Vietnamese spring rolls

Ingredients

Rolls:
2 oz rice vermicelli noodles
4 (8″ square) rice papers
8 medium cooked shrimp, peeled and split in half lengthwise
4 leaves red leaf lettuce
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/4 cup julienned cucumber
1/4 cup julienned carrot
1/4 cup julienned sweet onion
8 fresh chives
2 tbsp fresh mint, minced
2 tbsp fresh cilantro

Sauce:
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 jalapeno pepper, cut into thin rings
2 tbsp dry roasted peanuts, chopped fine

How to prepare

For the rolls: put the noodles in a small bowl and cover with hot tap water. Let stand 15 minutes to soften. Drain well. Arrange 2 sheets of rice paper in a jelly roll pan. Cover with hot tap water and let stand 5 minutes to soften. Drain and repeat with remaining paper. Lay rice paper on a flat surface and arrange 4 shrimp halves across the center of each, cut side facing up. Cover with a lettuce leaf. Divide sprouts, herbs and vegetables among them. Careful roll up and arrange on a plate so that the cut side of the shrimp is facing up. For the sauce: combine hoisin sauce, chicken broth and fish sauce. Add slice jalapenos to taste and the peanuts. Serve with the spring rolls.

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Thai fried noodles – pad thai

Ingredients

1/2 cup vegetable oil
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup small cooked shrimp
1 tbsp granulated sugar
3 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
1-1/2 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 eggs, beaten

3/4 lb (about 3 hanks) rice vermicelli (sen mee), soaked in hot water 15 minutes and drained
1 cup bean sprouts

garnish:
1 tbsp dried shrimp powder

2 tbsp peanuts, coarsely ground
1/2 tsp dried red chili flakes
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
2 limes, sliced into 1/8″ circles

How to prepare

Heat oil in a wok and fry garlic until golden. Quickly add shrimp, stir-fry until heated through. Add sugar, fish sauce and ketchup, stir until sugar dissolves. Add beaten eggs, letting them set slightly, then stir to scramble. Add noodles and toss and stir about 2 minutes. Reserving about 4 tbsp of bean sprouts, add remainder to the wok. Stir over heat until bean sprouts are barely cooked. Turn pad thai onto a platter, placing reserved, raw bean sprouts on one side. Sprinkle noodles with garnish ingredients in following order: shrimp powder, peanuts, chili flakes, green onions, coriander leaves. Ring platter with the lime slices and serve. 4 servings.

The fish sauce, rice noodles and shrimp powder should be available at southeast asian markets (in vietnamese markets fish sauce goes by the name nuoc nam, avoid the kind from the philippines).

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Vermicelli frittata with eggplant

Ingredients

1 lb eggplant, trimmed
1 tbsp salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 tbsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into small dice
1/2 cup brine-cured black olives such as gaeta, pitted and cut into slivers

1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1/2 lb vermicelli
4 large eggs, beaten lightly

How to prepare

Cut eggplant into 1/4″ dice and sprinkle with the salt. Drain eggplant, weighted with a plate topped by several cans, in a colander 45 minutes. Rinse eggplant well and squeeze dry by handfuls. Drain eggplant on paper towels. In a heavy skillet cook garlic in 3 tbsp of oil over moderate heat, stirring, until golden. Add bell pepper and cook, covered, until softened. Add eggplant and cook 10 minutes, or until eggplant is tender. Stir in olives and basil. In a kettle of salted boiling water cook vermicelli until al dente and drain. In a large bowl toss vermicelli with eggplant mixture and salt and pepper to taste and cool 2 minutes. Add eggs and combine well. In a 12″ non-stick skillet heat remaining 3 tbsp oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add pasta mixture and with 2 forks spread evenly. Reduce heat to moderate and cook frittata 3 minutes. Shift skillet so that one fourth of frittata is directly over center of burner and cook 1 1/2 minutes. Shift skillet 3 more times, cooking remaining fourths in same manner. Put a heat proof platter over skillet and invert frittata onto it. Slide frittata, browned side up, back into skillet and cook other side in same manner. Slide frittata onto platter and cool to room temperature. Serve frittata cut into wedges. Serves 6 to 8.

