So you're having a party with a bunch of hot girls... how will you impress them? Even if they are just friends, women can never get enough of a guy who can cook! These simple and easy foods will knock the ladies off their socks!
And if you ARE a lady, you know exactly what I'm talking about! Spice up your new years evening with delicious treats like these and wow your friends and family into thinking you're a pro ;)
Maple Spice Hot Toddy, Serves 4 to 6
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp cinnamon (or 1 cinnamon stick)
1/4 tsp nutmeg or pie spice
8 whole cloves
In a sauce pan combine:
1 cup spirit of choice — even that dusty bottle of cooking brandy in the back of your cupboard will do. It will still be delicious! Of course, if you have bourbon, whiskey, or cognac, even better.
1 cup water
The peel of one orange or lemon
1. Combine all ingredients in a medium size pot. Bring to a simmer for thirty seconds.
2. Strain and pour into mugs or mason jars.
3. To create a garnish, slice the remainder of the lemon or orange into 1/4 inch thick slices. Place whole cloves into every other segment — float in the cocktail.
Seafood Bruschetta, Serves 4
1 16 oz can of tomatoes
A few springs of fresh thyme
1/2 pound or 1 to 2 cans of seafood of your choice. For anchovies, use a lighter touch — three or four fillets may be plenty.
5 cloves of garlic, sliced
1/2 loaf of focaccia or bread of your choice
1. Heat tomatoes in a small sauce pan.
2. Rinse and clean seafood. Place in a small pot, pour enough olive oil to cover, and add thyme and sliced garlic. Simmer on low for 15 minutes.
3. Combine tomatoes and seafood. Remove thyme and simmer for 5 more minutes to let flavors permeate. Stir occasionally. Season to taste.
4. Meanwhile, slice bread. Drizzle with olive oil, and toast for 6 to 8 minutes. Spoon mixture on bread and serve immediately.
Shaved Root Vegetable Salad with Poached Egg and Furikake, Serves 4
1 fennel bulb
red wine vinegar
1. Make vinaigrette by whisking 2.5 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.
2. Using a mandoline, shave vegetables into a large bowl. Toss with vinaigrette. Add a liberal dash of furikake.
3. Top each plate with a poached egg. Here’s how to master the technique — courtesy of Chef Itani. Crack one egg into a small bowl. Bring a pot of water to simmer; create a whirlpool bath by spinning the water. Then, drop the egg into the center vortex. The whites will fold over the yolk, producing a beautiful pouch. Cook for a minute or so, and remove with a slotted spoon. Voilà, you have a delicate bundle of deliciousness.
Roast Chicken with Mustard Soy Marinade, Serves 4
3/4 cup mustard
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup alcohol. Chef Itani recommends sake but white wine or beer will work in a pinch
8 pieces of chicken
1 bunch chard (optional)
1. Combine mustard, soy sauce, and alcohol in a large bowl.
2. Add chicken and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
3. Season chicken with salt and pepper; then bake skin side up on a rack.
4. Check after 15 minutes and every five minutes until chicken is cooked through. If skin is brown enough, turn the heat down to 300 degrees to finish cooking.
Bonus points: Create a beautiful bed of greens by sautéing a bitter green, like chard, for a seasonal flourish. And best of all, it can be done under five minutes.
1. Separate leaves from stems. Cut leaves into medium 1” pieces, and give the stem a fine dice.
2. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil with garlic. Sauté for one minute.
Citrus Angel-Food Cake with Green Tea Glaze, Serves 8 to 10
1 box of angel-food cake mix
Zest of 1 orange
1 bundt pan
1. Follow instructions as indicated on the box.
2. Before putting the batter in the oven, stir in the zest of one orange and combine well.
Matcha powder gives this topping a tannic and intense green-tea flavor. But, we wouldn’t bat an eye, if all you had were green tea bags. To infuse green-tea notes, make a strong brew, and use it in place of water.
1 heaping tbsp matcha
1 cup powdered sugar
1. Combine matcha, powdered sugar, and 1 tbsp of warm water in a medium bowl.
2. Stir until mixture coats the whisk — about three minutes. You may need a couple more drips of warm water to prevent lumps.
3. Drizzle on cake right before serving.
4. Chef Itani also garnished the cake with pomegranate seeds — straight from the carton.