Banh Mi Salad

I think I can officially declare the Banh Mi as my favorite sandwich… at least in 2013.  I have seen several recipes for bahn mi style salads, but this one from the blog Snap Food really caught my attention.  It was so simple and perfect for the weeknights when you are short on time.

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Banh Mi Salad

adapted from Snap Food

1 pound ground pork
1/2 pound shrimp, cleaned & chopped into small pieces
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 large carrot, julienned
1 seedless cucumber, juliened
1 bunch green onion, roughly chopped
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup water
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 head romaine, finely sliced
3 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
chopped unsalted peanuts for topping
sesame oil
Sriracha
soy sauce

Prepare the brine: mix vinegar, water, salt, and sugar together. Add the cucumber, 1/2 of the green onion, and carrot. Be sure they are all mixed and coated. Cover with a paper towel and set aside while cooking.

Heat a saute pan on medium high heat, add the ground pork and garlic and saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to break it up. Add the shrimp and stir for 4-5 more minutes. Add the soy sauce and mix until well incorporated. Remove from heat.

To plate the salad, assemble a layer of lettuce, top with some of the meat, then a some of the pickled vegetables. I drizzled a little of the vinegar mixture over the top, but not too much. I mixed a little sesame oil with a little bit of soy sauce, then drizzled that over the salad as well. A swipe of Sriracha and a sprinkle of peanuts, along with the remaining green onions made my salad complete! Enjoy!

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Skillet Corn with Edamame, Tomatoes, and Basil Oil

It is really starting to feel like summer around here, which means in Texas it is 90+ degrees outside.  It is also starting to look like summer with an abundance of summer vegetables hitting the shelves!  This past weekend we had a memorial day party which left me with 10 ears of sweet summer corn left over.

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I made this recipe from Martha Stewart Living last summer and it was a hit.  I put it on everything from salads to tacos, although it really is a perfect summer side on its own.  I did not need all of the basil oil but luckily that is not something I mind having around.  A possible Chimichurri anyone??

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With a recipe that uses such simple ingredients how can you go wrong.  Oh and did I mention it takes no time at all??!?

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Skillet Corn with Edamame, Tomatoes, and Basil Oil

adapted from Martha Stewart

  • cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced scallions
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 1/4 cups corn kernels, I used 4 ears
  • 2/3 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  1. Puree basil, 1/4 cup oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  2. Heat remaining oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallions and garlic; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add corn, edamame, and remaining salt. Cook, stirring, about 10 minutes.  If it seems to be getting too brown reduce the heat. Add tomatoes and vinegar; cook until tomatoes start to break down, about 8 minutes.
  3. Drizzle basil oil on vegetables, and stir. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

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Kale Caesar

I have several food obsessions and kale is definitely one of them.  I don’t know if you are in on the massaged kale salad fad, but I am and for me it is not going away anytime soon.

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Now the trick to taking this 10 minute salad over the top is really the massaging.  It sounds odd but it really does help the kale absorb the dressing and helps the tough greens soften as well as lose some of their bitterness.  Basically, it is totally worth the five minutes!

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Kale Caesar

serves 4

1 large bunch of Lacinato Kale stemmed and cut into bite size pieces**
1-2 large cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup organic lemon juice (from approximately 2 medium lemons)
A dash of kosher salt, to taste
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/3 cup croutons, crushed

**I have made this with both green and Lacinato kale

Clean and dry kale.  Cut into bite size pieces and place in a salad bowl.

Combine garlic, lemon, salt and both peppers in a small bowl.  Add olive oil in a steady stream while whisking to emulsify. Taste for seasoning here.  Add dressing to the kale and massage with your hands for 5 minutes.  Add Romano and toss.

At this point I put the salad back in the fridge to sit while I finish the rest of the meal.  Letting it sit really helps intensify the flavor of the salad.  Sprinkle on crushed breadcrumbs right before serving. Enjoy!

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Christina Tosi’s Grasshopper Pie

I have a ton of admiration for chef Christina Tosi.  If you are unfamiliar with her she is the mind behind Momofoku Milk Bar in New York.  She really is a testament to the fact that if you work hard enough you can make it happen.  If you are looking for a new creative dessert book this is it.

