This weekend, our tailgate festivities were once again threatened by the elements. Thanks to all the folks who helped protect us from the rainstorm! Especially Julie, who, as per usual, came better prepared than I did (with a tent).
Fortunately, the clouds parted long enough to permit our first go-round with the Coleman grill stove I bought for Chris's birthday. Well, actually, Steph tested out the grill with some delicious shrimp and pineapple skewers. I used only the burner to cook camp-style Bananas Foster in a small saucepan. More on that next post...
Our new grill stove was great addition to the tailgate. It's quite small, so it wouldn't be useful for a large group, but it suits our needs perfectly. The grill surface heated up quickly and, surprisingly, is dishwasher safe. You may have noticed that I like to cook a lot of not-exactly-grillable foods at tailgates, so the added single burner is a bonus. I look forward to making soup and heating up mulled apple cider in the fall!
I'm starting to feel unsure whether this was a gift for Chris or a gift for myself...
Steph brought a lot to the table tonight. In addition to her charm, good looks and yummy skewers, she concocted some delightfully potent Beeritas to inspire a little all-American caricature of a Mexican holiday.
Tonight's Thai Crunch Salad recipe was inspired by Chris's mom, who made a version of the dish at Easter lunch this year. And I believe her dish was inspired by California Pizza Kitchen's salad of the same name. I will warn you, this is not a diet salad. It is borderline habit-forming. I think it's the combination of sweet-nutty-crunchy and slightly spicy that really hits the spot. I do believe my attempt at this salad is at least somewhat less indulgent than the CPK version--a half order at the restaurant appears to have a whopping 39.5 grams of fat. But, truthfully, a salad filled with peanuts is bound to be fatty. Also delicious.
On to recipe...
Thai Crunch Salad
Adapted from Ruth Camille, inspired by California Pizza Kitchen
Serves: a bunch of people (8-10) as a side dish at a tailgate.
1 small head napa cabbage, thinly sliced
1 small head red cabbage, cored & thinly sliced
2 large carrots, peeled & julienned
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1 fistful of cilantro, chopped
2 cups cooked, shelled edamame
1-2 cups roasted unsalted peanuts (to your taste)
2 cups crunchy chow mein noodles
1/2 cup ginger soy vinaigrette or other asian-style dressing
1/2 cup thai peanut sauce, recipe below
1. Toss cabbages, carrots, onions, cilantro, edamame & peanuts in a large bowl.
2. Immediately prior to serving, top with ginger soy dressing, chow mein noodles, and thai peanut sauce.
Thai Peanut Sauce
Makes: 1/2 cup
2 tablespoons natural creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
A few pinches crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt, to taste
1 tablespoon canola oil
Whisk together peanut butter, vinegar, honey, water, soy sauce & sesame oil. Add sugar, cayenne, red pepper flakes & salt. While whisking, pour in canola oil and continue mixing until smooth. Use at room temperature.
This recipe made WAY more salad than I was expecting it to. So big that I had to use a stockpot to toss the ingredients because they wouldn't fit into my largest mixing bowl. Seriously. If you're following this recipe and plan to save some of the salad for leftovers, I'd advise leaving off the peanuts, chow mein noodles, and dressings until you are ready to serve. I actually only brought half of the salad and toppings to the tailgate, and it still fed 8 of us (as a side dish).
Check in soon for my lazy man's camp bananas foster(ish)...