Archive for January, 2012

Vegi Platters for Parties – Go for Blanched vs Raw….

It’s proven to be a hit ! A guest at the last gig asked the hostess  “is this the caterer who used to do that delicious Asparagus we used to get at the office lunches?…save me some extra pieces…”

it had been over a year and she still remembered… gotta mean something…

So instead of loading trays or platters of raw uncooked vegi’s for your next event, why not spend a little time making them taste “memorably-good”…heres how:

Pot of water to boil – add enough kosher salt make it taste like the sea (its more than you think…)

Rinse/wash vegi (do types of vegi’s separate) – they blanch at diff times..

Get the ice-bath ready – a bowl of really cold water with ice cubes floating loosely – place near boiling water – you will be transferring the blanched vegi’s immediately into the ice bath till cold…

Then Blanch away! – small bunches of veg into boiling salted water stir (see times below) then into the ice bath till chilled ..repeat process…

Try French Beans (5-7 minutes) Asparagus (5-7 minutes) broccoli (3-4 minutes) and Sugar Snap Peas (2-3 minutes). and remember to keep the ice bath really icy and cold.

It’s good to experiment with the final texture as some prefer really crunchy vegi’s,  some like them really really cooked,  you can adjust the time in the boiling salted water to your preference…the cooking process will stop once in the ice bath…

after chilling – arrange on a platter ( i always tilt the platter slightly to let the excess water from ice bath to collect and pool to be absorbed and removed with a paper towel). Keep finished platter in the fridge til needed…

serve with your fave dipping sauce – and watch those bright vegi colors really stand out beautifully on your buffet….enjoy

Cilantro-Avocado Salsa-Easy…

Why not use that magi blender for more than cocktails – after you have mixed the drinks… fill that mixer with 1 or 2 roasted or boiled tomatillo’s, add some fresh garlic, 1/2 avocado, 2 bunches of fresh cilantro, a couple of roasted and peeled and seeded jalapenos, squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper and whirl away till smooth and beautiful bright green, taste for seasoning and heat, adjust and whirl some more and serve…
Drinks and Salsa in less than 15 minutes….really!

Note: go ahead and add the cilantro stems too – mucho flavor there!