Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year's Eve Media Noche

It was really nice to be able to cook again for our New Year's Eve media noche feast. But before I go into that, please pardon me for saying I'm so uberly happy I finally got to buy a MacBook! Yeebbbaaa!!

I remember posting in July 2010 that I wanted to get one. What was holding me back was I wanted to get over all the holiday expenses first before making another big purchase. So now that it's 2011, I found an excuse to start spending again hehe.

So anywayyyy, I definitely don't have anymore reason to not regularly update this blog... As mentioned, we did cook up a storm late friday night. We were cooking for 5 hours straight but it didn't feel like it because I truly honestly enjoy cooking and chopping and stirring... except washing the dishes!

Appetizer was "Spinach and Artichoke Dip", mostly prepared by my cousin, Aileen. It was quite simple actually as most of the ingredients were ready-to-use. Basically, you just need to mash up artichokes (we bought a bottled one), spinach (again, bottled Tostitos spinach dip), cream cheese, (low fat) sour cream, a little bit mayo (we used reduced fat Kraft mayo with olive oil), mozarella cheese, then a dash of pepper and sugar. Bake in a deep dish (or ramekins to make them look pretty) and top again with mozarella.

The Eggplant Parmigiana was a little bit more complicated:
  1. Slice eggplant thinly, coat with flour, egg and breadcrumbs (seasoned with parmesan cheese and italian seasoning) then fry till golden brown.
  2. Prepare the red sauce - I mixed a bottle of pasta sauce and chunky tomato sauce. Roast some peppers, remove the skin, throw in a blender and mix back with the red sauce.
  3. Prepare the bechamel sauce - Cook some flour in butter, then add milk and a dash of salt, pepper and nutmeg and cook until thick.
  4. Layer the the ingredients in a deep dish tray in this sequence: Red sauce, Eggplant, Red Sauce, Cheese, Eggplant, Bechamel sauce, Cheese... Repeat.
  5. Bake in the oven for around 30 mins. TADDAAAAA!!!

The next dish was stuffed bell peppers which were mostly prepared by Aileen and Bill. Not as difficult as the eggplant parmigiana as all you need to do is saute the ground beef with onions, garlic, seasoning, soy sauce, salt and pepper, then stuff them inside the peppers. Top with cheese and bake in the oven (using low heat) until tender and cheese is golden brown.

Last and definitely not the least was the Seafood Paella which was entirely prepared by Aileen :) Now I'll be honest to say that I've never tried cooking this. From what I observed, you need to saute onions with the rice before adding water and wine to cook the rice (she used a mix of risotto rice and regular thai rice). Add the seafood (shrimp, squid, scallops, etc), chorizo (or chicken sausage if you don't eat pork, such as the case of Zach), tomato paste and saffron.


Zach bought a cake plus I got some bagel chips to go along with the spinach & artichoke dip and there you have a feast! It was a very sumptuous meal indeed! We were planning to cook Chicken Pastel Pie but didn't have the energy anymore hehe. Plus, there was only 4 of us eating so this was more than enough. In fact, it's a Sunday now and we're still eating leftovers haha.

Happy New Year once again to everyone! Hoping we all have a blast this year of the Rabbit! :)

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