Monday, September 10, 2007

Parting dinner for my project manager: Chilled shrimp, avocado and cucumber salad, chili crab, and stir-fry eggplant

My project manager Sam is going on leave for 3 months to Europe tomorrow...lucky him. Well I am a bit jealous but no worries, I'm hopefully going there myself next year if I can manage to save enough money hehe...

HOWEVER, the dinner was not purposely cooked for him. I was just supposed to make chili crabs (using the swimmer crabs that I bought at the market in my hometown this morning) to eat with buns but he called before I reached home from the night market and sort of invited himself over. I thought...oh well...since he adores crabs, might as well just make a proper dinner for him with a few special dishes or I won't be seeing him for the next 3 months. So in the end it turned out to be a "parting dinner" (is there a better word to use for this?) for him instead.

The menu:

Starter: chilled shrimp, avocado and cucumber salad
Mains: Chili crab, eggplant stir fried with yellow capsicum, dried shrimp and miso
Dessert: Leftover plum genoese with vanilla ice cream

Will just post the pictures first then the recipes later...too tired after a long day driving back from my hometown Teluk Intan to celebrate my grandpa's 93th birthday...

Bon voyage Sam and have a safe trip! Don't forget my caviar and valrhona chocolate!!! *evil grin*

Note: The pictures were taken using a Nikon Coolpix L3 point and shoot so please bear with the quality of the photos!

Chilled shrimp, avocado and cucumber salad

Ingredients (serves 6):
6 medium shrimp, steamed and diced (about 1 cm)
1 Japanese cucumber (use a peeler to create 6 long strips of cucumber, the remaining diced to the size of the shrimp, after removing the seeds)
1 avocado (diced to the size of the shrimp)
2 sprigs of dill, for garnishing

For dressing:
1 tbsp of mayonnaise
1 tbsp of sour cream
3 cloves of garlic, pound into paste using a pestle and mortar with 1/4 tsp of sea salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 tbsp of lemon juice
1 tsp of chopped dill

1. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing, mix well and leave aside.
2. Mix the dressing into the diced shrimp, cucumber and avocado.
3. Form 6 circles using the long strip of cucumber. Fill in the mixture of (2) into the circle.
4. Chill in the refrigerator for about 30 - 45 minutes.
5. Garnish with dill before serving.

Recipe for chili crab can be found here.
To thicken the sauce for the chili crab, I've added an egg (whisk before adding in) to the sauce and fry for one or two minutes before turning off the flame.

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