Saturday afternoon, Ticky came to visit. Our menu: Thai-Italian Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce and a Cucumber, Red Onion, Peanut, Scallion Sauce Chiles Rellenos
The spring rolls were filled with strips of marinated filet mignon, Boston lettuce, julienned cucumber, pepper, carrots, scallions, sundried tomatoes, and alfalfa sprouts. I got the recipe from Nadia G. of Bitchin' Kitchen. The only thing I changed was the Peanut Dipping Sauce. I've never been a real fan of peanut sauces, but I'm giving it a try again, just cutting back on the peanut butter and giving it a few more adjustments. The peanut sauce is on the left. My cucumber sauce is on the right.
The chiles rellenos were stuffed with whole wheat risotto, which Ticky slaved over for well over an hour, seasoned ground chuck, and cheeses, and were served on a bed of salsa roja and topped with salsa and creme fraiche.
Unfortunately, a bunch of my pictures didn't get uploaded to my computer and I deleted them on my camera before checking. I hate it when that happens. So welcome to my abbreviated dinner, starting in the middle. Ticky started on her risotto about 3:45. She had brought Lundgren's short grained brown rice and wanted to make a risotto, which worked well with my plans for dinner since we could use the risotto as a stuffing for the chiles. As a rule, brown rices take longer to cook than their white counterparts, and this risotto took considerably longer than a risotto with arborio rice. Ticky was still stirring after an hour and the creaminess was just coming. For brown rice risotto, Ticky put some butter and olive oil in a pan and added about a cup of the rice, cooking over medium heat for several minutes. Then she slowly added two cans of beef stock over the period of 1 1/4 hours. When you're doing risotto, add about 1/4 cup of liquid at a time, then cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until the liquid is absorbed by the rice. In the above picture, I'd just added in some fresh oregano and thyme to the rice, at about the 1 hour mark.
Risotto in the back. Ground chuck in the front with assorted seasonings - oregano, cumin, onion powder.
Ticky shows off her new T-shirt. Monty Python reference.
Stuffings for my spring rolls: Boston lettuce julienned carrot, cucumber, scallion, pepper alfalfa sprouts sundried tomatoes, which I'd poured boiling water over top and had a lovely picture of with the steam wafting off
I had marinated the meat in: 1/4 cup Tamari sauce, a tablespoon of maple syrup, 2 - 1 inch cubes of fresh ginger I keep the ginger frozen, then nuke the pieces for about 20-25 seconds. After nuking, you can easily squeeze the juice out. After I juiced the ginger, I put it through the garlic press to use every bit. 4 cloves garlic, through press 1 dried chile pepper, seeds removed and crumbled 12 basil leaves, torn Mix all ingredients and add in paper-thin sliced filet mignon. Nadia's recipe called for sirloin steak, but we'd just bought beef tenderloin on the way home from the hospital last Tuesday from Southern Packing right south of Chesapeake on Battleground Blvd. for $5.99/pound. Mr. Hawthorne sauteed the marinated slices in butter and olive oil. Just about for a minute.
Some people are better spring roll wrappers than others. Spring rolls are ready. I had previously made 2 dips for the spring rolls. One was my rice vinegar/honey/cucumber/ chopped peanut/sliced scallion/red pepper dip. I had all the pictures, the method step by step, and I lost all the pics. I thought I'd transferred everything, even though the connection was acting wonky, and the next day I found out the last three days of pictures have been lost. What can I say? Let me recreate that recipe: 6 TB rice vinegar 3 TB sourwood honey from the Blue Ridge Mountains some diced cucumber, seeded sliced scallions crumbled dried red pepper crumbled peanuts Adjust ingredients to taste. The other accompanying sauce was my take on Nadia G's recipe for a Peanut Dipping Sauce. I toned down on the peanut butter, added more vinegar, and added in the Tamari. 2 TB peanut butter 1 blood orange, juiced 1 TB maple syrup 1 TB balsamic vinegar 1 TB Tamari sauce pinch hot chile flakes I tried another peanut sauce a couple of weeks ago:
After my pre-op visit in Chesapeake, Va., on January 15, Mr. Hawthorne and I tried out a Thai restaurant. There was Pho King restaurant right next to the Walmart. Mr. Hawthorne never passes up a chance to visit a Walmart whenever he travels anywhere. In fact, after being on the road for 2 months this past fall, Mr. Hawthorne has actually discovered that if you ever find yourself away from home and feeling homesick, then just hie thee to a Walmart. The people at Walmart look the same everywhere. Back to Pho King, I ordered something I've forgotten, but there was a sauce with it that I just couldn't place. It tasted almost like chocolate to me. I asked them and was told it was a peanut sauce. I wasn't fond of it. And then I realized that Pho is pronounced as fuh. So go back and check out the T-shirt the employees wear.
Imagine all the lovely pictures of flaming peppers as Rosie charred. All lost. We're having a celebration. Ticky is here. In my vague stream of consciousness way, I give you the parts of the whole. Mid-left I have seasoned ground chuck. Mid-center I have brown risotto. Mid-right I have charred peppers - Poblano and Cubanelle These are the ingredients for my chiles rellenos. Along with queso fresco and mozzarella cheeses. In the very back on the cutting board, I have the partial ingredients for my Spring Rolls - sliced avocado julienned carrot, pepper, cucumber, scallion Boston lettuce sliced sundried tomatoes, soaked in boiling water alfalfa sprouts
I sliced down one side of the pepper and made a layer of the brown risotto, then placed the seasoned ground chuck on top. Crumble in some Queso Fresco.
Pool of hot, complex salsa roja. Delicately battered and fried Chile Relleno con ground beef and brown risotta. Creme Fraiche. Made by mixing 1 cup of heavy cream, one tablespoon of buttermilk, and one tablespoon of lemon juice. Cover with a paper towel and leave at room temperature overnight. The next morning, stir, cover with plastic, and refrigerate. Cool Salsa.