Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sweet and Sassy Bites at July Tapa's Night

I've been thinking and thinking and thinking, and trying to figure out what to make for Tapa's night this week.  I think I got it.  "giggle",   but when I went to make it, discovered I didn't have all the ingredients on hand, and the local grocery store didn't have any Sriricha sauce for sale.  Here's the link for  Sweet and Spicy Sriracha Hot Wings over at Tasty Kitchen anyway.  It really appealed to me.   But, even though I didn't have any Sriricha sauce I did have some Frank's RedHot Sweet Chili Sauce and also a jar of Sambal Oelek in the fridge so...

Sambal Oelek on the chicken

Sweet and Sassy Bites ready for the oven

I had fun and played around a little with them, and it turned out pretty good.   *Note to self, next time don't pour the entire bottle of Frank's over the chicken, just baste it.   Also, chicken wings were $2.29/lb at the store and boneless, skinless breasts were $1.99 a lb.  Guess what I bought?   Yup, the breasts.  I bought two packages and made one into my Buffalo Bites,
Buffalo Bites ready for the oven

and the other package made some Sweet and Sassy Bites.    I always like to make one tried and true recipe and then one that I've never made before.
Front to back, Tapenade, Buffalo Bites with Celery and Blue Cheese and Sweet and Sassy Bites.

So that fit the bill.   I also made some  Tapenade,  and this time I amped it up a little,
Smashed Garlic Cloves in EVOO

Ready to process

and 'boiled' a couple cloves of garlic in some olive oil, and added them and the oil to the tapenade.   Everyone seemed to love that one.  At least they kept going back and there was only a scant teaspoonful left when the party was over.   And of course had some Ciabatta rolls and dipping oil as well.
Ciabatta Rolls

As usual our guests brought a wide variety of foods.   Everything from an incredible Mango/Avocado/Jalapeno salsa which went amazingly well with the Sweet and Sassy Bites, some wonderful Corned Beef, an interesting Italian Meatloaf Bruscetta, some Seafood Gumbo, a lovely fresh fruit salad, cheese and crackers, a pot of 'Stinky' Cheese with fig conserve on top,and even dessert.   Key Lime Pie, Chocolate Pie and Ice Cream.   (get the feeling we eat well here?  We have such great cooks in this area.)

  I wish I'd gotten pictures of all of it, but it was hard trying to get a clear shot of the table without people in it, and I did miss getting pictures of a couple of the dishes.

Sweet and Sassy Bites

2 lbs. Boneless Chicken breast, cut into chunks (can also use Chicken Wings if you like)
1 bottle Frank's Chili Sauce
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
2 tbsp. + Sambal Oelek  ( to taste, I like stuff on the hot side so...) 

Combine the chili sauce, the Sambal oelek and the ginger.    Pour half of it over the chicken chunks, and place in a 425 deg. oven for 15- 20 minutes. Take out and remove any excess sauce at this point.   (I used the whole bottle and that was too much, it was too saucy).  Place back in oven under broiler for just a couple of minutes to brown and caramelize the sauce a little if it hasn't happened already.   Serve with the reserved sauce for dipping if you like.   If you like it hotter, add more Sambal, or leave it out completely.    I think my guests liked it, there were only a couple of pieces left at the end of the evening.  

And here's Karen's recipe for the Salsa;

Avocado/Mango Salsa

1 lg mango
3 tbsp red onion
3 tbsp green pepper
3 tbsp red pepper
1 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chives
1 tbsp cilantro
1/2 lg avocado
1/2 - 1  jalapeno  *

Dice it all fine and mix together.  This looks so pretty when finished, with all the colors and it's fantastic for a summer side dish.   I think I could eat it all by itself.   Serve with Sweet and Sassy Bites or some chips.
* The original recipe didn't contain Jalapeno, but Karen added that,  just a little but it really amped up the flavour. 

So that's it for July Tapa's Night.    I really enjoy having people in, we always have a good time, and really great food.    
Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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