Sunday, June 29, 2014

Grilled Asian Chicken Salad and Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Nancy on the left, Kim on the right

One of the things I really enjoy is volunteering for an organization called Assistance League®.  It supports several different philanthropic programs; the largest one provides under-served children with new clothing and school & hygiene supplies. It is totally funded by grants and donations and $0.82 out of every dollar raised goes to the people it serves.  Besides working directly in the programs, I also help with public relations.  Although there are several people on the photography committee, three of us which seem to take the lion's share of the photos. Kim, Nancy, and I strive to do the best we can, but honestly, they are the "A Team" and I'm second string. They let me tag along with them and we have had some pretty hilarious times together. Once we had to choose fabric backdrop for some formal shots. The resulting shenanigans of me holding it up, Kim trying to capture the color on camera, and Nancy photo bombing the scene, had me laughing so hard, tears were actually streaming down my face. Kim is a fabulous cook and she specializes in Vietnamese dishes.  Last spring the three of us were photographing a huge event, and she brought us delicious banh mi and goi cuon since we were not going to be able to take time out for dinner.  If that wasn't enough, she also gave us small French presses and chicory coffee to make Vietnamese iced coffee which is absolutely scrumptious.  The French press and chicory coffee can be purchased on Amazon, and I included the directions for making it in this post - but strong coffee or a shot of espresso could be substituted for them.  Until I can get Kim to do a guest post, I have been getting my Asian food fix with the recipe included here for grilled chicken.  I served it to Allison and her friends last week on top of a salad with peanut sauce and Asian dressing and they just loved it.   

Directions for Vietnamese Iced Coffee

1.  Gather together the French press, 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk, 1 heaping tablespoon chicory coffee, 1 empty iced tea type glass, 1 iced tea glass filled with ice, and an iced tea spoon. 

2.  Put 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed mild in empty glass. 

3. Take the top off the french press and unscrew and lift off the press attachment. Put the heaping tablespoon of coffee in the bottom of the press.


4. Replace the press attachment and screw it back down, but not too tightly.

5.  Place the metal saucer on top of the glass with the sweetened condensed milk in it. Place the french press on top of that. Pour boiling water up to the rim and put the top on.

6. Let all the water drip through the press.

7.  Use the iced tea spoon to mix the coffee and sweetened condensed milk together.

8. When it is all combined, pour it over the ice in the other glass.

Asian Grilled Chicken

Ingredients and Directions:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil

Mix together soy sauce, vinegar, fish sauce, and sesame oil and marinate the chicken breasts in the mixture for about 20 minutes at room room temperature. (If longer, put in the refrigerator.)  Grill over medium low heat, about 10 minutes per side.  Let sit at least 5 minutes before slicing on the bias to place on salad.

Salad Ingredients and Dressing for Four:

1 head napa cabbage
1 cup match stick sliced carrots
1 medium sized cucumber sliced thin
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup match stick sliced jicama
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves

Ingredients for Dressing:
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon honey

Toss the salad ingredients together in a bowl.  Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour just enough of it over the salad to lightly coat.

Peanut-Sesame Sauce - from The Working Mother Cookbook
1 clove garlic, put through a press
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons reduced sodium sou sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1/2 cup very hot water
Blend or food process all the ingredients together.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

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