TIE Striker Appetizers

TIE Striker Appetizers

All good things come to an end. We have reached our third and final recipe of our Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trio. Fortunately, we saved the best (at least thematically) for last. Everyone knows that starfighters/vehicles are one of the coolest aspects of the Star Wars Universe. So, for our last recipe, we went all out and created our TIE Striker Appetizers.

The TIE Striker is a streamlined variant of the classic TIE fighter design. It is designed for atmospheric patrols over important Imperial ground-based installations. In Rogue One: A Star Wars Story the TIE Strikers are mainly seen patrolling in the clouds along the beaches of Scarif. Since this particular starfighter was unique to Rogue One, we felt it was due a tribute.

When designing the look of this recipe, we really wanted the appetizers to be mostly visual. Meaning, when you look at them they look like TIE Strikers. We went through a few ideas on how to achieve this but settled on wonton wrappers and Lil Smokies. The result is a sausage and cracker flavor. Even though we used mustard for the detail work, you really could use any condiment like bbq sauce or ketchup.

As we mentioned earlier in the post, this is our last recipe in our Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trio of recipes. Don’t worry if you missed one as we will be re-sharing them in a recipe round-up on Tuesday along with a review of the Blu-ray!

[Sponsored] The Geeks share their 3rd and final Rogue One: A Star Wars Story inspired recipe. They've gone all out with their TIE Striker Appetizers. 2geekswhoeat.com #StarWarsRecipes #StarWars #Appetizers #GeekyRecipes #GeekyFood #StarWarsParty #PartyIdeas

 

Ingredients

  • 48 Wonton Wrappers
  • 24 Lil Smokies
  • Yellow Mustard (or another condiment to garnish)

Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    • Cut wonton wrappers using the diagram as a model.

TieStrikerDiagram

  • Each TIE Striker will be made with 2 of the wrappers.
  • On your foil lined baking sheet, place a wrapper, lightly moisten it with water (not too much) and top it with a seconder wrapper.
  • Place a Lil Smokie on the double layered wrapper and using the scraps from Step One of the wrapper cuts create a “seat belt” for your Lil Smokie.
  • Make sure to moisten the ends of “seat belt” so it will attach.
  • Cook TIE Strikers for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Decorate with condiment of choice. We used a ziploc with the tip cut off to line the TIE Striker.
  • Serve.

 

 

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Creamy Rustic Tomato Soup

Creamy Rustic Tomato Soup

Nothing beats comfort food on a cold and stormy day.  Whether it’s a snowstorm or rainstorm comfort foods are always welcome.  And what’s the best comfort food on a wet and windy day?  Grilled Cheese sandwiches dipped in a bowl of steaming creamy tomato soup of course!

Dipping a crunchy sandwich dripping with gooey cheese into a hot bowl of creamy tomato soup brings back awesome childhood memories sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen on a winter afternoon.  But for some reason my grandmother always served Campbell’s tomato soup to which she’d heat with milk instead of water.  I guess Filipino grandmas didn’t do homemade tomato soup, but her Arroz Caldo, chicken and rice soup, was always awesome.

I digress, back to tomato soup.  As an adult I still love creamy tomato soup.  When I was a newlywed grilled cheese and canned tomato soup was pretty much all I could make, having had lots of practice during my school days.  Then I suppose you could say my tastes got a bit more sophisticated and I actually learned how to cook.  Homemade tomato soup was something I finally figured out how to make.  It’s actually pretty easy, specially these days when there are immersion blenders and canned fire roasted tomatoes.

These days my love of creamy tomato soup has been passed down to my grandkids.  So I make a big pot of my Creamy Rustic Tomato Soup on stormy days.  Of course there’s grilled cheese for dunking!

Making this soup is very easy, it just takes a bit of time. I use Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes because I just love the Rustic flavors roasted tomatoes have.  To make the soup I sauté chopped onions and garlic, pour in the diced tomatoes, add spices and stock, then simmer for at least an hour.  I add lots of heavy cream, use my immersion blender to purée, then serve.

Ok, so maybe you don’t have an immersion blender, why not??, you really should consider investing in one, it’s a great kitchen small appliance; anyway don’t despair, you can use your blender, a bit messy and you must be very careful, but it’s doable.

