My little buddy

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Wednesday night I made a Vietnamese stir-fry. It was amazing! So I thought I would share it with you.

Cashew Chicken with Pineapple and Peppers
Serves 4
2 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup cashews
2 tbsp oil
1 large Spanish onion, cut in chunks
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp red chili pepper flakes
1 lb chicken breasts, cut in 1/2" chunks
2 red peppers, cut in chunks
1 lb fresh pineapple, cut in chunks
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 bunch green onions, chopped

Spread coconut on a baking sheet and toast in oven on 250 for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove coconut from sheet to prevent burning and set aside. Roast cashews in oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from sheet and set aside. Mix oyster sauce, fish sauce, and sugar in a small bowl and set aside. Heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat in a large frying pan or wok. Stir-fry Spanish onion and garlic for 2 minutes, then remove from pan. Increase heat to high, heat 1 tbsp oil, and add chicken and stir-fry until chicken is light brown. Add red peppers and continue to stir-fry for 1 minute. Return onion to pan and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add sauce mixture and pineapple. Toss for 2 minutes. To serve, sprinkle toasted coconut and cashews and chopped green onion over stir-fry. Serve with plain rice.

So, I thought I would post the recipe to the Thai stir-fry I had on the weekend. It's technically the filling for Lettuce Wraps. I will post the full recipe for the wraps, in case anyone wants to try it. There are a lot of steps, but it's well worth it. Otherwise, you can just make the stir-fry/wrap filling and serve it with Jasmine rice.

Mango Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Serves 8
1 pkg rice vermicelli noodles
2 cups canola oil for frying
2 heads of iceberg lettuce
4 chicken breast, cut in thin strips
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wime or mirin
2 tsp cornstarch
4 tbsp soy sauce
2-3 cups snow peas, cut in 1" pieces
2 mangos, cut in small cubes
2 red peppers, thinly sliced
Stir-fry Sauce:
4 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp vinegar
4 tsp sugar
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1-2 tbsp Thai Chili Sauce
1 bottle of Hoisin Sauce

Noodles: Pour canola oil in a wok or saucepan. Heat on medium or medium-high heat for 5 minutes. To test oil, dip a few strands of noodles in oil. If they sizzle and expand, oil is ready. When oil is hot enough, drop small handfuls of noodles at a time in oil. Noodles will immediately puff up. Using tongs, turn noodles to cook both sides. Noodles should be white or a light golden brown, no darker. Drain on paper towel and set aside. Reserve oil.

Lettuce: Cut out core of each lettuce. Gently pull apart leaves starting at the leaf end rather than the core end. Pile leaves back together on a serving platter.

Chicken: Mix the cornstarch and soy sauce. Place chicken in a bowl and pour soy sauce mixture over top. Toss to coat and set aside.

Stir-fry Sauce: Mix all stir-fry sauce ingredients in small bowl and set aside.

Stir-fry: Heat 1-2 tbsp of crispy noodle oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Stir-fry garlic for 30 seconds, then add chicken-soy sauce mixture plus half the wine. Stir-fry for 3-5 minutes until cooked, adding more wine when pan becomes too dry. Add stir-fry sauce plus mango, snow peas, and red peppers. Sir-fry for another 2 minutes or until veggies have started to soften.

To Serve: Start with a lettuce leaf. Add a few tbsp of stir-fry, then top with crispy noodles. Wrap lettuce around stir-fry and eat. If desired, dip wrap in Hoisin Sauce or drizzle Hoisin Sauce over stir-fry and noodles before wrapping lettuce around it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Anyone Interested?

Cooking School
at the Northside Superstore Community Room
$15 + tax
Salmon - The Beautiful Fish
Tuesday April 1st 6:30 - 8:30
Menu: Fantastic Salmon Chowder, Easy Smoked Salmon Quiche, Baked Salmon with Honey Pecan Crust
Best of Thai
Tuesday April 8th 6:30-8:30
Menu: Pork Sumpling and Rice Soup with Cilantro and Garlic Oil, Thai Green Curried Mussels with Lemongrass and Basil, Mee Krob - Crisp Fried Noodles with Sweet and Sour Sauce
Celebrating Food
Tuesday April 15th 6:30 - 8:30
Menu: Pan Seared Scallops and Poached Halibut with Chive Beurre Blanc, Chicken Breast with Mushroom Cream Sauce, Pan Roasted Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Grilled Pineapple Salsa
A World of Flavour
Tuesday April 22nd 6:30 - 8:30
Menu: Moroccan Red Lentil Soup, Vietnamese Roasted Lemongrass Chicken, Puff Pastry Tart with Fresh Berries and Mascarpone Cream
Scrumptious Spring Supper
Tuesday April 29th 6:30 - 8:30
Menu: Tomato and Avocado Salad with Lime and Sour Cream, Sweet Pepper and Beef Saute on Angel Hair Pasta, Peach Cobbler with PC Frozen Vanilla Yogurt

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Is It Only Tuesday?

Les and I went to aquacise last night. For the last three months, Dennis (who teaches Tuesdays and Thursdays) has been filling in on Mondays. Lucy, the regular instructor, has been busy, away, working (she's a firefighter), etc... Well, she was back last night. I had a mixed reaction. I was happy to see her because I knew I would have a good workout. And I was filled with dread because I knew I would have a good workout. She is the instructor that I refer to as The Arm Nazi. And this is no exaggeration. We did pull downs while jogging ... and I decided to count them. We did 80! Then we moved to alternating arms ... 25 of them .... then back to regular pull downs ... another 20. Like I said. This isn't an exagerration. She's a slave driver! But very effective.

My little shadow is plumping up. I can no longer feel each individual rib. She's very affectionate and follows me around the house. If I spend any time on the computer, she sits on the desk beside the monitor or in the corner on my SB supplies.

Yesterday was St. Patty's Day ... green was worn by everyone in the house, of course. For dessert at lunch, the girls had Superstore chocolate cupcakes with their yummy white icing, topped with shamrock sprinkles. They went over pretty well ... I don't know how many times Lauren told me she wanted more .... I understood that sentiment. I could have eaten the whole package, they were so good .... so I sent a cupcake home with each girl.

Today I have to prep for a party I am doing tomorrow night ... it will be the first time that I will be showing the new product ... kinda worried. Hopefully it will go well, as this hostess is one of my best .... the last party was over $1000. I can't wait to do the Epicure's 12 meeting. It's going to be soooo tasty! So many new flavours and items.

My Italian cooking class was cancelled tonight! Waaaaahhhh!!! The chef is unavailable .... I was so looking forward to the Chicken Marsala. Oh well, I will have to get the recipe off the Olive Garden site and try to make it at home. The Tuscan Garlic Chicken went well, so I am sure the Marsala will too. The next class I am going to is The Best of Thai in April. Can't wait for that!!!