Thai Beef Salad, aka Yum Neua

Summer BBQ series, Post 3 of 4

If BBQs make you feel guilty because of all the overindulgence, you can try to trick yourself into feeling better with this Thai-style beef salad. Heavy on the beef, light on the lettuce, sure… but hey, there *is* lettuce. It’s green, it’s red, it’s light and refreshing. You might be halfway through the platter before you’ve realized that you’ve ingested a 1 lb. steak somewhere in the process. But will you feel bad about it? Nope, because it’s a “salad.”

Jesting aside, this recipe is very flexible in how healthy or unhealthy you want to make it since you can substitute in almost any meat or protein. (Yes, including firm tofu!) Using ribeye steaks will give it more flavor, but cuts like London broil are inexpensive and will do well in this recipe too. Grilled chicken breast or shrimp can be swapped in just as easily.

All you need to do is grill up a protein and toss it into the Thai sauce that you’ve prepared and brought from home. Spoon over some salad mix, and you’re ready to eat. Looks elegant, simple to make, tastes delicious. ‘Nuff said.

Thai Beef Salad, “Yum Neua” | Mama BlasphAmy

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs. fish sauce
  • Juice and zest from 2 limes
  • 2 tbs. sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Fresh chilies, minced, to taste (Thai chilies recommended, but Jalapenos are ok too. I usually use only one chili.)
  • 1 small red onion, quartered and sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lb. steak, grilled and sliced very thin
  • 1 large tomato, roughly chopped
  • Salad mix (Iceberg or Romaine recommended)

Directions

Combine fish sauce, lime juice and zest, sugar, garlic, chilies, and red onion together in a bowl. Mix well. Can be made one day ahead. Keep refrigerated.

Once meat is grilled, toss with the sauce and add in the tomatoes and cilantro. Adjust seasoning to taste and preference. Typically it should be salty, sweet, and tangy all at once, as well as a little spicy.

Serve over a bed of salad.

Thai BBQ Pork, “Moo Ping”

Summer BBQ series, Post 1 of 4

The weather is finally starting to turn in California, just in time for June. To kick off the return of sunny weather, I’ll be doing a series of BBQ-friendly posts for you guys. First up is Thai-style BBQ pork skewers, a.k.a. Moo Ping. The Moo Ping recipes I’ve found online were all basically the same one being republished across multiple sites, and it just didn’t look right to me. So thanks to my mom for providing me with this recipe, which I feel is more authentic.

The simplicity of this recipe is really what makes it great for BBQs. You don’t have to skewer the meat if you don’t want to – just just the pork into wider strips. The key to making this taste authentic is to get the balance of flavor right. Done correctly, Moo Ping will be both sweet and salty, and a bit garlicky. I didn’t measure out any ingredients for the recipe, since it is made “to taste.” I provided some rough ratios, but fix it up however you want.

Use a slightly fatty piece of pork for the best results. It’s great for flavor and juiciness.

Moo Ping Recipe | By Mama BlasphAmy

Ingredients

  • Whole pork loin, or butt, cut into long strips at least 1.5 inches wide
  • 1 part very finely minced garlic
  • 2 parts oyster sauce
  • 1 part soy sauce
  • 3 parts cane or brown sugar
  • 2 parts vegetable oil

Directions
Combine garlic, sauces, and sugar together in a gallon-sized zip-top bag. Add in more or less ingredients to taste. The marinade should be both salty and sweet, leaning just a touch more towards the sweet side. When you like the flavor to your liking, add in the vegetable oil and the pork slices. Marinate at least 4 hours, but overnight is recommended.

Skewer on bamboo skewers if desired. Grill it up and enjoy!

I *Need* a Pizza Stone

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Tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, parmesan, asiago, romano.

Okay, so a couple of things. First, JM has effectively ruined pizza for me. I’m going to have to carry a bottle of white truffle oil around in my purse all the time now… you know, “just in case.” Secondly, if you’re going to make pizza, please get a pizza stone. Please, please, with a chunk of mozzarella on top.

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Padron Peppers

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Padron peppers… are stupidly delicious. There’s no other way to put it. Stupidly delicious, completely addicting, and like playing Russian roulette. The background on these peppers is that they are extremely seasonal. They usually peak in the summer, so I first had them this past August in Seattle at a Basque pintxos (tapas) bar. Typically very mellow and nutty in flavor when cooked, they say that every one in ten of these peppers is super spicy — I unfortunately got one of those ten in Seattle. Padrons are picked when they are immature and before the spiciness becomes concentrated in the seeds. Every now and again the pepper ends up being a bit more along than its siblings. Darn you! My mouth recovered only just enough for me to polish off the rest of the plate. 🙂

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Cooking them is not only easy, but also quick. Pour enough oil to cover the bottom of a sauce pan, and let it heat over a medium flame. Toss in the peppers (I added garlic for the heck of it) and let them cook about 1-2 minutes before tossing and turning them. They’ll start to blister and char. Salt them with some sea salt or other coarse salt, put ’em on a plate, and eat! No more than 4-5 minutes in the pan. Told you it was easy!

Helpful tip: When cleaning the peppers, wipe them down with a damp towel. Don’t bother washing them in tons of water unless you plan on drying each one thoroughly. You don’t want any stray water to cause the hot oil to spit at you.

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The aftermath.

Mixed Fruit Tart and Lemon Orzo

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Hey! I’m back! I disappeared for just a little bit for a break. But don’t worry, I was still cooking and baking during that break… I just haven’t had a chance to update. But you still love me right? To make up for my silence, I present to you a double post today!

I recently threw a dinner party which was originally meant for a handful of people but it ended up ballooning out to about four handfuls. It was a pretty ambitious effort for my first dinner party, but I think it turned out well and everyone seemed to get along. (But that could’ve been the wine talking!)

Anyway, here are the two star dishes of the party: a frangipane mixed fruit tart, and a creamy, lemony orzo dish.

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Summer BBQing

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Summers in San Francisco are hardly summer-like compared to the rest of the country. Living in the Bay Area means mild to chilly temps all year long. But every once in a while we get blessed with a streak of beautiful, warm-but-not-too-warm weather. The weekend of the 4th of July happened to fall on one of those rare weather patterns, thus kicking off (in my mind), the summer BBQing season. And this is how you get this post of random musings about summer celebrations and a spattering of recipes to go with them.

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Silver Dollar Pancakes

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Ah hello, precariously stacked pancakes! Slathered with butter, oozing with maple syrup, pillowy soft, what is there not to love about you? Oh yeah! The fact that you’re barely bigger than a strawberry. How cute, you’ve won my heart. And my stomach.

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