Here’s a tip, if you are using a blender, cool the soup to almost room temperature, so you don’t get burned.  Pour  soup in the blender so it doesn’t overflow and leave room for blending space.  You may have to purée your soup in batches.  Return puréed soup to pot and heat before serving.  This is just one reason an immersion blender comes in handy!

So here’s my recipe!

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Creamy Rustic Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

3 Cans Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes

1 Small onion finely diced

3 Garlic cloves finely minced

1 Tbl. Olive Oil

1 Tsp. Dried Oregano

1 Tsp. Dried Basil

1 Tsp. Onion Powder

1 Tsp. Garlic Powder

Black Pepper to taste

16 oz.  Chicken Broth

2 Cups Heavy Cream

Fresh Basil or Oregano for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Heat Olive Oil in a Dutch Oven or large pot.  Sauté onions until they start to turn translucent.

Add Garlic and sauté another minute or two, don’t burn it.

Add spices and mix well.

Add tomatoes and broth.

Bring to a boil.

Turn heat down to low and simmer covered for about 1 hour.

Remove from heat.

Stir in cream.  Mix until well incorporated.

Purée carefully with a hand held immersion blender (if you don’t have one see tip above for using blender)

Blend until the soup is smooth and not lumpy.

If it’s too thick stir in more chicken broth until you get the consistency you want.  You may need to reheat if it gets too cold when  you add broth.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh basil leaf or oregano sprig if desired.

Serve hot.

 

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Baked Sheep’s Milk Ricotta with Dried Persimmons

Baked Sheep’s Milk Ricotta with Dried Persimmons

Make the most of those end-of-winter persimmons with this creamy baked ricotta.

 

Spike Gjerde, the James Beard Award–winning chef at restaurants like A Rake’s Progress in Washington, D.C., and Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore, approaches local sourcing with religious fervor. He forgoes olive oil and lemons, using locally grown and pressed oils and vinegars in their place. His team dries mint, lavender, peaches, and cherries—and even makes garlic powder. He refuses to buy from distributors, even when they buy from local growers, because he wants every penny to go the farm. “A lot of people say, ‘Wow, this is harder than I thought.’ Then they just call [giant distributor] Sysco. But it’s why we’re doing it,” Gjerde says. “Our job is to get more value back to growers.”This recipe, from A Rake’s Progress, is inspired by Gjerde’s relationship with local makers and purveyors. Hoshigaki are Japanese persimmons that have been dried and massaged to evenly distribute their sugars. Gjerde shaves them and scatters them over baked ricotta to make an indulgent but healthy snack.

 

 

Active:  15 mins                    Total:  1 hr                 Yield:  6

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups sheep’s milk ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 teaspoon medium-grind sea salt (such as J.Q. Dickinson)
2 tablespoons Herb Oil
1/4 ounce hoshigaki (Japanese dried persimmons), shaved on a mandoline (about 2 tablespoons)
Grilled bread, for serving

 

Directions:

Step 1
Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir together ricotta, egg, and salt in a medium bowl. Transfer ricotta mixture to a small (3-cup) crock or gratin dish. Bake in preheated oven until ricotta mixture is puffed and golden brown in spots, 45 to 50 minutes. Drizzle herb oil over baked ricotta, and top with shaved hoshigaki. Serve hot with grilled bread.

 

Suggested Pairing:

Creamy, full-bodied Rhône-style white.

 

 

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Manapua or Chinese Bao

Manapua or Chinese Bao

What is a Manapua?  Simply put it’s the Hawaiian name for the yummy Chinese Bao, that slightly sweet dough stuffed with barbecued pork then steamed to form a shiny outer skin surrounding the fluffy bread and sweet savory filling.

In the 19th. century Cantonese Chinese immigrants came to the Hawaiian islands to work in the sugarcane plantations.  They brought with them their heritage and cuisine.  One of the delectable foods they brought to the islands was the Cha Sui Bao, that barbecued pork filled steamed bun.  It soon became a favorite with the locals who called them Mea’ono’pua’a (Mea’ono means bread and pua’a means pork).  Over time that name morphed into Manapua, which is what we call it today.