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Curry chicken stuffed with celery

Ingredients

3 lb. Chicken cut in pieces
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 small bunch celery cut into 2″ lengths (save the leaves)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp savory

2 tbsp all purpose flour (opt.)

How to prepare

Wash and wipe the chicken and rub the skin all over with curry powder. In the slow cooker make a bed of the celery pieces. Place the chicken in the pot, layered with celery leaves, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and savory. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours. Before serving: you can serve the chicken plain or turn the cooking liquid into a delicious sauce. Drain the juices from the cooker and skim off and reserve about 1-2 tab.. Of chicken fat. Pour the juices into a small skillet; turn the heat to high and boiled own until there is 1/2-3/4 cup of stock. In another skillet, over low heat, warm the chicken fat and stir the four into it. When you have a smooth paste, pour the cooked down stock into the skillet, stirring quickly to keep the sauce smooth. Simmer 3-4 minutes or until thickened. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Place the chicken in a serving dish with the celery pieces around it and pour the sauce over all. Yield: 6-8 servings

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Butter pecan turtle bars

Ingredients

Crust:
2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup pecan halves
Caramel:
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup milk chocolate chips

How to prepare

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crust: combine flour sugar and butter; mix well. Pat firmly in 9×13 pan; sprinkle pecans on top. Caramel layer: in a heavy saucepan over med heat cook butter and sugar, stir constantly; boil 1/2 – 1 minute. Pour evenly over crust. Bake 18 – 22 minutes or until layer is bubbly. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over top. Allow to melt 2 – 3 minutes; swirl for marble effect. Cool completely before cutting. Makes 3 – 4 dozen.

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Thai peanut sauce #4

Ingredients

2 tbsp oil
1/4 cup scallion, minced white only
1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
1 shrimp, cooked, mashed to a paste
2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup peanuts, roasted, pulverized in blender or mortar
1 tbsp ketjap manis
1 tsp lime juice
1/4 tsp ginger, fresh, grated
1/4 tsp ground chili peppers, or
1/8 tsp cayenne powder

How to prepare

Heat oil till hot then add onions and garlic till soft. Add shrimp paste. Pour in stock and bring to quick boil. Stirring constantly add peanuts, ketjap, lime juice, ginger and chilies. Reduce heat to low, simmer till sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon heavily. Serve at once.

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Spicy country vegetable soup

Ingredients

6 cups chicken stock or water
3 med tomatoes, peeled and chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 med carrots, thinly sliced
1 med onion, thinly sliced
1/2 med green bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 10 oz package frozen cut green beans
1 6 oz can tomato paste
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
2 cups fresh cauliflowerets
1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce (optional)

How to prepare

In a 6-quart pot, combine all the ingredients and place over medium heat. Cover and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Makes 6 main-course servings

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Sugar cookies

Ingredients

4 1/2 cups sifted flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

How to prepare

Preheat oven to 375. Butter baking sheets. Sift together dry ingredients. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Add dry ingredients, 1 cup at a time, alternating with milk and vanilla, beating well after each addition. Wrap and chill dough for at least 1 hour. Divide dough into 4 pieces. Roll 1 piece at a time on a floured board and cut with large cookie cutters. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on racks. Note: these cookies may be sprinkled with colored sugar or iced. Makes approximately forty 3″ cookies

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Salsa de aji – ecuador

Ingredients

2 lg tomatoes, seeded, chop fine
1 med onion, chopped fine
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
4 lg chiles, aji, seeds and stems removed
1/2 cup water
Salt to taste

How to prepare

Combine the tomatoes, onion and cilantro in a bowl. Place the chiles, water and 3 tbsp of the tomato, onion, cilantro mixture in a blender or processor and puree until smooth. Add the chile puree to the remaining mixture and mix well. Salt to taste. Variations – ecuadorians are very fond of adding beans to their salsa. The most popular beans are the lupini, which are lg white beans about the size of lima beans. Just add the cooked beans directly to the salsa. Or, add 1 tsp peanut butter with the chiles in the blender and follow the above recipe. Substitute yellow wax hot chiles or jalapenos if the aji chiles are not available. Yield: 2 cups.

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