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Dinner with friends, old and new, is such a wonderful experience. It should be filled with laughter and smiles. It’s a time to share and learn about each other, about what’s going on in the world, or simply about the food that you’re enjoying together. That’s why I love dinner with friends. It makes me happy. Someday, I’ll write a screenplay about this. But hey, that’s a different side of me that you may or may not learn about! ūüėČ For now, let’s just stick to cooking and eating.

The obvious¬†cuisine that comes out of my kitchen is SouthEast Asian because it’s my heritage. So for this inaugural Dinner with Foodie Friends (here in the NYC area), you are in for a SouthEast Asian treat! Take a look at the menu and let me know if you want to join me for dinner.

OCTOBER 12, 2012 MENU

ABOUT THE MEAL
Noodle type dishes definitely rank high on my list of favorites. This is one of my favorite ones – coconut curry noodle soup (spiciness level = low, 2/5). It is a Laotian noodle soup made from either a chicken or fish base¬†that incorporates that perfect blend of sweet, salty, and spicy. When made properly,¬†the flavors fuse together and don’t overpower each other. This dish is served with a lime wedge on the side so when you add the lime wedge, you get the four main flavors of SouthEast Asian¬†cooking. Just thinking about this combination makes my mouth water!

In addition to the main course, there will be snacks to enjoy pre-dinner while we wait for everyone to arrive. Served along with the main course are two salads that will complement the flavors in the soup.

If you’ve dined at any Thai restaurant, you’ve probably had papaya salad (spiciness level = medium, 3/5) at some¬†point. The version that will be served as part of this meal won’t be like that. Don’t get me wrong, that version that you get at a restaurant is delicious. But, most of the time, the sauce is pre-made and the cooks in the kitchen don’t have the slightest clue as to how to customize it for someone who actually knows about how else it can taste. In this version, you’ll find a darker and more pungent sauce. But, I’ll temper those flavors (especially, since this may be the first time many of you are tasting this version) by adding in some rice noodles. Yes, rice noodles in papaya salad, really!

For the Asian green bean salad (spiciness level = medium, 3.5/5), expect the same flavors mixed a little differently and¬†with a little more¬†hotness than the other dishes on the menu. This dish is made from the long, curly green string beans that you’ve probably seen while walking around Chinatown. The flavor of these beans is a little different than the regular green beans that you would find at a regular grocery store. The way I would describe it is that it’s less strong of a flavor making it a great base for this salad.

I know that’s a lot of food already. But, did you save room for dessert? I hope so! Green tea mochi ice cream is delicious on its own. But, green tea mochi ice cream served with my super secret sweet¬†mango sauce… Well, you’re just going to have to save room to find out for yourself!

Enjoy and hope to see you at my table! To check seat availability, send an email to chopsticksorafork@gmail.com.

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