Sometimes I get in the mood for different types of cooking, for themes based on country or recipes connected to a particular ingredient. Stay tuned for a series of recipes following either ethnic styles or geared around a particular ingredient. Not only are these recipes fun and interesting, they can be a springboard for your own ideas or the center of a great Shabbos meal – or even dinner party.
Thai Chicken Coconut Soup
This is a great variation on chicken soup – easy and fragrant. You can use fewer jalapenos if you want to turn down the heat.
- 2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into cubes
- 10 (14-ounce) cans coconut milk
- 10 slices peeled ginger
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 jalapeno peppers, sliced
- 4 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon dried lemon grass (optional)
- 2 (10 to 14-ounce) cans straw mushrooms, drained
Combine all ingredients in a stock pot and bring to a boil; immediately reduce heat and simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Thai Apple Lettuce Wraps
Serves 8 to 10 as appetizer, about 6 as main course.
- 1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
- 2 jalapenos, minced
- ½ red onion, minced
- 6 scallions, minced
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 pounds ground turkey or chicken (dark or light, depending on your preference)
- ½ cup chunky peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Lettuce leaves (butter or iceberg, not romaine)
Toss apple with lemon juice; set aside. Sauté garlic, jalapenos, onion and scallions in oil over medium-high heat until soft. Add turkey or chicken and continue cooking, stirring constantly to break up pieces. When meat is browned, add peanut butter, salt and sugar and heat through. Drain liquid from apple and stir into mixture. Remove from heat and place atop lettuce leaves to serve.
Thai Chicken in a Minute
Serves 6 to 8.
This takes 15 to 20 minutes to prepare. You can have everything ready to go and just cook it right before serving.
- 1-1/2 cups coconut milk
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 4 scallions, chopped
- ½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped (optional)
In a small bowl, whisk together coconut milk, peanut butter, ginger and pepper; set aside or store in the refrigerator if saving for later. In a large wok, heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté chicken until no longer pink – about 10 minutes. Add scallions and sauté briefly. Stir in sauce and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Sprinkle on peanuts, if using, and serve. Also good with rice – white, jasmine or basmati.
Thai “Crab” Cakes with Cilantro-Peanut Sauce
- ½ – ¾ cup breadcrumbs
- 1 cup fresh bean sprouts, chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
- 1 pound imitation crabmeat, broken into chunks
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- Cooking spray
Combine the first 9 ingredients in a medium bowl; cover and chill 1 hour. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat until hot. Add 4 patties; cook 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove patties from skillet, and keep warm. Wipe skillet clean with paper towels; recoat with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with 1 teaspoon oil and 4 patties. Serve with Cilantro-Peanut Sauce.
Yield: 3/4 cup
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Combine the first 7 ingredients in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Add peanut butter, and stir with a whisk until smooth. Cool, and stir in cilantro and mint.