Thai Noodle Salad with Chicken and Peanut Lime Dressing

This refreshing salad is delicious! A total meal in a bowl, but you will also find this to be the perfect salad dressing or dipping – go crazy and try it with sate also!

This refreshing salad is a meal in a bowl, so delicious and complete with crunch, salad and protein.

This refreshing salad is a meal in a bowl, so delicious and complete with crunch, salad and protein.

Peanut Lime Salad Dressing

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 -2 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tsp roasted sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1-inch square piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves

In food processor – blend all ingredients, with the exception of the cilantro – taste and adjust for seasonings. I can’t say this enough – every brand of each ingredient is different, and will have a different profile. I start with the ingredient amounts listed above, and then continue to adjust as I taste. When smooth, creamy and you LOVE the taste, blend again with the cilantro. You want to see little bits of the cilantro.

SALAD

cooked, shredded chicken

spinach
red leaf lettuce
grated carrot
slivered coloured sweet peppers
slivered snow peas
cucumber – halved, seeds removed and sliced into half moons
bean sprouts
toasted cashews, peanuts and sesame seeds

Cooked, cooled noodles, either rice or wheat – (toss with a little sesame oil when cooled to prevent them sticking)

When cooking for a crowd, I like to place the salad in one bowl, shredded chicken in another, and the nuts, green onions and bean sprouts in separate bowls. Everybody can create their own, and drizzle the dressing over. If working with a smaller group, just blend it all and mix the dressing in.

Try serving this with my Thai Chicken Wings, and leave out the chicken from this recipe.

Nuts and Bolts/Bits and Bites

nuts and bolts 4

Whatever you use here is up to your families interests!  This year we made it peanut free for Liv, who is allergic, but pecans, cashews and coconut flakes added lots of interest.

 

This is our families favourite savoury Christmas treat … we only make it at this time of year for some reason, and we all love it. The butter makes it a treat you shouldn’t have often, but enjoy when you do!

Remember – use your own families favourite ingredients, whether it is the cereal aspect or the nuts – make it your own to enjoy.

1 pound butter
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion salt
1 tbsp celery salt

Melt and stir until seasoning is well mixed. Dip a Bugle, or or shreddie or something in it at this point and make sure you can taste the seasoning – if it needs more flavour, add a bit of each. Remember – critical – taste!! Everybody has different seasoning, and each brand is different in it’s level of flavour. (and freshness)

Nuts and bolts 1

If you taste it enough you might end up with less to cook………

4 cups Cheerios
4 cups Life cereal (or Shreddies)
1 package pretzels
1 package Bugles (4-6 cups depending on your preference)
1 bag  cheese crackers (goldfish) (3 cups)
2 cups peanuts
1 cup pecans
1 cup walnuts

Stir the melted butter/spice mix over the dry ingredients – mix well and bake in the largest roaster you have – it makes a lot.

nuts and bolts 2

Bake at 250 for 1 & 1/2 hours, stirring frequently.

Cool completely and store in an airtight container. (at least, try to store it – doesn’t last long….)

Crispy Peanut & Sweet Chili Chicken Wings

2 pounds chicken wings
1 tbsp. oil
1/3 cup sweet chili sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp. smooth peanut butter
2 tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp tamarind concentrate
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp. sriracha sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ” piece of ginger, minced

Marinate chicken wings for as long as you have available – Remove from marinade (reserve marinade) then bake on a rack in preheated oven (400 or 425 convection) until golden brown and crispy – at least 30 minutes.

Heat the marinade in a small saucepan until it boils and reduces slightly.

When they are starting to get golden brown and crispy, toss them in the reduced marinade and put back on rack to get all crunchy.

Garnish with chopped peanuts and cilantro.

Backstrap Venison ….. Thai style!

We had the good fortune to have backstrap venison grilled at our good friend Rob and Mandy’s ….Rob being the hunter … and further good fortune as they sent us home with the leftover, rare grilled venison.  It was amazing the first time, and just as fabulous as a “leftover”  … repurposed as a Thai style salad.

The instructions for this are VERY loose.  It involved what I call creative cooking, or clean out the fridge.
Thai Style Backstrap Venison

Pan roast some peanuts, and if you are fortunate enough to have a mortar and pestle, grind them up a bit with about 1 tsp chili flakes (obviously to your taste).  Add tamarind, palm sugar (2 tsp?) freshly squeezed lime juice, light soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, roasted sesame seeds and even a bit of peanut oil.  A little of this, a little of that.  Keep doing that until your taste buds sing and you can hardly wait to dress your salad.

Thinly slice red onion, and pour boiling water over.  10 seconds later, yes, TEN SECONDS, pour the water off – add a bit of kosher salt, a few chili flakes, and cover with freshly squeezed lime juice …. (if you run short top it up with regular vinegar)

Cook up a few ramen noodles, or rice noodles, or whatever you have on hand.

Lay the cooled noodles over a serving platter, and build your salad on top of that with whatever strikes your fancy. (and is in your fridge)   Add some thinly slivered protein – i.e. the venison, or you could use cooked chicken, steak, and prawns.  Again – totally up to you!  (and if you are looking for a vegetarian option – do some tofu!)

Top with the quick pickled red onion, some of your roasted peanuts, sesame seeds – and although I didn’t have any today – I would have loved some bean sprouts and fresh cilantro over it all …..