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There are so many ways to view fusion cooking. A lot of times, I don’t like to have my cooking style noted as fusion. To me, fusion cooking is taking a classic dish and twisting it into a new form by blending it with flavors and possibly textures from a completely different region. I am a bit of a purist, so I don’t dally as much in the way I define fusion cooking. However, others might state that the menu for the East Meets West Dinner would be considered fusion because it takes classic dishes from different parts of the world and serves them together in a way where the distinct flavors of each dish builds upon each other. To me, this is more of a flavor curator. But, to each, their own!

JUNE 8, 2013 MENU

cucumbersABOUT THE MEAL The hot weather is finally upon us! Hooray! When I think of hot weather, I think of meals that are cool, light, and refreshing. For this next Foodie Friends Dinner, I will be sharing with you some of my favorite hot weather dishes. We’ll be starting off with a cold cucumber soup served with chop block bread. There have been times when I have made a meal out of just these two items alone. I like it that much! The savoriness of the bread serves as a tasty complement to the freshness of the soup. If you’re not familiar with chop block bread, you’ll be in for a treat! I always make my bread from scratch and every time I bring any version of my chop block bread anywhere, it gets such rave reviews, people always “volunteer” to have me leave any uneaten portion behind. And, I generally oblige.

chop-blk-bread1aIn the next course, the fresh herbs that are tossed in with the mixed greens for the berries and quinoa salad bring forward the freshness you experienced from the herbs that are gently blended into the cold cucumber soup. Now, I may not always tell you why I’ve added in certain ingredients. But, if you know anything about my cooking, you probably already know that I try to naturally pack as much nutrition into each dish as possible without going overboard. Quinoa is so good for you. It is high in protein, iron, and fiber among other great nutrients. And, who can argue with adding vitamin C and anti-oxidants from the strawberries and blueberries, right? Beyond the nutritional benefit of the strawberries and blueberries though, the subtle sweetness and tartness prepares your palate for the main course.

berries_and quinoa_saladMany people shy away from dark meat. However, the dark meat is one of the tastiest parts of the chicken. In this version of citrus chicken, thigh meat is de-boned and seared, then baked in a beautiful citrus glaze. (If you have strong objections to dark meat, do let me know and I would be happy to substitute breast meat for you. In addition, a vegetarian option can be made available with advance notice.) The chicken will be served with coconut rice. My last rice creation was so well-received. I have a strong feeling this version will be as well.

Lastly, to stay on theme for dessert, we will be having an Asian icee. Similar to American icees, these icee flavors are identified by their color. Therefore, you will have your choice of red, green, or both! Luckily, my Mom just visited me because I haven’t been able to find the syrup anywhere here yet. She’s so sweet! She brought me the syrup all the way from Wisconsin! So, I hope you like it!

Remember, this dinner is BYOB. You are encouraged to bring your own alcoholic beverage. Filtered tap water and iced tea will be served.

To make your reservation, go to http://chopsticksorafork.brownpapertickets.com. Should you have questions about the meal, don’t hesitate to send an email at chopsticksorafork@gmail.com. I look forward to having you join me at my table!