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Thai Larb

Thai-Style Pork LarbThe other night John and I were watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Guy Fieri was visiting a diner in Hawaii called Opal’s. It’s owned by a Thai family and as we watched the larb come together, our mouths started to water. It has been far too long since we had this! Larb is the national dish of Laos and can be made with ground meat or fish and flavored with fresh herbs and spices.  Thai larb is easy to make, perfect finger food and a fun way for your kids to eat more veggies.

Serves 2
1/2 lb. ground pork
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon agave or honey
1 to 2  teaspoons hot sauce
handful slivered red onion
handful cilantro
handful fresh mint
handful fresh basil
Boston lettuce, remove 4 layers (use as cups)
1 carrot, peeled and julienned (alternatively you can use the potato peeler)
handful finely sliced purple cabbage
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

larb ingredientsPan-fry ground pork in a bit of olive oil until no longer pink. Remove from heat and drain any liquid. Add lime juice, fish sauce, hot sauce and agave to fried pork – stir. In a bowl toss onion, cilantro, mint, basil, cabbage and bell pepper. Add pork to vegetable mixture and lightly toss. Fill lettuce cups and fold up like you would a tortilla.

larb fillingThe Culinary Chase’s Note: You can use ground chicken, beef, or fish if you don’t like pork.  and a wonderful way to incorporate veggies into a meal.  Enjoy!

Grilled Garlicky-Herbed Shrimp

Grilled Garlicky Herbed ShrimpGrilled, poached, fried, battered, roasted, sautéed, steamed – you name it I’ve tried it.  Shrimp are one of my favorite crustaceans, they take little time to cook and there are health benefits, too.  Shrimp is a nutritious alternative to meat proteins as it is low in calories and saturated fat.  It is an excellent source of selenium and unusually low-fat, low-calorie protein. Many people are confused about the fat and cholesterol content of shrimp. However, based on research involving shrimp and blood cholesterol levels, avoidance of shrimp for this reason does not seem justified.  Read more on this at the world’s healthiest foods.  Start the evening off right and serve these garlicky-herbed shrimp with your favorite cocktail.

Serves 4
inspired by Martha Stewart

3 tablespoons coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes (optional)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
20 jumbo shrimp, shells removed

garlicky herbed shrimp CollageCombine all ingredients except shrimp in a large bowl. Add shrimp and toss to combine making sure all parts of the shrimp is coated in the marinade. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Preheat grill on medium heat. Place shrimp on grill and cook, turning once, until pink – about 5 minutes.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:
Want a Mediterranean feel?  Serve the shrimp with a roasted red pepper salad. Enjoy!

Coleslaw with Granny Smith Apple and Chili

easy to make coleslawWarmer weather brings out all our favorite recipes for barbecues, family picnics and when it gets too darn hot to cook in the kitchen!  Everyone has their favorite coleslaw recipe that perhaps their mom or grandmother used but this one, for me, takes the blue ribbon at a state fair hands down!  Coleslaw gets its origins from the Dutch – koosla (from kool cabbage and sla salad).  Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A.  For more information on the health benefits of cabbage, click here.

Serves 6
inspired by Charred & Scruffed

green cabbage, thinly sliced (about 6 handfuls)
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sugar

dressing –
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon caraway seeds, toasted in a small skillet and finely ground
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Granny Smith apples, halved, cored, and cut into julienne (skin left on)
1 red chili pepper, thinly sliced (remove seeds and membrane)
1/2 cup fresh dill, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

cabbage apple chiliCombine cabbage and bell pepper in a large bowl and mix well. Toss with the sugar and allow to macerate for 15 minutes. For the dressing, combine all the ingredients until smooth. Don’t worry if there are a few lumps as this will break up later on. Add the apples, chili pepper, dill, and parsley to the cabbage and peppers and mix well. Toss with the dressing to coat and serve.

pretty veggies before dressingThe Culinary Chase’s Note: For increased flavor, place slaw in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  Enjoy!