Sauces, Salads and Soups

Nuoc Cham Sauce
This sauce is a staple of Vietnamese cuisine. It is a sweet, sour, salty, spicy combination of ingredients that will wake up your palate. Drizzle it over rice or asian wraps for a spicy kick.

Fish sauce - 2 Tbsp
Lime Juice from 1/2 of a lime
Rice Vinegar - 3 Tbsp
Garlic - 1 clove minced
Ginger - 1 tsp minced
Sugar, 1 1/2 Tbsp
Carrot, 1 Tbsp finely grated
Hot Water, 1- 2 Tbsp
Sambal Oelek (chilli paste) 1 tsp or more if you like it really hot. Or use chopped, fresh chillies, such as birds eye red chillies. If you can't find them, substitute serranos or habeneros if you can't find the red ones. I use the chilli paste; it's easier and very hot.

Safety tip: It's best to wear rubber gloves when cutting chillies. If you rub your eyes after cutting chillies they will burn! Wash your hands and the cutting board well after cutting chillies.

Mix sugar in hot water until dissolved. Add remaining ingredients in a covered jar. Shake to mix. Refrigerate until needed.
Mojo - Latin garlic sauce

1/2 cup Good quality extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lime- juiced
1/2 lemon juiced
1/2 orange juice
1 Tablespoon Good quality Sherry vinegar
6-8 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
pinch of Cumin
1 Bay leaf, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley or 2 Tablespoons fresh
 Salt and pepper to taste

Pour olive oil in a glass jar with a lid. Add garlic and onion. Heat in microwave for about 30 seconds or over low heat for a minute or two. You just want to infuse the oil by warming it, not completely cook the garlic and onion. Add the fresh squeezed citrus juices, sherry vinegar, herbs and spices. Top jar with lid and shake. Will keep in refrigerator for about a week.

Use as a marinade for shrimp, chicken, beef or pork. (I usually marinade the meat over night, a few hours for the shrimp.) and then grill, broil or bake. Also wonderful used to marinade a lamb. Add fresh mint and omit bay leaf if using on lamb.
Serve sauce on the table to spoon over roasted meats or poultry or veggies.
Great over roasted potatoes, boiled yuca, fried green plantains or plain white rice too.
Greek Salad

Romaine lettuce, torn into bite side pieces. About 1/2 a head.
Finely sliced red onion, a handful
Finely sliced red bell pepper, a handful
1 Cucumber, seeded and cut into chunks
4 Ripe plum tomatoes, cut into chunks
Feta cheese, crumbled about 2 ounces
1/2 14 ounce can baby artichoke hearts, quartered.
Garbanzo beans (optional) 1 small can, drained

1/4 Cup good quality Olive Oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 Teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Teaspoonon crumbled feta cheese

Mix dressing ingredients together and let sit while you prepare salad. Remove garlic from dressing. Taste for seasoning. Add additional salt if needed, but keep in mind the feta on the salad adds saltiness too. Toss salad with dressing right before serving.
Minestrone Soup

Chicken broth, vegetable broth or water, enough to cover veggie by about three inches - about 32 ounces
Dried herbs - (about a tsp each) parsley, oregano, marjoram, basil, thyme and 1 bay leaf
Potato, skinned and diced (I used one red one)
Carrots, skinned and diced (I used two)
Celery, diced (I used about 1/2 cup chopped)
Onions, diced (I used 1/2 medium onion)
Garlic clove, minced (I used one)
Kidney beans, I used about 1/2 15 oz can)
Lima beans (I used frozen ones)\ (I used about 2/3 cup)
Green beans, chopped into bite sized pieces (I used frozen ones) or use zucchini (I didn't have any.)
(I used about 2/3 cup)
Canned or fresh chopped tomatoes, (I used about 2/3 cup)
Greens such as Kale, Swiss chard or Spinach, 1-2 cups, chopped (optional)
1-2 Tbsps tomato paste (I used 2 Tbsp)
Sugar, about 1/4  - 1/2 tsp
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan Cheese for garnish

Saut√© onions, carrots and celery in a little olive oil. Sprinkle with dried herbs and salt and pepper. Add diced potatoes, garlic, and tomatoes. Stir to coat veggies and let simmer a minute or two. Add broth, tomato paste, sugar, kidney beans, lima beans and green beans. Check for seasoning and adjust as needed. Let simmer about 30 minutes or until veggies and lima beans are tender and cooked through.  Check occasionally; you may need to add more broth or water. Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese if desired.
Miso Soup
Makes two servings.

3 1/2 cups water
1 tsp dashi stock granules (I bought mine at an Asian grocery store)
1 slice dried kombu about 5inches by 2 inches long, snipped into bite sized pieces
4 oz firm tofu cut into cubes
2 green onions chopped into thin slices
4 tsp miso paste (I used white miso)

Put the dashi granuels in a pot with the water and kumbo. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer.  Add tofu. Simmer about 10 minutes until kombu is soft. Add green onion and let simmer for about another 1-2 minutes.
Meanwhile, set out two soup bowls. In each bowl put 2 tsp of  miso paste. Add a little of water to the miso paste and mix until well blended. I use a wisk. Divide the soup between the two bowls. Mix each well to make sure the miso paste is well blended. Enjoy!

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