Monday, January 4, 2010

Escargot, Sardines and Beets, Oh My!

Happy New Year!

We stuck with tradition this year and rang in 2010 in style at Lisa and Tom's. The Stimach's believe in celebrating New Year's with family, best friends and a ton of food! The food theme is always a multicultural potluck which over the years has ranged from tripe (yuck! ) and goat curry to quail eggs and durian (stinky!).

The goal this year was to experience new food and ingredients, from different regions, that were both unique and DELICIOUS (read: edible). It was a success.

Chef Tom made garlic naan, Thai corn fritters, escargot, Brazilian chicken empanadas, crab stuffed - bacon wrapped jalapenos, sardines, and chicken lettuce wraps (he was originally intending to fill these with squab - another ingredient for another day). The snails, which Tom drenched in butter and garlic were much better than I could have ever imagined. Even the kids were brave enough to give them a try.

Selena licking the snail shell clean


Bacon wrapped, crab stuffed jalapenos

Brazilian Chicken Empanada

Thai Corn Fritters

Along with Kristi's appetizer (bacon, cheesy goodness), Curtis declared Tom's lettuce wraps the best dish of the night. Tom created these by pulling from two recipes here and here.

Kristi and Curtis working hard

Chef Tim made Russian pirogues, borscht, and Russian potato something-or-other that tasted like hash browns. My favorites, hands down were Tim's pirogues, Tom's empanadas and my soup (see below). Although it didn't win any popularity awards, I'm a fan of beets, so I thought the borscht was mighty tasty too. Hopefully I'll be sharing Tim's Russian recipes with you soon (Tim, please?).

Authentic Russian fare or hashbrowns? You tell me.

Phil made Thai prawn fried rice (delicious) and there was a nice variety of "normal" food there that everyone else contributed.

Curtis and I made Jamaican beef patties, pepperpot soup, prosciutto wrapped melon, and popcorn balls. I'll definitely be making the pepperpot soup again (recipe below).

Jamaican beef patties

Thanks to Lisa and Tom for letting us (and Murray!) stay in their upscale guest house! Even though things got a little crazy toward the end of the night (RIP my favorite shot glass) - it was the perfect way to end 2009 and kick off a new decade!

Quick Jamaican Pepperpot Soup (Eating Well, February 2010)

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound sirloin steak, trimmed, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided
1 small white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced Scotch bonnet chile pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or ¼ teaspoon dried
4 cups water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 pound sweet potato (about 1 large), cut into 1/2 -inch pieces
1 cup chopped okra, fresh or frozen (not thawed)
3 cups chopped callaloo, collard greens or spinach (I used spinach)
3 scallions, sliced
1 14-ounce can "lite" coconut milk, well shaken

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add steak and ½ tsp. salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink on the outside, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

2. Add onion, garlic, chile pepper and thyme to the pot and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk water and cornstarch in a bowl or large measuring cup; add to the pot along with sweet potato and okra. Bring to a boil over high heat; boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are almost tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in callaloo (or collards or spinach) and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt; cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes more. Add scallions and the steak plus any accumulated juices. Cook until the steak is hot and just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in coconut milk.

Snuggie Super Model


  1. You are by far more adventurous than I am when it comes to food! That's a good quality to have. I'm just a weenie!

  2. I'm not a big fan of seafood, but crab-stuff, bacon-wrapped jalapenos sound pretty darned amazing.

  3. This post got better towards the middle. Those kids are brave (or they don't know better)! But most of the food looks delicious, including your soup!

  4. Huh, I am speechless. I am off to Japan next week and can let you know all the weird things I will probably try.

  5. Wow! That sounds amazing! That's a lot of cooking and a lot of food, and sounds delicious.