Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pictures of Beautiful Salads

                               Everything from the Garden
Grilled Prawn Salad

Sunday Brunch, My Way

Fire Cracker Steak Hand Rolls
Asian Shrimp Noodles
    Sunday  Brunch, My Way

Inviting friends for Sunday Brunch is my new favorite way to entertain. Imagine twinning brunch and lunch into an easy make -ahead feast. The plan is to make a few fabulous recipes that won’t require my eagle-eye attention during the party. If I shop and prep everything on Saturday, then my weekend ‘feels’ somewhat stress free. By Sunday, I’m ready to start cooking and eager to get the party started. 
    The Farmers Market is the right place to shop, for ready -made goodies. I can’t go home without fresh, sweet coconut granola, loaves of nut breads, coffee cakes, cookies and macaroons, ruby red strawberry jam and and jars of homemade pickles. My culinary shopping spree includes every exotic seasonal  fruit for slicing, plus pommelos, tangelos and Cara Cara oranges for fresh juice.  I snap up a variety of roasted private reserve coffee beans and my favorite green and lavender tea. Who can resist the fresh goat cheese with such different toppings like basil flavored hummus and sun-dried tomato pesto. Without too much effort on my part, I have gathered a festive array of top quality products. 

    When the weather warms up, hearty composed winter salads makes everyone happy.  An Asian Shrimp Noodle Bowl layered with cool crunchy greens and thin rice noodles in a light, lemony dressing: Chinese Chicken Salad restyled with ingredients that Snap! Crackle! And Crunch! The real star of the trio is the Fire-Cracker Steak Hand Rolls.  They are sweet and salty, fun to make and eat. This recipe sings to me. Everyone rolls his own, into crisp ruffled lettuce leaves, slivers of colorful peppers and Maui onions.(The recipes for the Fire-cracker Steak hand-rolls and Asian Shrimp Noodle salad id featured at the end of this article.)

Chinese Chicken Salad
        With a little help from the talented artisans at our Farmers Market and this easy menu, put on your Sunday dress, and enjoy yourself.  The best part is being with friends and eating too.  Don’t be surprised, more often than not, cozy afternoons like this, stretch straight into the dinner hour. Be prepared, have all the fixings you’ll need to make stacks of pancakes to go with the Fire-Cracker Steak with fried eggs!


Chinese Chicken Salad is a universally loved dish.  For a change,  place a big portion  of the dressed salad between two crispy wonton skins, one per person. Then diners chop up the bottom layer of the wonton skin together with the salad. It’s pretty cool… and tastes incredible too.
Ginger Dressing:                                                                         Makes 6-8 servings

2 teaspoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 tablespoons ginger, minced
1 tablespoon sesame Oil
2/3 cup oil

Place all the dressing ingredients in a blender, except for the oils and whirl until smooth. Add oil drop by drop on a low pulse until the dressing is thick and emulsified.

Salad Ingredients

Mai Fun Noodles
12 large Wonton skins
Macadamia Nut oil or Coconut oil to fry
4 scallions, sliced
½ each red and yellow pepper, finely diced
4 cups of shredded lettuce & Napa cabbage
12 oz roasted shredded chicken, skinless

Break Mai Fun noodles into 3 inch long pieces. Pour oil into a wok about 4 inches deep. Heat on a high flame. When hot, dip a portion into the hot oil- they will puff in a few seconds. Use 2 spoons to turn over all the noodles so they cook evenly.
Remove from oil as soon as crackly and place on a paper towel to drain.

Place wonton skins on a cutting board and cut into 6inch circles with a biscuit cutter. Fry in the hot oil till crisp and lightly browned on both sides. Remove from oil and drain.

Place scallion, peppers, shredded chicken, mixed greens and cabbage in a large bowl and lightly toss the salad with just enough dressing to moisten the leaves

To Serve: Place salad between 2 crispy wonton skins and garnish the tops with the fried Mai Fun noodles.

Asian shrimp and Noodle  Bowl

Everything in this salad is addictive and healthful, even the dressing! You can make this salad in individual bowls, one per person or in one gorgeous salad bowl. I love to make this salad with fresh tuna poke as well. Just give the poke a quick stir-fry just before serving and don’t forget serve the salad with chopsticks.

 Dressing                                                                                    Makes 6-8 servings     
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
½ cup sugar
½ cup fish sauce
8 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup water

Put the ingredients into a jar with a lid and shake well to mix the ingredients. Set aside.

Salad Ingredients
1 package Saifun Noodles
18 large shrimp, cooked
5 cups mixed lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
2 cups mung bean sprouts
2 Asian pears, thinly sliced
2 medium cucumber, thinly sliced
1/3 bunch fresh mint leaves, stemmed
3 carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
1 daikon radish, peeled and sliced into coins
Macadamia nuts, roasted and chopped

Cook the Saifun noodles as directed on the package, drain well in a strainer.
Layer the salad ingredients, except the macadamia nuts in a large salad bowl.
Gently toss with just enough dressing to moisten the leaves and garnish with the macadamia nuts.

Firecracker Steak Hand Rolls
The ingredients in the marinade create a sweet and succulent flavor. I love the meat rolled in soft lettuce, you can make it hearty and bundle the sliced meat and greens into soft warm buns.
                                                                                                              Makes 10 -12 rolls

1 ¼ cups dark brown sugar
1 cup Soy sauce
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
2 teaspoons crushed red chili flakes
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1- 4inch piece fresh ginger, peeled & finely chopped
2 pounds flank steak
1 head butter lettuce, washed and thoroughly dried
2 scallions, separated into thin strands
½ each red and yellow pepper, thinly sliced
½ Maui onion, thinly sliced

Whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili flakes, garlic, ginger, and ¼ cup water in large bowl. Add the flank steak and toss to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let marinate for at least 1 hour at room temperature, or refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally to coat.

Heat barbeque, Remove steak from marinade, and grill the steak till desired doneness. Remove from the grill, place on a cutting board and let sit to set juices.

To serve, Place slices of steak into the lettuce and garnish with the pepper and Maui onion slices.