

Passion fruit trifle

Photo: Thai corn fritters © Provided by DKBooks Thai corn fritters

Lemongrass beef skewers

Photo: Glass noodle salad © Provided by DKBooks Glass noodle salad

Seafood spring rolls

Photo: Peking seared duck rolls © Provided by DKBooks Peking seared duck rolls

Peking seared duck rolls

Photo: Passion fruit trifle © Provided by DKBooks Passion fruit trifle

Glass noodle salad

Follow the ring of fire that encircles the highly volcanic area around the Pacific Ocean and you will encounter China, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Korea, Vietnam, and Laos—all countries distinguished by lush eating. Pacific Rim cuisine has a vibrant taste characterized by lemongrass, ginger, chili peppers, mint, lime, and soy sauce. While this food gives the impression of being casually made, its composition is sophisticated. Texture is vitally important, providing a satisfying crunch, with an exquisite melange of tastes. In this cooking tradition, each individual flavor is evident yet not dominant.

One of the wonderful aspects of this food is its many sauces, most featuring chili peppers. Some sauces are sticky, made with rice vinegar and sugar, while others comprise simply lime juice and fish sauce. Go easy when using chili peppers—you’re seeking taste as well as kick. Keep in mind that the bigger the chili pepper, the milder its heat.

Embellish your table with a few Pacific touches—bowls filled with exotic flowers, candles floating in water, banana leaves, and straw mats. Though Pacific Rim is quintessential summer food, it’s refreshing any time, even in deepest winter.


Colors

Magenta pink

Moss green

Shimmering white

Soft yellow

Duck-egg blue


Tableware

Banana leaves

Floating candles

Straw mats

Simple plates

Crackle-glazed dipping bowls


Flavors

Tangy lime

Fresh ginger

Spicy chili peppers

Cool mint

Exotic lemongrass


Nibbles

Five-spice chicken bites

Crab and cream cheese dip

Rice-coated peanuts

Thai shrimp

Spicy peanut dip


Menu

Lemongrass beef skewers with sticky cucumber and peanut sauce

Seafood spring rolls with sweet chili pepper and cilantro dipping sauce

Thai corn fritters with sweet chili pepper and cilantro dipping sauce

Glass noodle salad with black pepper chicken

Peking seared duck rolls with plum sauce

Passion fruit trifle with strawberries and mascarpone


Buy and arrange

Crab and cream cheese dip

Thai shrimp

Rice-coated peanuts


Two days before

Marinate lemongrass beef

Marinate Peking duck

Marinate black pepper chicken

Make sweet chili pepper and cilantro sauce


The night before

Make seafood spring rolls

Make passion fruit trifles


In the morning

Assemble beef skewers

Make sticky cucumber dipping sauce

Broil chicken

Sear and slice duck


Two hours before

Broil and parcook beef skewers

Make batter for fritters

Make crab and cream cheese dip, omitting the cilantro and onion

Assemble glass noodle salad, omitting the herbs

Make Peking duck rolls


Half- to one hour before

Fry corn fritters

Puree mango crush

Broil and finish cooking beef skewers, rest, then plate

Plate seafood spring rolls with dipping sauce

Plate Peking duck rolls


At the last minute

Reheat corn fritters; plate

Toss herbs with glass noodle salad; plate

Finish crab dip with cilantro, onion, and crackers; plate

Pour mango crush

Serve passion fruit trifles

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