Tag Archives: Fish sauce

Week 29, Meal 1: Salmacado salad and the no-oil salad dressing

I think years of processed and fast foods muddled my expectations of what food could be, because every time Chef Brian puts together an all-star dish, I’m like “Dang, this is the best thing ever. How’d he get fill in the blank to taste like this?”

For this dish, the “blank” is a salty-sweet honey and fish sauce glazed salmon sitting on a salad of creamy avocado and tropical fruit. A no-oil salad dressing, made with light coconut milk and peanut butter, and punctuated by jalapeno, shallot and cilantro, tie this whole plate together. It’s fresh fare prepared with care; light, but enough to satisfy this fat dude.

While the fish was fresh, the protein for my other two salads went bad within a day (thanks Whole Foods), and because I’m on a blogging budget, I’m holding off on making those other two salads until I can afford to next week. But without further ado, here’s Week 29, Meal 1: Glazed salmon over spinach salad with mango, avocado and coconut-peanut dressing. Continue reading Week 29, Meal 1: Salmacado salad and the no-oil salad dressing

Week 29: Salads that don’t suck

Back in November 2010 when I started this blog, I facetiously wrote that this was for “people who hate the gym and think salads suck.”

It’s been a year now, and while I’m still struggling with that whole gym thing, I will readily admit that salads don’t suck. A year ago, my vegetable intake seriously consisted mostly of french fries and grilled onions. (I just asked Wifey Nadia and she couldn’t think of anything past those two either.)

In that spirit, I asked Chef Brian to whip up a menu of “salads that don’t suck.” I’ve known for some time that Brian is a salad machine, but surprisingly, he said that this menu stumped him a little because he’s turned a lot of his favorite salad combinations into dinner entrees for this supposed salad hater.

But here we are, and here’s the menu:

Week 29, Meal 1: Glazed salmon over spinach salad with mango, avocado and coconut-peanut dressing

Week 29, Meal 2: Smoked paprika dusted chicken “milanese” with mixed greens, manchego, dried cherries, pine nuts and orange-sherry vinaigrette

Week 29, Meal 3: Grilled chicken tossed in pistachio and herb salsa verde over arugula salad with roasted beets, goat cheese and lemon vinaigrette

As always, each recipe makes two servings. Follow the jump for the shopping list. Continue reading Week 29: Salads that don’t suck

Week 27, Meal 3: No salt. No pepper. All flavor!

Ever since I started cooking, I’ve been told that salt and pepper are the building blocks of flavor. This is especially true for me, considering much of the food is simply seasoned with just salt and pepper, and then thrown on the grill.

But for the first time all blog long, we’re doing a recipe that has no salt (soy and fish sauces yes, but no added salt) and no pepper.  It may sound naive, but I was really surprised at how much flavor can be built without those two ingredients.

This also marks the first time we’re using catfish on the blog, and it’s definitely the first time I’ve had catfish that wasn’t battered and fried. On the whole, it’s a pretty delicious, mild fish.

A delicious fish, with a Thai twist. Here’s Week 27, Meal 3: Grilled catfish with Thai tamarind-chile sauce over cabbage slaw. Continue reading Week 27, Meal 3: No salt. No pepper. All flavor!

Week 27, Meal 2: (Coconut) chicken soup for the soul

I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite things to order at any Thai restaurant is Tom Kha Gai.

The sweet citrus scent, the succulent chicken and the freshness of so many aromatics–this stuff awakens the senses with its vibrancy.

Chef Brian’s homemade version of the classic soup is no different. Here’s Week 27, Meal 2: Tom Kha Gai.

Continue reading Week 27, Meal 2: (Coconut) chicken soup for the soul

Week 27, Meal 1: Mean green shrimp curry

I joked on the Fat Dude Facebook page recently about how I thought green curry paste only came in jars from Trader Joe’s. But the fact that this recipe calls for making Thai green curry paste from scratch reminded me of how far I’ve come in the kitchen.

I used to rely on boxed items as side dishes and pre-marinated meats for the grill or the oven. Now, I freaking make curry paste, and dishes using ingredients I’ve never even heard of before (Thai eggplant, wut?!).

