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Author Notes: The weather is beginning to crispen in NY and whilst many of us have had enough of this heat, the thought of the summer coming to an end leaves us with a bitter-sweet emotion. Memories of beaches, the smell of sunscreen, the heat extinguishing ice creams and sorbets will very soon be lost amidst sweaters, heavy jackets, socks and shoes. As we add more layers to ourselves, we remove a little proximity we created with people in our light-hearted summer spirit. Of course each season is to be celebrated for reasons particular to them but today we are going to honor our last few days of the summer…. farewell my summer love.
For me, summer is synonymous with fresh salads, citrus flavors, herbs with spring in their step, such as, mint, basil, cilantro, lightly prepared sea food..ok, I am beginning to get the taste of Thai Tiger Prawn rice noodle salad. It’s probably the last time I can serve my husband a salad for dinner with ‘summer intentions ‘rather than ‘lazy intentions’. As for the salad, it’s really more than just a salad. It is perky personified! It has a wonderful texture of the soft noodles and plenty of crunch from the shallots, peanuts, heat from the fresh chilies, tang from the citrus and the lightly liquoriced flavor from the Thai basil, not to mention the impact of the cilantro and mint…and if that wasn’t enough we have the blackened tiger prawns to top it all off.
Vermicelli Noodle salad
- Juice from 2 fresh limes
- 2 tbsp of soy sauce
- 2 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 2 sticks of finely chopped lemongrass
- 1 tbsp palm sugar or brown sugar
- 3 shallots (1 shallot should be finely minced and the other 2 should be finely sliced)
- 4oz rice vermicelli noodles (3/4 of a packet)
- 2 fresh cloves minced garlic
- 1 handful of French beans
- 3 green chilies – finely sliced (deseeding, optional)
- ½ of an unripe mango – cut in half and finely sliced length wise
- ½ of a finely sliced red bell pepper
- 1 medium-sized, finely cut carrot
- 4 finely sliced scallions (including the green part)
- 2 handfuls of cilantro leaves (break apart by hand)
- 1 handful of mint (break apart by hand)
- 2 handfuls of fresh Thai basil (break apart by hand)
- 1 tspn of toasted sesame seeds
- 1 handful of lightly toasted and chopped peanuts
- Salt to taste
- Mix the lemongrass, olive and sesame oil, garlic, shallot, lime juice, lemon grass, fish sauce and soy sauce together
- Blanche the beans: set aside a medium sized pot of boiling water, add the French beans for 2 minutes, pull them out and dip them in to iced water (this will bring out a deep green color whilst maintaining crispness). Drain well
- Using the boiling water, switch off the heat and add your noodles and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Drain well and allow to cool. Roughly cut the noodle strands
- Combine all salad ingredients (the dressing, beans, noodles, herbs, nuts and seeds and fruit and vegetables)
- Toss thoroughly
- 1lb of peeled and de-veined shrimps (keep the tails)
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp spirarcha chili sauce
- Heat a pan or wok
- Add olive oil and cook the shrimp in small batches on high heat, allow shrimp to blacken on one side and then pull off the heat to avoid over cooking (after approx minutes)
- Pearls of wisdom: Only cook shrimp when you are ready to eat. Cardinal rule: Don’t over cook the shrimp
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