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Jul 2 2014

A Glamorous Asian-Inspired Shabbat

By at 10:08 am

asian-inspired-shabbat-dinner-1

I don’t know about you, but my kids are out of school and things around my household are a bit crazy. I call it summer madness. With everything so hectic, I find that I really look forward to Shabbat.

For this month’s Glamorous Shabbat meal, I decided to go Asian style. I found a wonderful recipe online for a chicken cooked in coconut milk (pictured above). I know it sounds crazy, but I assure you the results are heavenly. And the best part is, all you have to do is throw the chicken in a pot with the aforementioned coconut milk and a few fragrant herbs, and let it cook.

With such a succulent treat like the chicken, all you need are a few simple side dishes to round out the meal. I thought coconut rice would be the perfect accompaniment, because it is plain enough to balance the chicken, but elevated through the use of the coconut milk.

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For the salad I went with a family favorite, Asian slaw. I have been making this for years and it is always the hit of the party.

Finally, I thought we should have a vegetable so I made a simple steamed broccoli with a toasted sesame dipping sauce that can be made a full day ahead of time.

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For dessert I think a light touch is always best, because everyone is so full from the dinner. I am a huge fan of an icebox cake because it must be made days in advance and it freezes like a dream. I always have one in my freezer for the days when I just don’t have time to make dessert. If you keep kosher, just substitute the whipped cream for RichWhip.

Menu:

Asian slaw

Chicken in coconut milk

Coconut Rice

Broccoli with sesame dipping sauce

Icebox cake

Wednesday

1. Finalize your menu and make your grocery list.

2. Shop for your groceries.

3. If time, make your icebox cake and freeze it.

Thursday

1. If you don’t have time to make the chicken on Friday, you can make it today. Cook it, carve it, plate it, and then keep in the fridge. Then bring to room temperature a few hours before your dinner. You can also warm it up in an oven set to 200 degrees, but be careful and don’t let it dry out.

2. You can also make the broccoli on Thursday. Just steam the broccoli and carefully wrap in plastic. Keep in the fridge and bring to room temperature before your party. The dipping sauce can also be made today.

3. If you haven’t made the icebox cake, today is the day to do that.

4. The dressing for the salad and the almonds can be toasted today and sealed (separately) in a container.

5. If possible, set your table today. I find it makes my life so much easier on Friday if my table is set on Thursday. This is also a great way to get your kids involved by making them set the table!

Friday

1. If you haven’t made the chicken yet, then now is the time! Remember you will need time to let it cool down, carve it, and plate it. If carving a chicken freaks you out, you can make the dish using bone in, skin on breast, thighs, and legs.

2. If you have a rice cooker then set it so the rice is ready at the time you plan on serving dinner. If you don’t have a rice cooker, put the rice on when your guests start arriving. It takes about 30 minutes for rice to cook on the stovetop, which is the perfect amount of time to schmooze with your guests and have a drink. This can also be made ahead of time and kept warm in an oven. Just be sure to tightly cover the rice.

3. Before your guests arrive you can assemble the salad with the exception of the dressing. When it is time to serve, just toss the salad with the dressing. I like to ask a guest to help me with the salads because someone is always asking if there is anything they can do, and tossing a salad with dressing is a perfect job for them.

4. Remember to remove the broccoli and chicken from the fridge if you made them on Thursday.

Finally, remember to enjoy your food, your drink, and your guests. Have a wonderful Shabbat!

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