Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Easy seafood dinner party idea with a Phillipino twist

Today's dinner party idea is an incredibly easy one - all you'll need are some ready cooked prawns and crab, boiled or steamed rice and a delicious Phillipino dipping sauce adding that exotic touch. What's more is that there's barely any preparation time required so you needn't be distracted in the kitchen when you could be spending more quality time with your guests. You can prepare the seafood and sauce and all you'll need to do is boil or steam some rice 10 or 15 minutes before you're ready to serve your banquet.

This idea of course is wonderful for an al fresco lunch or dinner. And with a lovely chilled bottle of white wine you'll be set. Al fresco just means "outside" and usually in a warm and lovely setting.

I am lucky to have a Phillipino sister-in-law and a Japanese sister-in-law so we really get to enjoy some sensational foods when the family comes together to eat. And that's how I got to taste the deliciousness of this dipping sauce. Yes, you could serve tar tare sauce or any other kind of seafood sauce if you're not game for something different but this dipping sauce adds something unique. Try it yourself first if you're not sure..

If you can get to a fish market - great. Buy a quantity of large prawns and crab - ask the fishmonger to cut the crab (at least in half) for you. Try to avoid prawn that have been frozen because they can be soggy when thawed - freshly cooked are best. All you'll need to do now is present the seafood an an elegant platter.

You can prepare your dipping sauce in advance - it as simple as this :

- one cup of good quality soy sauce
- one cup of white vinegar
- a small grated onion
- and a clove (or two or three) of crushed garlic

Mix all the ingredients together and this is your sauce. You can make as much or as little sauce as you like - just remember it's an equal measure of soy sauce to white vinegar and the onion and garlic can be to your taste. Then just season the sauce with some salt and pepper.

I'd serve this in a bowl with a large serving spoon so people can pour a quantity over their seafood and/or rice.

The seafood and the sauce can be refrigerated with some cling wrap to keep them fresh but I'd suggest eating on the same day as purchase.

When you are ready, all you'll need to do is boil or steam some rice and then present this in a serving bowls with serving spoon.

I imagine you'll have dressed your table nicely and people will already have plates and glasses at their setting - so how easy is that?

One more thing .. since you're serving crab, make sure you have the seafood pliers so your guests can break the hard shell of the crab - particularly the thicker legs which tend to be filled with the sweetest and juiciest meat.

And when serving seafood in this way, prepare one or two bowls of warm water with lemon slices so people can clean their fingers easily and make sure people have serviettes to dry their hands. It's also great to have a large bowl for the prawn and crab shells so people have access to the food on their plates.

Stay tuned for more dinner party ideas soon. You may not choose this exact idea but it may spark off another idea for you. But if you do try this or any of the other ideas here, I hope you enjoy yourselves!

Stay tuned for more dinner party ideas soon.

The Hostess with the Mostess

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