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A global take on a New Year's Eve dinner

| Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

For this global take on a festive New Year's Eve dinner, we created a mash-up that draws on the flavors of the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and Europe. We start with a simple green salad, but dress it with a blend of coconut milk and sherry vinegar, then stud it with dried apricots and cashews.

For the main course, we have a quickly seared tuna steak accompanied by rice flavored with mango puree and tahini. The result is simple, yet rich. We end the evening with tangerine twirls, an easy, but attractive, three-ingredient dessert made from frozen puff pastry.

Alison Ladman is a staff writer for the Associated Press.

Coconut Cashew Salad With Apricots

Start to finish: 10 minutes

2 tablespoons coconut milk

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

5 ounces baby greens

2 green onions, sliced

12 cup sliced, dried apricots

12 cup toasted cashews

In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Add the baby greens and toss well to dress. Divide among 4 serving plates, then top with the green onions, apricots and cashews.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 160 calories (90 calories from fat), 10 grams fat (3 grams saturated), 0 cholesterol, 4 grams protein, 18 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams dietary fiber, 50 milligrams sodium

Seared Curry-Rubber Tuna With Mango-Tahini Rice

Mango puree can be made fresh by pureeing peeled and pitted mango (or frozen mango chunks) in a food processor. Bags of puree also are sold alongside the Hispanic foods in the grocer's freezer section.

Start to finish: 15 minutes

4 (4 ounces each) tuna steaks

1 tablespoon curry powder

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

3 cups cooked jasmine or basmati rice

12 cup mango puree

2 tablespoons tahini

Heat the oven to 200 degrees.

Rub the tuna steaks on both sides with the curry powder, then season with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet over medium-high, heat the vegetable oil. Working in batches, sear the tuna steaks for 1 12 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to an oven-safe plate, and place in the oven to keep warm while repeating with the remaining tuna steaks.

After all of the tuna is seared and in the oven, in a medium bowl, stir together the rice with the mango and tahini. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the rice among 4 serving plates, then transfer a tuna steak to each plate.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 450 calories (150 calories from fat), 17 grams fat (3 grams saturated), 45 milligrams cholesterol, 31 grams protein, 41 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams dietary fiber, 170 milligrams sodium

Tangerine Twirls

Start to finish: 45 minutes

Nonstick baking spray

1 sheet puff pastry (each 17.3-ounce box contains 2 sheets), thawed

Water

4 tablespoons sugar, divided

Zest of 1 tangerine

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with baking spray.

Unfold the pastry and lay it flat on the counter. Lightly moisten the top of the pastry with water, then sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Flip the pastry dough over so that the sugar side is against the counter. Lightly moisten the top of the pastry with water, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the remaining sugar.

Roll out the pastry to an 18-by-12-inch rectangle. Sprinkle the tangerine zest evenly over the top. Fold the puff pastry in thirds and press gently with a rolling pin to help it stick. Cut the pastry crosswise into strips 12 inch wide. Arrange the strips cut side down on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown all over.

Makes 12 twirls.

Nutrition information per cookie: 25 calories (10 calories from fat), 1 gram fat (0 saturated), 0 cholesterol, 0 protein, 4 grams carbohydrates, 0 dietary fiber, 15 milligrams sodium

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