Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Warm Zucchini and Egg "Salad"

This one isn't a salad in the traditional sense, but given its ingredients are salad classics in other forms (grated zucchini, hard boiled eggs) and it was a tasty dinner, I figured I'd stretch the definition a bit.

I sliced a zucchini into very thin half-moons and sautéed them over medium-low heat until they got a bit translucent, put them on a plate, and sprinkled them with salt and pepper. Then I fried an egg in the same pan, put it on top of the eggs, cut it up, and mixed the whole thing together. Viola! A warm zucchini and egg "salad" with an extremely decadent runny egg yolk dressing. (I also added a bit of truffle salt at the end--yummm.)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Thai Cabbage Salad

On Mackinac Island we had a delicious Thai salad -- Brian loved it and I liked everything about it except the (I thought) overly vinegary dressing. So I googled to find a Thai peanut sauce that didn't rely on either coconut milk or lots of vinegar. I found a great one on Chow. (It's actually Vietnamese, but let's not quibble.) I used the sauce for dipping tofu, broccoli and cauliflower, and we drizzled some over the sweet potato, too. Yum! I made it just like the recipe stated, but used my regular peanut butter (and so omitted the sugar) and I used more water to make it creamier.

But even though I made only half the recipe, we still had a lot of sauce left over. I decided to thin it with water to salad dressing consistency and use it for the Thai cabbage salad -- the reason I had searched for the recipe in the first place! It was delicious! You could try the dressing on any slaw, but I'll put down what I used, just FYI.

Thai Cabbage Salad

A word on chile-garlic paste: I keep it in the fridge and it seems to last forever. Normally a tiny amount will do because it's so fiery, but I used what they said here and it was not too hot. I think the peanut butter attenuates the heat. (Sometimes I add 1/4-1/2 tsp to a big pot of bean soup and it's really nice.) I've been keeping hoisin sauce in the fridge for a variety of uses, too.

(Here's the slightly adapted half sauce recipe, and I diluted about half of this for the salad dressing. You can see the full recipe at Chow, link above.)

3/8 cup peanut butter
3 Tbs water (and more for thinning to desired consistency)
1-1/2 Tbs hoisin sauce
1 Tbs lime juice
2 tsp sodium reduced soy sauce
1 tsp chili paste with garlic
1 clove garlic, mashed or minced
1 tsp roasted sesame oil

Whisk all of the ingredients together. Before serving, thin to desired consistency for a dipping sauce or a dressing.

I sliced about half a small head of cabbage (I wanted to use Napa or Savoy cabbage, but they looked pretty bad in the store, so I used a regular head) and about a quarter small head of red cabbage. This is easy if you use the slicing blade of a food processor. I also sliced some snow peas, then grated a zucchini, half a cucumber, and a couple carrots. I added some slivered almonds and chopped cilantro, then tossed it with the dressing. Before serving, I put in some pan-fried tofu cubes.