The next day came with a lot of excitement. Not only was it Thursday, which meant the continuation of this excellent project, but it was the day before the World Cup, something I have been waiting for 4 year! So obviously I was anxious for the workday to finish as quickly as possible. At around 6 I ran off to the Whole Foods at Union Square.
So I put on my Mexican jersey in lieu of the big game the next day (and the fact that our Ecuadorian friends wanted South Africa to win!), and started the cooking.
So here were the dishes in order of service:
Balsamic Glazed Figs, Brie cheese and Arugula w/ Strawberry vinaigrette
5 fresh strawberries chopped
1/3 of a cup of red wine vinegar
1/3 of olive oil (more or less, to taste)
tb spoon of mustard
pinch of salt
1 bag of Arugula
5 strips of bacon
5 fresh or dried figs (I only found dried and they work perfectly)
1/2 of cut Brie cheese
3 tb of Balsamic Oil (I used aged balsamic for greater consistency and flavor)
Start by cooking the bacon on a hot skillet. Cook till crispy, then place in between two pieces of paper towels to soak up the remaining grease.
Next, cut the figs into thin slices and place into a small warm saucepan. Heat for 2 minutes, then add balsamic vinegar. Let the figs soak in al the vinegar. Stir for a couple of minutes until you see the figs get very sticky. Remove from flame and let sit until salad is ready.
Place the chopped strawberries in a bowl or cup and place the vinegar inside. Let them stand for 10 minutes. Mix in remaining ingredients and place through blender for a short mix. Enough for the strawberries to be very finely chopped up and the mix to be of a good consistency for a salad. Taste to make sure that no additional ingredients are needed.
Crumple up bacon to very small pieces, add to arugula in a bowl then add a splash of the vinaigrette and mix. You do not want your salads drowning with dressing. Just add enough to get the leaves damp. Add the figs to the mix and serve to plates. Brie goes on top of salad on each plate (or on top of bowl if serving in a bowl).
Indian-style Basmati rice with fruit
2 Cups basmati rice
3 1/3 cups of water
2 tb spoons of butter
Salt to taste (recommend 1 teaspoon)
1 cup of pineapple
1 cup of papaya
1 cup of sliced almonds
Prepare the rice first. Rinse rice thoroughly in a fine mesh sleeve until water comes out clearly. Melt the butter in heavy pot then place rice inside. Add salt and stir for about 2 minutes. Add the water, bring to a boil, then cover pot. Let rice absorb all the liquid for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for about 5 minutes.
While Rice is cooking, prep the fruit by chopping it into small cubes. Set aside.
Toast almonds in a small pan until they get nice and brown. Remember to continuously move the almonds as they are toasting on a medium flame.
Once all ingredients are ready and rice is cooked, mix together and serve.
“Indian” Curry Chicken
1 full chicken breast (best if with bone, skinless)
1 white onion
2 tb spoons butter
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
½ cup of white wine
4 tb spoons of curry mix (please note quantity varies with spices and taste)
Place about 3 quartz of salted water in a pot and bring to a boil. Place chicken into water and let cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain pot once chicken is completely cooked. Run chicken through cold water. Once chicken is cool enough, begin to start tearing meat off the bones.
While waiting for chicken to cook, prepare sauce. Chop onion and place in a sauce pan with melted butter (this by the way creates what is perhaps one of the best smells in the kitchen!). Once onions are soft, pour in curry spice and mix. Then add wine and cream and mix for about 5 minutes. (remember to taste sauce continuously to make sure that enough curry was added as well as salt)
Mix both the sauce and the chicken in pan and ready to serve.
For dessert I went with what could be considered a simple solution, but truthfully, a chocolate fondue is always a great way to go. The key here is to choose the best chocolate. I went with a delicious bittersweet chocolate bar called “Green & Black’s Organic Maya Gold.” It had a hint of orange to continue with the theme. So for the easy recipe of chocolate fondue:
Felipe’s Fabulous Chocolate Fondue
3.5 oz of bittersweet chocolate
1 tb spoon of butter
2 tb spoons of pure cane sugar
4 tb spoons of heavy whipping cream
Your choice of cut fruit (strawberries, mango, pineapple recommended)
Any cookies (we chose sugar butter cookies)
Heat up a double boiler and melt butter, add sugar and cream. Then slowly place broken up pieces of the chocolate until completely melted. Serve chocolate in a small bowl surrounded by the fruit and cookies. Dip and enjoy.
So that was the dinner!
The best part of it is always enjoying the food with a table full of good friends!
I want to make a very special note. Moving forward on all Thursday's @ Worth Street write ups, I will be featuring a special section dedicated to wine. As a foodie, I believe half of the dinner is the wine. This weeks wine was a delicious Austrialian Shiraz, unfortunately the name I cannot recall. I will now provide full names and pictures of the wine.