Wednesday, June 23, 2010

weekend dinner party

summer rolls made by me, photographed by aimee herring

You can thank my friends Carey and Rob from Corks + Caftans (If you haven't yet checked out their blog, I'm not quite sure what your deal is and/or what you're waiting for. It is utterly fabulous. He loves wine*; she loves fashion; I love their life.) for being the driving force behind this weekend's dinner party menu. By now, I should hope you know that I aim to please. Which means, I love requests; thrive off 'em, really. So when the dynamically well-dressed duo asked me to "whip up some mind-blowing recipe that involves roasted pork and asian spices" I immediately knew what I had to share not only with them but with all of you, too. (*Be sure to check out a shining example of one of Rob's wine reviews by clicking on the wine pairing linked below.)

summer rolls with shrimp, avocado, and mango
with sweet chili dipping sauce
Tsing Tao Beer
hoisin pork tenderloin
asian slaw
sticky rice
cantaloupe melon and yogurt parfait

The great thing about this hoisin pork tenderloin recipe (courtesy of Ming Tsai) is that you can take the leftovers and turn them into a dangerously delicious sandwich: place a few pieces of the pork and a spoonful of the slaw on a bun and you're going to make up as many excuses as humanly possible to make this again and again and again. You won't believe how much flavor the marinade imparts on the pork. It should also be known that upon serving this pork to a friend, she was legitimately moved to tears. When was the last time that happened to you?

Also: Please don't be intimidated by the summer rolls. The rice paper takes a little getting used to but once you've got the hang of handling it, you won't believe how quickly they come together and how impressive they look once completed. Your friends will be speechless.

And/or in tears.

summer rolls with shrimp, avocado, and mango
Adapted from a Gourmet recipe
serves 4

12 large cooked shrimp, halved lengthwise
4 (8-inch rice paper rounds)
a few sprigs of fresh cilantro
a few leaves of fresh mint
1 mango, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
1 avocado, thinly sliced

Put a double thickness of paper towel on a work surface and fill a shallow baking pan with warm water. Check rice-paper rounds and use only those that have no holes. Soak 1 round in warm water until pliable, 30 seconds to 1 minute, then carefully transfer to paper towels.

Arrange 3 shrimp halves (cut sides up) in a row across bottom third (part nearest you) of soaked rice paper. Arrange a few pieces of cilantro, a few pieces of mint, some mango, and avocado on top of the shrimp. Fold bottom of rice paper over filling and begin rolling up tightly then fold in ends and continue rolling. Transfer summer roll, seam side down, to a plate and cover with dampened paper towels. Make the remaining rolls in same manner and serve, cut into thirds, with store-bought sweet chili dipping sauce.

hoisin pork tenderloin
Recipe courtesy of Ming Tsai
serves 4

1 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup chopped scallion, white part only (save the green part for the rice)
2 (8-ounce) pork tenderloins
fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil

In a baking dish large enough to cook the pork, mix hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger, wine, and scallions. Add pork and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours; preferably overnight.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Season pork with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat pan. Add pork turning only once and cook for 5 minutes total until browned. Transfer to oven. Roast 12 to 15 minutes until done. Let pork rest 5 minutes then cut into 1/4 inch slices to serve (pork should still be a pleasant shade of light pink).

spicy asian slaw recipe adapted from gourmet magazine by cookin' canuck

cantaloupe melon and yogurt parfait courtesy of paul lowe of sweet paul

my trick for sticky rice: bring a pot of water (2:1, water to rice ratio) to a boil with a good sprinkle of salt and a generous pat of butter then add your rice, stir, and cook according to package directions (about 18-20 minutes). top with the reserved greens of the scallions.


MichellePC said...

Ummm, can you cook for me?! Those summer rolls look divine, and perfect for a light dish on a hot day!

Kiira Leess said...

yeah, sure no problem! ;)

try making the summer rolls! if anything, it's a fun thing to have your guests try with you. the first few tries, the paper might tear on you but it's all smooth rolling from there. they're SO GOOD.


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