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Pad Thai-Monday-Asia

kosher salt
8 oz. pad thai noodles
2 tbsp. lime juice
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1 lb. chicken
Freshly ground black pepper
2 green onions, thinly sliced on a bias

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook noodles until tender, 7 to 10
minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, and cayenne pepper. Set aside.
In a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add bell pepper and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
Add the chicken and season with salt and pepper.
Push the chicken and vegetables to one side of the pan and pour in the egg. Scramble until just set then mix with the shrimp mixture.
Add the cooked noodles and toss until combined. Pour in the lime juice mixture and toss until the noodles are coated.
Top with green onions.


Vegetable spring rolls

Filling:
2 tablespoons oil
1 clove garlic, minced
10 dried black or shiitake mushrooms, soaked until softened and thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, julienned (about 1 cup)
1 cup bamboo shoots, julienned (fresh is preferred, but canned is fine too)
1 small napa cabbage, julienned (about 6 cups)
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
white pepper, to taste
¼ teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water
For wrapping:
1 package 8" square spring roll wrappers (this recipe makes about 20 spring rolls)
1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water for sealing the spring rolls
Canola, peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
For the dipping sauce:
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons hot water
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Stir in the soy sauce, salt, white pepper, and sugar. At this time, you have the option of adding ¼ cup of the decanted water from soaking the dried mushrooms. It strengthens the mushroom flavor, so this is purely according to your personal preference. You may also have to simmer the filling longer to reduce the additional liquid.
Continue simmering the filling for another 3 minutes--until the napa cabbage is completely wilted--and stir in the cornstarch slurry to thicken. How much slurry you add depends upon the wetness of the filling (this varies if your cabbage had more moisture or if you did add the optional mushroom water), but there should be no standing liquid at all.
Transfer the filling to a large shallow bowl, and let cool. Place into the refrigerator to cool further—at least one hour. It’s best to start with a cold filling for easier wrapping. The key to wrapping spring rolls is making sure that they’re tight, yet not overstuffed. It's best to use fresh spring roll wrappers if you can, as freezing the wrappers can result in the spring roll skin being a bit too damp.
Place the wrapper on a flat surface so that a corner is facing toward you. Use about two spoonfuls of the mixture per spring roll, and spoon it about 2 inches from the corner that is closest to you. Roll it over once, and, like you’re making a burrito, fold over both sides. Continue rolling it into a cigar shape. With your fingers, brush a bit of the cornstarch water onto the corner of the wrapper that is farthest from you to seal it.
In case you’re wondering, we did try egg wash instead of the cornstarch mixture to seal the spring roll but the egg wash "stains" the spring roll, so it's best to use the cornstarch mixture.
Place each roll on a tray. This recipe makes about 18-20 spring rolls. You can also freeze these spring rolls on the tray overnight, and transfer them to a zip-lock bag when they are completely frozen for future use.
To fry the spring rolls, fill a small pot (which requires less oil) with oil until it’s 2 to 3 inches deep. Heat the oil slowly over medium heat until it reaches 325 degrees. Gently add the spring rolls one at a time, frying in small batches. Carefully roll them in the oil so they cook evenly until golden brown and transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels.
Prepare the dipping sauce by adding all ingredients to a small sauce pan. Mix and heat until just simmering and pour into a small bowl. Serve the spring rolls hot with the dipping sauce.


Chicken Gyro-Tuesday-Greece

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons dried marjoram
2 teaspoons ground dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
2 lb. chicken, cut into 1/4 thick strips
1 (12 ounce) package pita breads, warmed

Whisk together the olive oil, cumin, garlic, marjoram, rosemary, oregano, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Add the venison strips, and toss to evenly coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 2 hours.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken strips, a half pound at a time, until the chicken has browned on the outside and is no longer pink on the inside, about 8 minutes. Pile the chicken onto warmed pitas to serve.

Hummus

2 cups drained well-cooked or canned chickpeas, liquid reserved
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus oil for drizzling
2 cloves garlic, peeled, or to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon ground cumin or paprika, or to taste, plus a sprinkling for garnish
Juice of 1 lemon, plus more as needed
Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish

Put everything except the parsley in a food processor and begin to process; add the chickpea liquid or water as needed to allow the machine to produce a smooth puree.
Taste and adjust the seasoning (I often find I like to add much more lemon juice). Serve, drizzled with the olive oil and sprinkled with a bit more cumin or paprika and some parsley.

