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Fancy Cut Vegetable Platters
Baked Brie Strata
Shrimp Salad Rolls

Decorating and decoration was an art in old tymes. They had the time to do it, where as in modern times we have very little time to this kind of art. It's well worth the time spent when you see the guests faces look amazed at this craft!

  FANCY CUT VEGETABLE PLATTER

Materials Needed:
Large Carrots
Large Turnips
Small paring knife or fruit/vegetable knife
Vegetable peeler

Finished Size: The size of carrot mums and turnip roses will vary depending on the size of carrots and turnips used.

Directions:
CARROT MUM: Peel skin from carrot using vegetable peeler or knife.
Cut a 2-in.-thick slice from carrot. With knife, round one end of carrot piece for the top, leaving the other end flat. See fig. 1.
Carve a small rounded knob in the middle of the top for the center of the mum. The diameter of the center knob can be up to one-fourth the diameter of the carrot top.
Carve petals with pointed tips into the top of knob. making a singel round or as many as three if the diameter of the knob is large enough. See fig. 2 and photo.
Carve an additional three to four rounds of pointed-tip petals around center knob as follows:
Working from the center out, carve 12 to 16 petals evenly spaced around the center knob. See Fig 3a. With point of knife, carefully remove some carrot flesh from under each petal to add dimension.
Carve another row of pointed-tip petals around first row, making these petals a bit longer and wider. Start the base of the petals in second row between the petals of the first row as shown in Fig. 3b and photo. Carefully remove some carrot flesh from under each petal as before.
Carve one or two more rows in the same way, making the petals in each additional row a bit larger and spacing them between the petals of the previous row.
When all petals have been carved, cut away the carrot flesh on the underside of the flower, making the base of the flower rather thin.
Place carrot mum in ice-cold water for about 5 minutes or until firm.
Repeat for each additional carrot mum.


TURNIP ROSE: Peel and wash the turnip.
Cut a 2-1/2-in. thick slice from turnip. Use knife to round one flat side into a dome shape.
Working on flat side, carve five over-lapping upright petals about 1/2 in. into the turnip flesh around outside as shown in Fig. 4. Remove turnip flesh from inside and outside edges of petals, making them very thin.
Carve a second row inside the first, placing the new petals between the petals of the rist row. Then add additional rows of smaller petals, working to the center of the turnip. See Fig. 5.
Rinse turnip rose with water. Repeat for each additional turnip rose.




Baked Brie Strata


2 small zuchini, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices (about 2 cups)
Nonstick cooking spray
6 1/2 inch thinck slices crusty sourdough bread (6 oz.)
8 oz. Brie cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 Roma Tomatoes, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices
6 to 8 cherry tomatoes
1 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed
2/3 cup evaporated skim milk
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
3 Tbsp. snipped fresh dill
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1. Cook zuchini, covered, in a small amount of boiling lightly salted water for 2 to 3 minutes or until just tender. Drain zucchini and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, spray a 2-quart rectangular baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange bread slices in the prepared baking dish, cutting as necessary to fit. Sprinkle half of the Brie evenly on top. Arrange zucchini and tomatoes on top of bread. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
3. In a medium mixing bowl combine egg product, evaporated skim milk, onion, dill, salt, and pepper. Pour evenly over vegetables and cheese. Lightly press vegetables and cheese. Lightly press vegetables down with back of spoon to be sure everything is saturated with egg mixture. Cover with plastic wrap; chill for 4 to 24 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove plastic wrap from strata; cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 25 to 30 minutes more or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings.


Rice Paper Salad Rolls with Shrimp



12 Shrimp
1/4 Pound Dried thin rice noodles
1 piece English Cucumber (5 in. long, 6 oz.) rinsed
12 dried rice paper wrappers (bahn trang, about 8 1/2 in. wide; see notes)
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, rinsed and drained
12 pieces rinsed and crisped red or green leaf lettace (each 3 by 5 in., about 4 oz. total).
Hoisin-chili sauce (recipe follows)

1. In a 5 to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring 2 to 3 quarts water to a boil. Add shrimp and noodles; return to a boil and stir to separate noodles. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand until shrimp are opaque in center of thickest part (cut to rest) and noodles are barely tender to bite, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain; immerse in cold water until cool, about 5 minutes, and drain again.
2. Remove shrimp from noodles. Peel shrimp and, with a small, sharp knife, split in half lengthwise through back. Remove veins; rinse and drain shrimp.
3. Cut cucumber lengthwise into 1/4 inch-thick slices, then cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch sticks.
4. Fill a large pan or bowl with hot water. Dip 1 rice paper wrapper into water, lift out, and frain briefly. Set on a flat surgace. Repeat with another rice paper round; lay beside first. Let stand until wrappers are soft and pliable, about 30 seconds.
5. Working with 2 wrappers at a time, arrange 2 shrimp halves, cut sides up and end to end, in a horizontal line 2 1/2 inches from bottom of each wrapper, coming to within about 1 inch of each side. Distribute 3 or 4 mint leaves over shrimp on each round. Lay 1 cucumber stick at 1 long edge of each lettuce piece and roll up tightly. Set a lettuce roll over shrimp on each wrapper. Distribute 1/4 cup rice noodles evenly over each lettuce roll.
6. Pressing down on filling with your fingers, fold bottom of each wrapper over filling, then fold in sides: roll to enclose filling tightly. Press edges to seal; if rice paper is too dry to seal, moisten unsealed edges with a little more hot water. Set rolls on a platter and cover with a damp towel.
7. Repeat to fill remaining rice paper wrappers, 2 at a time. (If rounds begin to take more than 45 seconds to soften, replace water in bowl with more hot water).
8. To serve, cut rolls crosswise into 3 or 4 pieces: stand pieces upright. Dip in hoisin- chili sauce to eat OR your favorite sauce to eat.
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