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Every time I flipped through her cookbook the Grasshopper Pie caught my eye.  At first glance it looks like a lot of work, but it actually comes together quite quickly.

A few notes on this: she uses a aluminum disposable pie plate, I did as well just to ensure proper cooking time.  Also, it does not call for the whole brownie filling recipe, I would maybe even add a little less than that just to bring the mint out more. Finally, the milk powder is like graham cracker crust crack, don’t leave it out! 🙂

598948_10102951425346820_1227811041_nAnd yes drizzling that green stuff on is as fun as it looks!

Milk Bar Grasshopper Pie

Graham Cracker Crust:

1 1/2 cups (90 g) graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup (20g) dried milk powder
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup (55g) heavy cream

Grasshopper Pie:
4 1/2 ounces 72% chocolate, roughly chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large eggs
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
1/4 cup (40g) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (110g) heavy cream
2 tablespoons (20g) mini-chocolate chips
1/2 cup (25g) mini-marshmallows

Mint Cheesecake Filling:
2 ounces white chocolate
2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
2 1/2 ounces (75g) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 drops green food coloring

Mint Glaze:
1 ounce white chocolate
2 teaspoons grapeseed or canola oil
scant 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 drop green food coloring

Preheat oven to 350F.

Make the graham cracker crust: Whisk graham cracker crumbs, milk, sugar and salt in a medium bowl to thoroughly combine.  Whisk the butter and cream together and add to the dry ingredients.  Using your hands, toss all the ingredients together to evenly coat.  As you are tossing, it will start clumping together.  Press it together with your finger tips and it should hold its shape.  If it doesn’t, add up to an additional 1 1/2 tablespoons of melted butter until desired consistency.

Add 1 1/4 cups (110g) of graham cracker crumb mixture to a 10-inch pie pan.  Working with your hands press the mixture on the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan.  Set aside.

Make the chocolate filling: Combine butter and chocolate in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds.  If mixture is not mostly melted, microwave an additional 20-30 seconds.  Use a spatula to stir ingredients together until silky and smooth.

Combine the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk and whip for 3-4 minutes.  You will know they are done when they reach the ribbon state, which Christina describes as this: detach the whisk and dunk it into the egg mixture.  Wave it back and forth like a pendulum and the mixture should form thick silky ribbons that fall and then disappear into the mixture.  Continue whipping mixture until it reaches this state.

Change stand mixer attachment to the paddle.  Add the melted chocolate mixture into the eggs and paddle briefly on low and then increase the speed to medium for one minute or until the entire mixture is completely brown with no streaks remaining.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

Add flour, cocoa and salt to the egg and chocolate mixture and paddle on low for 1 minute or until no lumps of dry ingredients remain.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the heavy cream and mix for 30-45 seconds or until the cream is fully incorporated and no white streaks remain.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

Remove mixer bowl from mixer and gently fold in 1/4 cup (45g) of remaining graham cracker crust crumbs.

Make the mint cheesecake filling: In a heat proof bowl, combine the white chocolate and oil and microwave for 30 seconds. If mixture is not mostly melted, microwave an additional 20-30 seconds. Use a spatula to stir ingredients together until silky and smooth.

Combine cream cheese and powdered sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle and mix on medium-low for 3 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  With the mixer on low, slowly add the white chocolate mixture and paddle for 1-2 minutes or until completely combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add peppermint extract, salt and food coloring to the mixer bowl and paddle for 1-2 minutes or until thoroughly combined and the mixture is consistently green.

Assemble the pie: Place the graham cracker pie shell on a baking sheet.  Pour the mint cheesecake filling into the pie crust and spread evenly over the bottom.  Pour the chocolate mixture on top of the mint filling and spread evenly to the edges.  Sprinkle the mini-chocolate chips in a bulls eye around the center and then the marshmallows around the outer edge of the pie.

Bake for 25 minutes until the edges are slightly puffy and the center still jiggles just a little bit.  The marshmallows will be tanned and the chocolate chips will have just started melting at this point.

