Posts tagged: Cilantro

Spring Roll Party

A great way to spend an afternoon with friends and family is to invite them over for a culinary adventure!  I asked two of my friends, Gene and Hong, to walk me through Vietnamese spring roll making, and they both agreed to educate and share their experience with me.      

 To save money and time, Gene, Hong and I decided to share the task and cost of preparing some things at home the day before doing the spring rolls.  I boiled two pounds of shrimp, Gene BBQ’d a pork loin, and Hong brought some fried tofu from a local vendor.  Here’s how Gene and I prepared our stuff…     

 Gene’s BBQ’d Pork Loin     

  1. In a ziploc bag add ground black pepper, garlic powder and a squirt of Sriracha hot chili sauce.
  2. Add loin to mix and shake it up
  3. Marinade for1 hour
  4. Grill, sear and smoke the loin
  5. Add BBQ sauce at the end

Yvette’s Shrimp Boil      

  1. Thaw a 2 lb bag of frozen shrimp, devained and shelled
  2. Boil water and add shrimp with shell on
  3. Scoop the shrimp out when they float to the top (small strainer helps)
  4. Let them cool and then peel off the shell

(I could have put some Cajun spices to the boil but I didn’t think of it)     

On the day we planned to make these spring rolls, we first went to an Asian supermarket, and for me this was the intimidating part!  Most staff are willing to help but the easiest way is if you have an Asian friend to take you on a small tour. (Thanks, Hong!)  This author was surprised to discover fresh and inexpensive herbs there!   Compare prices at your local Asian market vs. regular grocery store and be amazed!  

Here’s how we did all the prep work the day of of spring rolling…     

 Peanut Sauce Prep     

  1. Saute 4-5 shallot cloves, chopped
  2. Once the shallots are caramelized, throw in 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  3. 1 cup of hoison
  4. 1/3 of a jar of peanut butter
  5. 1 cup of water (or as much as desired in thickness)
  6. Dash of rooster sauce or Tabasco sauce to taste

Rice Noodle Prep      

  1.  Boil the rice noodles or bun (pronounced like boon) for about 5-8 minutes for a softer noodle
  2. Separate the noodles in small clumps in a large strainer for easier pickin’s
  3. Rinse the bun two times in cold water

Herb Prep      

  1. Wash the curly lettuce twice
  2.  Soak and wash twice the cilantro (Ngo), Thai basil (Que), mint (Kanh Gioi), lemon herb (Rau ram). thin leeks (He).  For a spicier mix add spearmint (Hung Cay) or peppermint (Hung Hui).

 Okay!  Let’s put all these things together!!!  

 
For a recipe on crispy spring rolls, check out my article on Associated Content.  
 
 

           Introduction to Asian Cuisine with Dorothy Huang
If you were ever frustrated about how your attempts at Asian cooking turn out, it’s possible you might be tempted to give up and just order in.

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2972480/introduction_to_asian_cuisine_with.html?cat=22     

Pesto Falso

Pesto is a sauce originating in Genoa in of northern Italy (pesto alla genovese). Pesto in its basic form is basil, garlic, salt, pine nuts and olive oil — that’s it! Making fresh pesto can be a little expensive, so I developed this recipe to help reduce cost, but still retain that great pesto flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Cilantro, chopped
  • 4 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 2 ounces sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon dried Basil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
  • 1 cup olive oil

Directions:

Add cilantro, garlic, basil, salt and pepper to a blender. Blend until well mixed and all ingredients are finely chopped. Next add the almonds and again blend until well mixed and finely chopped. Now drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto reaches the desired consistency. That’s it — enjoy.

Stacy’s Guacamole

Guacamole isn’t my favorite dish, but people ask me to make them a batch from time to time and it is always a hit. It has a bit of a kick to it. Try it out and let me know what you think.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large Haas avocados
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped (a white onion works well too)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, deseeded and diced
  • 4 Serrano chili peppers, chopped
  • 2 Jalapeno chili peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Cayenne pepper
  • 8 drops Tabasco sauce
  • zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 2 shots tequila
  • 1 lime wedge

Directions:

Stacy's Gaucamole

Stacy's Gaucamole

Ah, the easy part. Add peppers, bell peppers, onion, garlic in food processor. Mix until well blended. Add rest of ingredients reserving 1 shot of tequila, lime wedge and 1 teaspoon of salt. Lick the skin between your thumb and forefinger, then sprinkle salt onto the area. Using the same hand that contains the salt, hold the lime with thumb and index finger. Lick the salt, down the tequila, and bite the lime. Swish it around in your mouth for a couple of seconds and then swallow. Now mix rest of ingredients in the food processor until well blended and creamy. Serve with tortilla chips.

If there are more than one person in the kitchen, this recipe may require more tequila, salt and lime wedges.

Simple Pad Thai

Simple Pad ThaiA very simple and quick recipe for Pad Thai. Being single, I can whip this up pretty quick when I need a meal and don’t have a lot of time to cook.

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

2 oz Pad Thai noodles
10 medium shrimp, peeled deveined, tails removed
3 tablespoons pepper infused extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons Teriyaki sauce
2 eggs, well beaten
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 tablespoon pepper
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon Teriyaki Ginger rub (Adams Reserve)
Dried Cilantro leaves
Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce

Directions:

Soak Pad Thai noodles in warm water for at least 10 minutes until soft, salt can be added to the water if desired. I put them in a medium sauce pan over low heat. While noodles are soaking peel, devein and remove the tails from the shrimp, chop garlic, and slice shallot. In a medium skillet or wok, over medium-high to high heat, add olive oil, garlic, shallots and shrimp. Saute until shrimp become pink and opaque. Remove and set aside, leaving oil. Add eggs to the skillet and scramble until cooked. Reduce heat to medium-low. Drain and add noodles, Teriyaki sauce, Teriyaki ginger rub, sugar, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir fry until thoroughly mixed and sauce is absorbed. Add back in shrimp, shallots and garlic. Mix well. Remove to dish and garnish with cilantro leaves and Sriracha sauce.

Universal Chimichurri

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Bison Rib-Eye with Chimichurri

Chimichurri … chim-EE-churrrrrrrr-EE … chiiimmmmm-ee-CHURY …CHIM-ee-CHEW-ree. It dances on your tongue, and just wait until you taste it!

No! It has nothing to do with Mary Poppins flying around England, hanging on the end of a silly umbrella!

Chimichurri is perhaps one of the most recognizable culinary exports of Argentina. Usually used as a sauce for various meats. It can, however, be used in many other applications. Think of it as general condiment much like ketchup, though always fresh and with a lot more flavor.

Ingredients:

Since this is “Universal” Chimichurri the ingredient list is rather vague, giving only a general idea of what to use. Feel free to experiment, add a little bit of this, take away a little of that.

A big bunch of green stuff (weeds)

  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Arugula
  • Green Onions

Smelly stuff

  • Garlic
  • Onion

Hot spicy stuff

  • Jalapeno
  • Serrano
  • Habanero
  • Cayenne

Sour/Acid stuff

  • Lemon juice
  • Lime juice
  • Some type of Vinegar

Oily Stuff

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Quaker State 10W40 (maybe not)

Extras

  • Herbs
  • Spices
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Bell Pepper

Directions:

Toss everything into a blender or food processor, blend until ingredients are well mixed. Make as chunky or smooth as you would like, I prefer a smooth sauce.

Notes:

This is a sauce that can be different every time you make it. Find proportions that work for you then refine it with each new batch.

If you come up with a really exceptional version please share!

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