For the first meal of Week 27, Chef Brian serves up a plate of vibrant Asian comfort cooking. Here’s Week 27, Meal 1: Shrimp green curry. Continue reading Week 27, Meal 1: Mean green shrimp curry

Week 27: Thai-m for Thai

Chef Brian’s put out quite a few ethnic menus in the past–Italian, Mexican and Vietnamese dishes come to mind most–but one country he’s left alone until now  is Thailand.

“It kinda surprises me that I haven’t done any Thai menus considering I love it so much, but now is as good a time as any,” he wrote to me.

True, this blog was born at a Thai restaurant–in many people’s opinions one of the best, if not the best in the country–yet we’ve failed to bring some of  those flavors into the Fat Dude kitchen.

No longer. Here’s what’s cooking:

Week 27, Meal 1: Shrimp green curry

Week 27, Meal 2: Tom Kha Gai

Week 27, Meal 3: Grilled catfish with Thai tamarind-chile sauce over cabbage slaw

The seafood recipes make two portions and the Tom Kha Gai soup recipe makes four portions. Follow the jump for the shopping list. Continue reading Week 27: Thai-m for Thai

Week 19, Meal 1: Pork ‘n’ slaw

If I’m eating pork ‘n’ slaw, it’s usually pulled pork and coleslaw, with a big ol’ hunk of cornbread to sop up the sauce and juice on the bottom of the plate.

For the first time, those words take on another meaning, with Week 19, Meal 1: Vietnamese pork meatball lettuce wrap with carrot and cucumber salad in fish sauce and lime vinaigrette.

I’m not really a fan of lettuce wraps — they’re kinda wimpy IMO — but three of these wraps, made with big ol’ leafs of bibb lettuce and stuffed full of savory, lemon-y pork did the trick.

An added bonus, I didn’t get the sleepies like I usually do after a plate of BBQ. Continue reading Week 19, Meal 1: Pork ‘n’ slaw

Week 12, Meal 3: Pork banh mi

I began Week 12 by saying that, for a long time, Lee’s Sandwiches was the only exposure I had to Vietnamese cuisine.

Thankfully, I’ve expanded my palate since I first had Lee’s, but no matter how many bowls of pho I slurp down, or spring rolls I munch through, I’ll never forget my first true Vietnamese love.

Aside from the interesting history of the banh mi, it’s simply a fantastic sandwich.

The version in most restaurants comes with a smear of mayonnaise, but Chef Brian keeps it healthy with a light chili and lime sauce to counter pork stir-fried in tangy tamarind paste.

Here’s Week 12, Meal 3: Pork banh mi. Continue reading Week 12, Meal 3: Pork banh mi

Week 12, Meal 2: Grilled lemongrass chicken over yellow chile rice with snap peas and pickled carrot slaw

Before I started this blog, there was pretty much one style of rice on the plate when I cooked at home.

It was white, flavored with a little salt, and that’s pretty much all folks.

Since, Chef Brian has introduced me to wild rice, brown rice and now, spiced rice.

For our next dish, Chef is breaking out the turmeric along with a whole lotta mint, cilantro, lemongrass and fish sauce.

Week 12, Meal 2: Grilled lemongrass chicken over yellow chile rice with snap peas and pickled carrot slaw is one hell of a ride on the flavor train. Continue reading Week 12, Meal 2: Grilled lemongrass chicken over yellow chile rice with snap peas and pickled carrot slaw

Week 12, Meal 1: Pho with oxtail, flank steak and filet mignon

BWHAHAHAHAHAHA! I made stock (for the first time) and then an awesome soup with it!

For the first meal of Week 12, we’re whipping up one tasty bowl of noodles that is as comforting as it is hearty. If you’re a fan of Vietnamese flavors — citrus, spice, heat and fish sauce — this is one dish you won’t be able to slurp down quick enough.

Grab a bowl and some chopsticks, and warm up to Week 12, Meal 1: Pho with oxtail, flank steak and filet mignon. Continue reading Week 12, Meal 1: Pho with oxtail, flank steak and filet mignon

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