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by Sarah Steimer

Bill and I made pad thai for Valentine's Day last year --- and the result was pretty awful. The amount of fish sauce that recipe called for totally overwhelmed the dish and tasted like a dirty ocean. This Martha Stewart recipe, however, had one of the shortest list of sauce ingredients: only three. Looks like simple is best for pad thai.

Bill and I made pad thai for Valentine’s Day last year — and the result was pretty awful. The amount of fish sauce that recipe called for totally overwhelmed the dish and tasted like a dirty ocean. This Martha Stewart recipe, however, had one of the shortest list of sauce ingredients: only three. Looks like simple is best for pad thai.

  • 8 ounces dried, wide and flat rice noodles
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (from about 1 lime)
  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • vegetable oil
  • 1/2 14-ounce package of extra-firm tofu, cut into small cubes and patted dry with a paper towel
  • 3 scallions thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup julienned carrots
  • 1/3 cup julienned daikon radish
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup roasted and salted peanuts, chopped

NOTE: This recipe requires some quick working over the stove, so it’s very important to get all of your ingredients ready before you begin cooking.

Soak the noodles according to package directions.

Whisk together the brown sugar, lime juice and soy sauce in a small sauce pan. Warm the sauce over very low heat until the sugar dissolves. Turn the heat off and cover to keep warm.

Heat either a large pan or a wok over medium-high heat until hot. Add a couple teaspoons of vegetable oil and allow the oil to get very hot, but not smoke. NOTE: A nonstick pan does work best for cooking tofu, but it is not necessary. If you do not have a nonstick pan, be sure to get the pan and oil very hot so the tofu does not stick.

I've used both a wok and a regular (not nonstick) pan for this meal and both turned out great.

I’ve used both a wok and a regular (not nonstick) pan for this meal and both turned out great.

Carefully add the tofu to the hot oil, which will pop when it meets the remaining water in the tofu. Cook the tofu over medium heat, occasionally tossing until the pieces are golden. Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.

If needed, add a touch more oil to the hot pan. Add the onion whites, garlic, carrots and daikon. Cook over medium heat for about 30 seconds. Push the vegetables to one side of the pan.

Add the eggs to the clear side of the pan (do not worry if the egg trickles into the veggies a bit). Use a spatula to move the eggs around, cooking until just set. Remove the eggs from the pan and set aside.

Add the drained rice noodles and the warm soy sauce mixture to the vegetables in the pan. Toss everything quickly to coat. Add the eggs — breaking them up as you go — and the tofu.

Serve the pad thai topped with the onion greens, cilantro and peanuts.

Makes about 4 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Martha Stewart

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by Sarah Steimer

Bill made this as my at-home birthday dinner and nailed it. He is literally the king of sandwiches. There's kind of a funny story to this, though: I asked before he started making the sandwiches if he got cilantro and he said no, the recipe called for some "cordi-something" spice. I then had to explain that coriander and cilantro are the same thing before he ran back out for it.

Bill made this as my at-home birthday dinner and nailed it. He is literally the king of sandwiches. There’s kind of a funny story to this, though: I asked before he started making the sandwiches if he got cilantro and he said no, the recipe called for some “cordi-something” spice. I then had to explain that coriander and cilantro are the same thing before he ran back out for it. Sorry, Bill.

For the pickled vegetables

  • 1 fresh daikon radish, peeled
  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar

Julienne the daikon and carrot. Combine the vinegar, salt and sugar in a microwavable bowl and heat for 1 minute. Pour the vinegar mixture over the vegetables and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, mixing occasionally.

For the pork

  • about 10 ounces pork loin, cut into about 2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • salt to taste (you won’t need much at all with the soy, oyster and fish sauces)

Place the pork loin between two pieces of plastic wrap. Use a tenderizer or a rolling pin to beat the pork to about 1/2 inch thick.

Whisk together all the marinade ingredients and add the pork. Marinade for 5-10 minutes.

For the sandwich

  • 2-3 small baguettes, halved
  • mayonnaise (we used a spicy mayo)
  • fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno, cut into thin slices

Heat a pan until it is very hot. And the pork and cook for a few minutes on each side, until the marinade has caramelized and the pork is cooked through.

Toast the halved baguettes slightly in the oven. Spread some of the mayonnaise on either side of each baguette. Add the pork, pickled vegetables, cilantro and jalapeno.

Serve immediately.

Makes 2-3 sandwiches.

Recipe adapted from: Simply Delicious

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