Dining With “The Tiger”

I thought this would be fun to share this morning!

The other evening I had my monthly book club. This month we read John Vaillant’s The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival (well, actually, I only made it to page 60). We decided the theme for dinner would be food related to the tiger and his menacing trek in Russia, near the China border. The main dish was a delicious, just-right spicy rice noodle and pork stir fry that I’m still dreaming about, made by my friend Deb, and my assignment was appetizers. Instead of the location, I opted for the colors of the cat: orange, black, white, and red (for the obvious). After much consideration, this is what I made.

Orange Crudités with Black Olive Tapenade
This is basically the olive vinaigrette I make in this recipe. In a blender or with a mortar and pestle (I chose the latter, but that’s only because my beloved Oster is no longer with us, and I don’t like his replacement. A mortar and pestle make it more “rustic”; in other words, more chunky than if you used a blender.). Take about half a cup of black Kalamata olives, a couple of garlic cloves, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, a little bit of roasted red peppers. Blend or grind all the ingredients together until it forms a somewhat thin paste. Place in a small bowl and surround it with the tiger’s orange stripes—orange pepper slices and baby carrots!

Smoked Salmon with Fresh Radishes
On a serving platter, add thinly sliced radishes and top them with a tiny piece of smoked salmon. In a small bowl, take some low-fat sour cream and snipped chives, about 2 tablespoons or so, and mix. Add a dime-size dollop of the sour cream mixture atop each radish. If you’re feeling really artistic, arranged chive spears on each hors d’oeuvre!

Have you ever had a themed dinner? What did you make?