Thai Chicken Salad

Thai Chicken Salad

Ingredients

It has been a long time since my last post! It has been so hot lately this seemed like a great idea for dinner. I could eat the dressing with a spoon out of the bowl!! I adapted it from a post from Creme de la Crumb. I did not know I was going to post until after it was all together so not many photos – but please try this.

Salad

  • 1 cup chopped green leaf lettuce
  • 1 cup chopped kale – or 1 additional cup other lettuce
  • 1 cup chopped green cabbage
  • 1 cup chopped red cabbage
  • ½ cup edamame (optional)
  • 1 carrot – grated
  • 2 bell peppers – I used red and yellow
  • 1 cup diced or shredded cooked chicken ( used left over grilled chicken, sliced)
  •  ½ cup wonton strips and/or crunchy noodles
  • 1/4 cup of chopped peanuts or sliced almonds (optional)

Peanut Dressing

  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ¼ cup toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar ( I used Mirin)
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger (I used a frozen cube)
  • splash of fish sauce 
  • 2-3 tablespoons water – as needed, to thin

Instructions

  • In a large bowl combine lettuce, kale, cabbage, green onions, edamame, cilantro, carrots, bell peppers, chicken, and wonton strips. 
  • In a food processor or blender combine all dressing ingredients and pulse 20-30 seconds. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time to thin, as needed. Pour over salad and toss just before serving. 

Notes

  • Don’t dress this salad until right before you’re going to eat it or it will run the risk of getting soggy too quickly. 
  • The dressing will keep in the mason jar for up to a week. Be sure to shake or whisk before using to combine any settled ingredients. 
  • Slice the cabbage into very thin pieces so that you can eat it without cutting your salad. 
  • Carrot matchsticks work well in this Thai salad but you could also use carrot dices or thin sliced rounds. 
Asian Chicken and Rice Soup

Asian Chicken and Rice Soup

This came together quickly on a Friday night after a long day of work. You can make it spicy as you want by altering the chili paste or omit for a non spicy version. This was adapted from the Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day.

2 cups chicken broth
1 Cup coconut milk
8 oz shredded chicken
2 cups
1 tsp ginger (I used the frozen cubes)
1 Cup cooked rice, brown or white ( used Trader joe’s frozen)
1 Tbsp orange zest
1/2 Cup orange juice
1 tsp chili paste
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 cups enoki mushrooms or quartered button mushrooms ( used the button mushrooms)
1/2 cup oyster mushrooms

In a large sauce pan, combine the broth, coconut milk, orange zest and juice, fish sauce and chili paste. Place over medium high heat bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. The soup will be slightly foamy.

Sauté the mushrooms until browned and add to the broth.

Add the cooked rice and remove from heat.


Honey Chicken

Honey Chicken

We started keeping bees this spring and were rewarded with a bumper crop (?) of honey. Hive honey is wonderful. I searched for some recipes to put it to use. I took a recipe from recipetineats.com and made some changes. I think I might like to add walnuts to the recipe next time. This would be good with tofu or shrimp, too.

Ingredients

  • 4-6 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour 
  • smoked paprika
  • 3.5 tbsp butter (or 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil)
  • 1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1/3 cup honey

Instructions

  • Sprinkle each side of chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Place flour in a shallow dish. Coat chicken in flour and shake off excess.
  • Sprinkle with smoked paprika.
  • Melt most of the butter in a large skillet over high heat – hold back about 1 tsp for later.
  • Place chicken in skillet and cook for 2 – 3 minutes until golden. Turn and cook the other side for 1 minute.
  • Turn heat down slightly to medium high.
  • Make a bit of room in the pan and add remaining tbsp of butter.
  • Add vinegar, soy sauce and honey. Stir / shake pan to combine. Bring sauce to simmer, then simmer for 1 minute or until slightly thickened.
  • Turn chicken to coat in sauce. If the sauce gets too thick, add a touch of water and stir.
  • Remove from stove immediately. Place chicken on plates and drizzle over remaining sauce.
Salmon Curry

Salmon Curry

This was an easy week night meal! It would be great with shrimp or chicken. I think it would even work with tofu if you wanted to make it vegetarian. This was inspired by a blog I like “recipetineats”. It called for some items I did not have in the pantry or could not get (like fresh lemongrass) s oI made it my own with what I had on hand.

