Friday, August 23, 2013

Thai Green Curry and a Fabulous Salad Dressing

     This little Thai dish has been a family favorite for about a year now.  It was inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe but morphed into a yummy curry that could be completely vegetarian - or not.  Allison's very good friend, Ashik, is a total vegetarian and every time he came over for dinner I'd serve him the same chickpea korma over and over again.  I knew I could step it up with something different and I remembered a green curry Allison and I had enjoyed at a nearby restaurant that had beans, asparagus, and sweet red peppers.  I tried it out and we all loved it.  This salad dressing came about due to my upbringing; we always had a salad on the table at dinner time.  But how can you serve ranch dressing with Thai food?  On a lark I whipped up the salad dressing ingredients below in my mini food processor and a hit was born!  Jenn even loves the stuff over veggies!  Enjoy - it's yummy!

Thai Green Curry


Ingredients for four servings:


Optional: 2 chicken breasts

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound fresh green beans

1 large bunch of asparagus

1 large sweet red pepper

1 large bunch of cilantro

1 bunch of green onions

1 small jalapeno or serrano pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon dried

1 teaspoon dried lemongrass

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 cup light soy sauce (sub out 1 tablespoon for fish sauce if desired)

1 (15 oz.) can of coconut milk

2 Limes, sliced



Roughly chop the cilantro, green onions, pepper, chili pepper, garlic, ginger and put them in a food processor or blender.  Add the lemongrass, coriander, soy, and fish sauce (if using fish sauce).  Whirl it into a smooth sauce.  Set aside.

If using, rinse and cut the chicken breasts into pieces, Wash and cut the asparagus into pieces, and throw away the woody ends.  Wash and snap the ends off the beans.  Rinse off the red bell pepper, core and cut it into place.  Place all three veggies and chicken in a good sized skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Let them "stir fry" for a 2 or 3 minutes.

Pour in the cilantro mixture and the can of coconut milk.  Mix together and simmer until the vegetables are done.  Serve with rice and lime slices.


Fabulous Salad Dressing


For about 1 cup of dressing


1/2 cup fresh cilantro

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup light soy sauce

2 tablespoons diced purple onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice

Whirl it in a blender or food processor until smooth. Serve over salad or vegetables.

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Great Grilled Sandwich - Spinach Melt!

Spinach Melt Grilled Sandwich

     The inspiration for this sandwich came from an intense craving for the Spinach Melt Sandwich at Smee's Place in Indianapolis. Smee's spinach melt is not too rich which allows you to enjoy it without feeling guilty and they offer to add sliced turkey to the sandwich as well. I hope you enjoy my copy cat version!


Ingredients for Four Servings

For the Creamed Spinach Filling:

2 (10 oz.) packages frozen spinach

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoon diced shallots

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup whole milk

1/3 cup parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon flour

1/16 teaspoon ground nutmeg




For the Spinach Melt Grilled Sandwiches:

Creamed spinach from above

8 slices of bread, buttered on one side

1/2 shredded mozzarella cheese

Slices of chicken or turkey breast


Defrost the spinach in the microwave.  Use a colander and towels to squeeze as much water as possible out. 

Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan and sauté the shallots until tender but not brown.  Add the garlic and sauté one more minute.

Then, add the butter and when it is melted, stir in the flour and cook for a minute or two until it is smooth and bubbly.  Whisk in the milk and allow the mixture to thicken. Add the spinach, nutmeg, parmesan cheese, and salt & pepper to taste.  You could stop here and have a great side dish.

Or, you could spread a layer of creamed spinach on four slices of bread (buttered side down), sprinkle each one with 2 tablespoons of the shredded mozzarella cheese and sliced meat and top with another slice of bread, buttered side up. Place the sandwiches in a skillet and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side over medium heat to achieve a nice golden crust.  Yum! Enjoy!