Asian Cucumber Salad

Easy Asian cucumber salad

English cucumbers are long and thin, wrapped in plastic and greenhouse grown, versus the pudgy, thick-skinned field-grown cucumbers.

1                      English cucumber, sliced thinly

2 tbsp              seasoned rice vinegar

1 tsp                sugar

1 tsp                sesame oil

Pinch               hot pepper flakes

¼ cup               chopped fresh coriander

Salt                  to taste

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients and serve.

Cardamom Buns

Cardamom Buns

Mado’s Basic Challah Dough

It’s basic because you can use it in various ways, from cardamom to cinnamon to hamburger buns to challah loaves yet it veers from the norm with the addition of whole wheat flour and the development of a sponge starter, first.

Sponge Starter

2 cups warm milk

¼ cup canola oil

¼ cup liquid honey

2 eggs

2 cups organic, unbleached all purpose flour (I like President’s Choice)

1 cup Red Fife or whole wheat flour

1 tsp instant yeast

In the bowl of a large KitchenAid mixer, using the whisk attachment, combine milk, oil, honey and eggs until smooth. Add flours and yeast and mix until combined, using the paddle attachment. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for two hours until the mixture is bubbly and puffing up about 20 per cent. (With a little imagination, the surface should look like a sponge.) If desired, you can make the sponge ahead and store in the fridge up to one day in advance.

3-4 cups organic, unbleached all purpose flour

1 tbsp kosher salt

Remove wrap and add 3 cups of the flour to the bowl and salt. Using the dough hook, mix the flour for about 6 minutes at med-low speed, gradually adding more flour, tablespoon by tablespoon until the dough no longer pools at the bottom of the bowl and gathers around the dough hook. Transfer the dough to an oiled, large bowl or dough container, cover and let rise at room temperature for 2 hours or until doubled. IMG_8443 Make the filling

1 stick room temperature unsalted butter

½ cup packed brown sugar

2 tbsp ground cardamom

In a small bowl, mash the butter, sugar and cardamom until smooth. Once the dough has finished its first, two-hour rise, transfer to a lightly floured surface, shape into a loose ball and leave to rest 5 min.

Dust with flour and roll out to a 24 in x 24 in square. Spread the filling evenly over rolled out dough, then fold in half, pulling the far edge toward you to cover the butter mixture.

Cut two thin (1/4 in) slices of the dough, gently twist together and lengthen like a rope then knot. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and cover with a tea towel. Repeat.

Preheat oven to 400F and let rise, covered with a tea towel or oiled plastic wrap for 45 min.

Baste with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse or pearl sugar. Bake for 15-18 min, or until golden brown, turning baking sheets halfway through the bake.

© 2014 Madeleine Greey

Spicy Laotian Chicken Salad

Larb Gai (Spicy Minced Chicken Salad)

This warm Laotian salad served on a bed of cool crisp lettuce is salty, sweet, sour and hot. Ground roasted rice gives it a delectable nuttiness. 

 1 tbsp raw Thai jasmine rice

1 lb ground chicken

1/3 cup  lime juice

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp minced shallot

2 green onions, chopped

1- 1 1/2  tsp chili flakes

2 tbsp chopped coriander

2 tbsp chopped mint

1/4 cup fish sauce

4 Romaine or leafy lettuce leaves

4 wedges cabbage

4 Yard-long beans or 12 green beans, trimmed

In a small dry frying pan on high heat, saute rice grains 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to small bowl and cool.  Grind finely in a coffee grinder or spice mill.

In a medium bowl, combine ground chicken with 2 tbsp of the lime juice.

Heat wok on high heat.  Add oil, swirl around sides of wok.  Add chicken and stir-fry until no longer pink about 4 minutes.  Transfer to medium bowl.  Add ground roasted rice, shallots, green onion, chili flakes, coriander, mint , remaining lime juice and fish sauce.   Mix well.Arrange lettuce leaves on serving platter and place chicken mixture on top.  Arrange cabbage wedges and green beans around the chicken.

