Category: Appetizers

Blue Cheese Cheesecake

1 cup Ritz or Club crackers, crushed
1/2 cup pecans, chopped fine
3 tbsp butter, melted
16 oz cream cheese, softened
4 oz blue cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp white pepper
3 eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup green onions, diced
2 cups water

Lightly spray a 6-inch springform pan with cooking spray.  Line base of springform pan with parchment using spray to keep in place.  Spray one additional coat of cooking spray.

Combine crackers, pecans and butter and press onto base and sides of springform pan.

Beat cream cheese, blue cheese, and cream until smooth.  Add basil garlic powder and white pepper; beat to combine.  Beat in eggs, one at a time until just combined.  Fold in green onions and pour into crust.  Tent with foil.

Place steamer insert in base of Instant Pot and add 2 cups water.  Layer a paper towel and two layers foil under springform pan and wrap up the sides with paper towel between springform pan and foil.  Carefully place cheesecake in the center of the pot.  Secure lid and close release valve.  Cook on manual setting at high pressure for 40 minutes.  When cooking is complete, allow Instant Pot to release and depressurize naturally.

Remove cheesecake from Instant Pot and cool on rack for 1 hour and in refrigerator for an additional 4 hours.  Remove cheesecake from springform pan and plate.  Serve with crackers, pears, apples, etc.

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Thai Coconut Prawns

24 medium uncooked prawns (600g)
1⁄4 cup flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1⁄2 cups shredded coconut
1⁄2 cup sweet chili sauce
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp cilantro, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil two oven trays. Shell and devein prawns. Coat prawns in flour, shake off excess; dip into egg and coat with coconut. Thread each prawn on individual skewers; place in a single layer on prepared trays. Bake, uncovered, about 15 minutes or until prawns are cooked through. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Serve hot with dipping sauce.

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Sambal Sesame Chicken

1⁄2 cup soy sauce
3⁄4 brown sugar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 green onion, finely chopped 2 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp sambal oelek

2 kgs chicken wings, tips removed and halved
1 cup cornstarch
1⁄3 cup water
4 egg yolks
self-rising (or AP) flour

Combine all sauce ingredients. Thoroughly combine cornstarch, water and egg yolks. Dip chicken wings in the sauce mixture and then coat with flour. Fry and then dip in sauce mix.

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Lemper Ayam

1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
4 shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
5 cm galangal, peeled and chopped
2 red chillies, chopped
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp oil
300g chicken breasts, very finely cubed
200g coconut milk
4 kaffir lime leaves
2 tbsp fish sauce black pepper

Coconut Rice:
500g glutinous rice, soaked for a minimum of 2 hours and then drained
500ml coconut milk
1 stalk lemon grass, bruised
2 salam (or bay) leaves
1 tsp salt
2 pandan leaves, shredded and tied in knots

Combine lemon grass, shallots, garlic, galangal, chillies, ground coriander and turmeric powder in a mortar and pestle; grind into a fine paste. Heat oil in wok; add paste and fry, stirring often, for 5 min. Add the chicken, coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves and fish sauce; season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from direct heat and set aside; remove the kaffir lime leaves.

Rinse the soaked rice; steam for 15 minutes. Combine remaining rice ingredients and bring to a boil. Add the steamed rice and cook until the coconut milk is fully absorbed.

Cut washed banana leaf into eight 4cm x 4cm squares. Evenly spread a portion of rice in the center of each banana leaf. Top the rice with some of the cooked chicken. Roll the banana leaf over the filling, forming a neat parcel. Repeat the process making eight banana leaf rolls.

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Chicken Lettuce Wraps

5 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 tbsp vegetable oil
500g chicken, minced
1⁄4 tsp sesame oil
1 sm red bell pepper (150g), finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 can (230g) bamboo shoots
1 can (230g) water chestnuts, drained, finely chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp dry sherry
1⁄3 cup water
1⁄2 tsp sambal oelek
1 head iceberg lettuce

Soak mushrooms in boiling water for 20 minutes; drain. Discard stems; slice caps finely. Heat half of the vegetable oil in wok or large frying pan. Stir-fry chicken, in batches, until browned; remove from wok. Heat remaining vegetable oil and sesame oil in wok; stir-fry bell pepper, garlic and ginger. Return chicken to wok with mushrooms, bamboo shoots, chestnuts, onion slices, sherry, water and sambal; stir until hot. Serve wrapped in lettuce.

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Satay Babi

1 lb pork tenderloin (500 g)
1/2 inch fresh ginger (about 1 cm), finely grated
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
6 tbsp ketjap manis (or soy sauce)
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter (90 g)
1/4 cup candle nuts (30 g), ground finely in a food processor (optional)
1/2 cup coconut milk (120 ml)
1 stalk of lemongrass, bruised
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 tbsp sambal oelek

Cut the pork into bite sized squares and place in a freezer bag, along with half of the ginger and garlic, 3 tbsp of the ketjap manis and 1 tbsp of the oil. Seal the bag; massage the marinade into the meat, and leave to marinade in the fridge overnight or for a few hours.

For the satay sauce: Fry the onion in the remaining tablespoon of oil in a saucepan. Once the onion has caramelized, add the rest of the ginger and garlic, the peanut butter and the ground candle nuts. Add the rest of the ketjap manis, the coconut milk, the lemongrass and the lime leaves, and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. Add the sambal and taste for seasoning. If the sauce has thickened too much at this point, add some warm water. Remove the lemongrass and lime leaves; quickly whisk before serving.

Thread the marinated pork onto satay sticks and grill, turning regularly. Top the meat skewers with the satay sauce and serve with white rice, cucumber salad and kroepoek.

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