Sunday, November 7, 2010

Appetisers for dinner

I wanted something light and refreshing for dinner, better still with minimum cooking and preparation.  I checked my fridge and took out a Japanese cucumber, a packet of ladies fingers, two small chicken thighs, a few cocktail hot dogs and strips of bacon.  After some preparation and simple cooking (blanching + grilling), dinner is ready!

Top left (clockwise): Blanched ladies fingers with sesame sauce, grilled hot dog & bacon rolls, cucumber with garlic sauce, grilled bovril chicken sticks.


Cucumber with Garlic Sauce:
1) Remove seeds from cucumber and cut into bite-sized pieces.
2) Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 sugar to marinate cucumber for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, mince 3 cloves of garlics.
3) Rinse the cucumber and drain.
4) Mix 2 tsp minced garlics (keep 1 tsp for ladies fingers), 1 tbsp white vinegar, 1 tsp mirin, 1 tsp soya sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, salt & pepper to taste.
5) Toss the cucumber in the marinate, cover and keep in fridge till ready to eat.

Hot Dog with Bacon Roll:
1) Wrap each hot dog with a strip of bacon, secured with a toothpick.
2) Grill together with the chicken sticks.

Borvil Chicken Sticks
1) Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.  Marinate with 1 tsp soya sauce, 1/2 tsp borvil, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp mirin, 1/2 tbsp water and a dash of pepper (marinate for at least an hour).
2) Thread chicken onto satay sticks, alternate each chicken piece with onion (You can add bell peppers for better colour contrast).  Brush the chicken and onions with some marinates.
3) Preheat grill to 200C and grill for about 3 minutes on each side till brown.
[* Soak the satay sticks in water for an hour before use]

Ladies Fingers with Sesame Sauce:
1) Prepare sauce - Mix 1 tbsp sesame sauce, 1 tsp soya sauce, 1 tsp mirin, 1/3 lemon juice and 1 tsp minced garlic.
2) Blanch ladies fingers in hot water for one minute and drain (Note: These ladies fingers are very small, so they need little cooking time).
3) Pour the sauce over it, sprinkle some dried seaweed flakes and serve.

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