Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cold Sesame Asparagus Salad

This last weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to go to the Oregon coast and Saturday night my lovely boyfriend and I were in charge of making dinner for a total of nine people.  We went for an Asian inspired dinner theme and made Chicken Karaage, Scallion Pancakes (next post), and this Asparagus Salad from Good Thymes and Good Food blog...t'was a very tasty meal.  We did have quite an adventure at the coast, Saturday it was sunny, in the 50's, and no wind at all...and it's January!!!  It was one of the best days I have had in a long long time, we were even able to lounge around on the patio in t-shirts and drink bloody marys in pure comfort.  Waldport also has a very rad flea market in town that we checked out, and I was taken to the infamous Flounder Inn for Friday night dinner and drinks after the long dark three hour drive to the coast...epic weekend with amazing people, one for the books indeed.

Serves 6 healthy portions, but it also worked  well as a small salad for 9

The Ingredients
2 bundles of fresh asparagus, bottoms snapped off and cut into 3 inch long pieces
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons black sesame seeds

The Process
1.  In a medium saucepan bring 1 cup of water to a boil, and then add  asparagus and cook for 1 minute.

2.  Drain the asparagus and put into an ice bath and set aside.

3.  In the meantime in a medium salad bowl (large enough to hold asparagus) mix together soy sauce, sugar, cider vinegar, and sesame oil.

4.  Then drain asparagus from ice bath and add to bowl with sauce mixture.  Toss salad with sesame seeds and refrigerate for at least one hour (stirring occasionally).  Serve cold!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pork Larb

This recipe was part of a large and tasty meal I made for my mother's birthday.  We had decided on a Thai themed dinner and I love pork larb whenever I get it in restaurants so me creating this dish myself was long over due.  While I did not create this recipe myself it is a very good one, and for the original recipe and instructions on how to make rice powder click this link.  The first time I had larb my friend who now lives in Thailand made it for me with tofu and spices that she brought back from Thailand which were extra spicy, and from that day on I became obsessed with the dish.  I accompanied this dish with Tom Kha soup, veggie spring rolls, and chicken satay with peanut sauce...the meal was epic.  Speaking of epic I have a good feeling that this weekend will be just that; I'm headed to the Oregon coast with a bunch of lovely people and we all like to cook, so I will definitely come back with several new recipes to post.

Serves 5 (as a side dish)

The Ingredients
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted rice powder
3 limes, juiced
1 bunch of green onions, green and white parts separated, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 tablespoon sriracha
1/4 tablespoon ground chili flakes
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 cup mint, finely chopped
16 oz ground pork
green cabbage leaves

The Process
1.  Combine the juice of 1 lime with ground pork, toss well and let sit for a couple minutes.

2.  In the meantime heat a skillet or wok on stove over high heat.  Then add 2 tablespoons of water to the skillet when hot and add in pork and the white part of the green onions.  Cook pork until it is done but not browned and then put the pork mixture in a bowl and set aside.

3.  In a separate bowl combine the rest of the lime juice, toasted rice powder, green part of green onions, shallot, sriracha, ground chili, fish sauce, black pepper, cilantro, and mint.  Then add pork to this bowl and mix everything thoroughly.

4.  To serve break cabbage leaves in half and scoop a generous amount of pork mixture onto each cabbage leaf and serve while still warm.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Butter Beans and Kale with Eggs

One weekend I woke up wanting to make this dish, it looked so hardy, warming and perfect for this rainy and cold Portland weather we have been getting lately.  I found this recipe (that I then adapted) on the Serious Eats blog and they never seem to disappoint me so I was determined to make it.  This stew like dish would have really been nice last week with all of the snow and me having strep throat...then again I wouldn't even have been able to swallow it.  I don't know if anyone out there is like me where every single year you get strep throat, if I am lucky that was hopefully the only time this year and every time it fully defeats me.  So eat this stew and don't get sick as hell like me.

Serves 4

The Ingredients
1 (15oz) can butter beans, rinsed
5 slices of fatty bacon, chopped up
2 (150z) cans chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
2 (15oz) cans of whole stewed tomatoes, chopped
4 cups kale, chopped
4 eggs, hard boiled
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil

The Process
1.  In large saucepan, over medium high heat add olive oil.  When hot add onion, bacon, carrots and celery.  Cook for about 7-10 minutes or until everything softens.  Then add chicken broth, thyme, bay leaf, and a little salt and pepper.  Bring this mixture to boil and then reduce to simmer, and simmer for 45 minutes.

2.  Then add butter beans, tomatoes and kale.  Stir well and simmer for 20 more minutes.  During this time hard boil your eggs.

3.  After the 20 minutes the stew should be thicker and kale should be cooked down.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

4.  To serve, dish stew into bowl and cut hard boiled eggs in halves, serve each bowl with two halves and eat!

While this dish takes a bit of time it is so worth it in the end, so plan ahead and enjoy.

Nori Radish Toasts

Wow, I have been a SUPER slacker in cooking and writing for the last month and a half.  I am so sorry, between the holidays, getting really really sick, and job searching my wonderful hobby of cooking and blogging about it has suffered the most.  So here is my attempt to revive my blog and keep up the cooking, the thing I love most.  I have also been super involved in planning InfocampPDX, it is only two weeks away so register now!!!  So here is an appetizer recipe from the wonderful Sunset magazine and it was my addition to the Christmas day activities.

The Ingredients
1 French baguette, sliced 2 inches thick
1 large sheet nori (seaweed)
5 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced

The Process
1.  Turn on oven to 350 degrees, take cut baguette and place pieces on cookie sheet and put in oven for about 10 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.

2.  Using scissors cut up the nori sheet into little pieces or grind in a coffee grinder.

3.  In small bowl mix together butter and nori.

4.  Smear butter spread onto toasts and top with several slices of radishes and eat away.