Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Gai Yang, Thai Barbecue Chicken

Our last trip to Vina and Viet Hao markets didn't produce everything I've been wanting in the kitchen.  So I ordered some Healthy Boy brand sweet soy sauce from Import Food.  If you can't find it in Lincoln, they probably have it.  I ordered quite an assortment of staples and I'm looking forward to some more Thai and Vietnamese dishes.  But not to worry, Vung Tau is still on speed dial!

Last night I made a marinade for the chicken of oyster sauce, sweet soy sauce, garlic, fresh ginger, salt, pepper and satay seasoning from Penzeys.  Rinsed the chicken in cold water, patted it dry with paper towels and put it in a dish deep enough to let the marinade cover it.  Before I poured the marinade on, I rubbed the chicken with lime halves.  The longer you marinate this, the better.  If you're pressed for time, let it sit for at least two hours.

When I got home this evening, I quick thin sliced a cucumber, half a red onion and a whole deseeded jalapeno.  In a bowl went a half cup cider vinegar, sugar and salt.  Whisk this up till the sugar and salt are dissolved and toss in the veggies.  Chill this in the fridge while your grill is heating and while cooking the chicken.  I put the chicken skin side down right over the hot coals for no more than a minute to sear the skin and give it nice grill marks.  Then moved it away from the heat, covered the grill and 40 minutes later it was done.  Serve some sticky rice and sweet chili sauce with this and you'll love it. 

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Bún chả giò (Vietnamese for delicious?)

The better half and I have been going to Vung Tau at 27th & Y Street for a while now. They have some of the best food I've ever eaten. It's a local family run restaurant and you're going to go there for the food and not the ambiance! But you really should go, really!

We've talked about the possibilites of making some dishes at home so we read up on the subject and decided to jump in. There are several good places on the internet to do research and thankfully Lincoln has become diverse enough I wasn't worried about finding what we needed. We went to Vina Market and grabbed some goodies to make the dish.

First let's make a sauce called Nuoc mam pha. "Mixed fish sauce" comes with some of the meals we have at Vung Tau and without it, you won't be happy. The basic recipe is this, 1 part lime or lemon juice. (I used lime and 4 tablespoons to set my ratio) 1 part fish sauce. 1 part sugar and 2 parts water. To this I added two teaspoons each of minced garlic and hot pepper flakes.  Heat in a sauce pan on medium high until the sugar dissolves and then cool it in the fridge. 

The main dish consists of coarsely chopped fresh greens, sliced spring onions, bean sprouts, a handful of mint leaves, and sliced cucumber. Over this add some rice noodles (vermicelli), roasted peanuts, roasted or grilled pork, and fried spring rolls.  I spoon the nuoc mam pha right over my bowl so it trickles down over all those good things.

I had a nice pork roast from Leon's hollering at me so I marinated it earlier in the day in hoisin sauce, molasses, brown sugar, minced Bird's eye chili and garlic, red currant jelly and Golden Mountain Sauce. After marinating 6 hours, I slow cooked it over some of that Cowboy charcoal until it was 165 degrees internal temp. 

We love this dish and even "the Boy" ate it!  And I'm thinking about having it for lunch again today!

Have a good week! Stay dry and I pledge to post more for the five of you who still read this!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bali H'ai May Call You....

Any night, any day, In your heart, you'll hear it call you: "Come away...Come away." Bali Ha'i will whisper in the wind of the sea: "Here am I, your special island! Come to me, come to me!"

I took the better half to South Pacific at the Lied Center Saturday. It wrapped up her birthday which was earlier this month. If you got the Journal Star last Sunday the 21st, she was the one in the cute pink dress on the cover of the Celebrate section.

South Pacific was great. Great cast, great vocals, great production. It was a thorougly enjoyable performance and the three hours went by fast. I sat there looking at the set with the huge palm tree and rolling beach dunes and the island Bali H'ai in the distance. Really had a longing to get to French Polynesia soon.