The Far East has never been so popular. Asian-inspired food and décor are reaching into all aspects of contemporary life. Exotic “travel” themes are in vogue for all kinds of occasions. Using an Asian theme will transport your Shavuot dinner to another part of the world in just minutes.
A dinner party with a little imagination is a great way to share a journey with friends or family without actually having to make the trip.
You can begin your voyage by considering a few simple ideas. Think about using a rich colour scheme of red, black and gold to infuse the table with richness and flavour. Then add a few traditional accents while remembering that Asian decor is very sleek and minimalist. For the centrepiece, consider using a dark wooden box as a pedestal to hold decorative items – an Asian-style teapot, a glass cylinder vase, either wrapped with a bamboo placemat and filled with palm leaves, or simply filled with water, and presented with a few bamboo stocks.
Many décor items are readily available locally to create an Asian style tabletop: colourful fans, paper lanterns and takeout boxes provide instant ambiance. Offer chopsticks and serve your fare on simple white or clear glass platters. Using these ideas will bring an interesting but pleasant and relaxing mood to your Shavuot dinner.
Chocolate Banana Wontons
o canola or coconut oil spray
o 1 large ripe banana, cut into slices
o 1 milk chocolate bar, approximately 50 g.
o 24 wonton wrappers
o 1 tbsp. icing sugar
Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Spray with the oil spray.
Prepare a small fruit nappy with cold water.
Place a slice of banana topped with a 3/4-in. piece of milk chocolate near a corner of the wonton wrap. Wet all the sides of the wonton wrapper with water and fold the wrapper so that the top corner meets the bottom corner. Make sure it is completely sealed. Place on prepared pan. Continue until you have used up the wrappers.
Make sure the wontons do not touch each other on the baking sheet. Spray the tops of the wontons with additional oil spray.
Bake in the oven at 350 for 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
When cooled, sift icing sugar over wontons before serving.
Almond Cookie Mini Sundaes
o 1 cup butter or margarine
o 1 cup sugar
o 1 egg
o 1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
o 1 tsp. baking powder
o 1/2 tsp. salt
o 3 cups all-purpose flour
o 1 egg white, beaten with 1 tsp. water
o 2 tbsp. sliced almonds
o ice cream: vanilla, mango, coconut…
o garnish with berries, sliced almonds and/or shredded
Preheat oven to 325. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper. In food processor, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 1 egg, almond extract, baking powder and salt. Add in the 3 cups of flour. Process until the batter is blended well.
Divide batter into 1-in. balls, or use a mini ice cream scoop. Place cookies 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Lay a sheet of parchment paper over top of the balls of dough and flatten with the bottom of a glass. Brush the top of the cookies with the egg white mixture and sprinkle almond slices on top of the cookie. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until the cookies begin to turn golden brown. Cool cookies to a wire rack.
When ready to serve, use a mini ice cream scoop to make ice cream balls. Place one ball on top of each almond cookie that you plan to serve. Garnish.
WAFFLE ‘SUSHI’ ROLLS
assorted tropical fruits: mango, kiwi, pineapple, as well as strawberries. Cut fruit julienne style, into long strips.
1 container of Whipped Cream Cheese
2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups 0 per cent fat milk
1/2 cup Canola oil
2 tbsp. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla
In a large bowl, beat eggs until well combined. Add in the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. Spray waffle iron with Canola oil spray. Heat to manufacturer’s recommended temperature. Pour mixture onto waffle iron and cook, as recommended, until golden brown.
Place the waffle flat on a plate and cool slightly. Then spread on the whipped cream cheese. Place several pieces of assorted fruit on one side of the waffle, and starting there, gently roll the waffle making sure the end seam is sealed with the cream cheese.
Cut the roll into smaller pieces and turn them on their side, to imitate sushi. Line them up on a narrow plate. Place the maple syrup in a small bowl to imitate soy sauce.