Party Menu


Russian Beans



1 piece of kombu

2 cups dry red kidney beans

1 large onion, chopped fine

2 carrots, chopped fine

1 rib celery, chopped fine

8 pitted prunes

½ cup balsamic vinegar, plus 1 tbs.

3 cloves garlic

1 tbs. tamarind paste

½ tsp. hot pepper flakes

1 tsp. coriander seed

½ tbs. extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup cilantro

¼ tsp. salt, or to taste (freshly grounded pepper to taste)



1. soak beans overnight.


2. drain beans and add fresh water to cover, with onions, carrots, celery and kombu.  Cover and simmer 1 hour until beans are tender but not mushy.  Remove kombu.  Drain and set aside.


3. simmer prunes in 1/3 cup of the vinegar for 20 minutes.


4. to running food processor, add garlic, cilantro, 1 tbs. vinegar, tamarind paste, hot pepper flakes, fenugreek, olive oil, salt.  Grind coriander and pepper and add to processor.  Add cooled prunes and vinegar.


5.  Add mixture from processor to beans and serve.



GADO GADO  – Assorted Vegetable Salad (With Noodles)

and a light dressing (No Peanuts)



 1 cup canola oil

 1 package thai or Chinese rice or bean thread noodles

 2 heads green leaf lettuce

 2 chinese cabbage

 ¼ cup chopped cilantro

 ¼ cup mint leaves

 2 cucumbers, chopped

 2 red bell peppers, sliced

 4 carrots, silvered

 4 scallions, curled

 2 tbsp. orange zest


Dressing Ingredients:

 ¼ cup vegetable oil

 ½ tbsp hot chili oil (hot sesame oil)

 1 clove garlic

 ¼ cup rice vinegar

¼ cup soy sauce

 1 ½ teaspoon honey

 ¼ cup water

 pinch of cayenne



1. Heat oil in a Wok.  Test for temperatures by dropping one noodle in oil, if it immediately crisps and pops up the oil is ready carefully. Place handfuls at a time of the noodles and immediately scoop out on to a papered pan or platter.


2. Break apart the lettuce, soak, rinse and spin dry.  Repeat for the cabbage. Chop both in long thin strips.


3. Add remaining vegetables and dressing and toss.  Place crispy noodles in salad and quickly toss and serve.



Rice Balls




Briefly toast Nori in toaster oven (or wave over gas flame).


Cut into squares.


Form rice balls and insert ½ of an umeboshi plum, wet hands in bowl of salt water and cover rice balls with Nori squares.


Mix powdered red shiso leaves and sea salt with remaining rice and form into triangles.