Asian Week

Last week’s dinners were based out of Williams-Sonoma’s Asian cookbook. We have always been big fans of Asian food and are always on the lookout for new and exciting dishes to try.

Our favorite dish of the week by far was Vietnamese Grilled Chicken with Rice Noodles (pg. 68) – the post image above is for this dish. Instead of making nuoc cham, as the recipe suggested, I made my own little quick-pickled veggie mix. This dish was KILLER! It was delicious when I made it, and made for some pretty tasty leftovers.

The first dish we made (even before the killer chicken) was Malaysian Spicy Fried Rice with Shrimp (pg. 61). I’d say it was “ok, not great” – one of my husband’s phrases. The rice had a nice mix of flavors, but it was lacking in seasoning, even with extra soy sauce I added after we first tasted it. I’d have to work on that a little bit if we make it again.

The next night, we made Pot Stickers (pg. 17) stuffed with pork, napa cabbage, and plenty of fresh garlic and ginger. I made at least 40 (with only one package of wonton wrappers), so we had yummy leftovers for a couple days. =)

We had planned to make Spicy Dry-Cooked Long Beans (pg. 86), but when we started gathering the ingredients, we realized we had forgotten to buy green beans!! So, we improvised and substituted a package of stir-fry mix veggies for the beans, and went ahead with the rest of the recipe. We served our version –  Spicy Pork & Veggie Stir-Fry – over steamed garlic rice.

For a little sweet treat, we made a batch of Ginger Almond Sugar Cookies (pg. 102). They had a nice crunchy texture (due to the finely chopped almonds), had a little bite from the crystalized ginger and five spice (my addition to the recipe!), and were bursting with flavor. Super-tasty dipped in a glass of cold milk.

We rounded out Asian Week with a couple of finger-foods. First, one of our Asian favorites: Vietnamese Summer Rolls (pg. 26). These tasty rice paper rolls are stuffed with baby lettuce, cold cellophane noodles, julienned carrots and cucumber (both from our garden!), crunchy bean sprouts, seasoned sauteed shrimp, and fresh cilantro and Thai basil (also from our garden!). I made a peanut dipping sauce…. Let’s just say there were no leftovers.

Our second finger-food was some tasty Vegetable and Shrimp Tempura (pg. 29). We couldn’t find rice flour at our store, so we bought a tempura mix, added some Adobo and shallow-fried some sweet potatoes and shrimp. We enjoyed these with more of the same peanut dipping sauce, and the leftovers didn’t last long.

What’s coming up next? 

Selected recipes from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals, the lovely cookbook I received from my husby for Christmas last year.

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