Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Gai Sap Ka Prow

This is my standard.  I couldn't believe that I hadn't posted this recipe already.
It is my summer go-to when I can't think of what I want to cook.
It's relatively easy and always delicious.

I tend to grind dark meat chicken using a large dye rather than buying ground chicken because I find the latter too mealy.  In a pinch, however, the bought ground chicken or pork or turkey will do fine.

I should have prefaced that by saying I like ground chicken more than large pieces of chicken.  There's a couple simple reasons for this.  When you cut something up, there's more surface area.  This allows for 2 important abilities when cooking: (1) the cut-up matter will cook more quickly (2) the cut-up matter with its larger surface area is exposed to more of the sauce that the matter is being cooked in.  More flavor integrated into the meat and less cooking time.  Win-win.

Serve this dish with rice if you want to soak up the sauce.
Couple notes:

  1. Black soy sauce is different than soy sauce.  It's sweeter and richer - very different consistency. It adds both salt and sweetness which works nicely.
  2. You can use Genovese basil instead of Thai but it is different.  Thai basil has a very characteristic flavor, but honestly, both are delicious.

Ingredients

  • 4 Tb coconut / peanut oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 4 serrano peppers, chopped
  • 1# ground chicken/turkey/pork/etc.
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 4 Tb fish sauce
  • 2 Tb white vinegar
  • 1 Tb brown sugar
  • 2 Tb black soy sauce
  • 3 scallions, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 1 1/4 c. Thai basil

Directions

  1. Heat a wok over medium high heat.  Heat the oil.
  2. Add the garlic and peppers and saute for about 1 minute.
  3. Add the ground meat and saute for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the sliced onion and continue to saute until onions and meat are ready.
  5. Add the fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, black soy sauce to the wok and bring to a simmer.  Let simmer for a minute or two while mixing the food in the wok.
  6. Add the scallions and slightly wilt in the wok.
  7. Add the basil and stir until wilted.
  8. Serve with rice and eat!
You can certainly add more garlic and chilis if you want.  More flavor = good.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Simple Larb Something or Another

This is one of my daughter's favorite dishes, and I'm proud of her for it.
It's a classic Thai/Vietnamese style dish, full of flavor and easy to cook.  You tend to cook it with ground or chopped relatively lean chicken, but you can also use pork, beef or turkey.
So easy and quick, too.

Ingredients

  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 Tb coconut oil / peanut oil
  • 1# ground meat (pork, chicken, beef, turkey)
  • 1 Tb toasted rice powder (optional)
  • 1 Tb chopped garlic
  • 1 Tb minced ginger
  • 1/4 c. fish sauce
  • juice of a lime
  • 3 scallions, sliced fine
  • 1/4 c. chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 c. chopped mint / basil
  • 1/2 tart apple (e.g.; Granny Smith), diced in 1/4"
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • lettuce leaves for scooping up the mix

Directions

  1. Heat wok over medium heat.  Cook the shallot for 3 minutes.  
  2. Add the ground meat and stir fry until the pink is mostly gone / mostly cooked.
  3. Add the scallions, garlic & ginger, (and optional rice powder) and stir fry until the meat is cooked.
  4. Stir in fish sauce, lime juice, herbs and apple.  Mix well and turn off heat.
  5. Serve with sliced cucumbers and lettuce leaves.  Wrap up meat & cucumber in lettuce leaves and eat.

Tater Tots - well defined bar of excellence

They might give you diabetes.
They have tons of calories and fat and starch.
Yet, they are more consistently fabulous than many other favored starches.
I have had a surprisingly great number of foul french fries - or at least completely mediocre and disappointing french fries, yet this is not true of tater tots.

When someone says "tater tots", you know what you want in them and you are almost assuredly going to get what you envision.   Burger King - Royalty of mediocre fast food have tater tots on their breakfast menu, and they're really not bad.  Their fries are awful, but their tots.  Well within the margin of acceptability.

Napoleon Dynamite showed us anyone can appreciate the glory of tater tots.   They actually keep relatively well over a moderate amount of time whereas French fries get a little more nasty over the same period of time.

Tater Tots.
Well-defined.
Well-loved.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Cauliflower is Good

There really are a ton of good cauliflower recipes.  I'm not a fan of eating it raw, but it can be done with the right sauce.  That being said...why would you eat it raw unless you had no means of cooking?
Perhaps in the post-apocalyptic world there will be problems finding means of cooking and I'll reconsider then, but for now, let's cook it.

Our friend, Sally, brought up a fine cauliflower tot recipe she found on Food 52 and uses when she wants tater tots, but wants to feel slightly better about them.
These are pretty good and they do have cheese, which is just fine.  I think the Food 52 recipe includes bread crumbs, but we bag on those for now.  Cheese will work just fine to boost the flavor.  I also tend to use dried herbs in the mixture because I can.  I love fresh herbs, but they're not fully coming up yet so I'll work with the dried for now.

Crispy Cauliflower Tots

Ingredients


  • 1 # cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/3 c. grated Parmesan
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 Tb fresh herbs (1 Tb dried herbs)
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper
  • oil


Directions


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush with olive oil.
  2. Steam the cauliflower until tender.  Cool to room temperature.
  3. Place cauliflower in clean dishtowel, roll up, and wring to extract as much moisture from the cauliflower a you can.
  4. Transfer cauliflower to large bowl and break florets apart.  Add Parmesan, egg, herbs, garlic powder and pepper, and mix until well-combined.
  5. Using a tablespoon, scoop mixture onto baking sheet.  Brush tots with olive oil.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.  Take out and turn them over.  Brush with olive oil.  Bake another 15 minutes.
  7. Serve warm