Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Lemongrass Beef on Cool Noodles

This is from the website. A lot of these recipes I post here because I want to save them. This has replaced my folder of clipped recipes...

Lemongrass Beef on Cool Noodles
(Bun Bo Zao)
Adapted from Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table by Mai Pham (HarperCollins, 2001). Copyright 2001 by Mai Pham.
Serves 4
The last time I was in Saigon, I went back to the lively Cho Vuon Chuoi market near our house. I was so excited to find the same stall that my mother used to take me to for noodles. The lady who once fed me had retired and her daughter had taken over. After squeezing myself onto a low community bench in front of the hot charcoal stove, I found myself indulging in a delectable bowl of noodles with beef that had just come off a sizzling pan. These days, this dish remains a favorite, both for lunch and for a light dinner. For a delicious variation, try it with shrimp or pork.
Rice Noodles with Fresh Herbs (recipe follows), ready for serving in noodle bowls Topping:
• 2/3 pound beef sirloin or another tender cut, thinly sliced into bite-sized strips
• 2 tablespoons minced lemongrass
• 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
• 1 tablespoon fish sauce
• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
• 2 tablespoons Scallion Oil (recipe)
• 4 tablespoons chopped Roasted Peanuts
• 1 1/2 recipes Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (recipe)
Combine the beef, lemongrass, oyster sauce, and fish sauce in a bowl and let the meat marinate for 20 minutes.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the red onion and stir for 1 minute, then add the meat. Stir and cook until the meat is cooked and the onion is soft, 3 to 4 minutes.
To serve, divide the beef topping among the 4 prepared noodle bowls. Garnish each bowl with 1/2 tablespoon Scallion Oil, 1 tablespoon peanuts and about 1/4 cup dipping sauce. Toss several times before eating.

Rice Noodles with Fresh Herbs (Bun Voi Rau Thom)
Adapted from Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table by Mai Pham (HarperCollins, 2001). Copyright 2001 by Mai Pham.
Makes 4 main-course servings with toppings
If there's one dish that exemplifies just how flavors and textures are contrasted in Vietnamese cuisine, it would have to be bun. Made with small rice vermicelli layered on a bed of shredded fresh herbs and greens, it can be served with a variety of meat or seafood toppings. In Vietnam, bun is usually a meal in itself but it certainly can be served in smaller, appetizer-sized portions.
To create a complete bun meal, make this recipe and serve it with a topping. Make sure that the noodles are completely dry before assembling the bowls. Otherwise, the noodles with not adequately soak up the sauce.
• 2/3 pound small dried rice vermicelli (bun)
• 2 cups shredded red- or green-leaf lettuce
• 1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
• 1/3 cup cucumber, seeded and cut into matchsticks
• 1/3 cup green or red perilla leaves, fish mint, or mint leaves, cut into thirds
• 1/3 cup Asian basil leaves, cut into thirds
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the rice vermicelli and stir gently to loosen them. Cook until the noodles are white and soft but still slightly resilient, about 4 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Gently fluff the noodles and set them aside for at least 30 minutes. The noodles should be dry and sticky before serving.
Gently toss together the lettuce, bean sprouts, cucumbers, perilla, and basil leaves. Divide the salad mixture among 4 bowls. Top each with one-quarter of the rice noodles. The bowls are now ready for the topping.
Note: Ideally bun should not be refrigerated, because the noodles become dry and stiff. However, if you need to, store the noodles and greens separately. Just before serving, reheat the noodles (preferably in a microwave oven) just until slightly warm. This will help them become soft and a little sticky again.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Salmon with Spinach in Foil

I clipped this recipe from S.F. Chronicle a long time ago, it is a great quick and easy dish to make. We had corn with it (from my weekly organic box) that Mr. K grilled and served sprinkled with lemon juice and then chile powder.

Another coworker raved about some smoked salmon from Seabear Wild Salmon, so I order some filets which i got for a very good promotional price.

1 tbl. asian sesame oil
2 cups spinach leaves, lightly packed, rinsed and dried
8-oz. salmon steak
salt and pepper
hot cooked rice
lemon wedges
chili garlic sauce

Preheat oven to 275 and heat a baking sheet at the same time.

Spread 1 tsp. of the sesame oil in the center of a 12 x 16 inch sheet of foil. Stack half of the spinach leaves to the left of center and top with the salmon. Season to taste with salt and pepper to drizzle with 1 tsp. of the remaining sesame oil. Top with the remaining spinach and sesame oil. Fold the foil over the fish (like closing a book) and crimp the edges tightly together, forming a D-shaped package.

Place on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

Transfer to a plate, remove the foil and mop up excess moisure with a paper towel. Serve with rice, lemon wedges and a nice blob of chili garlic sauce

265 calories; 35 g. potein, 0 g. carbo, 12 g. fat (6 g. sat) 91 mg cholesterol; 194 mg. sodium; 0 g. fiber

from the SF Chronicle 7/26/95

Monday, June 18, 2007

Ravioli with Fresh Peas and Basil

I keep reading about peas which seem to be in season. I also love how they look in the pod, but my photographic skills were not able to capture that kodak moment with the pod cracked open and the peas all nestled in snugly... So here are peas that were blanched for a couple of minutes and starting to shrivel...

