27th February 2010

    Mushroom Larb

    We heart larb, and we used to make larb gai all the time, but with Lisa being on a veggie kick lately, we introduced this version into the mix. Instead of chicken, I used a mix of various mushrooms we had on hand — shiitake, cremini, and good old white button. It was delicious! One thing to note is that after sauteeing the mushrooms you should try to get as much excess liquid out as you can — you’ll be adding more liquid via lime juice and fish sauce, and you don’t want to end up with a soupy mess. Also, I noticed this version warranted a greater fish sauce to lime juice ratio than when done with chicken.


    Lisa says:

    How about we don’t talk about this one, and just eat it instead?

    Chris says:

    I’m *so* okay with that. Also, “om nom nom nom nom”.

    Mushroom Larb
    1 lb mixed mushrooms (shiitake, cremini, white, etc.), roughly chopped
    1 tbsp roasted rice powder
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    2 green onions, chopped
    2 tbsp chopped shallots
    3 tbsp chopped mint leaves
    1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    2 tbsp lime juice
    2 tbsp fish sauce
    1 tsp garlic and red chile paste
    cabbage leaves
    cilantro

    Spray a nonstick skillet with oil and heat to medium. Add in the chopped mushrooms and cook until they release their water and start to brown.
    Remove from the heat and put in a strainer to drain excess liquid. Add the mushrooms to a large bowl and stir in the rice powder, cilantro, green onions, shallots, and mint leaves.
    In a separate small bowl, mix together the fish sauce, lime juice, chile paste, and cayenne pepper. Taste for desired levels of spicy/salty/sour.
    Add to bowl with mushrooms, stir, and adjust seasonings.
    Garnish with cilantro sprigs and serve with cabbage leaves to scoop.

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    posted in Appetizers, Salads and Light Soups, Sides, Thai, Vegetarian | 5 Comments

    15th January 2010

    Crabby about Pad Thai

    Sometimes you just need to bite the bullet and pay full price. That’s what I walked away with after Lisa made this version of Pad Thai from Almost Meatless, a great cookbook to give those in your life who are trying to eat less meat but can’t quite, or don’t want to, go vegetarian. When we went shopping to pick up the ingredients for this one (a few months ago, now), the lump crab meat at our local Whole Foods was something like $32/lb, and they didn’t have any whole crabs on hand. We already had the rest of the ingredients for this recipe at home, so we decided to go with the pre-pack cans of crab meat. The pieces fell apart rapidly and overly-infused the dish with too much crabbiness. One the other hand, we’d never made Pad Thai at home, and it’s good knowing that it’s actually pretty easy to do. Next time we’ll either wait for a sale, or go with tofu.


    Lisa says:

    Whoa, way too crabby.

    Chris says:

    …but the noodles themselves are good.

    Lisa says:

    Yeah I like the noodles and the sauce, but the crab is still overpowering.

    Chris says:

    Although… hunger vs. tastebuds…

    Lisa says:

    Well obviously hunger wins. But next time I’m just making this vegetarian.

    Chris says:

    And I like the picture, so there’s that.

    Lisa says:

    Yes, there’s that — is that why you waited so long to post this one, though? Because it wasn’t exactly our favorite?

    Chris says:

    Hmm… laziness vs. pride…

    Crab Pad Thai
    8 oz rice noodles
    1 cup tamarind water/concentrate
    1/2 cup fish sauce
    3 tbsp sugar
    1 tbsp soy sauce
    8 tsp vegetable oil
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 eggs, lightly beaten
    8 oz lump crabmeat
    2 cups bean sprouts
    6 scallions, thinly sliced
    1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts, chopped
    2 limes, cut into wedges, for serving