Cool the pie completely before adding the mint glaze.

Mint Glaze: In a heat proof bowl, combine the white chocolate and oil and microwave for 30 seconds. If mixture is not mostly melted, microwave an additional 20-30 seconds. Use a spatula to stir ingredients together until silky and smooth.  Stir in the peppermint extract and food coloring until completely homogeneous in color.  Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes.Preheat oven to 350F.

Make the graham cracker crust: Whisk graham cracker crumbs, milk, sugar and salt in a medium bowl to thoroughly combine.  Whisk the butter and cream together and add to the dry ingredients.  Using your hands, toss all the ingredients together to evenly coat.  As you are tossing, it will start clumping together.  Press it together with your finger tips and it should hold its shape.  If it doesn’t, add up to an additional 1 1/2 tablespoons of melted butter until desired consistency.

Add 1 1/4 cups (110g) of graham cracker crumb mixture to a 10-inch pie pan.  Working with your hands press the mixture on the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan.  Set aside.

Make the chocolate filling: Combine butter and chocolate in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds.  If mixture is not mostly melted, microwave an additional 20-30 seconds.  Use a spatula to stir ingredients together until silky and smooth.

Combine the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk and whip for 3-4 minutes.  You will know they are done when they reach the ribbon state, which Christina describes as this: detach the whisk and dunk it into the egg mixture.  Wave it back and forth like a pendulum and the mixture should form thick silky ribbons that fall and then disappear into the mixture.  Continue whipping mixture until it reaches this state.

Change stand mixer attachment to the paddle.  Add the melted chocolate mixture into the eggs and paddle briefly on low and then increase the speed to medium for one minute or until the entire mixture is completely brown with no streaks remaining.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

Add flour, cocoa and salt to the egg and chocolate mixture and paddle on low for 1 minute or until no lumps of dry ingredients remain.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the heavy cream and mix for 30-45 seconds or until the cream is fully incorporated and no white streaks remain.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

Remove mixer bowl from mixer and gently fold in 1/4 cup (45g) of remaining graham cracker crust crumbs.

Make the mint cheesecake filling: In a heat proof bowl, combine the white chocolate and oil and microwave for 30 seconds. If mixture is not mostly melted, microwave an additional 20-30 seconds. Use a spatula to stir ingredients together until silky and smooth.

Combine cream cheese and powdered sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle and mix on medium-low for 3 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  With the mixer on low, slowly add the white chocolate mixture and paddle for 1-2 minutes or until completely combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add peppermint extract, salt and food coloring to the mixer bowl and paddle for 1-2 minutes or until thoroughly combined and the mixture is consistently green.

Assemble the pie: Place the graham cracker pie shell on a baking sheet.  Pour the mint cheesecake filling into the pie crust and spread evenly over the bottom.  Pour the chocolate mixture on top of the mint filling and spread evenly to the edges.  Sprinkle the mini-chocolate chips in a bulls eye around the center and then the marshmallows around the outer edge of the pie.

Bake for 25 minutes until the edges are slightly puffy and the center still jiggles just a little bit.  The marshmallows will be tanned and the chocolate chips will have just started melting at this point.

Cool the pie completely before adding the mint glaze.

Mint Glaze: In a heat proof bowl, combine the white chocolate and oil and microwave for 30 seconds. If mixture is not mostly melted, microwave an additional 20-30 seconds. Use a spatula to stir ingredients together until silky and smooth.  Stir in the peppermint extract and food coloring until completely homogeneous in color.  Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes. Use a fork to drizzle the glaze all over the pie. Chill until ready to serve!

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I already want to eat this again!!!!!

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Pork Meatball Banh Mi

I am a sucker for sandwiches.  I love them.  If you are not familiar with the banh mi sandwich you should acquaint yourself because they are delicious.

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This version of the banh mi is made with pork meatballs and pickled vegetables.  The meatballs were really easy to assemble and tasted great!  The Sriracha mayo also adds a bit of spice, but it you want more be sure to add the sliced fresh jalapeno!

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**Be sure that the bread is fairly soft,  you don’t want these sandwiches to crusty!! Also, I added mint along with the cilantro in the original recipe.

