tHAI ONE ON WITH ME
THE ORANGE COUNTY FAIR
I had never been to a county fair in my life (just call me a hopeless city girl) until this year, when Pam Wnuck, Culinary Supervisor at the OC Fair, called to invite me. I felt like a kid in a candy store - surrounded by livestock (oooh the piglets and chicks are so cute), dedicated 4-H club members, kitchen innovators creating everything from cakes, to pies, cookies, jams, and even home brews - the OC Fair has something for everyone. What was especially intriguing were the many vendors who come yearly to hawk their "new and improved" wares - it's so easy to get sucked into their pitches. On opening day, I walked out with some Turkish towels and new organic house cleaning products! I promised myself not to get sucked in when I returned to give my culinary presentation on July 28, but I did - walking out with a new Sitram Pressure Cooker, and window and floor cleaning appliances! Here are a few pics to share. Scroll down below for recipes for my Thai-One-On Cocktail and my SummerThaiM Chopped Salad.
THAI ONE ON COCKTAIL (makes 2)
1/4 cup peanuts - chopped fine
1/2 cup fudge sauce - melted
4 oz vodka
4 TB creamy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 oz Elmhurst Peanut Chocolate Milk, or regular/almond milk
1. Pour ground peanuts onto one plate. Add a squirt of Sriracha to the melted fudge and pour onto another plate. Dip the rims of your glassware into the fudge first, then the peanuts, and let set up. Reserve the fudge sauce for your cocktail.
2. Into a blender place the vodka, peanut butter, vanilla, salt, 2 TB of the leftover fudge sauce, a squirt of Sriracha and the nut milk. Blend until smooth. At this point you can either add a cup of ice to the blender, buzz it and serve in the glasses. Alternately, transfer the cocktail to a shaker, add ice, cover and shake vigorously and pour the strained drink into your prepared glass.
Note: This is more like a dessert cocktail - so be mindful and save your appetite for this treat. The rim tastes like a crunchy Baby Ruth, and the cocktail....well, you decide. Please drink responsibly and designate a sober driver if you are drinking.
SUMMERTHAI'M CHOPPED SALAD
The beauty of this salad is that it can be built from the ground up - meaning that you can chop the bottom layer first, platter it, then continue building the layers so that you only use one chopping board, and use one plate - less dishes to wash on these hot summer days. This salad is terrific with grilled steak(see photo above), chicken or shrimp on top. It's also just a great family style salad to serve at home, or on the road. I've offered 2 dressings - one creamy and peanut-y, and the other, citrusy, with no oil. You can build the salad, then offer both dressings on the side.
Lettuce - 1 head: washed, and sliced into 1/2" pieces
Red Cabbage (small) - 1/2: sliced thin with knife or mandoline
Carrots - 2: washed, trimmed, peeled. Use vegetable peeler to make ribbons of carrot. If you want super thin ribbons, score the carrot vertically 6-8 times with a sharp knife, then peel.
Cucumber - 1: peeled, halved (seeds removed with melon baller or spoon), then cut into thin half moons
Red Pepper - 1: trimmed, seeded and sliced into thin strips
Red Onion - 1: slice 1/2 of it thinly with knife or mandoline
Mango - 1: peeled, large chunks cut off of the seed and then sliced into ribbons with mandoline, knife or vegetable peeler
Mint, Basil, Cilantro - 1/2 cup of each, chopped
Ground Peanuts - 1/2 cup (or more if you love them)
1. Onto a large platter, spread the lettuce evenly. Then layer or scatter the remaining ingredients above, alternating colors with each layer. Scatter the herbs evenly, then the peanuts.
Serve the dressings on the side or commit to one! The citrus dressing can be spread evenly over the top. The peanut dressing is really pretty if applied with a squirt bottle.
LIME DRESSING (makes 8 oz)
Put 2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp pepper, 3 ounces lime juice, and 1 TB Fish Sauce (or if allergic to fish, use Coconut Aminos) in a jar. Cover and shake until sugar is dissolved. Serve immediately.
PEANUT DRESSING (makes 2 cups)
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup boiling/very hot water
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 heaping TB Thai Red Curry Paste
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 TB fish sauce
1 TB Sriracha
1 tsp sugar
1. In a medium bowl whisk the peanut butter with hot water to loosen it up. Then whisk in the remaining ingredients. Taste, and adjust acidity with more lime juice, or heat with Sriracha, or umami with the fish sauce. Transfer to a squirt bottle. Will hold about a week in the refrigerator. You can use this as a dipping sauce for veggies or kebabs - delicious!