Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Dinner Party

So Sunday we had the Timily's over for dinner and board games. We really went all out without an inordinate amount of effort - a meal with table settings, courses and even a drink. We decided to go with a Southwest theme, mainly because we found this marvelous cake recipe for flan caramel cake which somehow becomes a bundt cake with a layer of flan in the middle. It's a miracle of cooking. A creamy, dense, sweet, cakey, miracle of cooking. I'll let J give the recipe (and pictures) on that one because he made it. The rest of the meal consisted of:

Vietnamese lime soda
Tortilla chips and tomatillo salsa
Lime marinated chicken with roasted pepper sauce
Mushroom and carrot strudel

It was a wonderuflly harmonious meal with each dish complimenting the other. There was something slightly Iron Chefish about the way the lime flavor wove its way into each dish. The two recipes I will give are the chicken and the strudel.

Lime marinated chicken:

6 chicken breasts
Juice of four limes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
pinch of paprika

In a resealable platic bag, marinate the chicken in all of the ingredients for at least 2 hours although overnight is optimal. On a grill pan, sear the chicken on both sides for three minutes each. This won't cook the chicken all the way through but will keep the juices in while they get baked off. 20 minutes before you actually want to serve the chicken, bake it in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Chicken comes out moist and tender.

Mushroom Carrot Strudel

1 large carrot, grated
1 onion, sliced
1/2 pound of mushrooms, sliced(can be a mixture of button, portobello, cremini etc)
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and sliced
3 cloves of chopped garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon Tony Cachere's spice mix
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 sheet of puff pastry

Saute the onion and carrots in the olive oil for 5 minutes until onions are soft and translucent. Add jalepeno and garlic and saute a few minutes more. Add the spices and honey and saute for five minutes more. Take off the heat. Roll out puff pastry to about 10 x 12 inches. Put the filling in the middle of the puff pastry lengthwise and fold the puff pastry over the filling like a letter. Flip the strudel over so the seam is on the bottom. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Slice and serve.

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