Archive for the ‘Chicken’ category

Vietnamese Bun – Rice Vermicelli Salad Bowl

January 23, 2010

In preparation for my friend and co-teacher Karen to come over for dinner after work one evening, I asked her about her taste preferences, banned foods, etc.  She mentioned that she likes the spice of Asian food.  I hadn’t cooked Asian food for awhile, so I decided on my favorite Vietnamese dish:  rice vermicelli salad bowl, or Bun.

Rice Vermicelli Salad Bowl – Bun with Lemongrass Chicken (or Tofu)

For 4 bowls:

1 package bun – rice sticks/rice vermicelli, cook according to directions.  (I find that boiling works better than soaking for most dried rice products.)
2 carrots, julienne cut (okay, now I want a mandoline)
2 cucumbers, julienne cut
2 cups lettuce, gently sliced to make ribbons
Lemongrass Chicken (below)
Nuoc Cham vinaigrette dressing (below)
to garnish:  lime wedges, basil, mint, and Sriracha/Rooster Sauce

My recipes came from a great and highly recommended book:  Vietnamese Home Cooking for Everyone.  Lots of photos and ingredient information.

Lemongrass Chicken (Could easily be adapted for tofu)
10 oz. chicken meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 T. cornstarch
1 T. vegetable oil
2 t. salt
Cooking Sauce:
2 T. chopped lemongrass
1 T. vietnamese soy sauce or teriyaki sauce (I did half reg. soy/ half teriyaki)
1/2 T. each fish sauce and sugar
1 t. chili flakes (I used 1/2 t. with the idea of spicing it up later w/Rooster Sauce to taste)
1 t. chopped garlic
2 dried chili peppers (I left these out to allow custom spicing)

1/2 red onion, diced
16-20 Thai Basil leaves
1/4 c. coconut juice (I flat out forgot to add this)

Sprinkle chicken with salt and cornstarch.  Combine cooking sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
Heat oil in wok or other pan and saute chicken over medium high heat until lightly browned.
Add cooking sauce.  Cook and stir for a minute.
Add onion, basil and (if you remember unlike me) coconut juice.  Cook about 1 minute.

Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce
1 c. boiling water
1/2 c. fish sauce
1/2 c. sugar
2 T. lime juice (juice of 1 lime – microwave for 10-15 sec. first for max. juiciness – my Aunt Jane’s trick)
1/2 T. peeled leek in vinegar (I skipped this)
1 t. chili paste
1 carrot, shredded

Nuoc Cham Vinaigrette Dressing
1 c. Nuoc Cham dipping sauce
1/4 c. Japanese rice vinegar
1 T. lime juice
1 T. vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced

Chicken Salad / Navy Bean Soup

December 23, 2009

Yesterday, I remembered I had cooked chicken breast in the fridge that was still good.  So, Chicken Salad it was.  I’ll share two ways to do this.

Basic Curry Chicken Salad

2 cooked chicken breasts or the equivalent amount of meat – cut into cubes
1-2 rib(s) celery finely chopped
2-3 T. minced red onion
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1 T. lemon juice
zest of 1/2 orange
juice of 1/2 orange
1-2 t. curry powder
1/2-1 t. salt
Black pepper to taste
(optional:  about 10 grapes, cut in half)

Whisk together: mayonnaise, lemon juice, orange juice, orange zest, curry powder, salt & pepper.
Add chicken, celery, onion, (and grapes).

Chicken Curry Salad From The Pantry
1 Costco can of chicken breast
1 can mandarin oranges in juice, drained
make dressing above – about 2/3 the amount – do not add grapes.  Add some unsweetened flaked coconut if you’ve got some.

I also remembered that I made a simple navy bean soup for a party last week.  This made a full pot of soup that fed about 10 people.

Navy Bean Soup

1 lb. navy beans, rinsed and picked over to remove non-beans and other scary looking pieces
Lots of water

2 medium onions, chopped
2 T. olive oil
1 T. canola margarine or unsalted butter
4 carrots, peeled and sliced (I find that peeling them prevents souring later)
5 celery ribs, chopped
1 1/2 t. thyme
1 1/2 t. marjoram
2 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
4-5 cups vegetable stock

Soak the beans overnight.  Saute onions in olive oil & margarine or butter until transluscent.  Add thyme, marjoram, salt & pepper and saute another minute.

Add beans, carrots, celery, and onion mixture  to a slow cooker.  Add vegetable stock.  Cook 8 hours on low.  Ideally, refrigerate the soup a day ahead of serving.  Something really good happens to the flavors in that day.