Thai Chicken Noodle Salad

When temperatures rise I always get cravings for spicy Thai food! Summer heat and spicy food seem a bit of a contradiction, but there’s something about the combination of spicy and cooling ingredients in Thai food that is very refreshing on a hot day. This simple salad offers delicious contrasts of spicy, sweet, salty, sour, soft, and crunchy. It’s not only made in a snap, it’s also very healthy and the ingredients can be found at any well stocked supermarket. The original recipe is from an old issue of Donna Hay Magazine.

Thai Chicken Noodle Salad
chicken breast
soy sauce
sweet chili sauce
rice vermicelli noodles, cooked until soft
carrots, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
cucumbers, thinly sliced
red onion, thinly sliced
mint leaves
cilantro leaves (optional)
roasted salted peanuts, chopped
lime wedges

dressing (mix all ingredients together):
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
2 tablespoons lime juice

1. Marinate chicken in soy sauce and sweet chili sauce.
2. Grill chicken on BBQ, or in grill pan. Slice into small strips.
3. Arrange noodles, vegetables, chicken, and herbs in individual bowls.
4. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with peanuts. Serve with lime wedges.

Enjoy!

Share This:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • Add to favorites
  • email

Chocolate Cake With Candied Orange Peel

One of my favorite combinations…chocolate and orange! This cake is good to have on hand for serious chocolate cravings. The batter is flavored with dark chocolate AND cocoa powder and studded with candied orange peel. It goes best with a glass of cold milk, but is equally good with a cup of tea or coffee. Or simply enjoyed all by itself!

Chocolate Cake With Candied Orange Peel
180g flour
3 eggs
150g sugar
150g butter
100g dark chocolate (72%)
100ml skim milk
100g candied orange peel, chopped
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 generous tablespoon baking powder
pinch of salt

1. Melt chocolate and butter in a bowl set int barely simmering water.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs with sugar until the mixture becomes thick and doubles in volume.
3. Add melted chocolate and butter mix.
4. Add remaining ingredients, finishing with the milk.
5. Pour batter into a rectangular cake tin and bake at 180C/350F for 40 minutes.
6. Lightly dust the cooled cake with powdered sugar (optional).

If you can muster the will power…this cake is even better the next day.

Enjoy!

Share This:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • Add to favorites
  • email

Nerbone di Greve

Picture rolling hills topped with slender, dark green cypress trees, bright green vineyards, and a sea of silver shimmering olive trees. Set amidst the timeless beauty of this ancient Italian landscape is the sleepy little town of Greve in Chianti, where inspired Tuscan cuisine can be savored at Nerbone die Greve. Located on the town’s picturesque main square, the restaurant proudly serves traditional food prepared with great care and local products.

On a recent visit, we were served perfect little rounds of focaccia, crisp on the outside and soft in the center, sprinkled with coarse salt and generously drizzled with exquisite local olive oil. Particularly noteworthy were the spinach and ricotta filled saffron ravioli topped with tender spring leeks cooked in white wine and olive oil. The saffron, which is grown locally, beautifully complemented the light flavor of the filling and leek sauce. I’ve had cravings for their ravioli ever since… We finished our meal with a heavenly torta di cioccolato. The thin, flourless cake was incredibly smooth with a deep dark chocolate flavor. The perfect finish for a perfect meal!

The friendly wait staff was more than happy to answer any questions about the menu and recommended great local wines to go with our food. Aside from the meticulously prepared food, we enjoyed the restaurant’s cozy atmosphere. There’s a traditional cantina downstairs with exposed brick walls and clean modern table settings, while warm summer evenings can be lazed away al fresco on the upstairs terrazza or off the arcades in front of the restaurant.

Nerbone di Greve
Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, 22
50022 Greve in Chianti (FI)
Italy
Tel. 055-853308
Open Wednesday to Monday for lunch and dinner. Closed Tuesday.

Share This:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • Add to favorites
  • email

A Delicious Cause

Friends-International is an award winning NGO working to get children and teens in some of South-East Asia’s poorest urban areas off the streets by educating and training them. One of their most successful training programs has produced two outstanding restaurants in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh, the upscale Romdeng and the casual Friends. Both restaurants train and employ former street children, where they learn everything from cooking to waiting tables to running a restaurant. They are run by the NGO’s Cambodian branch, Mith Samlanh Friends.

The organization’s second cookbook, From Spiders to Water Lilies. Creative Cambodian Cooking With Friends, won two awards at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris. It won “Best Asian Cuisine Book” and made it into the top five in the category “Fund Raising and Charity Cookbook”.

The cookbook is also available in a German edition, and features forty delicious renditions of creative new interpretations of classic Khmer food. It provides an excellent introduction to Khmer cooking, which is unjustly still very much unknown outside of Cambodia.

There is, of course, Cambodia’s national dish, Fish Amok, as well as mouth watering salads, soups and curries, grilled and steamed dishes, and sensational desserts. The colorful names of the dishes alone hint at their intense flavor, and will have you salivate. Take, for example, the Banana Flower Salad with Grilled Cambodian Bacon, Limes, and Sweet Chili Sauce. Or the Fried River Fish with Lemongrass, Onions, and Baby Eggplant. The desserts are equally fantastic, and inspired by staples of Cambodian cuisine, such as rice, coconut milk, palm sugar, and fresh tropical fruit. Modern interpretations of traditional Asian ingredients result in light and creative dishes with complex flavors, as is illustrated by Pineapple and Chili in Coconut Jelly with Kaffir Lime Syrup.

The cookbook also features an excellent overview of the most common ingredients found in Khmer cooking, as well as plenty of inspiring color photographs showcasing both the recipes and Friends-International’s hospitality staff and trainees at Romdeng in Phnom Penh. All proceeds from the book go towards the training program.

Romdeng
#74 Street 174, Phnom Penh
Cambodia

Friends. The Restaurant
House #215, Street 13, Phnom Penh
Cambodia

Share This:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • Add to favorites
  • email

Lychee And Strawberry Jam With Ginger

lychee and strawberry jam

Who would have thought that the humble lychee can turn into something so sublime when partnered with strawberries and ginger? Well, this jam is the proof! The subtle taste of lychees combines perfectly with the fruity aroma of ripe strawberries, and a hint of ginger adds a refreshing summer note.

The jam is heavenly on a slice (or two) of buttered brioche. I’ve already made two batches… Strawberry season is in full swing right now, so I’m trying to take advantage of it. This recipe works well with lychees from a can, but if you are lucky enough to find fresh, ripe lychees (like the ones you get in South East Asia) then by all means, use them.

Lychee And Strawberry Jam With Ginger
3 cans lychees (400g each), discard juice
200g ripe strawberries, stemmed and quartered
about 500g fruit pectin (or less, depending on the fruit)
45g finely grated fresh ginger
a bit of lemon juice

1. Put all ingredients in a large pot and cook until boiling.
2. Boil for 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Pour fruit and liquid into blender and blend until smooth but still a bit chunky.
4. Pour into sterilized jars.

Enjoy!

Share This:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • Add to favorites
  • email