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

You’ll find fresh tomatillos at Farmers’ Market now, wrapped in their papery husks. Inherently sour, tomatillos make a piquant salsa that can still take a squeeze or two of lime juice. A wonderful item to can. Simply multiply by 6 to create a large batch that will keep your pantry full of salsa all winter long. 

 

2 tbsp coconut oil 

½ red onion, chopped

1 large garlic clove, chopped

12 tomatillos, quartered

½ tsp salt

¼ cup water

1-2 tsp dried chili flakes

1 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

 

Heat oil in a medium saucepan and saute onion and garlic until soft and fragrant. Add tomatillos, salt, water and chili flakes and simmer 10 minutes, covered until tomatillos turn light green and sauce thickens. Season with lime juice and garnish with cilantro. Makes 1 cup.

Almond Biscotti

Almond Biscotti

I really can’t live in a house without biscotti. They are my go-to cookie and a welcome gift to friends and family . Thanks to the double bake, they store for weeks, even months in a closed glass container and travel well on airplanes and road trips.

Biscotti Batter:

1 1/2 cups whole, raw almonds

1 ¼ cup organic all purpose flour

1 ¼ cup organic soft whole wheat flour or spelt

1 1/4 cups organic granulated sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

4 large eggs

3 tsp vanilla

The Finishing Touches:

1-3 tbsp flour (for rolling out logs)

1 tbsp organic granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350 ° F.

To toast almonds, arrange on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Use a whisk to mix thoroughly.

Whisk eggs and vanilla in bowl of an electric mixer until frothy. Use the paddle attachment to mix in flour and sugar mixture.  As soon as the dough clumps around the paddle, add toasted almonds and mix until just combined.

Dust countertop with flour. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Spoon out one quarter of the sticky dough, dust lightly with flour and working quickly, roll into a 8-10 inch log. Transfer log to baking sheet. Repeat 3 times.

Sprinkle sugar over logs with pinched fingers.

Bake for 30 minutes or until biscotti logs are golden and firm. Completely cool logs on a rack for at least 30 min.  Using a serrated knife, cut crosswise into 3/4 inch wide slices.  Arrange cut side down on baking sheets and return to 350 oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden-brown and crisp.

Chiang Mai Noodle soup

This is a dreamy Thai noodle-soup dish, famous in the northern city of Chiang Mai. The addition of turmeric gives it rich colour.  Delicious with chicken but also great with shrimp, or a mixture of both. Noodles can also be switched up. Fresh egg noodles found in Asian supermarkets are the classic addition, but dried thick rice noodles are perfect, too. 

Serves 6

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp chopped garlic

1 sweet red pepper, diced

1/2 cup coconut cream 

3 tbsp red curry paste

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 3/4 cup coconut milk

3 1/2 cups chicken stock

15 basil leaves

2-3 chopped bird’s eye chillies

3 tbsp fish sauce

2 tsp sambal oelek chili sauce 

1 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

2 lbs. boneless chicken breast, thinly sliced or shrimp, peeled and deveined 

3 tbsp lime juice

1/2 lb Chinese egg noodles or rice noodles

1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander

4 green onions, chopped 

In a large pot on medium-high, heat the oil.  Add garlic and stir-fry 30 seconds or until golden. Add diced red pepper and stir-fry 2-3 minutes or until tender.  

Open the can of coconut milk and gently spoon off half a cup of the thick cream on top into the pot.  Warm the coconut cream at medium-high, whisk in curry paste and turmeric and continue to whisk until coconut cream starts to separate slightly and glisten with oil.  Add remaining contents of coconut milk can, chicken stock, basil, chillies, fish sauce,  sambal oelek, sugar and salt.  Bring to a boil, then simmer.  Add chicken or shrimp and cook gently until it is just cooked through. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, boil egg or rice noodles for 2 minutes or until just tender.  Drain.  

Place one-sixth of the noodles in each bowl and ladle over with hot soup.  Garnish with coriander and green onions.