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In theKitchen

Chef Natalie LaPlante of the IAM Culinary Center shares her Girls’ Night Recipes!

MINI CHEESECAKES

  • 1 CUP VANILLA WAFERS OR GRAHAM CRACKERS 2 (8 OZ) PACKAGES CREAM CHEESE
  • 3⁄4 CUP WHITE SUGAR
  • 2 EGGS
  • 1 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT
  1. PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 DEGREES, LINE A MUFFIN TIN WITH PAPER LINERS
  2. CRUSH VANILLA WAFERS IN A ZIPLOC BAG UNTIL CRUMBS, PUT 1 TBSP AT THE BOTTOM OFEACH PAPER CUPS
  3. IN A MIXING BOWL, BEAT CREAM CHEESE, SUGAR, EGGS AND VANILLA EXTRACT UNTIL LIGHTAND FLUFFY
  4. FILL EACH LINER ALMOST TO THE TOP, BAKE FOR 20 MINS OR UNTIL A TOOTHPICK COMES OUTCLEAN, COOL.

CHOCOLATE “TRUFFLES”

  • 2 CUPS CHOCOLATE CHIPS (PREFERRABLY BITTERSWEET) ROUGHLY 2 CUPS LARGE SEEDLESS GRAPES
  • 1⁄4 CUP COCOA POWDER
  1. MELT CHOCOLATE OVER A DOUBLE BOILER UNTIL MELTED, REMOVE FROM HEAT
  2. STIR IN GRAPES, MAKING SURE EACH ON IS THOUROUGHLY COATED, USING A SPOON PULLEACH ONE OUT OF THE BOWL AND PLACE ON A COOKIE SHEET LINED WITH WAX PAPER
  3. PUT IN THE REFRIDGERATOR TO SET
  4. TOSS THE “TRUFFLES” WITH THE COCOA POWDER IN A BOWL. SERVE.

OLIVE TAPENADE

  • 2 CUPS OLIVES, PITTED (I LIKE KALAMATA) 2 TBSP FRESH OREGANO LEAVES
  • 2 TBSP FRESH THYME LEAVES
  • 1 TBSP GARLIC
  • 1⁄4 CUP OLIVE OIL
  • 1 TSP BLACK PEPPER
  1. PUT ALL INGREDIENTS IN A FOOD PROCESSOR AND PLUSE UNTIL A PASTE, SCRAPPING THE SIDES DOWN OCCASIONALLY
  2. THIS CAN BE SERVED AS A DIP OR AS A TOPPING ON A CROSTINI

HUMMUS IN CUCUMBER CUPS

  • 1 CAN GARBANZO BEANS (ALSO KNOWN AS CHICKPEAS) 1 CAN CHICKEN STOCK
  • 1 BAY LEAF
  • 3 SPRINGS OF THYME
  • 1⁄4 CUP LEMON JUICE
  • 1/3 CUP OLIVE OIL
  • 1⁄4 CUP TAHINI PASTE (GROUND SEASAME SEEDS)
  • 2 ENGLISH CUCUMBERS
  • SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
  1. FOR THE CUCUMBERS, CUT LARGE ROUNDS (THE HEIGHTH YOU WANT THE CUPS). THEN USING A TEASPOON SCOOP OUT THE CENTER (MAKING SURE NOT TO GO ALL THE WAY THROUGH JUST ENOUGH TO SCOOP OUR THE CENTER TO BE FILLED WITH HUMMUS. RESERVE.
  2. FOR THE HUMMUS, IN A SAUCEPAN BRING TO A BOIL THE CHICKPEAS, CHICKEN STOCK, BAY LEAF, AND THYME, UNTIL BEANS ARE TENDER. (DRAIN THE BEANS, MAKING SURE TO KEEP THE STOCK) REMOVE THE BAY LEAF AND THYME.
  3. ADD CHICKPEAS, OLIVE OIL, SALT AND PEPPER, LEMON JUICE, TAHINI PASTE IN A FOOD PROCESSOR AND PULSE UNTIL SMOOTH, YOU CAN USE SOME OF THE RESERVED COOKING LIQUID IF HUMMUS IS TOO THICK
  4. PLACE A DOLLOP OF HUMMUS IN THE CENTER OF EACH CUP. CHILL. GARNISH WITH CHOPPED CHIVES OR CHOPPED PICKLED SWEET PEPPERS