Tzatziki Sauce

1 (32 ounce) container plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 English cucumber with peel, grated
1 clove garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
Pepper to taste

Stir together yogurt, grated cucumber, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil in a bowl. Add lemon zest, dill, salt, and pepper; whisk until smooth. Pour into a serving dish, cover tightly, and refrigerate 8 hours before serving.


HOMEMADE TORTILLA-Wednesday Mexico

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons lard or butter
1 1/2 cups water

Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a mixing bowl. Mix in the lard with your fingers until the flour resembles cornmeal. Add the water and mix until the dough comes together; place on a lightly floured surface and knead a few minutes until smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball.

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Use a well-floured rolling pin to roll a dough ball into a thin, round tortilla. Place into the hot skillet, and cook until bubbly and golden; flip and continue cooking until golden on the other side. Place the cooked tortilla in a tortilla warmer; continue rolling and cooking the remaining dough.

Cheese Quesadilla

4 (10-inch) flour tortillas
Onion diced
Bell pepper diced
1 cup grated cheese, sharp Cheddar or Mexican blend
4 tablespoons butter
Sour cream, for garnish
Salsa, for garnish
Sautee onion and bell pepper
Lay the tortillas flat on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle some of the cheese and add peppers and onions on 1 half of each tortilla. Try not to get it too close to the edge. Fold the tortillas in half over the cheese to make a half-moon. Warm a skillet over low heat and add 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the tortilla to the skillet and cook until it is slightly brown, about 2 minutes. Using a spatula, gently lift the edge so you can check. When 1 side is brown, turn the tortilla over and cook the other side until brown and the cheese is all gooey. Use a spatula to transfer to individual plates or a large platter. Repeat with remaining butter and tortillas. Top them with the sour cream, and salsa.


Lomo Saltado-Thursday Peru

2 potatoes julienned
olive oil as needed
1 pound beef tri tip, sliced 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick or chicken strips
salt and pepper to taste
1 large onion, sliced into strips
3 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and sliced into strips
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1 dash soy sauce to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Cut and bake potatoes with olive oil and salt.
While the French fries are cooking, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Season the sliced meat or chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Cook the meat until just cooked, and the juices begin to release. Remove the meat from the frying pan, then cook the onions, with additional oil if needed, until they are transparent. Stir in the tomato cook until the tomato softens. Pour in the vinegar and soy sauce, add meat/chicken back in and add the French fries, cover, and cook until the meat/chciken is done, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with chopped parsley to serve.

Rolls

1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 cups flour (see note)

In a large bowl or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the water, honey, oil, yeast and salt. Add the flour gradually until a soft dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The exact flour amount will vary so go by the touch and feel of the dough versus the exact cup measurements in the recipe. The dough should be soft and smooth (not leaving a residue on your fingers but not super stiff, either).

Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes (more like 5-6 minutes if kneading by hand or if using whole wheat flour).

Let the dough rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Shape the dough into pizza(s), spread with sauce and toppings, and bake at 475 degrees on a preheated pizza stone or on a lightly greased baking sheet for 4-5 minutes. Check to make sure bottom is browned.


Hamburger Steak with Sauce-Friday/USA

2 honey-wheat bread slices
1 pound ground round
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (8-oz.) package sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium-size sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced

Process bread slices in a food processor 10 seconds or until finely chopped. Place breadcrumbs in a mixing bowl; add ground round and next 4 ingredients. Gently combine until blended, using your hands. Shape into 4 (4-inch) patties
Cook patties in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes on each side or just until browned. Remove patties from skillet. Add mushrooms and onion to skillet, and sauté 6 minutes or until tender. Stir in prepared gravy, and bring to a light boil. Return patties to skillet, and spoon gravy over each patty. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 8 to 10 minutes.

Use excess dripping to make a gravy.

Gravy

4 T butter
¾ C chopped onion
2 T Flour
1 c chicken broth
1 T half & half
½ t salt
1/8 t pepper

Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan, add the onion and cook until it starts to brown. Stir in the flour and cook for about a minute. Add in broth and whisk to combine. Pour over meat/turkey

Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 dash salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Cut in 1/2 cup butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in the buttermilk. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 2 minutes. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet, roll into a 6x6 inch square, and cut into 12 even sections. Do not separate.
Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted in the center of the square comes out clean. Separate into biscuits, and serve hot.