Back in June, Marilyn Hnatiuk wrote in looking for a recipe that might replicate the Vietnamese salad served at Hu's on First, the Asian restaurant that closed last year. We haven't tracked down that specific recipe, but we do have a vegetarian Vietnamese salad recipe from Linda Snider, as well as one that uses chicken. Cool and crunchy, with fresh flavours, these are really good supper salads for hot days.
Also in June, Jean Wilson had requested a yellow hotdog relish made with cream. We received several recipes that were very close to the ingredients she remembered but did not feature cream. These were printed last week, which prompted several readers to write in with recipes that did include cream. Thanks so much to Winnipeg's Elizabeth Boote, Dryden's Nancy Lund, Betty Collett of Portage la Prairie and Edith Rondeau of Notre Dame de Lourdes. I will be passing these recipes on to Jean Wilson right away.
This week we have a wonderfully nostalgic request from Suzanne Cantafio, who remembers a cookie from Dominion Stores, a now-defunct Canada-wide grocery chain. Called Quickies, they were no-bake cookies with Rice Krispies, coconut and peanut butter, Suzanne thinks.
If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to email@example.com, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
250 ml (1 cup) loosely packed chopped cilantro
60 ml (1/4 cup) fresh lime juice
45 ml (3 tbsp) fish sauce
45 ml (3 tbsp) granulated sugar
1 250 g package dried rice vermicelli noodles
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 cucumber, chopped or cut into matchsticks
4 leaves napa cabbage (sometimes called Chinese cabbage), chopped
60 ml (1/4 cup) chopped fresh mint
60 ml (1/4 cup) unsalted peanuts, chopped
mint sprigs, to garnish
In a large serving bowl, mix garlic, jalapeno and cilantro. Add lime juice, fish sauce and sugar and stir. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add noodles and boil for just 2 minutes. Immediately remove from heat and drain, rinsing well with cold water until cool. Drain again really well. Add noodles to bowl, along with carrots, cucumber, cabbage and mint and toss well. Garnish with peanuts and mint sprigs and serve.
Tester's notes: This is a great salad, with fresh flavour and lots of crisp texture. It is very easy to overcook rice vermicelli noodles, so make sure you just soften them, then immediately rinse to cool off. Drain the noodles really well so you don't dilute the salad.
Vietnamese chicken and noodle salad
1 x 250 g package dried rice vermicelli noodles, soaked in warm water for 5 minutes, then rinsed and drained
1 skinless chicken breast fillet
125 g beansprouts
1/2 large cucumber, cut into matchsticks
1 bunch green onions, white and pale green parts only, chopped
45 ml (3 tbsp) fish sauce
45 ml (3 tbsp) lime juice
15 ml (1 tbsp) mint leaves, finely chopped
30 ml (2 tbsp) roasted peanuts, finely chopped
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, drop in the pre-soaked noodles and blanch very quickly, immediately draining, rinsing with cold water and draining again. Place on a large serving platter and set aside. Bring a small pot of water to boil, add the chicken and simmer until cooked through. Remove and cool. Over a bowl, shred the cooled chicken using two forks, retaining any juices in the bowl. Add the bean sprouts, cucumber, green onion, fish sauce, lime juice and mint, mixing well. Turn mixture over the noodles and garnish with peanuts.
Tester's notes: Another great salad, with added protein from the chicken.