SPANISH CHORIZO ARANCINI WITH SMOKED PAPRIKA AIOLI

  • 2 CUPS ARBORIO RICE
  • 1 QUART CHICKEN STOCK
  • 1⁄4 CUP WHITE WINE
  • HALF OF A YELLOW ONION, DICED SMALL 1⁄2 CUP SPANISH CHORIZO, DICED SMALL 1/3 CUP PARPESAN CHEESE
  • 2 CUPS AP FLOUR
  • 2 CUPS PANKO BREAD CRUMBS
  • 2 EGGS, WHOLE
  • 1 EGG YOLK
  • 4 CUPS VEGETABLE OIL
  • 1 TBSP DIJON MUSTARD 1 TBSP LEMON JUICE
  • 1 TBSP SMOKED PAPRIKA
  1. FOR THE ARANCINI, SAUTE ONIONS AND SPANISH CHORIZO IN 1 TBSP OF VEG OIL UNTIL ONIONS ARE SOFT, AND 1 TBSP BUTTER, COOK FOR 2 MINS, AND WHITE WINE AND SITR UNTIL LIQUID IS EVAPORATED, STIRRING CONTINOUSLY ADD CHICKEN STOCK IN 2 ADDITIONS UNTIL LIQUID IS ABORBED AND THE RICE IS COOK. ADD SALT AND PARMESAN CHEESE
  2. LAY THIS MIXTURE OUT ON A COOKIE SHEET LINED WITH WAX PAPER AND PLACE IN THE FRIDGE TO COOL
  3. HAVE 3 LARGE BOWL READY TO GO, IN ONE PUT THE FLOUR, THE OTHER THE 2 EGGS (WHISK WITH 1 TBSP WATER) AND THE OTHER BOWL THE PANKO
  4. ROLL THE COOLED RICE INTO BALLS AND FIRST ROLL IN THE FLOUR, THEN THE EGG, THEN THE PANKO BREADCRUMBS, ONCE THE ARE ALL BREADED, PUT BACK ON A COOKIE SHEET AND IN THE FRIDGE TO CHILL UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO FRY
  5. FRY THE BALLS IN BATCHES AT 350 UNTIL GOLDEN BROWN
  6. FOR THE AIOLI, WHISK TOGETHER EGG YOLK, DIJON MUSTARD, LEMON JUICE, THEN USING A
  7. MEASURING CUP VERY SLOWLY WHISK IN A STREAM OF VEGETABLE OIL UNTIL THIS MIXTURE IS THICKEN DO THIS VERY SLOWLY SO AS NOT TO BREAK THE SAUCE, THE AIOLI SHOULD BE A LITTLE THINNER THAN MAYONNAISE, WHISK IN SMOKED PAPRIKA, SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE

SPRING ROLLS WITH ASIAN DIPPING SAUCE

  • 2 PACKAGES SOY WRAPPING PAPER
  • 2 BELL PEPPERS, JULIENNED (CUT VERY THIN) THIS CAN BE DONE ON A MANDOLINE 2 AVOCADOS SLICED
  • 1 CUP CILANTRO
  • 1 CUP MINT
  • 1 CUCUMBER, JULIENNED
  • 1 CARROT, SHREDDED
  • 1 BUNCH SCALLION (GREEN ONION) SLICED THIN
  • 1/4 CUP SOY SAUCE
  • 11/2 CUPS ORANGE JUICE
  • 1 TBSP FRESH GINGER
  • 1 TBSP GARLIC
  • 1⁄4 CUP SLICED SCALLIONS 1 CUP WATER
  • 1 TBSP CORNSTARCH
  1. FOR THE ASAIN DIPPING SAUCE BRING SOY SAUCE, ORANGE JUICE, GINGER, GARLIC, SCALLIONS, AND WATER TO A BOIL FOR ABOUT 4 MINUTES, STRAIN
  2. BRING THIS SAUCE TO A BOIL AGAIN, WITH A WHISK IN A SEPARATE BOWL WHISK CORNSTARCH WITH A LITTLE WATER TO MAKE A LOOSE PASTE, WHISK THIS IN THE BOILING SAUCE UNTIL THE MIXTURE THICKENS, COOL
  3. FOR THE SPRING ROLLS, HAVE ALL VEGETABLES CHOPPED AND READY TO GO, HAVE A LARGE BOWL WITH WATER READY
  4. DIP A SOY PAPER JUST UNTIL IT BECOMES PLIABLE, LAY THIS ON A LARGE CUTTING BOARD OR FLAT SURFACE, FILL WITH DESIRED VEGETABLES AND HERBS IN THE MIDDLE AND ROLL LIKE A BURRITO, THESE CAN BE SERVED WHOLE OR SLICED IN HALF ON A DIAGONAL. SERVE WITH SAUCE. ENJOY

STUFFED MUSHROOMS

  • 1 LB BUTTON OR CREMINI MUSHROOMS 2 CUPS HEAVY CREAM
  • 1/3 CUP PANKO BREADCRUMBS
  • 1⁄2 CUP PARMESAN CHEESE
  • 1 TBSP FRESH THYME LEAVES SALT AND PEPPER
  1. PREHEAT OVEN TO 400 DEGREES
  2. REMOVE STEMS FROM MUSHROOMS, PLACE THE MUSHROOM CAPS, TOP SIDE DOWN, ON ACOOKIE SHEET DRIZZLE GENEROUSLY WITH OLIVE OIL AND SPRINKLE WITH SALT AND PEPPER,BAKE IN THE OVEN UNTIL TENDER
  3. IN A SAUCEPAN BRING HEAVY CREAM AND GARLIC TO A BOIL, REDUCE TEMPERATURE AND STIRIN BREADCRUMBS, THYME, AND PARMESAN CHEESE
  4. STUFF EACH MUSHROOM WITH A TBSP OR SO OF THE FILLING, BAKE IN THE OVEN UNTILMIXTURE IS GOLDEN, YOU CAN TURN THE BROIL ON FOR THE LAST MINUTE OR SO TO BROWN THE TOPS
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