It's the holiday time and to me that means a lot of dinner parties. I usually like to bring a dish or a bottle of wine. I'm a white and dessert wine girl. Bring on the muscato, pino grigio, and sauvignon blanc!
I asked the Divas Uncorked for some advice about what new wine I should bring to a party. Aslo how do you choose a 'safe choice' wine for a party?
"Hi Keesha,you could bring a Prescecco to cleanse the palette before the dinner. This is always a nice wine to start off the meal with. Lots of folks have never had this before. A Chardonnay is always safe (unoaked) or try a Pinot Noir (red), goes with most foods"
There you have it, some choices on what to bring, lucky I have a bottle of Prescecco left from my launch party. I never knew Prescecco (its an Italian sparkeling wine) could be used to cleanse your palate. Also in between meals I have seen a lemon sorbet being used. During wine tasting crackers are used in between sips.
Dear Gourmet Diva
Can I make a meal for under 20 dollars?
Help me out in NYC,
Yes you can make a meal for under $20 (thank you for the gracious budget). This is one of my go to recipes when I need some thing economical and tasty. The spinach is mixed into the rice. Using frozen vegetables also cuts down on time, so you can prepare this in less then an hour.
I take a bottle of Kikkoman Teriyaki sauce and add freshly grated ginger, garlic and brown sugar. You can also have broccolli and julienned (matchstick shaped) carrots.
Add a few extra bucks in and you can have some ice cream for dessert – put it in a martini glass if you are having guest for an extra flair.
Salmon Teriyaki (Rosemary Black – Daily News March 13, 2005)
1/3 cup bottle teriyaki Sauce
4 salmon fillets (6 to 8 ounces each)
1 (10 – ounce) box frozen spinach
1 ½ cups instant brown rice (or white rice)
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh dill springs for garnish (I use toasted sesame seeds)
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees and line the bottom of a large shallow baking pan (with edges) with foil. Pour all but 3 tablespoons of the glaze into the baking pan. Add the salmon and turn to coat with glaze. Bake 10 minutes or until done.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring 1 ½ cups of water and the frozen spinach to a boil over high heat . Stir in the rice and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, covered for about 10 minutes until the rice is done.
In a 1 – cup measure, stir remaining teriyaki sauce with ¼ cup water. Stir into hot rice. Serve with salmon with the rice.
"All I need is a table, that's it." - Keesha AKA Gourmet Diva
I needed to decorate a table for the Urban Verbal Stew event last week. I didn't want a generic black plastic table cloth that's not Gourmet Diva, what to do what to do. This is a typical problem that most of us are facing. With the holiday season approaching us, we may have to decorate our homes for family and friends.
Decorating a table is like putting together a wardrobe, the trick is that you need is a few quality pieces to make your table "pop". A little creativity will go a long way. In the case for the Verbal Stew event the eye catching pieces was the table cloth and the candle
You can create impressive centerpieces with everyday items in your closet. A friend and I created the following decorations with a champagne glass, tea light, and food coloring. Try and go outside and take some leaves from a tree and place them on your table, the red and orange will look great.
What other ways have you decorated on a dime?
Dear Gourmet Diva,
Do you cook vegetarian meals or meals that will help you loose weight?
I love my veggies Boston
Dear veggie lover in Boston,
Congrats on trying to eat healthier. Before I type any more I must make this disclaimer “I'm not a doctor nor do I play one on TV” ( I always wanted to say that). Please see a doctor before altering your diet.
With that said. It takes discipline to be a vegetarian (I love a good steak every now and then) Also the assumption is that you will loose weight if your vegetarian, I have seen some big vegetarians. Watch out for the pasta and rice.
When people think about being a vegetarian, they think all they can eat is tofu and salad. So wrong, there are so many options out there you can try. It depends on how adventurous your taste buds are. I included two recipes for you to try. One if you need something simple and the second is if your up for a taste bud challenge.
If your not in the mood to cook, try going to a Japanese or Indian restaurant its easy to find a vegetarian dish to try. Houston's has a great veggie burger, also Haley House in Roxbury, MA. Vegetarian Planet: 350 Big Flavor Recipes for Out of This World Food Every Day by Chef Didi Emmons who is the owner of Haley House.
Or better yet, call me, hourly rates do apply.
Ratatouille (Did you see the movie?)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, cut into wedges
2 medium zucchinis, cut into squares
1 small red pepper cut into squares
1 small yellow pepper cut into squares
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium eggplant, halved
1 can (14 oz) canned tomatoes, crushed
½ teaspoon dried basil or oregano leaves
freshly ground black pepper
1.Heat the oil in a large, heavy – based pan and cook the onions over medium heat for 4 minutes or until soft. Add the zucchinis, peppers and garlic, stir for 3 minutes.
2.Cut the eggplant in chunks and add to the pan with the tomatoes, basil or oregano and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook, covered, for 15 – 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
For the adventurous, I tried this dish this weekend and it was great and its also “RAW” (def - no cooking of food)
Sweet and Spicy kale w/Tangerine Salsa (Submitted by Sharon)
4 Tangerines (or you can substitute w/Tangelinos, Mangoes, or Peaches), peeled, sliced, and seeded
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, chopped finely
1Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1Tbsp Hoisin Sauce
3 Stalks of scallion
1Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp lime juice (freshly squeezed)
1/2 tsp fresh Habanero (or you can substitute w/jalepeno) pepper, minced and use the flesh but remove and discard seeds and ribs. * I suggest you coate fingers w/olive oil before handling peppers. _Gourmet Diva – dont place fingers near eyes once you do this you will BURN them.
1 dash of Chinese 5 Star Seasoning (also called Chinese Five Spice powder)
Combine ingredients into each other gently. cover and refrigerate an hour before serving.
3 bunches of Dinosaur Kale (also called Lacino)
1Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp of Celtic or Himalayan Salt
After washing Kale chop finely and add olive oil and pinch of sea salt to bowl. Massage Kale and leave to sit for an hour or more.
Sweet and Spicy Marinade
3 Tbsp Nama Shoyu or Soy Sauce
3 scallions thinly chopped
1 lime juiced (optional...helps in the absorption of Vit C in Kale)
1Tbsp Toasted sesame oil
1Tbsp black sesame seeds
1/2tsp Chinese mustard powder (or wasabi powder)
pinch of Cayenne to taste
Mix marinade ingredients together and then pour into Kale bowl. Toss and serve.
Try eating w/ripe Avocado
Common dilemma, you have a party, friends bring over wine and then leave you with 1/2 empty bottles of wine at your house.