June 29, 2007, 7:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

So, last week, the meat, all heckabuncha pounds of it, in the freezer thawed out, so I had to cook it. That means, this week I am using it up. Today’s culinary expression is a tasty summer chicken salad called Laab Gai,or… Salad, Chicken. Thai style. I started making this several years ago, after eating it at a wonderful hole-in-the-wall Thai place in Atlanta called Zab-E-Lee. Here’s the recipe.

Laab Gai
1 lb boneless chicken breasts, cooked
6 cloves of garlic
2 stalks lemongrass
3 green onions
1/2 cup fresh cilantro or mint (or 1/4 cup both)
1 inch knob of ginger, peeled and sliced (or a tablespoon of dried ground ginger)
3 or 4 tablespoons fish sauce
juice of 2-3 limes
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tablespoons ground toasted rice
2 dried Thai chilis, toasted and ground
Mix everything except the rice and chilis together in a food processor. Add lime juice and fish sauce until it makes a slightly wet coarse paste. Toast the rice and chili peppers (I use cayennes, because Thai chilis aren’t easy to find) in a skillet, and grind fine in a coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestle.. Stir in the ground rice and pepper. Mix everything up really well.

Serve with cooked white rice (sticky rice is amazing, if you can find it. Directions below on making it)raw cabbage, and a jad (recipe follows)

A jad is an all purpose Thai condiment/salad sort of thing. It’s delicious with any kind of gai (salad), or satay, or anything else.
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 small cucumber, coarsely chopped of sliced very thin
2 shallots or purple onion, chopped coarse
2-3 Thai chilis (or cayennes)
Mix everything together, and let stand for a few hours before serving.

Sticky Rice (also called sweet rice-look for it in the Asian food section, or at an Asian market)
1 cup rice makes 3 servings
Put the rice in a pot, and add enough cold water to submerge the rice by an inch or more.
Soak for at least 3 hours. Longer is fine.
Drain the rice into a metal colander that will fit down into a pot. Put a couple of inches of water in the pot, put the lid on it, and steam the rice for about 45 minutes, checking after 30 mins to see if it’s done. It will be translucent and the grains will stick to each other without being mushy.

To eat the chicken salad, I like to take a little ball of rice, a wad of chicken salad, a few chunks of a jad, and wrap it in a cabbage leaf. Yum.

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A cool refreshing yummy thing for summer
June 11, 2007, 6:21 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Next time you have a watermelon, take the leftover bits and freeze them. Then, next time you make up a pitcher of lemonade (your favorite kind), whiz it up in a blender with some of the frozen watermelon. The more melon you use, the slushier the drink. So tasty!