Chicken Larb

Rounding out our March recipes using the Meat Grinder Hunting Package with a little Laos flavor: Larb.  Larb is basically a minced meat salad, and is very popular in Laos as well as Thailand.  Pronounced laab, it can feature chicken, pork, beef, sometimes even fish.  The dominant flavors are lime juice, fish sauce and chilies and it is served with fresh herbs and a variety of toppings.  I am certainly not an expert in Laos or Thai cooking, but developed this recipe by taking my favorite components of the Larb dishes I have had over the years.

This dish is very versatile, you could serve it with rice and make it a hardy dinner, or serve it in lettuce leaves for lunch or a lighter supper.  I went with chicken because, well, it was what I had in my freezer.   I am all about adapting recipes to suite ones personal needs and likes.  You could also use pork or turkey.  If you want to go with beef, you might need to punch up the flavor since beef has a stronger taste than pork or poultry.

If you are new to grinding your own meat, an important step is chilling the cubed meat and metal components of the grinder.  This is especially crucial when grinding poultry to prevent a gummy and over-ground texture.  I usually cube up my meat and spread it out on a sheet tray and then toss it in the freezer with the grinder parts for about 30 minutes while I prep other ingredients.

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The white feeding tray is perfect for holding the metal components and stashing in the freezer to chill.

Since the Hunting Package comes with the extra disc grind sizes, I went with the largest, the 8mm, when grinding the chicken.  You could always scale down if you prefer.  But since the meat is the main ingredient in this recipe, I wanted the grind to be larger.

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Featured mixer color: light creme

Most of the ingredients in the recipe are fairly easy to find except one: toasted rice powder.  However, you can easily make this at home.  You just toast some jasmine rice in a skillet and coarsely grind it in a blender. I included instructions on how to make it below.

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When serving the dish, just remember that the toppings are an important part of the dish, kind of like tacos.  I like to serve it with sliced radishes, fresh mint, basil and cilantro, chopped peanuts and bean sprouts.  And lime wedges for anyone who wants an extra citrus kick.

Check out this video for further instructions on assembling and caring for the meat mincer attachment.

Chicken Larb

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Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 11 minutes

 

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 large shallot, finely chopped

2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

3/4 cup chopped green onion

1 Thai chili or serrano pepper, chopped

1 tablespoon toasted rice powder*

For serving: chopped peanuts, lime wedges, bean sprouts, fresh herbs (cilantro, basil, mint), sliced radishes, large lettuce leaves and/or rice

 

Cut chicken into 1 1/2 – 2 inch pieces and lay out on a sheet pan lined with wax or parchment paper.  Place in the freezer, along with the metal parts of the grinder, for 30 minutes.

Once chilled, remove from freezer and assemble the grinder attachment with the 8mm disc.

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the shallot and garlic in the oil for 1 minute.  Add the rest of the ingredients, including the freshly ground chicken.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Serve with toppings over steamed rice or wrap up in lettuce leaves.

 

Yield: 6-8 servings

*Toasted Rice Powder: Place 1/2 cup of jasmine rice in a skillet over low heat.  Cook, stirring constantly until golden brown, 10-15 minutes.  Coarsely grind in a blender or mortar and pestle.  Use in above recipe and store remainder in an airtight container at room temperature.

 

 

 

 

My Favorite Muffin Recipe

 

I am very excited to share with you my first post for 2017.  Carmi and I have an exciting year planned out for you, full of great tips and amazing recipes.

When we first launched this blog, I shared with you My Favorite Yeast Bread Recipe.  I grew up learning how to cook from my mom who is absolutely amazing in the kitchen.  She always made everything from scratch and some of her best recipes are hand written in this little blue notebook and tucked away inside a kitchen cabinet. It is stuffed full of note cards and magazine clippings.  My mom was always an advocate that you don’t need a million cookbooks.  Now the funny thing about that statement is that my mom will be the first to tell you that she has an absolute obsession with buying cookbooks and cooking magazines.  She recently even told me that she walked into our local grocery store and told herself over and over and over again that she was not going to purchase a cookbook or cooking magazine.  She inwardly recited this as she walked throughout the store.  She made it to the check out and purchased her items.  As she walked out of the store, not only had she purchased one cooking magazine, but THREE! Here is the deal though, she (as well as myself) will purchase cookbooks or cooking magazines to gather inspiration to apply to our tried and true family recipes.  I do this all the time with my yeast bread recipe.  If I want an olive and rosemary bread, I take My Favorite Yeast Bread Recipe, add some olives and fresh rosemary, maybe reduce the honey just a bit and there you go! Or if I want Orange Cranberry Bread (as used in my Orange Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Recipe), use part orange juice for the water, add orange zest and come cranberries and there you have it.  Use cooking magazines, cookbooks, and online recipes to get inspired with new flavor combinations. Then, just apply it to your favorite recipe.

Continue reading My Favorite Muffin Recipe

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Cranberry Sauce Muffins

Thanksgiving is one of the most food focused holidays, and the leftovers are just as important as the actual feast.  However, most of us start to grow a little weary of turkey sandwiches and reheated casseroles after several days.  Ashley shared earlier this month a creative way to use up leftover turkey, and now I want to tackle an often overlooked side/condiment: cranberry sauce.

I grew up loving my mom’s homemade cranberry sauce.  It is just 3 simple ingredients: cranberries, honey and orange juice and makes the most bright and fresh sauce to cut through all those rich dishes on Thanksgiving day.  I always make a batch (or 3!) for Thanksgiving now.  But after the big feast day it usually becomes neglected in the fridge, although I enjoy spooning it over plain yogurt for breakfast.  Many people have family staying with them for the holidays, so I came up with a breakfast item that everyone would enjoy, whether they are a fan of cranberry sauce or not.  In fact, my daughter hates cranberry sauce but has been eating these muffins for breakfast, lunch and snacks and loves them.

Continue reading Thanksgiving Leftovers: Cranberry Sauce Muffins