Herford/Langen (dpa/tmn) – These dishes not only taste good, but also turn heads: Anyone who serves a bowl of Asian rice in half a pineapple is sure to impress all guests. Small boats can also be a good option to eat at a snack buffet. There are some tricks to prepare and cook.
If you want to use the pineapple variant, you want to make sure you’re getting the freshest fruit possible when you buy: “The fresher the pineapple, the greater the stability,” says food blogger and cookbook author Bianca Zapatka. “So you should choose fruits that are as crisp as possible, where the leaves are still green and the skin is smooth.”
Asian Stuffed Pineapple Boats
She suggests Thai Pineapple Rice in a Pineapple Boat in her book Vegan Paradise. First, the basmati rice is boiled and the pineapple is cut in half lengthwise for two boats, then the halves are carefully hollowed out. “In order for the pineapple skin to remain stable, you have to make sure that you leave enough pulp in the skin and not hollow it out completely,” says the expert.
“The best way to do this is to lightly score the meat of the divided fruit in a checkerboard pattern and then carefully scoop it out with a spoon.” Once this is done, the chefs prepare a pan of rice with onions, garlic, vegetables and Asian spices. Once the rice mixture is ready, it can be poured into the pineapple boats and placed on a serving platter.
If you want to combine this impressive dish with a side dish, Bianca Zapatka recommends some satay tofu skewers or a watermelon tuna poke bowl, for example.
Paprika boats for the antipasti buffet
Small boats are also good for finger foods, pointed peppers are especially suitable for this. Angelika Ilies shows how to do this in the book “Antipasti & Tapas”: For the mini ricotta stuffed peppers, you must first buy very small, pointed red peppers, which are often also offered as appetizer peppers. “They should be small and evenly shaped, so they’re best used for finger foods,” says the food journalist.
Remove the stem, seeds, and white partitions from the peppers, which have been cut in half lengthwise. For the ricotta filling, the ricotta is mixed with pesto from the jar, minced garlic, and salt and pepper. Now fill the pepper halves with the cream (which works especially well with a piping bag) and garnish with toasted pine nuts and fresh basil leaves.
“Stuffed peppers are great as part of an antipasti or tapas buffet, but they are also a great accompaniment to grilled food,” says the expert. “Or you serve them in spinach salad, arugula salad, or carpaccio.”
Eggplant boats with bulgur filling
Eggplants are also suitable for a delicious boat recipe. Bianca Zapatka fills them with bulgur. To prepare the aubergines, cut them in half lengthwise and score the cut surfaces crosswise. “Cutting the eggplant flesh cooks it faster and gives it a nice, even texture.”
The halves are brushed with a little oil and placed cut-side down on a parchment-lined baking tray and baked in a preheated oven (180 degrees) for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, Bianca Zapatka prepares a filling of bulgur, onion, garlic, various spices such as cumin and turmeric, paprika, chick peas, walnuts and chopped canned tomatoes, pomegranate seeds, mint and sesame seeds.
When the eggplants are ready to bake, let them cool for about five minutes, then empty them. Not all the way though, leaving enough pulp to hold the filling. “It’s a good idea to leave about the width of your little finger or an inch of flesh so everything holds its shape,” advises Bianca Zapatka.
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