BIG WINNERS GAMBLE ON LAS VEGAS RESTAURANT CREATIONS TO RING IN NEW YEAR.
Celebrate! Ring in the New Year with glitzy and glamorous appetizers and drinks, Las Vegas-style. Shared by six different Las Vegas restaurant chefs, these terrific-tasting recipes are bound to hit the jackpot with cooks and guests alike. Designed to impress the most discriminating friends and relatives, they range from stacked vegetable and cheese Napoleons to Coconut Shrimp and Lobster Tacos. Although some of the creations require several steps, all are accessible and have been tested in home kitchens to ensure success.
The drinks are sophisticated concoctions ranging from an Apple Martini to a Ming Dynasty and that old-fashioned favorite the Mai Tai. Use the cocktail recipes as guides, adding more or less of one flavor or juice or liquor.
And just in case these ideas don't fit into your New Year's plans, save them to try another time when you're entertaining. Now you can bring a taste of the Vegas restaurant scene to your celebrations with these hors d'oeuvres and libations. Cheers! Happy 2002!
(From Aureole, Las Vegas)
1/2 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 tablespoon citrus juice (a blend of lemon, lime and orange)
1/2 cup veal demi-glace (available at stores that specialize in upscale ingredients such as Surfas, Culver City)
12 extra-large, fresh shrimp (16 to 20 count per pound), peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Soak 12 (4-inch) skewers in water. Combine horseradish, cranberries, orange peel, citrus juice and demi-glace in small saucepan. Simmer 10 minutes, then strain. Set aside.
Place 3 shrimp on each skewer. Season with salt and pepper. Grill over hot coals about 2 minutes, until shrimp turn pink and become opaque. Serve hot or chilled with sauce on side for dipping. Makes 4 servings.
(From Rock Lobster, Las Vegas)
PICO DE GALLO:
2 tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onions
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 large jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lime, juiced
Kosher salt to taste
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and julienned
1/8 small red onion, julienned (OR to taste)
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint leaves
Kosher salt to taste
LIME SOUR CREAM:
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup dairy sour cream
10 ounces cooked lobster meat, shredded and cut into medium-size chunks
4 taco shells
4 lime wedges
To make Pico de Gallo, mix together tomatoes, green onions, red onions, cilantro, jalapeno, oil and lime juice. Season with salt. Set aside 1 hour for flavors to blend.
To make Cucumber Salad, mix together cucumbers, bell pepper, onion and mint in bowl. Season with salt.
To make Lime Sour Cream, mix lime juice into sour cream. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
To assemble, toss lobster meat with Pico de Gallo. Stuff taco shells with lobster mixture. Garnish with Lime Sour Cream. Serve with Cucumber Salad and lime wedges on the side. Makes 4 servings.
2 ounces Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum
6 ounces unsweetened cranberry juice
1 ounce Grand Marnier
Combine all ingredients; shake and serve over ice or straight up. Makes 1 serving.
LOVE SHACK MARTINI
Rock Lobster restaurant
1 1/4 ounces Finlandia Vodka
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce unsweetened cranberry juice
1/2 ounce Chambord
1 splash 7-Up
Combine all ingredients in a martini shaker with ice. Shake well. Pour into a 7.5-ounce martini glass. Makes 1 serving.
PORTOBELLO NAPOLEON OF GRILLED VEGETABLES
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
16 (3-inch diameter) portobello mushrooms, stemmed (see Note)
1 large green zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
1 large yellow zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and halved
PORT WINE REDUCTION:
2 cups tawny port
1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves (about 1 ounce)
1/2 bunch fresh parsley leaves (about 1 ounce)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 ounces goat cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
To make Marinated Vegetables, combine olive oil, garlic, basil, salt and pepper; mix well. Add portobellos, green and yellow zucchini and bell pepper halves. Marinate at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile make Port Wine Reduction and Basil Oil.
To make Port Wine Reduction, pour wine into a stainless-steel saucepan and simmer slowly until it has reduced to 1/2 cup or a syrup-like consistency. This should take about 20 to 30 minutes.
To make Basil Oil, blanch herbs quickly in boiling water. Immediately remove and plunge into ice water. Drain herbs well. Combine herbs and oil in a blender. Blend on high speed about 20 seconds. Strain through a fine mesh sieve or several layers of cheesecloth. Store tightly covered in refrigerator. Will keep up to 1 month. Makes 1 cup.
