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Dinner Party Recipe Ideas: Go Global

Take your friends on a culinary journey by serving internationally inspired foods.

Hosting a global cuisine party is a great way to leave a lasting impression with your guests. Choose your menu carefully, and be sure to introduce the items that you are serving, pointing out specific ingredients that may be unfamiliar. A little knowledge goes a long way, and it becomes a great conversation starter.

Asian Pork Crepes

Ingredients:

8-10 oz. pork tenderloin
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
3 Tbs. hoisin sauce
1 Tbs. brown sugar
1/4 cup plum sauce
4 radishes, julienned
1 large carrot, julienned
10 chives
2 scallions, julienned
8 large crepes

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a frying pan, heat oil and sear the tenderloin to lock in the juices and flavor. Once the pork is browned, place it in a preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. The meat is done at 160 degrees.

Cut pork into 1/8" thick slices. Cut some of these slices further into 1/2" wide strips. Mix hoisin sauce and brown sugar. Toss pork strips in this mixture. Cut the crepes in quarters.

To assemble each crepe, top with a dollop of plum sauce and a few strips each of pork, carrots, radishes, chives and scallions. Roll the crepes into cone shapes and place on serving a platter.

Filet Mignon with Chocolate Merlot Bordelaise Sauce

Ingredients:

Filet mignon

For the sauce:

1/4 cup Ruby Port
2 cups Merlot
3 Tbs. minced shallots
2 sprigs fresh thyme
3 Tbs. butter
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
2 cups water
2 tsp. beef base
3/4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

Preparation:

Grill the filet mignon on the grill to desired doneness. (On the show the filet mignon is served medium rare.)

Expert Tip: The longer you cook the meat, the less tender and the more dry it will become. Begin grilling the filet mignon one hour before the party starts. Grill the filet about two to four minutes on each side, and then finish it off in the oven at 350 degrees until it reaches the desired doneness.

Put the Merlot, shallots and thyme in a pot and reduce liquid by half.

While the wine and shallot mixture reduces, melt the butter in a separate pan.

Add the flour to the butter to form a roux, stirring constantly. Then add the water and beef base.

Add the chocolate and the Ruby Port and cook for another two minutes. This is the finished sauce.

Expert Tip: A roux is a mixture of heated butter and flour that you cook for two to three minutes; it will thicken a sauce and give it a wonderful flavor. Roux burns easily, so make it quickly and keep your eye on it.

For this recipe, look for fresh sashimi or sashimi-grade tuna at a fresh fish market or your local grocery store. The hint is to look for fresh frozen fish as opposed to fresh fish.

Seared Tuna Served with Ginger Beurre Blanc with Haricots Verts

Ingredients:

10 oz. tuna steak
1 Tbs. minced shallot
1 Tbs. finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 stick of cold unsalted butter
Small bunch of haricots verts (ah-ree-koh VEHR -- French term for green string bean)
2 Tbs. sesame oil
White pepper
Salt

Preparation:

In a frying pan, heat sesame oil on high. Season the tuna with white pepper and salt. Sear the sides of the tuna, flipping it one time and swirling the juices around in the pan. When the sides of the tuna begin to lose their pink color, it's done. Set aside until time to plate the dish. Put beans in boiling water to blanch. Heat wine in saucepan along with shallots and ginger. Reduce the liquid to half.

Remove beans from boiling water and place them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process and help intensify the color (blanched vegetables will stay greener and fresher up to 10 times longer without fading). Once the liquid has reduced to half, lower the heat and add the butter two tablespoons at a time, whisking constantly, until it's melted. Strain the solids from the melted butter.

Now everything is ready to plate. Spoon the butter onto the center of the serving platter. Cut the tuna into slices about 1/8" to 1/4" thick. Fan slices of tuna in the beurre blanc. Cut the beans on the diagonal and place them between the tuna slices. Keep the platter chilled until party time.

Italian Red-and-Green-Pepper Egg Tart

Ingredients:

Tart Crust:

1-1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 egg
2-3 Tbs. ice water

Tart Filling:

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 red pepper, washed
1 green pepper, washed
1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup shredded Jack cheese
3 eggs
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper

Preparation:

Combine flour, salt, butter and egg in a food processor and pulse until just combined (when the butter forms pea-sized pieces). With processor running, slowly add cold water through feed tube until dough just holds together. Form dough into a thick disk, cover with plastic and chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (235 C). Spread oil in baking pan.

Cut off stems and remove seeds from peppers. Slice in half lengthwise and place cut side down in prepared baking pan. Roast for 10 minutes, turn, and roast 10 to 15 minutes more until peppers are extremely tender and skin is slightly wrinkled or blackened. Cool completely. Peel off outer skin and slice pepper into thin slivers. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

Roll out chilled pastry to 1/4" thick on a heavily floured surface. Place in a 12" springform tart tin and trim edges. Pierce crust bottom several times with fork. Place pie weights or dried beans over surface of crust to weigh down during cooking process. Bake crust for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Set tin on a jelly-roll pan in case filled tart leaks during baking.

Scatter half of the Parmesan and half of the Jack cheese over bottom of crust. Place pepper slivers in an even layer over cheese. Whisk together eggs, half-and-half, salt and white pepper until blended. Pour mixture over red peppers.

Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until puffed. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes to allow tart to set.

Your party is sure to be sweet if you end the meal with these fragrant pastries.

Borrachuelos

Makes 35 pastries

Ingredients:

2/3 cup orange- and cinnamon-infused oil
2 tsp. sesame seeds
1 tsp. anise seeds
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup orange juice
3 cups flour
1 cup oil for frying
1 cup honey
1/4 cup water
Powdered sugar

Preparation:

In a mixer, combine the orange- and cinnamon-infused oil, sesame seeds, anise seeds, dry white wine and orange juice. Add the flour one cup at a time.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead lightly (add more flour if necessary).

Wrap the dough in plastic and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Make 3/4" dough balls, then roll them out into ovals that measure about 4" x 2".

Heat the oil to about 350 degrees and fry the pastries until lightly browned. They will float to the top when done.

Drain the pastries on a paper towel to soak up the excess oil.

Heat the honey and water in a saucepan and simmer for about five minutes.

Dip each pastry in the honey-water mixture. Allow the excess to drip off before dipping them in powdered sugar.

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