Sunday, April 19, 2009

Noodle salad with duck

Things are how they should be in Asia, fresh seasonal produce is cheap and prepackaged foods are expensive. I bought all the ingredients for this dish at the local market for $3 (except the duck because at 37 degrees i was unsure about how safe this would be). Back home this salad would cost far more to make because for some reason the cost of wonderful fresh produce like herbs is ridiculous. That should not stop you making it though, cause its super yummy and fresh.

You could replace the duck with any kind of meat or with tofu. This is an adaption from a recipe for beef salad in the wonderful Vietnamese book Secrets of the Red Lantern.

Marinade for meat

1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 clove garlic, crushed

For the salad

1 cucumber, sliced in half and then into 2mm slices
3 red eshallots, halved and then thinly sliced
2 long red chillis, juliened
1 handful of mint leaves
1 handful of asian basil leaves
1 handful of corriander leaves
2 spring onions, green part only, sliced into 2 cm batons
2 kaffir lime leaves thinly sliced (to do this roll them up with the stem in the middle and then cut thinly across the roll on either side of the stem)
1 tbsp roasted rice powder ( to make this dry roast rice in a frypan until golden brown and then pound in a morter and pestle)
2 tbsp fried eshallots (can make your own but its fiddlly or buy from the asian grocer)
100g dry vermicelli noodles
2 duck breasts

For the dressing

45g (1/3 cup) grated palm sugar (leave this out to warm to room temp before use)
4 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp fish sauce
2tbsp soy sauce
1 cl garlic, crushed
1 tbsp sliced lemongrass, white only
1 small handful corriander leaves
2 tbsp olive oil

To prepare

Mix all marinade ingredients together and marinate duck, covered in the fridge for 2 hours. Turn duck every so often to ensure it marinates evenly.

Soak vermicelli noodles in hot water for at least 20 min, strain and dry with tea towel. Use kitchen scissors to cut into short lengths. Put into bowl with all other salad ingredients except peanuts and fried eshallots.

Mix all salad dressing ingredients in food processor (or very labour intensively with a morter and pestle). Cook duck either on BBQ or in frypan, skin side down first until it is cooked to your liking, about 10 min to ensure its not pink. Let it rest for 5 monutes and then finely slice each breat into 5mm thick slices. Add to the salad mix along with dressing and toss well. Add the peanuts and fried eshalots to the top and wahala, you have yourself a damm impressive tasty salad.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I'm back and snapping!

We've all had a lot of time off updating familypies, but I'm not going to offer up any personal excuses. But don't go away again for too long, we are back! All of us....promise

Ginger Snaps
A friend of mine, one particular supermum of two beautiful kids just let me know she is expecting number 3. Poor love has been feeling pretty unwell with it too, so I thought I'd try making some ginger snaps for her. For those of you who don't know ginger is supposed to be really good for pregnancy related nausea.

The recipe is a hybrid of a few found online

* 1 cup self-raising flour
* 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1 teaspoon mixed spice
* 1/4 cup rice flour
* 60 g butter
* 1/4 cup caster sugar
* 125 g golden syrup
* Preheat the oven to 180°C.
* Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, ginger and spice into a bowl.
* Stir in the rice flour, rub in the butter and mix in the sugar.
* Warm the syrup and stir it in, then knead lightly in the bowl to form a smooth dough.
* Shape the dough into small walnut-size balls and space well apart on greased baking trays.
*Bake each batch for 10–12 minutes, or until they are golden.