• Leyla Hur, as featured in Munaty Cooking

    Leyla Hur, as featured in Munaty Cooking

    "In Hong Kong, everything revolves around food, and it was not different in my family. In my family, each meal was truly an event and that is something I still hold close. Right after we finished one meal, Dad would discuss with us what we would have for our next meal..."

  • About Leyla

    About Leyla

    "Even from my earliest years, I liked to feed people and share my food with others. I have been privileged enough to grow up in Hong Kong, live in Malaysia, Australia, Canada, and now the United States; and I have travelled extensively throughout the world, sampling the delicacies of..."

  • Asian Beef Lettuce Cups (with Vegetarian Alternative)

    Asian Beef Lettuce Cups (with Vegetarian Alternative)

    "In Hong Kong, this is very famous and usually comes when you order Peking Duck. The restaurant will then make three dishes from the duck. You will usually get the skin (Peking Duck) which is served with..."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year's Party Tasty Favours

As we are inching ever closer to New Year's Eve, and many of us are scrambling around for ideas of things to make for our parties, I wanted to share with you a few favourites that have always been main-stays on our New Year's Eve table.

Each year, we would gather together for dinner... our very last dinner together of that year. It was usually an early dinner because we wanted to make sure we had room for the tasties what would be the first foods we ate in the New Year. It was always important that what we ate right after midnight were extravagant because they would be the first tastes of the wonders that we would enjoy the coming year. Yes, I grew up with a lot of superstitions, and I must say that the NYE superstitions are ones I still hold close and dear to me. No matter what the previous year has looked like, it has always been important in our family that we spend a few extra dollars and do something really extravagant so that the year would be paved with the same opportunities for extravagance.

So here are a few indulgences for you to try out for your New Year's party this year. They are not overly time consuming and you can definitely start making them a day or two ahead of time and keeping them in the fridge, just to assemble the afternoon of.

Deviled Eggs with Caviar

I never knew that Deviled Eggs were ever topped with anything other than caviar, until I moved to Canada. Yes, I know, it is the "curse" of growing up with a privileged lifestyle.

12 eggs, hard boiled (approx 10 mins)
2-3 TBSP Miracle Whip (adjust amount depending on consistency of egg mixture)
1/8 tsp hot mustard powder (English mustard)
1/16 tsp garlic powder (the smallest amount for just a hint)
Salt to taste
1 small jar black (or red) caviar
Parsley (for decoration)

1. Once eggs have been boiled, shelled and set aside to cool, cut them in half and carefully remove egg yolks into a bowl. Set the egg white "cups" aside.
2. Mix in next five ingredients to make a manageable paste. Using a pastry bag with a star tip, put egg mixture into piping bag and pipe egg mixture into the egg white "cups".
3. Using the tip of a plastic knife, scoop caviar on to the knife and place gently on top of each egg center. Stick a small sprig of parsley into the egg as decoration.

Shrimp Cocktail Cup

1lb cooked shrimp, deveined and shelled with tails still on
1 cup ketchup
3/4 cup horseradish
Juice from 1/2 lemon

1. Mix together the ketchup, horseradish, and lemon juice until smooth. Pour approx 2 TBSP of cocktail sauce into the bottom of a good size shot glass, and top with 3 shrimps. Serve cups on a pretty platter.

Smoked Salmon with Creme Fraiche Blinis

1 packet of smoked salmon
1 tub of creme fraiche (or sour cream)
1 jar of capers
1 packet of blinis (little pancakes)
3 eggs, hard boiled and chopped finely
1 small white salad onion, diced very finely

1. Arrange on each blini a little creme fraiche, topped by a piece of smoked salmon, and then arrange a few capers on top.
2. Serve the salmon on a platter with two small bowls, one containing chopped boiled egg and the other with finely diced onions. Your guests will add the egg and onions on top of the smoked salmon for a complete flavour explosion.

Moroccan Carrot Salad

When carrots are cut on the round, they resemble gold pieces, so for many cultures carrots served in such a way at New Years signifies gold (or money) for the coming year.

This is a rather garlicky recipe, but packs a full flavour punch and is definitely a huge hit at any party.

3-4 carrots, sliced
1 TBSP clear honey
3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/4 tsp ground cumin, or to taste
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2-3TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1-2 TBSP red wine vinegar, or fruit vinegar such as raspberry
2 TBSP chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, or a mixture of cilantro and parsley
Salt and ground black pepper

1. Cook the carrots by either steaming or boiling in lightly salted water until they are just tender but not too soft. Drain. Leave for a few minutes to dry and then place them in a bowl.
2. Add the honey, garlic, cumin, lemon juice, olive oil, and vinegar to the carrots and toss them together. Add the herbs and season.

Chill before serving.

Smoked Oysters are served on crackers or on small rounds of toast

Easy Crab Puffs

2 cans crab meat, drained
1 packet cream cheese, softened
1 stalk spring onion, chopped finely
Dash Sriracha chili sauce
Salt to taste
1 pkt flour won ton wrappers

1. Mix together all ingredients and place 1 TBSP of mix into the middle of a won ton wrapper. Fold over to create a triangle, and using a mix of corn starch and water (to make a paste), spread on the edges (lightly) and seal closed.
2. Heat oil in a wok until very hot and drop the crab puffs into the hot oil, cooking until they float to the surface and are golden brown. Transfer from hot oil to a plate with kitchen paper.

Serve with plum dipping sauce

Sui Jao served on Chinese spoons makes it very easy for guests to eat. With the shape of the tasty little morsels looking like the ancient Chinese money Yuan Bao, it is most auspicious to serve and eat this dish on New Year's.

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

These are great little morsels that pack a real flavour punch.

1 packet cherry tomatoes, washed and hollowed
1 packet cream cheese, softened
2 TBSP sour cream
1 packet mock lobster, chopped
Salt and ground black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 sprig spring onion, chopped finely

1. Mix together all ingredients (except tomatoes), and using a small spoon gently fill each tomato hollow.

Spicy Deviled Eggs

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