I also have some basil growing very nicely in the garden

2 shallots minced
1 clove garlic minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 cup chicken stock
1 oz dried porcini mushroom
10 leaves of basil shredded
1 cup shelled peas

1 package fresh ravioli
parmesan cheese for grating on top
salt and black pepper
fresh lemon

Heat the olive oil in a 3 quart saute on low and mix in the shallots and garlic. Cook on low, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes until the shallots are soft and translucent.

At the same time, heat the stock in a sauce pan with the porcini mushrooms until they soften. Remove the mushrooms and chop up and return to pan and continue to heat for 10 minutes until mushrooms are completely reconstituted.

Stir stock into the saute pan and keep temperature on low, barely simmering.

Heat a big pot of boiling water and blanch the peas for 2 minutes. Remove from water and rinse in cold water. In the same pot, cook ravioli according to instructions on package, drain. Toss the shredded basil, peas and ravioli into the saute pan and mix well. Adjust seasonings and you are ready to serve.

Top with grated parmesan, black pepper and a squirt of lemon juice if desired.

I also steamed the green beans from the organic veggie box I started receiving this week. They were so tender and sweet! We ate them plain, with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Grilled Spice-rubbed Salmon

I got a few tins of Potlatch Seasoning on sale and find it to be very tasty as a rub on fish, especially salmon. It has paprika, crushed red pepper, chili pepper, oregano, basil, coriander, safflower oil.

I minced 2 cloves of garlic and mixed it with 1 Tbl. of olive oil and rubbed that into 2 salmon fillets. Then I sprinkled the spice rub all over and then rubbed it in.

We grilled the filets over medium heat for 4 minutes, then lowered it down to low and cooked them for a 3 more minutes. Because the filets were so thin, we let them sit for just a minute. Then, it was time to eat.

I also made a sort of corn salad, because I stopped at Safeway and they had 10 ears of corn for $2!

kernels cut off from 2 ears of corn, scraped
1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 Tbl. olive oil

1 tomato diced
10 leaves basil, minced
red wine vinegar
balsamic vinegar
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

put olive oil in 3 qt saute pan and heat over med. low for 1 minute, add garlic and onion and stir for another minute. Throw in the corn and let cook for 3-5 minutes until the corn no longer tastes raw.

Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and then toss the cooked corn in. Let sit for a couple of minutes, adjust seasonings and serve.

This is a light and lovely summer time meal. A flash to prepare!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Wild Mushroom Risotto

An old favorite from Chez Panisse Cooking, Paul Bertolli with Alice Waters

I was listening to the Good Food podcast's farmer's market report and heard that the boletes or porcini mushrooms were in very fine form this time of year. I happened to stop at the Mushroom store at the Ferry building that afternoon and picked some up. I got the $5 basket which they said were not top notch, but they looked pretty good to me.

4 to 6 cups raw wild mushrooms (chanterelles, horns of plenty, dentinum, boletes)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt and pepper
2 shallots (2 ounces), finely diced
1-1/2 cups arborio rice
2 oz pancetta, diced
1 cup dry white wine
1-1/2 quarts turkey or chicken broth
1 tblsp chopped fresh italian parsley
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme

Brush off any dirt from the mushrooms with a small vegetable brush. Use a knife to cut away any implanted dirt. Slice the mushrooms. Melt 2 tblspn of the butter in a saute pan, add the mushrooms, salt and pepper them, and cook for 8 to 15 minutes (this depends on how much moisture they contain) until nearly all of the liquid they release has evaporated. You should end up with approximately 2 cups mushrooms. Set aside.

Melt 2 more tblspn of the butter in a 6-quart noncorroding pot. Add the shallots and let them soften over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the rice and the pancetta and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often. Do not allow the rice to brown. Stir in the wine and allow it to nearly evaporate. Then begin making the broth additions. Add only enough broth to maintain the level just above the rice. Maintain a gentle simmer and add broth when the level begins to drop but before the previously added amoung has been entirely absorbed. Stir the rice often, before and after each addition.

After 15 minutes, raise the heat and add the mushrooms. Readjust the heat so that the rice simmers. Cook for about 5 minutes more. During the final cooking, make broth additions judiciously and taste the rice frequently to gauge its progress. When it is nearly done (chewy but not firm in the center) stir in the remaining 4 tblspn butter and make any final corrections of salt and pepper. The risotto should be unified so taht the sauce does not separate form the rice, but should not be so reduced taht the rice becomes thick. The consistency should be nearly pourable. Stir in the fresh herbs and serve in warm bowls.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Mixed Spring Vegetables with Creamy Sherry Vinaigrette

1 small shallot, minced
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup creme fraiche
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups mixed spring vegetables, blanched and shocked (fava beans, carrots, baby potatoes, asparagus)
1 tablespoon snipped chives

Soak the shallot in vinegar for 10 minutes. Whisk in creme fraiche, olive oil and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper. Toss vegetables with vinaigrette and top with chives.

recipe by Carol Cotner Thompson taken from KCRW Good Food

Simple Vinaigrette

1/4 cup wine vinegar (red, white, champagne, sherry)
1 small shallot, minced
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Dijon mustard
citrus zest
citrus juice
delicate herbs

Soak minced shallots in vinegar for 10 minutes. Whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

recipe by Carol Cotner Thompson taken from KCRW Good Food