29th August 2009

    Green Papaya Salad with Shrimp

    greenpapayasalad

    Lisa had her first green papaya salad at Thoa in Seattle and absolutely loved it; after trying it myself, I decided that this was something we had to make at home. The recipe itself, which I adapted from a few I spotted online, as well as what I remember of the restaurant version, came together really quickly. The biggest adventure was actually in procuring this little gadget — I wandered all over the International District/Chinatown looking for it and finally found it in a little grocery next to the Tamarind Tree. Four bucks, and the papaya was shredded perfectly. Highly recommended if you’re going to make this dish.


    Lisa says:

    I love how the papaya looks like noodles — so different that what I was expecting!

    Chris says:

    I know, green papaya seems nothing like its ripe counterpart.

    Lisa says:

    This dish just tastes so summery and fresh…

    Chris says:

    I like that dishes like this are so easy to tailor to what you have on hand — you can pretty much make it however you want.

    Lisa says:

    Well, now that you went through all the effort of finding that little papaya shredder, we’ll definitely have to have this more often.

    Chris says:

    Heck yes! Next time I’m thinking I’ll do the beef jerky version, which apparently pretty popular.

    Lisa says:

    Hmmm… maybe I’ll have some shrimp ready as a backup… you enjoy, though!

    Green Papaya Salad with Shrimp
    1 medium-sized green papaya
    1 large carrot
    2 serrano, thai bird, or other hot peppers
    2 garlic cloves
    2 tsp sugar
    2 tbsp fish sauce
    1 1/2 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
    1/3-1/2 lb. shrimp
    fried shallots
    peanuts, toasted and chopped
    cilantro, chopped
    basil, cut into ribbons

    Peel the green papaya, then shred or julienne into thin strips and set aside in a large serving bowl. Peel the carrot, and shred or julienne into strips, and add to the papaya.
    In a mortar, crush the chilies, garlic, and sugar into a paste. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in the fish sauce and lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasonings to have your preferred level of tartness, sweetness, and spice. Pour just enough dressing over the papaya and carrots — it shouldn’t be swimming in liquid. Toss and set aside.
    Grill or saute the shrimp until just done, then add to the tossed salad. Garnish with fried shallots, the peanuts, cilantro, and basil.

    2 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Salads and Light Soups, Vietnamese | 4 Comments

    20th August 2009

    Grilled Mahi Mahi with Pan-Roasted Corn Salsa and Black Beans

    mahiblackbeancorn

    This recipe from Mccormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant Cookbook was deeeelicious and a great summer meal. We needed the grill on for the fish anyway, so we grilled the corn on the cob for the pan salsa. The recipe as written in the book uses a lot more butter and store-bought salsa, but we had just received tomatillos in our CSA box so I decided to make a roasted tomatillo salsa and use that instead.


    Lisa says:

    Hey, it’s Black Bean Mountain!

    Chris says:

    Yes, but look what you get to eat at the summit.

    Lisa says:

    Mmmm… if only this was served at the top of *real* mountains…

    Chris says:

    Pretty good, huh? That corn salsa is good, and I’m glad I made that tomatillo salsa to go with.

    Lisa says:

    Yeah I’m a big fan of this one.

    Chris says:

    Can’t really go wrong with grilled fish — well, unless you overcook it…

    Lisa says:

    …which you didn’t, so no worries.

    Chris says:

    I heart summer!

    Grilled Mahi Mahi with Pan-Roasted Corn Salsa and Black Beans
    2 6-oz mahi mahi fillets
    4 oz barbecue sauce
    1 tbsp butter
    1/2 cup finely diced onion
    1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
    1/2 cup finely diced green bell pepper
    1 cup corn, fresh off the cob
    2 tsp cumin
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp pepper
    2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
    1/4 cup Roasted Green Tomatillo Salsa
    1 28-oz can black beans, warmed

    Grill the mahi mahi, basting frequently with the barbecue sauce. Meanwhile, saute the onions, peppers, and corn in the butter until cooked but still firm. Season with the cumin, salt, pepper, and lime juice. Add the tomatillo salsa. Toss to blend. Place a mound of the black beans in the center of each plate and top with the mahi mahi fillets and corn salsa.

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    posted in Main Dishes, McCormick & Schmick | 1 Comment

    11th August 2009

    Red Bliss Potato Salad, Paesano Style

    blisspotsalad

    This is my favorite potato salad — a far cry from the usual mayo/mustard based crew, this one is almost seasoned like a puttanesca pasta: capers, anchovies, red pepper flakes, garlic… a divine combination of flavors. The mint is an interesting addition that adds flavor and color. I’ll be making this again, for sure. The recipe originally appeared in Esquire; I followed it pretty much exactly, except I cut the oil *way* down. I just can’t imagine adding an entire cup of oil to this potato salad — it would be swimming! I ended up using around a third of that.


    Lisa says:

    Hey, what is that? Looks like Kung Pao Chicken.

    Chris says:

    This is the potato salad I was telling you about…

    Lisa says:

    Whoa, definitely looks different.

    Chris says:

    Just wait until you try it!

    Lisa says:

    Holy crap that’s good… and I can totally see why you’d love this, caper boy.

    Chris says:

    Hell yeah, capers are like little tiny explosions of awesome in your mouth.

    Carrie says:

    Hey, Kung Pao chicken — great!

    Chris says:

    Not quite… just a bombastic potato salad.

    Carrie says:

    Wow, this is really good.

