Friday, June 19, 2015

Worth Reading: The Life and Death of Steven Sotloff

This week, Tablet Magazine published a 30,000 word essay titled "The Life and Death of Steven Sotloff", written by Jonathan Zalman.  

It is absolutely worth taking the time to read Part One and Part Two.  

I do not want to comment on it too much, but it should definitely be read in its entirety.  Aside from providing a detailed account of Steven Sotloff's life, it also details the tremendous efforts of his friends and family to secure his release and to stop the media from identifying Steven as both Jewish and Israeli.  Shortly after ISIS released the video of Steven Sotloff in captivity I learned that he was Jewish and had ties to Israel (I did not know him and have no connection whatsoever to his family).  It was clear to me that there was some type media blackout on this information, rightfully so, and I read the details about how this came to be with great interest.  After Steven's death, when news that he was Jewish and a dual Israeli-American citizen spread rapidly, I wondered what terrible impact the release of that information would have on other prisoners being held by ISIS.  Zalman also addresses this (although briefly) in his writing.

This is a very important piece of writing.  Please read it.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Friday Night Dinner Project: Asian Dinner

Well May has turned into June but alas, here we are.

This week I am posting the Asian Dinner from Friday Night Dinners. 

The menu starts off with a beverage -
Sparkling Green Tea and Lychee Sangria
As usual, this is a cool and refreshing drink.  To make a non-alcoholic version, I used ginger ale instead of sparkling wine and no liquor.  I also used white cranberry juice (as recommended) because I could not find lychee juice.  If you are looking for an "iced tea" that is not overly sweet, this is a nice option.  Here is a link to several of Bonnie Stern's sangria recipes - including one very similar to this recipe but with added berries.

Chicken Dumplings with Thai Peanut Sauce
The sauce, the sauce.  The sauce!  This recipe is all about the fabulous Thai Peanut sauce.  The sauce calls for Thai Curry Paste, I used Patak's Red Curry Paste and it was perfect.  The dumpling are alright, but I just found them soft (texture wise, and I know they are supposed to be) and I like crispy.  However, I have made this Thai Peanut Sauce about three times in the past several weeks.  Most recently, I served it with tofu and vegetables over rice.  It is a quick, no cooking required sauce.  Perfect for putting together a fast meal and proof that you can make delicious food from scratch even when you're in a hurry.

Roasted Halibut with Green Curry Coconut Sauce
For some reason I anticipated that this Green Curry Coconut Sauce would be thick and creamy - I don't know why.  Anyway, it is not - but it is good (I also used Red Curry Paste).  This is a mild curry sauce and Bonnie Stern suggests using it with lamb, chicken or shrimp as well as with the roasted fish in the recipe.  I used tilapia instead of halibut and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Spiced Basmati Rice
This recipe is similar to the basmati rice recipe from a previous menu, but with different spices.  It was just as good this time as it was with the other spices.
Stir-fried Baby Bok Choy
This was the first and probably the last time I will eat Bok Choy.  I just did not like it.  Neither did my husband.  Maybe it's an acquired taste.

Coconut Rice Pudding
I just have not gotten around to making this yet (sadly).  I promise to post an update as soon as I do - all the ingredients are sitting on my will happen soon....