    Prepare the noodles as directed on the package by soaking in hot water for 10-15 minutes until just softened, then rinsing under cold water. Set aside.
    Whisk together the tamarind concentrate, fish sauce, sugar, and soy sauce in a bowl and set aside.
    Make each serving one at a time: Heat two teaspoons of the oil in a wok over high heat. When the wok and oil are hot, drop around 2 cups of the noodles (about 1/4th) and toss continuously for 30 seconds. Add 1/4th of the sauce mixture and 1/2 tsp of minced garlic, tossing to coat the noodles. Push to the side and add in 1/4 of the beaten eggs. Let it start to set, then scramble into the noodles. Add 1/4th of the crab meat, bean sprouts, and scallions, toss to heat through, then plate. Top with peanuts and add lime wedges. Repeat for the remaining three servings.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Almost Meatless, Main Dishes, Thai | 3 Comments

    8th September 2008

    Beef Satays over Thai Salad

    Beef Satays over Thai Salad

    Tonight’s recipe comes from Food & Wine Magazine’s Quick from Scratch Herbs & Spices Cookbook, and is a great quick, light summer meal. Cubes of sirloin are marinated in lemon, salt, pepper, and lemongrass, quickly grilled, and served over a simple salad with a nuoc-chom-like dressing. We were lazy and served it with a quick out-of-the-box Thai Curry Rice.

    Chris says:

    I love these quick recipes.

    Lisa says:

    Especially when they’re this tasty!

    Chris says:

    Oooh, I think I timed the steak perfectly… and I like the lemongrass bits all over it.

    Lisa says:

    Yeah, it’s really good. I, of course, loved the minced garlic.

    Chris says:

    Also, it’s yet another recipe that uses up our mint.

    Lisa says:

    Wahoo! The rice is a nice accompaniment.

    Chris says:

    I knew if I didn’t make the rice you’d claim this was a snack.

    Lisa says:

    Hey! I just got back from a run.

    Chris says:

    I know! All I’m saying is I know what you like.

    Lisa says:

    I like food. Actually, I heart food.

    Chris says:

    Don’t we all…

    Beef Satays over Thai Salad
    1.5 lbs sirloin steak, cut into 1-inch cubes
    4 stalks lemongrass, bottom third only, peeled and minced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 tbsp cooking oil
    2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
    2 3/4 tsp sugar
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
    2 tbsp Asian fish sauce
    1 tbsp water
    3/4 tsp rice-wine vinegar
    pinch dried red-pepper flakes
    1 small head romaine lettuce, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips (about 1 quart)
    2 carrots, peeled into strips
    1 cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded, and diced
    1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
    1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

    In a medium glass bowl, combine the steak, lemongrass, half the garlic, the oil,1 1/2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, 3/4 teaspoon of the sugar, the salt, and black pepper. Set aside.
    In a small glass bowl, combine the fish sauce, the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, garlic, and 2 teaspoons sugar, the water, vinegar, and red-pepper flakes.
    In a large bowl, combine the romaine, carrots, cucumber, cilantro, and mint.
    Light the grill over high heat. Thread the steak onto eight skewers. Grill the meat, turning, until done to your taste, about 5 minutes for medium rare. Toss the dressing with the salad and serve topped with the satays.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Quick from Scratch Herbs and Spices, Thai | 6 Comments

    25th August 2008

    Thai Chicken Burgers

    Thai Chicken Burgers

    This chicken burger recipe comes from Fitness Food. Ground chicken is mixed with breadcrumbs, cilantro, chili sauce, and spices, and formed into burger-size patties. It’s served with ribbons of cucumber and carrot, and a sweet cilantro-vinegar sauce.

    Chris says:

    I got bit by the time-bug on this recipe, too!

    Lisa says:

    What do you mean?

    Chris says:

    They would have been done 30 minutes earlier if I had remembered the “refrigerate” step.

    Lisa says:

    At least we had that beet salad to snack on!

    Chris says:

    True… anyway, I like these. Though I think next time I’ll form them a little thinner so they cook more quickly.

    Lisa says:

    Yeah these are monsters! What’s this sauce all about?

    Chris says:

    It’s just a sweet cilantro sauce to go on top… it was supposed to also have peanuts in it, but we were out.

    Lisa says:

    Other than being so giant, I like these burgers. Although now I’m really full. And…

    Chris says:

    …yeah?