    Chris says:

    This is what I’m saying! I heart it. It should definitely become part of the standard party-food rotation…

    Red Bliss Potato Salad, Paesano Style
    2 1/2 lbs small red bliss potatoes.
    Salt and pepper to taste
    2 tbsp rinsed capers
    1/2 cup thinly sliced roasted red peppers
    A few cloves chopped garlic
    1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
    2 tbsp sugar
    1 tsp red-pepper flakes
    6 minced oil-packed anchovies
    1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

    Quarter the potatoes. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add potatoes, and cook until fork tender, about 12 minutes. Drain and transfer to mixing bowl. Stir in the capers, roasted red peppers, garlic, balsamic vinegar, sugar, red-pepper flakes, and anchovies. Stir and cool to room temperature. Then add the extra-virgin olive oil and chopped fresh mint, then coarse salt and ground pepper. Sprinkle grated Parmesan and a few more torn mint leaves on top. Serve at room temperature.

    Makes so much, and yet not quite enough… !

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    posted in Sides | 2 Comments

    8th August 2009

    So fast, so fresh, so good! Rainbow Chard Soft Tacos with Black Bean and Corn Salsa

    chardtacos

    These vegetarian tacos didn’t leave me missing the meat. The earthiness of the chard combined with the onion and garlic is just a great combination, and the simple black bean and corn salsa gave it some heft and a slight crunch. Lisa found this recipe when searching for ways to use up the chard that showed up in our CSA box.


    Lisa says:

    Okay, this is probably the easiest recipe I’ve ever made.

    Chris says:

    Yeah?

    Lisa says:

    Have you seen the clock? When’s the last time we ate this early?

    Chris says:

    Whoa, you’re right. I guess simplicity rules in this case — these are delicious.

    Lisa says:

    I know it — but I swear we’ve made something really similar.

    Chris says:

    Yeah, there were the chard tacos from the Rick Bayless book.

    Lisa says:

    That’s right!

    Chris says:

    Don’t worry, they’re different enough to warrant a new post…

    Lisa says:

    Uh, YEAH… that, and they’re awesome.

    Chris says:

    …and they’re TACOS. TACOS should always get posted.

    Lisa says:

    Well, when you take a picture, anyway. You didn’t photograph the zucchini-mushroom-chorizo tacos from a few days ago.

    Chris says:

    I was hot! And hungry. And this way I have an excuse to make them again.

    Lisa says:

    Stay tuned, I guess!

    Rainbow Chard Soft Tacos with Black Bean and Corn Salsa
    Tacos:
    1 bunch rainbow chard, stems and stalks removed, chopped
    1/2 yellow onion, sliced
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    olive oil
    corn tortillas
    queso fresco

    Salsa:
    1 1/2 cups canned black beans, drained
    1 cup corn kernels
    1 cup chopped tomatoes
    1/2 cup diced onion
    red pepper flakes
    1 clove of garlic, minced
    handful of cilantro, chopped
    squeeze of lime

    For the tacos, saute the onion and garlic in a half tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat until softened. Add in the chard, cook until wilted, then season with salt and pepper.
    For the salsa, combine all ingredients and season to taste.
    Warm the corn tortillas in an oven or by heating in a dry pan. Fill each tortilla with some of the chard mixture and top with the salsa and some crumbled queso fresco.

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    posted in Main Dishes, Mexican, Vegetarian | 0 Comments

    6th August 2009

    Minestrone Stir Fry

    minestronepasta
    Lisa found this quick and easy weeknight recipe on the Whole Foods site and adapted it to use what we had on hand. A bunch of vegetables are stir-fried with pasta and tomatoes to recreate the flavors of a minestrone in non-soup form! A great way to use up the vegetables in your fridge.


    Chris says:

    Okay, I love this. Super simple and flavorful.

    Lisa says:

    Really? I think it’s kind of bland. It has no flavor.

    Chris says:

    Uhh… what? Is this one of those “I made it so I don’t think it’s that great? things?

    Lisa says:

    No, I’m serious! I just don’t think it has much taste.

    Chris says:

    Well our bowls must be completely different because mine has… wait, didn’t you burn your tongue a few days ago?

    Lisa says:

    Yeah… so?

    Chris says:

    So I think your tastebuds are fried.

    Lisa says:

    Oooh, good point. Well, I’m glad you like it, but I can’t really tell how it tastes. And I think it’s random that the Whole Foods site suggests you serve this stir-fry, which has pasta in it, over pasta.

    Chris says:

    …or toast, or polenta…

    Lisa says:

    Yeah, but still. Random.

    Chris says:

    Okay, while you’re thinking about that and not being distracted by flavor, I’m going to finish my dinner. And possibly yours.

    Minestrone Stir Fry
    2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    1 cup chopped peeled eggplant
    1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
    1/2 cup chopped orange bell pepper
    1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
    1/3 cup chopped carrot
    1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
    1/2 tsp fennel seeds
    1/4 tsp red chile flakes
    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1 cup chopped tomatoes
    1/3 cup tomato juice
    1 cup cooked pasta
    1 cup chopped chard leaves
    1/3 cup chopped basil
    1/2 teaspoon salt

    Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add eggplant, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, carrots, Italian seasoning, fennel seeds, chile flakes, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, adding a little water to prevent sticking. Add tomatoes and tomato juice and continue to cook for 3 minutes longer. Add pasta, chard, basil, and salt and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer to heat through.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Vegetarian | 0 Comments


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