Cranberry Crab Rangoon

INGREDIENTS

Grapeseed or canola oil for cooking
2 red onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons minced lemongrass, white part only
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups dried cranberries
½ cup sugar
2 cups rice vinegar
3 pounds picked, fresh crab meat
3/4 pound cream cheese, softened
½ cup chopped chives, 2 tablespoons reserved for garnish
1 package thin square wonton skins, defrosted (at least 60-count)
2 eggs mixed with 1/4 cup water

PROCEDURE

In a sauté pan coated lightly with oil over high heat, sauté onions and lemongrass until soft, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and check for flavor. Add cranberries and sugar and deglaze with rice vinegar. Reduce by 75 percent or until liquid is absorbed. Check again for seasoning. (When cool, you can transfer to a container and store in fridge for up to two weeks.) In a large bowl, mix crab, cream cheese, cooled cranberry mixture and chives. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and check for flavor. Lay out 4 to 6 skins, lightly brush the edges with egg wash and place a small mound of the mix in the middle. Top with second skin and press firmly to seal. This is very important so the rangoons do not burst and leak. Repeat until filling is gone. Preheat a large sauté pan coated with 1/4-inch of oil over medium-high heat. Add as many rangoons as pan can hold in one layer. Shallow fry until golden brown, flip and fry other side until golden brown. Transfer rangoons to plate lined with paper towels. Arrange on platter and garnish with dollops of cranberry-mixture and reserved chives.

Ginger Shrimp, Sugar Snap Peas and Corn Stir-Fry

Makes: 4 Servings

INGREDIENTS

1 pound shrimp, raw, peeled, deveined
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
3 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 pound sugar snap peas, strings removed
1 cup fresh corn kernels (cut from about 2 ears)
½ cup red pepper, diced
3 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 teaspoons black or tan sesame seeds (optional)

PROCEDURE

Mix shrimp, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 ½ teaspoons ginger, half of garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and crushed red pepper in medium bowl. Let stand 30 minutes. Heat wok or large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add shrimp mixture; sauté until shrimp are just opaque in center, about 2 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil to wok, and then add snap peas, corn, red bell pepper, green onions, 1 ½ teaspoon ginger and remaining garlic. Stir-fry until vegetables are crisp, yet tender, about 3 minutes. Return shrimp and any accumulated juices from bowl to wok; stir-fry 1 minute longer. Season with sea salt and pepper. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with jasmine rice.

Beef with Spinach, Black Pepper and Garlic

Makes: 4 Servings

INGREDIENTS

10 medium garlic cloves
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 pound beef tenderloin (or chicken or pork), sliced
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
10 oz. fresh spinach, cleaned

Accompaniment Ideas…
Steamed jasmine rice
Stir-fried noodles

PROCEDURE

Grind the garlic and peppercorns in a mortar and pestle until mixture forms a rough paste. Over medium-high heat, heat the oil in a wok or sauté pan and add the garlic mixture. Sauté 30 seconds. Add the meat and toss until browned. Add the soy, sugar and fish sauce and toss 30 seconds. Add the spinach and toss until wilted. Serve at once with rice or noodles.

Coconut Custard

Makes: 6 Servings

INGREDIENTS

Caramel:
¼ cup water
1 cup sugar

Custard:
2 cups half and half
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
2-inch piece of vanilla bean, split and scraped
4 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
Pinch of finely ground sea salt

PROCEDURE

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Caramel: Combine the sugar and water in a small heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Allow to cook until the syrup caramelizes to a deep amber color. Carefully pour into individual ramekins or a 1 ½-2 quart baking dish. Allow to cool while you prepare the custard. Place the half and half, coconut and vanilla bean scrapings into a saucepan and heat gently until steaming slightly. Set aside to steep for 10-15 minutes. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, sugar and salt. Gradually add the cream, whisking constantly. Pour the custard into the caramel prepared dishes which have been set in a deep baking pan. Add hot water to the baking pan to reach halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake, in 350 degree oven, until just set, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and chill (2 hours). Unmold by running a table knife around the edges of the custard and inverting onto a plate.