Ingredients

  • ▢ 3 salmon fillets
  • ▢ Salt and pepper
  • ▢ 1.5 tbsp oil , separated
  • ▢ 1.5 tsp ginger , finely grated or frozen cubes
  • ▢ 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • ▢ half jar of Trader Joe’s red Curry Sauce
  • ▢ 8 oz coconut milk (I used Low fat)
  • ▢ 1 tbsp soy sauce sauce 
  • ▢ 1.5 tsp lime zest (1 lime)
  • ▢ Lime juice , to taste

Directions

  • Sprinkle both sides of salmon with salt and pepper.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non stick pan or well seasoned skillet over medium high heat. Add salmon, skin side up, and sear for just 1 1/2 minutes until golden. Turn salmon and cook the other side just for 1 minute, then remove onto a plate (should still be raw inside).
  • Turn heat down to medium low and allow skillet to cool.
  • Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil. Add ginger. Cook until garlic is light golden ~ 1 minute.
  • Add sugar and cook for 20 seconds until it becomes a caramel (see video). Then stir in chilli paste/sauce
  • Add coconut milk and stir, scraping the bottom of the skillet to dissolve any bits stuck on the base into the sauce.
  • Stir in soy sauce, increase heat to medium. Simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Place salmon into the sauce, lower heat and simmer gently for 4 minutes, or until just cooked.
  • Remove salmon, stir in lime zest and juice to taste. Adjust salt to taste with fish sauce.
  • Serve salmon over noodles or rice. .

Thai Shrimp Soup

Thai Shrimp Soup

This is a fast and easy weeknight soup. Filling, full of flavor. I used Trader Joe’s frozen Argentinian pink and their package frozen organic rice which really made it quick. The store was out of red curry paste so I grabbed a jar of red curry sauce and it worked great in a pinch. We warmed up the leftovers and the soup got thicker and was even better the next day. This was adapted from the blog DAMN DELICIOUS.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup uncooked basmati rice
    (or 2 packages of Trader Joe’s Organic Basmati rice, prepared using directions)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoon red curry paste or half a jar of red curry sauce
  • 1 (12-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk (full or lite)
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • Juice of 1 lime
DIRECTIONS:
  1. In a large saucepan of 1 1 /2 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions; set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add shrimp, salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pink, about 2-3 minutes; set aside.
  3. Add garlic, onion and bell pepper to the stockpot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in ginger until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Whisk in curry paste or sauce until well combined, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in coconut milk and chicken/vegetable stock, and cook, whisking constantly, until incorporated, about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 8-10 minutes.
  6. Stir in rice, shrimp and lime juice.
  7. Serve immediately.
Crunchy Orange Tofu

Crunchy Orange Tofu

This came together quickly on a late Friday night. We are not vegetarians but this did not make me miss the meat at all and was totally satisfying. I will add to my regular rotation of fast meals. Adapted from the blog The View From the Great Island.

For the baked tofu
(2 packages) extra firm tofu (I used Trader Joe’s Pressed)
6 Tbsp cornstarch
1 pinch salt
2-3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbs oil for frying
1 onion sliced thin
1 Zucchini, cut in half and then sliced
1 small package white or Baby Bella mushrooms, chopped

For the sauce
4 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar or Mirin
1 tsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 cup orange juice (about 3-4 medium oranges)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated or finely minced
1 Tbsp cornstarch, dissolved in 2 Tbsp water

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Drain the tofu and pat it try with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels, gently squeezing some of the excess moisture out.

Slice the tofu into bite sized cubes, and gently toss together with the cornstarch, salt, and oil.

Spread the tofu cubes out into a single layer on your prepared baking sheet, and bake for about 45 minutes, tossing once or twice during cooking.

While the tofu is baking, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients, except the cornstarch mixture. Set aside.

About 10 minutes before the tofu is ready: In a large pan or wok heat 2 Tbsp of oil and add the onion, stir until tender and starting to caramelize. Add the zucchini and mushrooms. Cook until tender.

Remove the tofu from the oven when it is done cooking, it should be lightly golden brown and crispy on the outside, and set aside.

Add the sauce ingredients, along with the cornstarch mixture, in a small pan, mixing to combine. Heat over medium heat until the sauce is just starting to simmer and thickens.

Add the tofu to the onion mixture. Add sauce and gently toss until coated.

Serve along with white rice, and top with sesame seeds, if desired.

Asian Lettuce Wraps

Asian Lettuce Wraps

This is a super simple recipe. Comes together in a snap. I like Butter lettuce or Boston bibb but  iceberg will work, too. I like the crunchy texture of iceberg but it is a little harder to wrap. I let the chicken freeze slightly and it is very easy to cut up into small cubes. This can also be made vegetarian by using tofu or meat alternative.

IMG_3092.jpg

IMG_3089.jpg

IMG_3088.jpg

IMG_2964.jpg

IMG_2967.jpg

IMG_3086.jpg

IMG_3091.jpg

Ingredients

  • 16 Boston Bibb, butter or iceberg lettuce leaves
  • 4 chicken thighs, boneless,skinless and cut into small cubes
  • 1 tablespoon peanut or olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger (optional)
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil

Directions

Rinse whole lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not tear them. Set aside.

