Month: July 2013

Rosalba’s Thai Chicken Salad

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Translated Thai chicken salad (for four people).  This recipe is fantastic.  My friend Rosalba is a treasure trove of awesome recipes and makes wonderful food for her friends and for events as well.  She made this salad for a meeting we held recently in Wellington and we all demanded she share the recipe with us, it was just that good.  I made it the other night when friends came around for a meal and they all raved about it.

Rosalba calls this “Translated” as she designed it for her senior girls Book Group about 4 years ago. We were looking at translated novels, and so she translated a recipe (with one of the Thai students) from one of her recipe books.

Salad ingredients

Red cabbage – about 2 cups when finely shredded

2 carrots

1 red pepper

4 spring onions

½ bag of bean  sprouts

½ cup coriander leaves

½ bag crispy noodles

pkt of snow peas – or some green beans

2 chicken breasts  (You could also make it with wood smoked salmon or pork fillet)

Dressing

3 Tbs sweet chilli sauce

juice 2-3 limes

2 Tbs light soy auce

2Tbs fish sauce

2  Tbs  sesame oil

1 Tbs oyster sauce

2 Tbs Olive oils

2 Tsp brown sugar (or palm sugar)

½ tsp chopped garlic and grated ginger (jarred stuff will do)

Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar and give a good shake.

Method

Rub the chicken breasts with soy sauce and leave for a couple of hours or overnight.

Slice thinly and stir fry – not too many pieces at once… this takes time.  Drain on paper towel, Set aside

Finely shred red cabbage

Peel carrots, and continue peeling them so you have thin slices. If necessary cut them into thinner strips

Slice pepper in thin strips

Slice Spring onions on the diagonal thinly

Blanch snow peas or beans and then slice thinly

You can pre-prepare all vegetables and the chicken and be pre-prepared, wrap in gladwrap and chill if you want to prepare this in advance of a meal and assemble later.

When you want to serve

Chop the coriander (and mint if you like that addition too)

Put all ingredients in large bowl… using only ½ the crispy noodles and leaving a little coriander for a garnish.

Pour on the dressing and mix gently – yes get your hands in and mix it gently but really well.

Heap on a big plate, and  garnish with the rest of the crispy noodles and coriander.

(You could put the coriander into a separate bowl.  I served this with chopped mint too)

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

shock of the fallIt was the cover that got me.  The tree that didn’t look like a tree, twisted and slippery looking, odd spindly branches coming off it, rather like the odd spindly people who inhabit this book.  The cover also had a Joan’s Pick sticker on it and I have to say that she doesn’t usually let me down.  In this book we meet Matt and we witness his gradual descent into madness.  He has been teetering on the brink most of his life.  His brother Simon was born with intellectual difficulties and Matt feels that because of his actions he caused his death.  This is Matt’s story, which he is writing to tell us all in order that we understand what happened

 

in his childhood, how there is a history in his family of mental illness, and in order for us to understand what happened to Simon and why Matt can hear him calling to him.  Matt is a likable boy but his story is gut wrenching, you grow up with him, witness his mum withdraw him from school, cutting him off from his peers.  Meet his Nan who has her own tragic story but who cares so deeply for him even when he is at his most challenging.

These are characters who will stay with you and for whom I felt a huge sympathy.  There are funny moments amongst the grim and the love of these people for each other is what lifts the book and makes you consider how incredibly difficult peoples lives are when their brain is behaving in a way over which they have no control.  It is a lovely book and I recommend it highly.

This video was inspired by the book, I think it rather lovely