To assemble napoleons, lightly grill vegetables until tender, but not soft. Set aside to cool. Combine goat cheese and cream cheese in a mixer; beat until smooth. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cutter, cut mushrooms and peppers into rounds. Cut squash into 2 1/2-inch segments. Layer vegetables and cheese in 2 1/2-inch ring molds in the following order: portobello, cheese, green zucchini, cheese, bell pepper, cheese, yellow zucchini, cheese and portobello. Refrigerate until napoleons are well chilled. Unmold onto serving plates just before serving. Drizzle Basil Oil and Port Wine Reduction around napoleons. Makes 8 servings.
NOTE: If you can't find 3-inch portobellos, you can use larger ones. Instead of cutting all the vegetables and molding them, stack them and cut the napoleons into quarters, using toothpicks to hold the wedges together.
1 ounce Kettle Vodka
1 ounce Sour Apple Pucker
1 splash sweet and sour mix
Combine all ingredients in a martini shaker; add ice and shake well. Strain into a martini glass. Makes 1 serving.
BUTTER-POACHED SHRIMP WITH TOMATO-OLIVE RAGU
6 large shrimp (21 to 25 count per pound), peeled and deveined
Kosher salt to taste
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium heirloom OR vine-ripened tomato, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 shallot, thinly sliced
4 kalamata OR gaeta olives, pitted and thinly sliced
1 sprig mint (leaves only), torn into small pieces
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Season shrimp with salt. Combine butter and olive oil in small saucepan. Bring almost to a boil, being careful not to burn butter. Add shrimp. Bring back to a boil. This should take about 15 seconds. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Shrimp should be opaque and slightly curled.
Meanwhile, mix together tomato, shallot, olives and mint. Season with salt and pepper. Remove shrimp from butter-oil mixture. Add shrimp to tomato-olive ragu, drizzle in 3 tablespoons of butter-oil mixture and toss to combine. Serve with slices of baguette. Makes 2 servings.
NOTE: Remaining butter mixture can be used to cook additional shrimp, if desired.
1 ounce Bacardi Limone
1/2 ounce Absolute Mandarin Vodka
1/4 ounce Monin mint syrup
4 ounces 7-Up OR Sprite
1 lime slice
1 orange slice
Fill a highball glass with ice. Add Limone, Mandarin Vodka and mint syrup. Fill glass with 7-Up OR Sprite. Stir. Garnish with lime and orange slices and mint sprig, if desired. Makes 1 serving.
NOTE: In photo, drink was mixed with ice and then strained into and served in a martini glass.
(From Shanghai Lilly, Las Vegas)
2 cups peanut oil
12 extra-large shrimp (16 to 20 count per pound)
2 large eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons coconut milk
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (available in Asian markets)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
Chinese duck sauce
Heat peanut oil to 375 degrees F. Meanwhile, peel and devein shrimp, but leave tails on. Split each one down the back and open each like butterfly. Combine eggs and coconut milk in a small bowl and whisk lightly. Combine breadcrumbs, coconut flakes and parsley in a separate bowl. Season shrimp with salt and pepper, then dredge each in flour shaking off excess. Dip each shrimp into egg mixture, then coat in breading mixture and gently press in so it adheres well.
Deep-fry in hot peanut oil until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Serve immediately on cooked maifun noodles, if desired, with Chinese duck sauce and hot mustard for dipping. Makes 4 servings.
1/2 ounce Bacardi Light
1/2 ounce Creme de Noya OR Amaretto
1/2 ounce Triple Sec
3 ounces pineapple juice
1 1/2 ounces orange juice
1 1/2 ounces sweet and sour mix
1/2 ounce Meyer's Dark Rum
Combine all ingredients; mix well. Fill a 16-ounce glass with ice. Pour in mai tai and serve. Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry. Makes 1 serving.
(1 -- cover -- color) Hit the jackpot
Las Vegas restaurants share New Year's fare
(2 -- color) Grand Captain
(3 -- color) Love Shack Martini
(4 -- color) Mai Tai
(5 -- color) Italian Soda
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|Title Annotation:||L.A. Life|
|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Dec 26, 2001|
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