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Sweet Plantains

  • 2 plaintains, black and soft, but not mushy.
  • viniagrette salad dressing, 1/4 C.
  • Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce, 1/4 C.
  • salsa, fresh, 1/2 C.
  • ginger, 1/4 t.
  • California Taboulli.
  • California Hummus.
  • Trader Joes Cauliflower Curry Salad.
  1. Peel, then slice plantains, 1/4 " thick.
  2. Add to microwaveable dish.
  3. Add salad dressing, chili sauce, salsa, and ginger, toss lightly.
  4. Microwave on high, 8 - 10 min.
  5. Let it cool, for 5 minutes, as the plantains finish cooking.
  6. Add curry salad, hummus, taboulli.
  7. Enjoy when ready.










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  • Cold Ramen Salad

    Continuing my exploration of the humble Ramen soup mix, I find that, given the right spices, it makes a rather satisfying meal.

    • i package Shrimp / your choice flavour Ramen soup
    • 1/16 t cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 t curry powder
    • 1/4 t fish oil (opt)
    • 1/8 t garlic flakes
    • 1/4 t ginger
    • 1/8 t mint
    • 1/4 t onion flakes
    • 1/4 t sesame seeds
    • 1/8 t tarragon
    • 1/2 t tomato sauce (opt)
    • 1/16 t tumeric
    • 6 or so slices of cucumber, quartered
    • 1/2 stalk green onion, chopped
    • 1/4 bu parsley, chopped
    • 1 roma tomato, chopped
    • 1 handful mixed salad greens

    1. Crumble noodles, into bowl.
    2. Mix noodle flavour packet, dry herbs, spices, dried vegs, noodles.
    3. Add salad greens, mix again.
    4. Add boiling water to cover, stir, let it cook.
    5. When salad greens are just slightly tender, it's ready.
    6. Drain excess liquid, set aside.
    7. Add fresh vegs, toss lightly.
    8. Decorate with soy sauce, sweet chili sauce (Mae Ploy).
    9. Serve cold, with sourdough bread, Thai tea.


    Continuing my experimentation, I observed that ramen noodles do not always require boiling water. Given enough soaking, 15 minutes of soaking in cold water will produce chewy ("al dente") noodles - and a tasty meal.

    The longer you soak the noodles, the more water is absorbed - and the less to be drained and set aside.

    The idea of adding enough water ("to cover") simply ensures that the noodles on the top get the chance to soften. Water temperature may or may not be important. YMMV.


    Cucumber / Peanut Ramen Soup

    So I had a mushy cucumber, that could not be peeled. Threw it into the freezer, and it turned hard. What can you do with frozen cucumber?

    Put it into soup.
    • 1 package Ramen soup mix.
    • 6 cucumber slices, frozen, and yes unpeeled.
    • 1/4 t curry powder.
    • 1/4 t ginger.
    • 1/4 t mustard.
    • 1/4 t sesame seeds.
    • 1/2 t brown sugar.
    • 1/2 t vinegar.
    • 1/2 t peanut butter.
    • 1 h mixed greens (bagged salad).
    Cook this just like any ramen soup.
    1. Boil water.
    2. Dump ramen flavour packet, spices, sugar, vinegar, peanut butter into 1 quart soup bowl.
    3. Pour boiling water into bowl, mix everything well.
    4. Add ramen noodles, crumbled.
    5. Fill bowl with water, to 1" below rim (don't want water overflowing when you carry the soup bowl).
    6. Add cucumber slices and salad greens.
    7. When the bowl is cool enough to carry, the noodles will be nice and soft - and the cucumber slices will be just slightly chewy.
    Serve with a nice chunk of sourdough bread.

    Black Bean Salad

    • 1 can black beans (rinsed & drained)
    • i can corn (drained)
    • 1 red pepper (diced)
    • 1 bunch cilantro (chopped finely)
    • 1 tsp oil
    • 1/2 tsp mustard
    • 1 tsp brown sugar
    • 1/2 tsp cumin
    • 1 fresh lime
    • salt & pepper to taste
    Prepare:
    1. Mix dressing.
    2. Toss veg mixture.
    3. Pour dressing over vegs.
    4. Toss again.
    5. Chill in refrigerator, if you can wait.

    Guacamole




    Not hard to make, as long as you get the avocado ripe!


    • 1 large / 2 medium ripe avocado
    • 1 lime / 1/4 C lime juice
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 1 jalapeno pepper
    • 1/2 medium onion (red is preferred, i used white)
    • 1 roma tomato
    • 1/2 bunch cilantro
    • salt, to taste
    1. Cut the avocado(s) in half, remove pit(s), scrape contents into mixing bowl.
    2. Dice avocado, using a nice sharp knife, in mixing bowl. No mess, knife goes right through.
    3. Immediately add lime juice, to keep avocado green, and mix well.
    4. Smash, then mince garlic, mix into diced avocado.
    5. Dice jalapeno and onion, mix into avocado mix.
    6. Dice tomato, mix into avocado mix.
    7. Chop cilantro, mix into avocado mix.
    8. Add salt, to taste.
    9. Garnish with a couple cilantro stalks, and some tomato (or a splash of Mae Ploy), and serve.

    Thai Style Peanut Sauce

    • 1/4 C peanut butter
    • 1 serrano chili pepper, carefully and finely minced (**)
    • 2 T Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce
    • 2 T soy sauce
    • 1 t brown sugar
    • 1 T sesame paste (Tahini)
    • 2 T sesame or vegetable oil
    • 1 lime, juiced
    • 1 t ginger powder
    • 1/4 C yoghurt - plain, unsweetened
    1. Mix all ingredients, adding chili sauce, soy sauce, oil, and lime juice a bit at a time, and to taste, until the mixture is thin enough to pour.
    2. Make it thin, to marinate cucumber slices - medium thick, to use as salad dressing - or really thick, to use as dip for sourdough bread, or taco chips.
    3. The one rule is that you should make it in quantity, because it will be eaten in quantity.


    Inspired by Season With Spice: Easy Thai Peanut Sauce - and limited by reality (and what I had in my kitchen).

    (**) Follow Safety Precautions when you prepare this, please.

    More New Spices

    I ran out of dried mint a month ago, and I've been waiting to get another bag. I finally got the opportunity to visit my favorite Middle Eastern grocery, this week.


    A huge bag of dried mint, for $3.00 ($20.00 worth, at a supermarket). Plus caraway, cardamom, and ginger root.

    I'll buy spices in plastic bags, especially at these prices - but I hate storing spices in the bags, when I have this collection of empty spice jars. The jars are way more convenient to open, when I cook.

    This is at least $50.00 at supermarket prices (except you can't get black caraway, anywhere). At Afghan Market in Concord, this was just over $10.00.

    Unlike my last spice purchase, I know everything here. The black caraway is an essential in my chili and similar dishes - Cuban Style Black Beans, for instance. And the mint will go into a lot of dishes - including the Sesame Mint Rice.

    A most satisfying afternoon shopping.