Friday, August 28, 2009

Spicy Chicken and Mint Salad



Do you go through phases of craving certain chefs? Their style, their food? I do. Right now, I am craving Donna Hay. The simple flavors and ingredients. Recipes that really let the herbs shine through.

Once again, she does not disappoint. I found her Spicy Chicken and Mint Salad in issue 41 of her magazine. And unlike most people, who are subbing chicken for meat, I'd like to be a little different and sub ground beef for chicken. That's what happens when you have half a cow in your freezer.

This was so light and fresh. I have completely fallen in love with what I call the holy trinity of Thai: fish sauce, brown sugar, and lime juice. Pour that over old tires and I'd probably pronounce them excellent. The only thing different that I did, besides substituting ground beef (which was woefully overcooked, but I spent too long on the couch sharing a glass of wine with hubby, whilst lamenting about my day), was to omit the red onions because I didn't have any. Also, I just used whatever kind of mint is it that I have growing.

Spicy Chicken and Mint Salad
Serves 4

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
500g chicken mince
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 birdseye chillies, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 Lebanese cucumber, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Vietnamese mint leaves
1/4 cup spearmint leaves
1/4 cup round mint leaves

Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok over high heat. Cook the chicken, in batches, for 3–5 minutes or until browned, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for 1 minute. Stir through the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar. To serve, toss through the cucumber, onion, Vietnamese mint, spearmint and round mint.

This will be my entry for this week's Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Rachel at The Crispy Cook.

Also, guess what?? It is the hubs and me (me and the hubs?) anniversary! Yep, 22 years of bliss. I had to stop and add that up, because I do not keep track of such things, it's sad to say, but I do not possess the romantic gene. Hallmark hates me.

23 comments:

Joanne said...

Congrats on your anniversary! 22 years is quite impressive.

I am quite a fan of your holy trinity. This dish looks great. I definitely laughed at your having half a cow in your freezer. That would be an impetus for me to eat beef as well.

Kat said...

Congratulations to you and hubby. 22 years is a long time!! In this world the odds are against a marriage lasting that long.

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Brilliant!
You may not posess the romantic gene...but you have learned that the way to his heart is through his stomach.
Here's to many more years of good cooking.

April in CT said...

Wow, 22!! Happy Anniversary!

I've never had anything even remotely like this dish, but it looks yummy.

Katherine Aucoin said...

This looks and sounds like a very tempting salad. The ground beef give it a "wow" factor since you usually don't see that in a salad.

Enjoy your wine and hoping your school year goes smoothly.

Marjie said...

A chicken salad containing ground beef! Talk about great! I do that all the time - a dish calls for one thing, I want another, and still call it by its original name. And everyone in my household is confused.

Grace said...

i’ve NEVER seen ground chicken in a green salad. never ever. it’d make a marvelous component, assuming you could get it into your mouth! interesting with the mint, too. good stuff.

Joan's Good Life said...

Congrats on 22 years! My honey and I... 29 (and sorry to say, I too am missing the same gene) Ah well. ;-)

The recipe you posted sounds fab! I'd never heard of Donna Hay but am beginning to see the fuss over her. I am going to try this recipe. I've got mint and Thai Basil, I'm thinking I may have to add some of the Thai Basil to this recipe as well.

Thanks for all the great food ideas! And happy anniversary!

Joy said...

Happy Anniversary!!

Amy said...

Uh huh. I am so in. Any excuse to use my garden mint leaves.

And Happy 22nd, Pam - that's something, all right! We're not into anniversaries or Valentine's Day! Hallmark hates me, too.

Kalyn said...

Can't quite believe you've been married 22 years! I thought you were about 35, so obviously you got married VERY young.

Love the sound of this. It sounds similar to larb, something I love in Thai restaurants.

a good yarn said...

It looks incredibly fresh and delish and I'm not a fan of Thai food - can't tolerate chilli or fish sauce at all. I will, however, raise a glass to your next 22 years. Slainte! Lang may yer lum reek!

Kim said...

Happy Anniversary! Congrats on your 22 years together : ) I also go through cooking phases like you mentioned. I seem to find inspiration in certain cooking styles or certain chefs. This salad sounds excellent and also unique. It certainly is beautiful.

Nancy/n.o.e said...

I know what you mean about the chef-craving thing. I'm on a major Jamie Oliver jag right now (most are still in draft form, not posted yet). I've yet to try any of Donna's dishes, but I do have one of her cookbooks; I'll have to haul it out and peruse it. Congrats on the anniversary. I'm saying it's "hubs and my 22nd anniversary" but have no idea if that's right!

5 Star Foodie said...

I love the use of three different kinds of mint in this recipe, delicious salad!

Kevin said...

I like the sound of using ground meat in a salad like this. It looks really good!

Mari at Once Upon a Plate said...

Happy Anniversary Pam ~ I'm wishing you and your DH many, many, many more!

Oh, I am SO making this salad ~ you and me both~ I love Donna Hay. Her recipes never disappoint. I'll be thinking of that salad all day you know. :) Thanks for finding it and sharing.

SDK said...

Oh good, someone else who just gives their husband a high five on their anniversary and calls it good.

Rachel said...

Congratulations on your wedding anniversary. Me and the old man just celebrated 21 years of marriage ourselves, so I look forward to catching up with you!

Thanks for such a lovely entry for Weekend Herb Blogging. I hope to have the roundup posted on Monday.

girlichef said...

First off...Happy Anniversary! That is so awesome :D Second...holy cow this sounds amazing! Wonderful flavors, this is one I want to try soon...different from anything we've had in quite a while. YUM :)

Chef Fresco said...

Happy anniversary! 22 is my favorite number :) This is a very creative combo of ingredients in your salad!

Tatersmama said...

Okay, I know I'm a bit late, but Happy Anniversary to you and the Hubs!

And the Spicy Chicken and Mint Salad?
Omigosh, I'm trying this one with ground beef as well! I've got mint growing out the yooyang this year, so ...why not?

Graziana said...

Congratulations for you anniversary!
I love thai flavours too, I have to try this recipe!