I’m the type of person tries to only order out food I know I can’t make at home. That is why you typically can’t find me at a steakhouse, ordering a hamburger or a bowl of spaghetti (although I am lazy from time to time). Before I started this blog, I don’t think I would have had an itch to try to make something at home after I ate it out at a restaurant, but here I am attempting what is probably the impossible. I don’t expect to ever master the art of Vietnamese, Indian or Thai food at home but it is fun to try.
This year my friend Andrew turned me on to the Ground Chicken with Basil at Rearn Thai on West Market Street. We have convinced ourselves that is it healthy although I’m sure it has more sodium than we would like to imagine. Over Christmas I stole my neighbor’s Food and Wine magazine while I was feeding their cats and ran into a recipe for Thai Ground Pork Salad that looked very much like the Ground Chicken with Basil. I thought this would be a great start to experimenting with this recipe at home.
I made the Food and Wine recipe using ground chicken instead of pork and served rice and spicy sesame snow peas on the side. Like I predicted, the meat needed more salt and didn’t taste exactly like I hoped. The next day for lunch, I combined the left over rice, snow peas and ground chicken, added a little soy and a lot of sriracha and loved the second go-round! Like all cooking experiments – or any experiment for that matter – we live and we learn (look at me trying to be philosophical about the scientific method). Below are the components. I recommend combining them and serving with soy and lots of sriracha!
Ground Chicken with Fresh Herbs
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 -2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/2 jalapeño, seeded and minced
- 1 lime, juiced (plus some for serving)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
- veggie oil
- 1 small handful fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 small handful fresh mint, chopped
- 1 small handful fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 cup salted peanuts, chopped (optional)
Assembly: In a bowl, combine the chicken, garlic, shallots and jalapeño. In a separate bowl, combine the lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar and sriracha. In a skillet, heat the oil and add the meat mixture. Cook over medium high heat and break apart. Turn off the heat and add the other mixture and herbs. Taste for salt and pepper.
Spicy Sesame Sugar Snap Peas
- sugar snap peas
- sesame oil, 1 teaspoon
- hot chili oil, 1 teaspoon
- soy or tamari sauce, a splash
- sesame seeds (optional)
Assembly: In a skillet, heat the two oils. Throw in the peas and cook for one minute. Then add a splash of soy or tamari and allow to steam until bright green!