Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Scallion Pancakes

If you have never heard of Scallion Pancakes, please stop what you are doing right now and get to your nearest airport and hop on a plane to New York City!!!! Come on . . . hurry up! Upon arriving in New York, tell the cab driver you want to go to the "Excellent Dumpling House" in China Town.
It's located at 111 Lafayette Street and the quicker you get there, the happier you'll be, I PROMISE! The dumplings are "excellent" thus the name . . . and the Scallion Pancakes are out of this world. On a recent trip, I took my hubby there for the first time and he too is in love with the place. I haven't attempted to make Scallion Pancakes just yet, but I found the picture today and knew I just HAD to blog about it! Here's a recipe I found courtesy of the Food Network, if you're so inclined to make them, come back and tell me how they turned out :)

Scallion Pancakes with Ginger Dipping Sauce
Recipe Courtesy of Ming Tsai

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sliced scallions
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 cup canola oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup ginger dipping sauce, recipe to follow

In a bowl, sift flour. Slowly add water in a steady stream while mixing with a wooden spoon. Keep adding water until a ball is formed. With the same procedure, one can use a food processor with a metal blade. Let ball of dough >relax for about 30 minutes and cover with damp cloth.
On a floured surface, roll out dough into a thin rectangle. Brush on oil mixture, cover with scallion and season with salt and pepper. Carefully roll dough like a sponge cake. Cut into 4 pieces. Take one piece and twist 3 times. Make a spiral out of this and roll again and flatten to achieve a 5 to 6 inch pancake. In a hot non-stick pan, coat with canola oil and pan sear both sides until golden brown. Cut into wedges and serve immediately with dipping sauce.

1/4 cup thin soy sauce
1/4 cup Chinese chinkiang vinegar
1/4 cup sliced scallions
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sugar

Combine all ingredients.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Cooking Class @ The Biltmore Hotel Miami

This post is ridiculously long over due! It's been a pretty busy month and I have not had time to even eat! Ha! Yeah Right! Me? Not eat! Never! Yet, it's been very busy and blogging unfortunately fell on the back burner . . . pun intended! ;)

In January we were invited to take a cooking class at the Biltmore Hotel. It was such a fun and exciting learning experience . . . not to mention that the champagne was flowing relentlessly during the entire luncheon class. Needless to say, I was not complaining! Cooking and champagne, what could be better??? The guest chef was Willy Hernandez of Caramelo Restaurant in Coral Gables. The menu consisted of Shrimp Tamarind & Avocado Salad, Risotto al Porcini topped with Herb Crusted Lamb Loin and a Molten Chocolate Cake with Hazelnut Whipped Cream and Cream Anglaise. Chef Willy taught the interactive luncheon from the stage while a chef at each table helped us as well. We seriously had a wonderful time and although I'm allergic to shrimp (I know, poor me!) I loved the Avocado Salad sans the Tamarind Shrimp, we made the dish for a family gathering the next day and everyone absolutely loved it! I've included the recipe below, and some pictures of my husband making the Shrimp Tamarind.

Avocado Salad with Shrimp Tamarind

For the Avocado Salad
6 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and cut into ¼" cubes
4 TBSP fresh lime juice
2 TBSP cilantro, chopped
2 medium red onions, chopped
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped into ¼" cubes
6 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

For the Shrimp Tamarind
16 jumbo shrimp, cleaned and deveined
4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
2 small onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups Tamarind Paste
2 small red sweet peppers, thinly sliced
2 small green sweet peppers, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste.

In a medium bowl, toss all of the ingredients for the avocado salad and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

In a large skillet heat the olive oil, once hot, add the garlic and shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Add the peppers and Tamarind paste and cook over moderate heat. Stir for about 3 minutes until shrimp is pink.

Place a ring mold in the center of a 10" plate and fill the ring mold with the avocado salad, carefully remove the ring mold. Neatly place 2 of the Shrimp Tamarind on top. Serves 8.