Spicy Mango Salad

March 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Somehow the theme today has been ‘yellow’ – a happy, bright and cheerful yellow.  A reminder that spring is around the corner. I picked up the yellow roses that you see in the picture on the left from the store today morning and they looked so pretty in a bowl on the window sill that I just had to post a picture… don’t they look pretty?

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One of the Thai restaurants that we frequently go to has a delicious spicy mango salad on their menu. This salad is drawn from that. The salad dressing is a mixture of chopped green chilies, honey and vinegar… yes, regular vinegar.  And, of course salt. I used 1 green chili, 2 tablespoons of honey and two tablespoons of vinegar. This is pretty spicy, so adjust to taste.IMG_3321

Make the salad dressing first and set it aside before chopping the rest of the ingredients – that will give the chilies, vinegar and honey a little time to get to know each other. Then, peel and chop the mangoes. Firm mangoes which are not fully ripe, but just a pale yellow works best here.

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Slice the mango into strips. Add a few slices of red onions followed by some cleaned and washed arugula.

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Toss with the dressing. Add roasted cashew nuts, and dig in :)IMG_3356

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Browned Noodles

March 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

This was Saturday lunch about a week ago… and then Sunday dinner, and I have since been looking for snow peas each time I am in the supermarket. So you see – though it was just thrown together from what I had on hand the first time I made it, it has been quite a hit with us.

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And frankly, it fits the bill quite perfectly for Saturday lunch (or a weekday dinner) – it is quick and easy to make, the ingredient list is short and easy on the conscience (its whole wheat spaghetti after all), and really tasty as well!

Talking about the ingredient list – I was cooking with what I had on had. So this dish combines sushi vinegar, oyster sauce and oregano. I admit these are unusual together, but it works and tastes great!!

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This is more a method and not really a recipe. What makes this bowl of noodles really special is the slightly browned noodles and the crunchy crisp vegetables – therefore, so long as one does not skimp on step 7 and don’t overcook the veggies, this dish will be a winner.

And here is how to make your own bowl of Browned Noodles:

1. Cook whole wheat spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain and toss the cooked noodles in a little oil. Set aside for about 15 minutes so that the water on the surface of the spaghetti strands dry out a little.
2. In the meantime, cut vegetables into thin strips.
3. Season cleaned and deveined shrimp with salt and red chili flakes. Brush a cast iron skillet over medium high heat with oil. Cook the shrimp and place in a large bowl.
4. Add the beans to the skillet. Season with salt and chili flakes. Give it just about the minute. The beans should no longer taste raw, but should be crisp and bright green. Remove from pan into the bowl with the shrimp.
5. Next add the carrots –and follow the same procedure. Remove carrots to the bowl once are slightly softened.
6. Add a tablespoon of oil to the same skillet and add chopped garlic (about 2-3 cloves) and bit of oregano. Take care not to burn the garlic. Once the garlic is fragrant, add the cooked spaghetti from Step 1 and toss to coat the noodles with the garlic and oregano.
7. ** Let the spaghetti sit undisturbed in the pan until the noodles in direct contact with the skillet is slightly browned.** THIS IS IMPORTANT, so don’t rush.
8. Toss the spaghetti with oyster sauce and sushi vinegar (yes… I mean sushi vinegar). Transfer to the bowl and toss with the vegetables and the shrimp. Adjust seasoning.

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