Thai Pineapple Cashew Raisin Fried Rice

It is a perfect use of old rice left over in the fridge, but if you can't wait til then (like me!), just cook the rice with a little less water and let it rest with the lid off for 5-10 minutes before starting. Basically you don't want the rice too wet/sticky-- this makes *nasty* fried rice-- so prepare it a little dry in this case.

I had a craving for this fried rice and adapted from this recipe: http://thaifood.about.com/od/thairecipesstepbystep/ss/pineapplerice.htm

1. Prep the rice: add a little oil to the rice (up to 1 Tbsp.) and mix. This should separate the grains- another step in combating gooey fried rice.

2. Place 3 Tbsp. olive oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, garlic, 3 dried chilis and ½ tea chili paste, and stir fry for one minute, or until fragrant.

3. Add 3 eggs, fry into thin pieces and break up the big chunks with a spoon.

4. Add the SPICES (you can measure ahead of time):
½ tea curry powder
1 tea fish sauce (or vegetarian fish sauce)

½ tea White Pepper
1.25 tea coriander (ground)

½ tea black pepper

1/3 C soy sauce

½ tea seasoning salt
1 TB lime juice
1 tea brown sugar (optional)
1/4 tea tamarind concentrate (optional)

5. Add cashews, stir fry for a couple minutes
6. Add oiled rice. Mix until spices are uniformly spread and break up rice lumps.

7. Add frozen peas, currents (or raisins), and pineapple. Stir fry to mix in.

8. Keep heating a few more minutes- the rice should be getting a little crispy at the bottom.


Thai Salad with Rice Noodles

This was *really* good. Made a huge batch, enough to feed probably 7 hungry men. Or lots of leftovers for us! I found it in a Bon Appetit magazine and made my own adjustments.

The prep takes a while, so it's a good do-ahead or potluck type thing. Just don't cook the rice noodles ahead- they will dry out.

Make the dressing in a food processor or blender:
4 or more cloves garlic
1/4 C soy sauce  
1/3 fresh lime juice (it took 1.75 limes for me to squeeze that much)  
2 TB sugar (I used brown sugar)  
1 TB peanut butter  
2 tea grated ginger  
1.25 tea hot chili paste "sambal oelek"  
1/4 C veggie oil

Prep by slicing, cutting, or pulling apart:
roasted chicken 
 3 C shredded purple cabbage  
1 C grated carrot
1/2 C thinly sliced red onion  
1 cucumber, halved then thinly sliced
handful of basil leaves, sliced

Mix the chicken, cabbage, carrot, onion, cuke, basil in a large bowl. Drizzle most of the dressing in and mix. Serve on a bed of cooked rice noodles (3 minutes in boiling water) and top with 1/3 C roasted salted peanuts, chopped.