On account that July is crazy (Kokura Gion, many many birthdays, packing and preparing to go home, sayonara parties, etc.), this may be my last post for a while. But luckily I’ve upped the ante on last year’s summer recipes, bringing you not three, not four, but five original recipes to keep you well-fed until Labor Day. Enjoy!
第一 Thai Rice Salad
A friend of mine made something similar to this in college, and I recreated it on my birthday using red, purple, and black rice I bought in Thailand. With lime juice, coconut milk, sesame oil, chili oil, Thai herbs, and fresh fruit, this salad tastes just as colorful as it looks, an excellent side for all manner of grilled meat.
2 cups (uncooked) red, purple, and/or black Thai rice (substitute brown or wild rice)
1 cup coconut milk
4 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon nam pla (fish sauce; substitute soy or Worcestershire sauce)
1 tablespoon honey or sugar
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 slightly unripe mango or papaya, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/2 cup (packed) chopped cilantro
5-6 green onions, thinly sliced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup cashews, toasted and roughly chopped
2 Kaffir lime leaves, grated or minced
1/4 cup chopped Thai basil (substitute basil)
1-2 teaspoons chili oil
1-2 teaspoons cayenne (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
- Gently rinse rice under cold water. Soak in 3-4 cups water (less water for firmer rice) for 6-7 hours and cook in the same water with a pinch of salt. Refrigerate and cool thoroughly before using.
- Whisk together coconut milk, lime juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, nam pla, honey or sugar, garlic, Kaffir lime leaves, Thai basil, chili oil, cayenne, salt, and pepper until well-blended.
- Toss together rice, red pepper, green pepper, mango or papaya, cilantro, and green onions. Pour on dressing and cashews and toss again just before serving
第二 Orange and Yuzu Koshō Crème Fraiche for Shellfish
This is adopted from a recipe for lobster that I wanted to make for Laura on her birthday. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any lobster, but it worked nicely with seared scallops and crab (especially crab), with a sneaky heat from the yuzu koshō that gives this simple sauce a delightfully cool-then-hot flavor.
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup cream
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
2 teaspoons yuzu-kosho (substitute 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 1teaspoon cayenne)
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
1 tablespoon orange juice
salt, to taste
Blend all ingredients in a bowl until smooth and refrigerate for at least two hours. Dollop onto peeled, prepared shellfish like crab, scallops, or lobster. Garnish with green onion.
第三 Saffron and Chevre Mashed Potatoes
The idea for this also came from the lobster recipe I mentioned above, but I thought mashed potatoes would be more to Laura’s liking than potato soup. The cheese here gives the potatoes an exquisitely dense and smooth texture and a light tang to underscore the delicate fragrance of saffron.
2 medium-size potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 medium-size sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2/3 cup Chevre, crumbled
1/2 cup mild Cheddar, crumbled
1 cup cream
1/3 cup butter
about 3/4 tablespoon saffron, torn
salt and white pepper, to taste
- Boil or steam potatoes for 15 minutes or until fork-tender. Drain and return to pot.
- Over low heat, add butter, cream, saffron, salt, and pepper to potatoes and mash them together.
- Add cheeses and continue to mash until cheese is melted and incorporated with potatoes and potatoes have reached desired consistency.
- Cook until mixture is bright yellow-orange and saffron threads have softened.
第四 Green Salad with Feta Cheese and Cranberry Vinaigrette
Cranberries aren’t a summer fruit, but their brisk sourness lends itself nicely to summery meals. This salad counters a tart cranberry vinaigrette with buttery pine nuts and the ripe, salty creaminess of feta cheese.
3 cups mixed baby greens
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
1/4 cup broccoli sprouts
1/4 cup Feta, crumbled
1 1/2 teaspoons pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup cranberry juice
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons finely-chopped red onion
1 1/2 tablespoon cider or red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh mint
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons dill
salt and pepper, to taste
- In a saucepan, boil cranberries in cranberry juice and orange juice for about 15-20 minutes, or until cranberries have plumped and softened and liquid has reduced slightly.
- Pour cranberries and juice into a blender with onions, mint, dill, salt, and pepper and blend into a paste.
- Add olive oil, vinegar, and honey and continue to blend until mixture is completely homogenous and smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Toss baby greens and bell pepper together. Top with broccoli sprouts, cheese, and pine nuts. Pour on vinaigrette just before serving.
第五 Passion Fruit-Raspberry Sauce
This is a simple yet noticeable twist on a standard dessert condiment, inspired by an impulse buy while out grocery shopping. For the liqueur, I wanted to use something anise-based like Sambuca or Ouzo, but couldn’t find any. Cointreau worked splendidly as a substitute, but you can use whatever you like to add an extra tangent of flavor to this versatile sauce.
about 1/2 pound fresh or frozen raspberries (1 1/2-2 cups)
2 passion fruits
2 teaspoons fruit or herbal liqueur
1/3 cup sugar
juice of 1/4 lemon
- Halve each passion fruit and scoop out the seeds. Add to a saucepan along with all other ingredients and stir to combine.
- Cook over medium-high heat until fruit has liquefied.
- Press mixture through a strainer or sieve to remove seeds. Serve warm or chilled over ice cream or cake.