Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Vietnamese Steak with Cucumber Salad

We have always been fans of Thai salads and all Thai foods, but when the Trout found this recipe on the N Y Times Cooking site,  we just had to try it.  It was not a mistake.  This has turned out to be our very favorite Thai/Vietnamese steak salad ever!

Vietnamese Steak with Cucumber Salad
by Melissa Clark for NYT Cooking

1/2 cup fish sauce
1 tablespoon packed lime zest
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (from about 3 limes)
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
1 large jalapeno, minced
1 flank steak or small sirloin, about 1 1/2 pounds
1 small seedless English cucumber, thinly sliced
1 large bunch radishes, thinly sliced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon oil (vegetable or olive)
Cooked rice or rice noodles
Roasted peanuts, chopped
Fresh cilantro leaves

In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, lime zest, lime juice, brown sugar, garlic and jalapeno.  Pour half of the mixture over the flank steak and let marinade at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or refrigerate up to 24 hours.  Let meat come to room temperature before cooking. 

Combine the cucumber, radishes and scallions.  Pour in just enough of the left over marinade to coat.

Grill the meat to your done preference.  Thinly sliced and serve over cooked noodles or rice and top with the cucumber salad.  Garnish with cilantro and peanuts and serve with the remaining marinade as sauce.

Absolutely loved this salad and will be making it often.  We hesitated with using 1/2 cup fish sauce, fearing it would be too salty, but did use the whole 1/2 cup and it was perfectly seasoned.  Not too salty at all. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Dinner

Our Easter dinner this year was a change from the usual, and we both have to agree, this was an excellent meal.  Usually we lean towards lamb, but with this beautiful over 6 pound duck in our freezer, I was anxious to roast this baby.

I decided to follow a recipe I found on Pinterest, and it turned out to be from Chef Ron Lock, and it was easy and turned out perfectly.  I would use his routine over and over again.  It was that simple and the results were outstanding.

The cooking times were right on, and I stuffed the duck with an orange half, two garlic cloves and a few springs of thyme.  My 6 pound duck took 2 hours and 20 minutes to reach its full potential.

I also served Minnesota wild rice with it and my German red cabbage which was a perfect combination.  I hope your Easter Day was perfect and that you were able to share it with family or friends.

Our dear friends/neighbors stopped by this morning with a box of See's ScotchMallow Eggs which were the perfect topper to this wonderful meal.  Thank you Dave and Steve.  The best friends and neighbors ever!!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Into the Baskets

I am so totally enjoying myself.  I love the classes and lectures that you can attend in our retirement village.  It has actually come to the point that I need my calendar with me at all times, because it fills up so quickly.  It is such fun.

My newest adventure is finding a neighbor from New England who teaches Nantucket basket weaving.  For some reason, I have always wanted to try basket weaving, but just did not attempt to teach myself.  Then dear Dorothy came along and now I am rolling full steam ahead.

 I wanted to start small, so this is a 6 inch basket.  I felt if I was due to make mistakes, it should be in a small basket.  Luckily, this is just about perfect.  It was definitely a learning experience that I enjoyed.  That small white button on the bottom is ivory and fills up the bolt hole that holds the basket on its form.  The wood is cherry.

A gentle spraying of shellac at the finish helps to preserve and shine the basket.

I need to claim this as my own, so it is signed by the artist.  sigh....

The basket was woven by cutting reeds into tapered ribs and using cane to weave in and out of the ribs.  Sort of addictive.  So much so that....I have started a potbelly basket with a cherry lid.

I am having fun, working at my own pace and knowing that my teacher is in the neighborhood and available if I need help.