Hi foodie friends!

I hope you guys aren’t drowning in all this rain. This is the kind of weather that makes you want to make a big pot of something warm and curl up under a blanket, but have faith friends! The warm sunshine is right around the corner!

 So here’s my confession: I am not a fan of Thai food, particularly because so many of the sauces have a peanut base.  However, in my quest to expand my culinary horizons, I will try this recipe and see if it changes my mind.  I’m a huge fan of Cat Cora, and this recipe is from her book Cooking from the Hip

 Thai Chicken Salad with Cabbage

 Dressing:

  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons Thai peanut sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds (you can use regular sesame seeds)

Salad:

  • 1 whole chicken breast or 2 half breasts (can be grilled, poached, or pan-seared)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (if pan-searing)
  • ½ head Napa cabbage (about 8 cups)
  • 3 large carrots
  • 6 scallions
  • Fresh ground black pepper

 For the Dressing: in a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients, and set aside.

 Cook chicken according to your preference and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, thinly slice the cabbage and grate the carrots using a box grater or a food processor with the shredder disk. Thinly slice the scallions and set aside about 2 sliced scallions for a garnish.  Shred the chicken and toss in a large salad bowl with the cabbage, carrots, and scallions. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Sprinkle with pepper and the remaining scallions and serve.

 makes 8 servings

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Of course I have some tips for you budding chefs:

  • If you don’t have a mandoline slicer, PLEASE invest in one. It will save you a lot of time slicing in the kitchen. A note of caution: watch your finger placement. The blade is SUPER sharp. I had a rather unfortunate incident over Thanksgiving with mine… and the tip of my left ring finger.
  • Don’t feel that you have to be rigid in sticking to the recipe. Be creative! Add some shredded ginger for a little punch, or some Thai basil for a extra bite of flavor. The key to using recipes is to find ways to make it your own.
  • For the chicken, cook it however you like. If you’re planning to heat up your grill one weekend, just toss a few boneless breasts on the grill and set them aside for your salad.  If you aren’t interested in cooking the chicken at all, you can buy the pre-made chicken strips in the grocery store and just add the ingredients to it. I won’t tell if you won’t. Or, if you still have your George Foreman grill, break it out and use it! It’s a great tool when you want that grilled taste without the hassle of buying a real grill. Personally, I love my grill.  The rain has been a real hindrance to my summer grilling.
  • I would double the amount of dressing that you make for this salad. That way, you will have extra in case you want a little more for your salad.
  • Raw carrots cause a crazy allergic reation for me. If you experience that too, or just don’t like raw carrots, try blanching them in hot water for a few minutes and let them cool before adding them to the salad.
  • If you have leftover Napa cabbage, it’s great for a quick chicken stir-fry!

 Who’s excited?? Me! Let’s get cooking!

Happy Eating!

The Fab Foodie

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