Pork Meatball Banh Mi

From Epicurious

Hot Chili Mayo:

  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha (more if you want more heat)

Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hot chili sauce (such as sriracha)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Sandwiches:

  • 2 cups coarsely grated carrots
  • 2 cups coarsely grated peeled daikon radish, peeled
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
  • 4 10-inch-long individual baguettes or four 10-inch-long pieces French-bread baguette (cut from 2 baguettes)
  • Thinly sliced jalapeño chiles
  • 16 large fresh cilantro sprigs
  • 4 Large mint sprigs, leaves picked

Hot Chili Mayo:
Stir all ingredients in small bowl. Season with salt. do ahead Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Meatballs:
Line rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap. Gently mix all ingredients in large bowl. Using moistened hands and scant tablespoonful for each, roll meat mixture into 1-inch meatballs. Arrange on baking sheet. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Sandwiches:
Toss first 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour, tossing occasionally.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Heat sesame oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of meatballs. Sauté until brown and cooked through, turning meatballs often and lowering heat if browning too quickly, about 15 minutes. Transfer meatballs to another rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven. Repeat with remaining meatballs.

Cut each baguette or baguette piece horizontally in half. Pull out enough bread from each bread half to leave 1/2-inch-thick shell. Spread hot chili mayo over each bread shell. Arrange jalapeños, then cilantro and mint, on bottom halves. Fill each with 1/4 of meatballs. Drain pickled vegetables; place atop meatballs. Press on baguette tops.

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Greens and Garlic Pizza

I really love pizza.  I try to avoid it most of the time, but there are some days when I just need to satisfy my pizza craving.  I like to make this one in particular because it has greens on it!!! I mean that makes it healthy…. right??!?

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Oh yeah you also skip the step that involves making sauce, you are not doing it wrong. Trust me here. One less step, I am not complaining!!!

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Greens and Garlic Pizza

adapted from Epicurious

1 pizza crust, your favorite recipe
oil base:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
topping:
1 bunch Swiss chard (about 10 ounces), white ribs cut away or any dark leafy green
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large garlic clove, minced
8 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated
4 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)

For the oil base:
Mix oil, garlic, and red pepper in small bowl. Let stand 1 hour.
For topping:
Cook chard in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain. Rinse under cold water; drain. Squeeze dry, then coarsely chop. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add chard and stir 1 minute. Season to taste with salt.
If you are using spinach skip the boiling and just saute.
Roll out dough on floured surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to baking sheet.  Brush crust with some of the seasoned oil. Sprinkle the mozzarella over oiled dough. Scatter chard over mozzarella. Top with goat cheese. drizzle remaining oil over pizza.
Bake until pizza is brown, about 15 minutes. Enjoy!

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One tip I have in making pizza a simple weekend meal is to make your crust in batches.  I always make a few pizza crusts at a time because they freeze so wonderfully and you can pull and thaw them out so quickly.  Switch up the toppings and you have dinner in no time!

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Thai Style Chicken Wings

I saw these on How Sweet It Is and knew I had to have them.  They did not disappoint and have been a weekend  staple for us.  There is nothing better to do on a Sunday afternoon than watch TV and eat chicken wings…. After the gym of course, (cough cough).

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Thai Style Chicken Wings

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

2.5 pounds chicken wings
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
1 Tbsp. Siracha
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup lite canned coconut milk
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon-sized knob of ginger, grated
1 lime, juiced
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
4 green onions, sliced

Preheat oven to 375°F. Pat chicken wings completely dry then season with salt and pepper. Combine chili sauce, Siracha, vinegar, coconut milk, sugar, garlic, ginger, peanut butter, soy sauce and lime juice, mixing with a fork.

Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add chicken wings and sear, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove wings and set on a plate, then reduce heat to medium-low. Add chili sauce mixture and bring to boil.

Let simmer for 1-2 minutes, whisking constantly.

Add wings back into the sauce, tossing to coat. Place skillet in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove and spoon the sauce over top of the wings, then garnish with peanuts, cilantro and onions.

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Filed under appetizers, Poultry