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 …..

Peanut Sesame Vegetables

Tonight I wanted some stir fry vegetables that would compliment Kung Pao Chicken and Chinese Chow Mein – this was perfect!  Feel free to try out different vegetables, and even add a protein if you like – let me know what you think.
Peanut Sesame Veg

 

assortment of vegetables, prepared for stir fry

tonight mine included cauliflower, broccoli, orange pepper, zucchini

sliced scallions

toasted sesame seeds

SAUCE

2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter

1 tbsp tahini

1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

Stir fry vegetables lightly, just enough to give them a bit of carmelization in spots – then add a wee bit of water to allow them to steam a bit.

Pour sauce in, and toss with vegetables just until they are crunchy cooked and well coated.

Top with freshly sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds.

If you want to kick up the heat a notch, and haven’t overwhelmed your taste buds with a bunch of other peppers in other parts of your meal I recommend adding a tsp or so of chile flakes … yum yum yum.

Sesame Chicken Salad

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Today was a beautiful hot sunny day, just the way we like in the Okanagan.  The idea of a Thai inspired chicken salad felt like the ideal dinner item – fresh, crunchy, tasty and not too heavy.  You could just as easily substitute the chicken with tofu or any seafood item – delicious either way.

 

4 chicken breasts

12 ounces chinese egg noodles, cooked and drained

3/4 cup green tea (strong is best)

1/3 cup smooth peanut butter

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup rice vinegar

3 tbsp light brown sugar

1/4 cup roasted peanut oil

2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (plus some for sprinkling over top)

2 tbsp chili garlic sauce

2 tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce

1 heaping TBSP Thai red chili paste

zest and juice of 1 lime

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 -2 tbsp minced ginger (depending on your ginger love!)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 carrots, finely chopped

1 long english cucumber, diced

1 cup sliced snap peas

1/4 cup each finely chopped red and yellow pepper

1 cup bean sprouts

1 head red lettuce, washed and leaves torn

kosher salt

cilantro

roasted peanuts

toasted sesame seeds

1 jalapeno seeded and diced finely (optional) To make the sauce combine green tea, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, Thai sweet chili sauce, Thai red curry paste and peanut oil in a blender or food processor.  Add sesame seeds, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and 1/2 tsp kosher salt – blend well until creamy and smooth.  TASTE and adjust for seasoning – you should have lots of flavour, but also really well balanced – I find depending on the type of soy sauce, chili sauce or even the lime you will have to work with those flavours.

Using a meat mallet pound chicken breasts to an even thickness.  Pour just enough of the dressing over to coat well and marinate for at least an hour and preferably overnight.  Discard marinade used for the chicken.  Grill just until cooked through and thinly slice.

Prepare salad with lettuce, cilantro and vegetables – as well as the diced jalapeno if using.

Cook noodles just until tender, rinse well to cool and dress with a bit of the same dressing the chicken is marinating in.

Toast peanuts and sesame seeds to use as garnish.

To assemble pile noodles on a plate, salad on top – scatter chicken over and drizzle with dressing.  Garnish with more cilantro, peanuts and sesame seeds. 

Sesame Peanut Noodles

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I have been looking for the perfect peanut noodle dish, and finally found it. Serve this with spicy cilantro salad and pork kebabs in cumin and chile – a winning combination for sure.

 

12 ounces chinese egg noodles, cooked and drained

3/4 cup green tea (strong is best)

1/3 cup smooth peanut butter

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup rice vinegar

3 tbsp light brown sugar

1/4 cup roasted peanut oil

2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (plus some for sprinkling over top)

1 tbsp chili garlic sauce

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 -2 tbsp minced ginger (depending on your ginger love!)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 carrots, finely chopped

2 mini bok choy, chopped fine

1/4 cup each finely chopped red and yellow pepper

kosher salt

cilantro

roasted peanuts

To make the sauce combine green tea, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and peanut oil in a blender or food processor.  Add sesame seeds, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and 1/2 tsp kosher salt.

Toss the sauce with the cooked noodles – garnish with cilantro, sliced green onions, roasted peanuts and more sesame seeds.  I like this served at warm or room temperature, but it is just yummy cold also. 

Spicy Thai Sesame Noodles

I love the flavours in this dish – serve it either hot or cold – even when you are making it the kitchen smells so inviting, you are sure to have company!

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

1/3 cup tahini

Blend well then add:

1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon red chile flakes & 1/2 teaspoon of Siracha (Rooster Sauce)
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1/2 cup canola oil

1 lime – squeezed

1 pound  rice noodles or chow mein noodles – softened or cooked

Amy did an amazing job slicing, dicing and mincing vegetables for the salad

1 English cucumber, halved and 1/8-inch slices
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1/3 cup finely diced red pepper

1/2 cup chopped roasted (salted) peanuts for garnish

1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro and scallions

In a bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, sesame oil, vinegar, chiles, siratcha, and soy until smooth – add lime juice and oil.  Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Cook or soften noodles

Prepare vegetables – use your imagination when preparing this – I have suggested a few, but go ahead – throw in some snap peas, or carrots, or radishes ….

Combine all ingredients and stir well.  Garnish with peanuts, scallions and cilantro.

This is the perfect accompaniment to Thai Barbecued Chicken – check out that recipe too!

Grilled Vegetable Salad

This summer salad is ready to go with any number of vegetables – take your pick, and use whatever greens are available to you …. today we are serving it with Sesame Soy Vinaigrette.

Grill an assortment of sweet peppers, zucchini, red onions, asparagus, fennel bulb

Wash and break greens

Toss with vinaigrette and you have a meal ready to go.

Add some toasted nuts – almonds, or pine nuts are great …

 

 

SESAME SOY VINAIGRETTE

1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

2 generous tbsp tahini paste

2 cloves garlic, crushed

red chili flakes (optional)

1 1/4 – 1/2 cups vegetable oil

Using small processor, or immersion blender combine all ingredients except the oil and blend until smooth – then gradually add the oil until you have a delicious creamy dressing.

Sesame Soy Vinaigrette

Give this vinaigrette a try – it will quickly become a household favorite – we love it on salads, as a marinade for grilling vegetables, and is the reason “Red Rice Rocks” is such a popular one dish meal.

1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes      

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

2 generous tbsp tahini paste

2 cloves garlic, crushed

red chili flakes (optional)

1 1/4 – 1/2 cups vegetable oil

Using small processor, or immersion blender combine all ingredients except the oil and blend until smooth – then gradually add the oil until you have a delicious creamy dressing.