Stir hoisin sauce, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar and ginger into a small bowl and set aside.

In a frying pan or wok heat the oil and add onions. Cook about 10 minutes or until soft and getting caramelized. Add chicken cubes and cook over medium heat until brown. Add water chestnuts and stir. Add sauce and stir to mix.

Arrange lettuce leaves around the outer edge of a large serving platter and pile meat mixture in the center.

Shrimp Pho (faux) Noodle Soup

Shrimp Pho (faux) Noodle Soup

This is “Faux” Pho – a faster, easier weeknight version that doesn’t require hours in the kitchen! Perfect for cold and rainy nights. This turns out different every time I make it, depending on the ingredients.

IMG_2561.jpg

IMG_2564.jpg

IMG_2557.jpg

IMG_2559.jpg

IMG_2560.jpg

Ingredients

8 oz rice noodles
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns or 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons ginger root minced
1/2 tablespoon chili garlic paste
1 onion, sliced thin
8 cups seafood stock or chicken broth
2 strips lemon peel (use carrot peeler)
2 tablespoons soy sauce low sodium
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon cinnamon
8 cups bok choy stem thinly sliced & leaves roughly chopped
1 lb shrimp raw

It is not traditional but a can of light coconut milk tastes really good in this!

Optional Garnishes
thinly sliced onion, slices jalapeno, cilantro, lime wedges, sriracha sauce, bean sprouts, Thai basil

Instructions

  1. Prepare rice noodles according to package directions and set aside.
  2. In a large soup pot, warm sesame oil over medium heat for 30-60 seconds until it starts to shimmer. Add ginger and chili garlic paste then stir for 30 seconds to release flavors.
  3. Add onion and cook until tender and translucent
  4. Stir in broth, lemon peel, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, hoisin, cinnamon and spices. Bring mixture to a boil then add shrimp and bok choy.
  5. Continue to simmer until shrimp turns bright pink and bok choy wilts – about 3-4 minutes. Check for seasoning and add salt/pepper/soy if necessary.
  6. Add noodles (and coconut milk if using) to soup and serve immediately.
  7. Serve with optional garnishes.
Scallops in Jade Sauce

Scallops in Jade Sauce

I used to love to go to this little shop called “Lexington Gardens” in Connecticut. I spent afternoons there with my mom and dad on visits home. They had a wonderful little cooking and cookbook section.  I found one of my favorite cookbooks there one afternoon back in the early ’90s – Pacific Flavors by Hugh Carpenter. This lovely dish is from that book. I modified slightly over the years. This is also wonderful tossed with fresh pasta and seafood.

IMG_2087.jpg

IMG_2086 (1).jpg

IMG_2081.jpg

Ingredients

11/2 pounds large sea scallops
4 Tbsp butter cut into small pieces
salt to taste
pepper

Sauce

1 12-oz bunch of spinach
1 Bunch chives
2 Tbsp finely minced ginger
6 Basil leaves (optional)
1/4 cup Chicken stock
1/4 Cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon Chinese chili sauce
1 Tsp cornstarch

Preparation

Rinse scallops and pat dry. Rub with ginger and chill until ready to use.

Make sauce. Chop spinach, chives, basil and ginger. Mince greens to a fine consistency and add stock. Process 30 seconds more and add the cream, salt and chili sauce. Process for about 15 seconds until pureed. Chill until ready to cook.

Preheat oven to the broil setting. Season with a little salt, pepper and dot each scallop with butter. Place the scallops on a baking rack. Broil, without turning until they turn white and are just firm to the touch. Cut one in half if you are unsure.

While the scallops are broiling combine the cornstarch with an equal amount of cold water. bring sauce to a low boil and stir in a little at a time to help thicken the sauce.

Glaze the dinner plates with the sauce and position the scallops in the center. serve at once.

Creamy Zucchini and Coconut Milk Soup

Creamy Zucchini and Coconut Milk Soup

This was inspired by some leftover coconut milk, zucchini in the fridge and the “Cooking Canuck” blog. I served it hot as a first course for a dinner party.

IMG_1475.jpg

IMG_1778.JPG

IMG_1779.JPG

IMG_4802.jpg

IMG_4811.jpg

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups (packed) grated zucchini (about 2-3 depending on size)
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (plus more to taste)
  • 2 3/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan set over medium-low heat. Add the onion and  and sweat (cook without browning) until the onion is soft and translucent, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for additional 2 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat to medium, add the grated zucchini and chopped mint leaves, and cook until the zucchini is starting to soften, about 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove soup from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. I used a Vitamix but a blender will do the job.
  5. Process the soup in a blender, in two batches, until the soup is almost smooth, but with a little bit of texture. Return to the saucepan, stir in coconut milk, reheat, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.
  6. This soup can also be served chilled.