Q. April Asks: I adopted my daughter Sienna in 2007, she will be 5 in December, and every year since her adoption I’ve hosted a China Reunion. It is wonderful to see how much the girls have grown and make sure they keep their bond. Although they are Chinese, I usually don’t make Chinese food as it is more time-consuming when cooking for such a large group. I’ve just discovered your cookbook Perfect One Dish Dinners–I love it by the way!–and was considering cooking a dish for the reunion. I was considering Mac and Cheese but wanted to see if you had any other ideas. We will be serving 8 children and 12 adults. Thanks for your help and Happy Halloween!
A. Wonderful to hear from you, April. About your dinner… I’m wondering if substituting chicken for shrimp in the Coconut Shrimp Stew (page 9 in Perfect Recipes for Having People Over) might work for your party? It’s Thai flavored, not Chinese, but it’s from your daughter’s part of the world. It’s not spicy really. If you do it, I think I’d saute the chicken pieces first and remove them from the pot before sauteing the red bell pepper, then return them to the pot when the recipe instructs to add the shrimp.
Good luck! Let me know what you ultimately decide to serve and how it went.