Tiki Thai Cocktail

Starters | December 27, 2016 | By

Watch the recipe video on the Asian Caucasian YouTube Channel

I’m not one to pass up a good libation, so Asian Caucasian is ringing in the New Year with this mildly spicy, Thai-inspired cocktail!  Damien is not a drinker, so guess who was “forced” to do the taste-testing on this one?  You got it!  Really tough assignment!  This spritzy muddled vodka drink is SO good — it has a touch of sweetness from the simple syrup, flavorings from the lemongrass, mint, and basil, and a touch of heat from the chili peppers.  Wow! Wow! Wow!  Could be my new go-to cocktail!

Tiki Thai Cocktail
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 piece lemongrass, tough outer skin removed
  • 4-5 Thai basil leaves or regular basil (more for garnishing)
  • 4-5 sprigs mint leaves (more for garnishing)
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • ¾ ounce *simple syrup
  • 8 ounces club soda
  • Juice from ½ lime
  • 3-4 cucumber slices
  • 4 thin slices jalapeño peppers
  • 2-3 thin slices red Thai chili peppers (seeded)
Instructions
  1. In a martini shaker, muddle the first three ingredients. Add the vodka, simple syrup, and club soda to the shaker and lightly shake to combine.
  2. Using a strainer, pour the mixture into a cocktail glass and squeeze in the lime juice, stir well. (Discard the ingredients from the shaker.) Garnish the drink with cucumbers, jalapeño peppers, red Thai chili peppers, basil, and mint.
Notes
*To make simple syrup:
Pour equal parts water and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat the ingredients until dissolved. Remove from heat and cool. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Wonton Bites

Starters | December 6, 2016 | By

Watch the recipe video on the Asian Caucasian YouTube Channel

Came across this seasonal recipe on Food & Wine’s website recently and knew I had to transform it into an Asian-style wonton for the holidays!  It’s our twist on a butternut squash ravioli, combining the sweetness of the roasted butternut squash and garlic with the delicate heat from Asian spices.  Fresh wontons sure beat the frozen-in-the-bag version!  I served this up at Thanksgiving for a truly unique appetizer and they were “gobbled” up in minutes (no pun intended!).  Dazzle your party guests and make this at home for your upcoming holiday party!  

Place the stuffed wonton wrappers on a baking sheet before steaming.

wontons-on-tray_600x400Steam the wontons in a bamboo steamer or stove-top steaming insert.

wontons-in-steamer_600x400Fry the wontons in a skillet after steaming, and serve warm!

wontons-in-frying-pan_600x400

Roasted Butternut Squash Wonton Bites
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 whole bulb of garlic
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped (extra for garnish)
  • 14 wonton wrappers
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place butternut squash on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper over top. Toss together and rearrange to a single layer on the pan.
  2. Cut off the tip of the garlic bulb and place in the middle of a sheet of aluminum foil. Fold the sides around the garlic bulb sealing at the top. Place both the baking sheet and garlic in the oven. Roast the butternut squash for about 25 minutes or until nicely browned but not burned. Roast the garlic for 45 minutes. Remove both from oven and let cool.
  3. In a medium nonstick skillet, add teaspoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the shallots about 3 minutes until softened. Set aside to cool. Wipe out the skillet.
  4. To make the filling: Squeeze out the roasted garlic from the skin into a medium mixing bowl. Add in the butternut squash, shallots, Chinese Five Spice, cayenne pepper, and basil. Mash together with a fork.
  5. To make the wontons: Using one wonton wrapper at a time, place a teaspoonful of butternut mixture into the middle of the wrapper. Using your fingertip, brush the two top sides with water and fold up to meet the top, forming a triangle. Brush the two pointed ends with water and fold the ends over each other to seal, forming a pocket. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Repeat with other wonton wrappers.
  6. Place the wontons in a single layer in a bamboo steamer or other stove-top steamer sprayed with cooking spray. Steam for about 10 minutes. Heat the non-stick skillet with canola oil over medium-high heat. Brown the wontons for about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the wontons to a serving platter. Sprinkle with cheese and garnish with extra basil. Serve immediately.
Notes
Adapted from: Food & Wine / Butternut Squash and Sage Wontons

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Mini Thai Crab Cakes with Spicy Aioli

Seafood, Starters | November 15, 2016 | By

Get ready for Thanksgiving! These Mini Thai Crab Cakes will make you do a happy dance!  They are so full of flavor and very little filler, so no worries about putting on the pounds!  I used lump white crab meat which is much tastier than just the regular crab meat. Made the mistake of buying the other kind, so I threw it into the freezer to use in a soup at a later date!  Frying these babies uses very little oil so they’re not that greasy.  You can serve these minis with a side of spicy aioli sauce as an appetizer before your holiday meal.  Make sure to put aside a few for lunch the next day!  I threw the leftover cakes on top of a salad and they were yum!  “Happy Happy Joy Joy!” 

Mini Thai Crab Cakes with Spicy Aioli
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 (8 oz.) jar white lump crab meat (picked over for shells)
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 Thai red chili peppers or 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • Zest from 1 lime
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Spicy Aioli:
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon sambal oelek (red chili paste) or Sriracha sauce
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine together the crab meat with the yellow peppers, chili peppers, green onions, lime zest, salt, and cilantro. Mix in the egg and Panko bread crumbs until thoroughly combined. Form small 2-inch rounds with the mixture and set them on trays until ready to cook.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet on high heat. When oil is lightly smoking drop the cakes into the pan and brown on both sides, about 4 minutes. Place on paper towels to drain oil. Keep warm until ready to serve. Serve cakes on a platter with spicy aioli dipping sauce.
  3. To make the aioli sauce: In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and sambal oelek. Set aside.
Notes
Sambal oelek can found at your local grocery store, on Amazon.com, or at specialty Asian markets.

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