    Lisa says:

    I know that when one of us cooks, the other does the dishes, but… how the heck did you use so many dishes tonight?

    Chris says:

    Hey!

    Lisa says:

    Just sayin’. I’m getting dishpan hands over here.

    Thai Chicken Burgers
    1 lb chicken breast
    1 cup breadcrumbs
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    1 large handful cilantro, chopped, plus extra
    3 tbsp sweet chili sauce
    1 tsp ground coriander
    3 green onions, finely chopped
    1/4 cup sugar
    2 tbsp white vinegar
    2 tbsp finely chopped peanuts
    1 carrot
    1 cucumber
    lettuce
    tomato

    Cut the chicken into 1″-2″ cubes and place in a food processor, and pulse until minced. Remove to a bowl, and mix with the breadcrumbs, garlic, cilantro, chili sauce, ground coriander, and green onions. Mix together with your hands and form into four patties. Refrigerate, covered, for 30 minutes.
    To make the dressing, put the sugar, vinegar, and 3 tbsp water in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Cool and stir in the peanuts and extra cilantro.
    Peel strips of carrots and cucumber into ribbons.
    Heat a grill or grillpan and spray with oil. Cook the burgers for 4+ minutes on each side, or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees is reached. Serve on hamburger buns with the dressing, lettuce, tomato, carrot, and cucumber.

    4 Servings.

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    posted in Fitness Food, Main Dishes, Thai | 15 Comments

    29th May 2008

    Thai Grilled Chicken with Cilantro Dipping Sauce

    Thai Grilled Chicken with Cilantro Dipping Sauce
    This recipe came together in about 15-20 minutes, so it definitely lived up to the title of the book from which it came — Food & Wine Magazine’s Quick from Scratch Herbs & Spices Cookbook. We’re just diving into this one, but I’m really liking it so far — I love when each recipe is accompanied by a full-page picture. The book is divided into two sections: “Herbs” and “Spices”. Each recipe features a particular herb/spice — cilantro is one of our favorites, so we started there.

    Chris says:

    So, considering that I decided to make this about 10 minutes before you got home, I’d say this turned out quite well.

    Lisa says:

    Yeah, I thought we were doing Tortilla soup!

    Chris says:

    I changed my mind… not in a soup mood. Besides, this way we can tell Jeanette how much we enjoy the cookbook when we see her this weekend.

    Lisa says:

    It’s true! Yum, I like this dipping sauce.

    Chris says:

    I like most dipping sauces. Especially when they have cilantro!

    Lisa says:

    Cilantro *does* rule the planet. We need to start growing it.

    Chris says:

    Yes, please.

    Thai Grilled Chicken with Cilantro Dipping Sauce
    2 jalapeƱo peppers, seeds and stems removed
    4 cloves garlic: 2 smashed, 2 minced
    1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves and stems
    1 tbsp chopped cilantro
    2 tbsp fish sauce
    1 tbsp canola oil
    1 tsp sesame oil
    1/2 tsp salt
    4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (about 1 1/3 lbs.)
    6 tbsp rice-wine vinegar
    1 tbsp sugar
    1/4 tsp dried red-pepper flakes
    1 1/2 tbsp water

    Light the grill and set at medium-high heat. In a blender, puree the jalapeƱos, smashed garlic cloves, the 1/2 cup cilantro leaves and stems, the fish sauce, canola oil, sesame oil, and 1/4 tsp salt. Put the chicken in a shallow dish and coat with the cilantro puree.
    Grill the chicken for 5 minutes. Turn and cook until just done, about 5 minutes longer.
    Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, and the remaining 1/4 tsp salt to a simmer, stirring. Simmer for 2 minutes. Pour the liquid into a small glass or stainless-steel bowl and let cool. Add the minced garlic, the tablespoon of chopped cilantro, the red-pepper flakes, and water. Serve each chicken breast with a small bowl of dipping sauce alongside.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Quick from Scratch Herbs and Spices, Thai | 8 Comments


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