I love it when great taste and good nutrition meet! The genesis of this was plain and simple . . . hunger and the desire to have something healthy! I had all the ingredients in the refrigerator so it was just a matter of measuring, mixing and cooking. With all the fragrant ingredients the house smelled awesome.
I often lean toward Asian flavors, could have something to do with working almost ten years working for an Asian hotel chain (Mandarin Oriental). This dish, although not based on a traditional recipe it is certainly full of flavor.
For old thymes sake,
Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps
1 pound ground turkey
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 ½ teaspoons roasted sesame oil
1 bunch chopped cilantro
3 teaspoons soy sauce
3 teaspoons kosher salt
½ recipe of my essential cabbage slaw
16 lettuce cups romaine or bib lettuce work great
- In a bowl combine all the ingredients except the slaw and the lettuce. Mix well with a rubber spatula, trying not to let the mix warm up too much.
- In a nonstick pan cook a small amount to check and see if it has enough salt. You can adjust if needed.
- With your hand roll the mix into little meat balls about ½ ounce each. The mix will be a little soft but will firm up as they cook.
- Depending on the size of the pan you have you can cook the meat balls in batches. Put a small amount in oil in the pan and when it is at a medium heat add the meat balls. Cook moving them around until they are cooked through (165f). Try not to overcook as the turkey is lean and will dry out quickly.
- Serve them with the lettuce for cups, the slaw as a topping, and any other toppings you can think of. I like sautéed hot chilies or roasted peppers.
Long considered to be the bland foodstuff of peasants and the incarcerated, cabbage is a very underappreciated vegetable. I happen to love cabbage, when prepared correctly it is not only flavorful but full of nutrition.
This is one recipe that is very easy to make and produces big results. This is my go to spicy slaw for tacos, enchiladas, and nachos. It’s also a great slaw for simple grilled meats and tastes great on hot dogs and sausages! Once you have this simple little slaw in your arsenal you will use it time and time again. Feel free to use lemon juice instead of lime, and of course you can play with the amount and variety of the chilies. Habanero chilies taste awesome in this slaw . . . if you can handle the heat!
The salt in this recipe draws moisture from the other ingredients which makes its own marinate along with the citrus. I try to make this an hour in advance if I can, it allows the salt to work its magic. This slaw is good for up to a few days in the cooler but it will “wilt down” more and more as time goes on.
Have a good thyme,
Cabbage, Chili and Citrus Slaw
Makes ¾ quart
1 quart shredded cabbage (packed a little tight)
1 bunch chopped cilantro
3 red cayenne peppers or 2 jalapeños sliced thin
3/4 tablespoon kosher salt (you can do ½ if you are sensitive to salt)
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl.
- Cover and put in the refrigerator, allow to marinate for at least a ½ hour.
Have a garden full of peppers and not sure you can keep up? No problem!
This year I planted a garden made up almost exclusively of hot chili peppers. We have been getting a lot of rain and the garden is going wild! Peppers are rolling in faster than we can eat them. Last week I made an awesome hot pepper sauce, this week they are destined for a pickle jar! This very simple pickled pepper recipe will not only help you preserve your peppers but it has great flavor too. Your pickled peppers will be great on sandwiches, pizzas, salads and just about anywhere you want a little heat.
I use this same simple pickle recipe to pickle all sorts of vegetables when I have the chance. It makes great pickled carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower, or green beans. I have even used it to pickle hard boiled eggs.
For this recipe, which is just a quick simple pickle, I cooled the liquid before pouring on the peppers. This will help them keep the color and crisp texture. You don’t have to do that. You can pour the hot liquid on the peppers (be careful) and the peppers will take on a softer texture and will take on the pickle flavor faster.
Simple Pickled Peppers
Makes 1 quart jar of pickled peppers
Enough peppers to fill a 1 quart canning jar
2 cup vinegar (either white wine or red wine)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
5 sprigs of thyme
- In a non-reactive sauce pot combine all ingredients and bring to a simmer just enough to dissolve everything.
- Put the liquid in a refrigerator and chill.
- While the liquid is chilling, wash all the peppers and put in the caning jar. You want to fill the jar but not to pack them too tight. The peppers can be touching but not jammed in there as you need the liquid to work its magic.
- Pour the cooled liquid over the peppers, add the sprigs of thyme, cover and put in the refrigerator for a minimum of three days. Then enjoy.
- These peppers will keep for at least a month in the refrigerator as long as they are covered.