Along with the name change the traditional Manapua also evolved into different flavors.  These days one can easily find Shoyu Chicken, Lap Cheung (Chinese Sausage), Pizza and Curry Manapuas at the 7/11 and other Manapua Shops and trucks.  Actually you can stuff the dough with just about anything you want; I make adobo manapuas!

Manapuas are found everywhere in Hawaii, but homemade ones are still the best!  They’re great for snacks, picnics, and even as a light lunch.  They are one of my family’s favorite foods!

When I make manapua I usually use store bought Char Siu pork or chicken.  Both are readily available at our local supermarkets.  But sometimes I make my own, it’s not that hard.  So today I’ll share the recipe for makng manapua and the barbecue meat filling we call Char Siu.

Char Siu – It can be used to fill steamed buns or sliced mix with noodles or rice.

  • 1 lb. skinless pork belly or boneless skinless chicken thighs (trim off excess fat from the meat)
  • 2 Tbs. Shaoxing Cooking wine
  • 2 Tbs. Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbs. Sugar
  • 3 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs. Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 Tsp. Five Spice Powder
  • 1/8 Cup Honey except honey together and pour in to a ziplock bag.

Marinate in the fridge for 2-3 hours.

Place meat in a roasting pan and brush top with honey.

Bake in a 325° oven for 40 – 45 minutes or until meat is cooked.  The meat is done when it starts to turn crisp on the outside and the center is firm.

Remove from oven and cool for about 10 minutes.

Slice into thin strips or if using for manapua filling dice into 1/4″ cubes.

Manapua

Filling:
  • 3/4 Cup diced char siu meat (pork or chicken)
  • 1 Tbs. Sesame Oil
  • 1 Stalk Green Onions chopped
  • 1/3 Cup Fresh Cilantro chopped
  • 2 1/2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/8 Tsp. Salt
  • 2 Tsp. Flour
  • 2 Tsp. Corn Starch
  • 1/4 Cup water
  • 2 – 3 drops red food coloring

Heat oil in a pan.  Fry diced char siu for about 30 seconds.  Add green onions, cilantro, sugar, soy sauce, and salt.  Stir so it doesn’t burn.

Dissolve Flour and cornstarch in the water.

Stir into char sui mixture to thicken.

Remove from heat and cool.

Buns:
  • 2 Cups Cake Flour
  • 1 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1 Tbs. Vegetable Shortening
  • 1/4 Cup Baker’s Sugar
  • 1 Tbs. Dry Yeast
  • 1 Cup warm water

Combine 2 flours and put 3 cups of the mixture in the bowl of your standing mixer.  (or in a bowl if you’re mixing with your hands)

Using a dough hook cut in shortening.

Stir in about 2 tbs. sugar.

In a separate bowl combine remaining sugar with the yeast and add 1/3 Cup warm water.

Stir until yeast is dissolved.

Add the rest of the flour mixture to the yeast and mix well.

Add the yeast mixture and the remaining water to the flour mixture in the bowl.

Knead with the dough hook until smooth and elastic.

Turn dough in to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel.

Let it sit at room temperature until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.  If it’s too cold proof in the oven until it doubles in size.

Divide dough into about 18 balls.

Flatten each ball with a rolling pin into a circle about 1/4″ thick.

Place 1 Tbs. filling in the center.

Pull sides of dough around filling and pinch to seal the seams.

Place buns on little squares of wax paper to keep them closed.

Place in a rack or a bamboo steamer and steam for 15 minutes.

Serve hot or freeze for later use.

 

 

 

 

 

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Smoked Salmon Dip

Smoked Salmon Dip

Level: Easy

Prep: 10 min

Yield: 1 1/2 pints

Total: 10 min

Ingredients

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon minced fresh dill

 

1 teaspoon prepared horseradish, drained

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 pound (4 ounces) smoked salmon, minced

Directions

Cream the cheese in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until just smooth. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, dill, horseradish, salt and pepper, and mix. Add the smoked salmon and mix well. Chill and serve with crudites and/or crackers.


Smoked Salmon Dip
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