Sunday, January 24, 2010

January 23rd & 24th - Coconut Rice Pudding

SUCCESS....Well Almost...
So the Polish dinner went pretty well last night.  We had 50 guest (and about 14 students helping).   Luckily everyone there liked Polish food (or they woudn't have come).  Shall we get right into it?? 

Appetizer:  Potato Perogi's
This was the hit of the night.  People could not stop talking about these!  Everyone was like "can I get the recipe?"  And normally, I would, but this is a super secret family recipe, so no.  They tasted exactly like my mom's.  Go me!  (And yeah, I made all 150 of them by myself.  No student's helped..that's an issue I don't want to get into right now)

The Soup:  Mushroom with Mushroom Pillows
I didn't forget to take a picture of this soup...I just didn't want to.  In my opinion, this was the low point of the whole meal.  Some people really liked it, some people did not.  I personally don't like this soup, but I thought it would be better than serving borscht. 

The Salad:  Pickled Beets with Sour Cream Dill Cucumbers
Traditionally us Polish people don't eat a whole lot of salad, so I kind of just threw two recipes I knew together to make a salad.  People loved it.  The beets were very good thanks to my friend Jon the kitchen manager at school (he pickled them for me).  And you can't go wrong with sour cream, dill, a little lemon juice, and cucumbers.  Yummy!  Presentation was a little sloppy.

The Main Course:  Polish Hunters Stew

This was a sauerkraut stew that had duck, smoked ham hocks, ham, bacon, and kilebasa in it.  It also had apples, potatoes, garlic, onions, peppercorns, red wine, veal stock, and vodka.  I cooked this stew every day this past week (very slow and low) for at least 5 hours each day.  Then I served it with dilled potatoes and some grainy mustard.  It was really good (people liked it).  And it wasn't overly sauerkraut tasting.  The flavor had mellowed out a lot. 

Dessert:  Assorted Polish Cookies and Pastries

Pictured:  On the left, rogaliki (a nut filled rolled cookie).  Top, Krustichiki (a deep fried dough cookie).  Right, Kolachki (apricot and cream cheese).  Bottom, Makowiec (a poppy seed roll).  Middle, Bobka (apple)

The dessert was very traditional.  Everything was good except for the kolachki (I didn't like the apricot jam...I wanted raspberry..but we won't get into that either)  and the poppy seed roll got all soggy (cause I baked them and froze them...but I think they were a little too warm when I put them in the freezer).  By this time in the meal, everyone was full so a lot of people took their dessert home.

So of course kudos everywhere (no, not the granola bars) when I visited the tables.  It was fun talking to the guests.  One table (we dubbed it the Polish Table) brought Polish Beer, Wine, and after dinner liquor.  They gave me a taste of the honey liquor and it was good (strong, but good).  Very nice people!

And that's's over.  (Thank you Jesus).  However, in a month I have the French Dinner for 72 people.  Yikes!  This will be the most we've ever had for dinner at our campus. (Normally the limit is like 60.)   Thankfully, this will be my last dining series event for this school year, so I'm going to go out with a bang and make it super classy. 

The Recipe

I was kind of disappointed to see rice pudding for the dessert.  BOOORING!  I'm not a big fan of rice pudding either.  I always think "old people" when I think of rice pudding. 


Milk: Had
Basmati Rice: $2.49
Sugar:  Had
Flaked Coconut: $2.29
Coconut Milk:  $2.99

Total:  $7.77 (Lucky Day!)


Fast:  NO.  It takes about 1 hour to cook and at least 4 hours to chill.  Sorry, no instant gratification on this one.

Easy:  Yes.  Just dump and go.  It's basically mixing everything in a saucepot on top of  the stove.

Fresh:  Not really.  How fresh is canned coconut milk and flaked coconut? 

Overall:  This recipe definitely needs fresh fruit with it.  Bananas, mangoes, kiwi?  It's pretty blah without.  The coconut flavor is terrific...but it needs more life.  I would use it as a filling for a yellow cake along with crushed pineapple, cream cheese frosting, and served with a slighlty sweetened mango puree sauce on the side.

Okay.  Tommorrow is tip day.  I may or may not blog.  I haven't decided...depends on if I'm feeling lazy or not.  Otherwise...I'll see you Tuesday!

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