Tuesday is becoming our “Make Your Own Salad” night. We all look forward to it, and we all participate in the preparation. I look on it as a little kitchen class for the kids. They get to use sharp knives – great fun!
Anyway, here’s a look at last night’s culinary adventures…
As I said in a recent post, whenever I resolve to eat better and exercise more, my body goes into a panic, gets sick, and begs for comfort (i.e. starchy and fatty) foods. The very foods I (mentally) want to avoid.
And that’s what happened this week. I’ve been congested and very achy, with horrible chills that roll across me like waves.
I mentioned yesterday that, among other things, Bill made a green papaya salad as part of our dinner on Sunday. He makes this nearly every time he does an Asian market trip, as long as they have green papayas available. And they pretty much always do.
I’m posting the recipe and a picture at the request of Amanda N. Hope this is what you’re looking for, Amanda!
The recipe we use comes from Keo’s Thai Cuisine, by Keo Sananikone. Bill sometimes adds cilantro if we have some out in the garden, and he also mentioned this morning that the amount of liquid could be reduced, especially if you won’t be eating the whole thing in one sitting. If the salad sits, say, overnight, then the bottom portion, which is sitting in the liquid, tends to get mushy. We actually place any leftover salad in a Tupperware steamer so the liquid drains out and the papaya stays crisp. Then, when it’s time to serve it again, we just toss it all – liquid and papaya – together again.
Here’s the recipe, as Bill made it the other day:
1 green papaya, peeled, seeds removed, flesh shredded. We use the shredding attachment on our food processor, but you can shred it the old fashioned way with a box grater as well. About 2 lbs flesh.
4 cloves garlic
8-12 red chili peppers, seeded and chopped. We used some cayenne that we’d frozen from our garden, and maybe a habanero or two.
1 large tomato, sliced in strips
4-8 tablespoons fish sauce
about 3/4 cup lime juice
lime wedges and red chili peppers to garnish
Grind together the garlic and chili peppers – we use a mortar and pestle; you can use a food processor as well.
Combine lime juice and fish sauce.
In a large bowl, combine papaya, tomato slices, and garlic/chili mixture. Just before serving, toss this together with the lime juice/fish sauce.
And that’s it. Really easy, incredibly flavorful. We had some alongside the pho at dinner, and the bright, crisp flavors of the salad were a nice contrast with the richness of the broth and the slight fattiness of some of the cooked meat, tendon and marrow we had in the pho.
We’re also thinking this would work really nicely in a Thai-inspired fish taco. More on that once we’ve tried it out.
We planted radishes this year. I remember being allowed to plant radishes when I was little - it was my crop - probably because they came up so quickly and, you know, relatively instant gratification is big to a child.
Anyway, we planted them this year, and when the first batch became harvestable, Bill started looking for radish recipes.
We used the recipe for "Seafood Ceviche, Nobu Style" from Nobu the Cookbook. You don't have to use only octopus - you can use it in combination with other fish or shellfish, or not at all. But we had that whole octopus, so that's what we went with.
I don't know about you, but we've got a bumper crop of cucumbers. Fortunately we all like them. And fortunately we have two tried-and-true recipes to trot out when we feel like showing off. Actually - I can't lay claim to either of these. Bill's the one who found them and who usually makes them.