Last night’s dinner was a bit of an experiment. (What a surprise!!) I had a couple of avocados that needed to be used so I made some guacamole. There were some prawns in the freezer that were calling my name, and I had purchased a cauliflower earlier in the week and I had a recipe I wanted to try so I decided the menu would be unusual, light and delicious. We started off with guacamole and tortilla chips, and the main meal was barbecued prawns with a sweet chili dipping sauce, and a plate of Asian Cauliflower served with buckwheat noodles. Dessert was a bit of an experiment as well. I wanted to try to make a cake using some peaches I’d canned last summer and I thought ginger and almond flour would make it a rich and delicious finish to the meal.
Mom came for dinner last night as she usually does, and Gillian my niece also came for dinner which made it even more special than our usual Sunday night Dinner. Gillian couldn’t stay long, but she stayed long enough to taste everything on the menu and tell us how yummy it was.
Guacamole is so simple I never understand why I don’t make it more often. Avocados are a fabulous food loaded with good fats and vitamins. I just mashed up the two avocados, added a chopped tomato, 1 tsp. of garlic, 2 Tbsp. lime juice, 2 Tbsp. finely chopped red onion and about ¼ cup chopped cilantro. I mixed this all together and it looked like guacamole and tasted divine. The guacamole was served in a nice pottery bowl with some corn tortillas and we all dipped in. It was a great way to start the evening off.
The sweet chili sauce for the prawns was made earlier in the day. It took about 40 minutes to put it all together and cook it and then it was placed in the fridge. It has a bold flavor and really spices up the taste of the prawns.
Jumbo Shrimp with sweet chilli dipping sauce
- Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce:
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 finely chopped shallot
- 1 tsp. grated lime rind
- 4 tsp. lime juice
- 2 tsp. Asian hot chilli sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh coriander
- 2 2lb lb(907 g) (907 g) raw jumbo shrimp, (about 18) peeled and deveined
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce: In saucepan, bring vinegar, sugar, Shallot, 2 tbsp (25 ml.) water, lime rind and juice, hot sauce and garlic to boil over medium-high heat. Whisk cornstarch with 1 tbsp. (15 mL) water; whisk into pan and boil until thickened, about 1 minute. Set aside. (Make-ahead: Let cool; refrigerate in airtight container for up to 2 days.) Stir in coriander.
- In large bowl, toss shrimp with oil and half of the sauce; let stand for 10 minutes. Place shrimp on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and grill, turning once, until pink, about 6 minutes. Serve hot with remaining sauce for dipping.
Source : Canadian Living Magazine: September 2006; Get Grilling: Summer 2007
We had the Jumbo Shrimp with Sweet Chilli dipping sauce with the Asian Cauliflower and buckwheat noodles. This was an easy dish to prepare once you prepared the cauliflower, and everyone at the table enjoyed the flavour. This is definitely a dish you can serve to your guests.
Asian Cauliflower on buckwheat noodles:
- 1 Tbsp. Cold pressed canola oil
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves mashed
- 2 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
- 3 tomatoes peeled seeded and diced
- 1 large head of cauliflower cut into florets
- 1 small onion thinly sliced
- 2/3 cup vegetable broth
- ½ tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp. Evaporated cane sugar
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- Cook the buckwheat noodles as directed. Fill a pot with water, much more than for spaghetti, boil for about 2 min should be al dente but still cooked. Then strain and place right away into a bowl of cold water. Let sit in cold water until ready to mix with the cauliflower mixture.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add the shallots and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the soy sauce and tomatoes and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Add the cauliflower, onion, vegetable broth, lemon juice, sugar and scallions.
- Reduce the heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the cauliflower is tender but crisp, about 10 minutes.
- Add 2 Tbsp. water as it cooks to prevent sticking, if necessary. Do not overcook.
- Pour mixture into a serving bowl, add the cold noodles to the cauliflower mixture and stir. Sprinkle with the cilantro before serving.
Source: True Food, Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple and Pure, by Andrew Weil and Sam Fox.
Asian Cauliflower in the pan
Dessert was an adaptation of a recipe that was developed for apricots. Of course getting apricots at this time of year is nearly impossible so I used canned peaches hoping they would make a good substitution. The peaches gave it a subtle flavour and blended with candied ginger and almond flour it was rich and delicious. This recipe is also gluten-free and dairy-free because I used almond milk instead of cow dairy.
Peach Ginger Almond Flour cake:
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 4 fresh, medium peaches
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons chopped candied ginger
- 2 tablespoons ginger-flavored liqueur (or non-alcoholic ginger beer)* because I used canned peaches I did not add any ginger flavored liquids.
- ¼ vanilla bean
- Cake Batter
- 3/4 cup gluten-free flour
- 3/4 cup almond flour
3/4 cup unrefined sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ginger spice
- Powdered sugar in a shaker
- To prepare the pie plate: Locate a 10½-inch diameter ceramic pie plate with a 5-6 cup capacity. (Another shape of shallow baking dish with the same capacity will also work.)
- Pour in the melted coconut oil and tip the pie plate from side to side to cover all of it with the oil. You may need to use a brush to lightly coat the edges of the pie plate with oil. Reserve.
- To prepare the peaches: Cut the peaches in half; remove the pits and any remaining stems, cut each half in half again.
- Put the peaches in a medium-size bowl and add the sugar, candied ginger, and liqueur. With a small sharp knife, scrape the seeds from the inside of the vanilla bean into the bowl. (What remains of the vanilla bean can be used to flavor a bowl of sugar, custard, or whatever.) With a flexible spatula, gently combine the peaches with the other ingredients. Reserve. (If the peaches are not juicy enough, add 1-2 additional tablespoons water to dissolve the sugar.)
- To prepare the cake batter: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, remaining sugar, the baking powder and baking soda.
- Gently beat the egg in a small bowl and add in the milk and pour into the dry ingredients and mix to produce a smooth batter. Don’t over beat. However, the batter should not have too many lumps either.
- Pour the batter into the center of the buttered gratin dish. No worries, it will spread out on its own.
- Place the peaches, cut sides down, and their remaining liquid evenly over the batter, leaving a 3/4–inch open border of batter around the outside edges (this will allow the batter to rise dramatically at the edges).
- Place on a rack in the upper third of a preheated 375° oven. Set an edged baking sheet on the rack below to catch any overflow.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the sides are fully puffed, the center is slightly puffed, and the top is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven to a wire rack to cook for 15 minutes before cutting. To serve, dust with powdered sugar and cut into wedges.
This dinner was given rave reviews by all four of us at the table. I asked if they would serve it to guests who came to their house and they all said they would gladly serve every dish. This is always my measuring stick for knowing if the dinner was enjoyed by all. Based on my guest’s comments, I would say it was a great success!
We are having a birthday party next week so please come back and visit us for another edition of Sunday Night Dinner at Julia’s Place!