Southeast Asian Slaw
I make this spicy salad to accompany a variety of spicy or bold dishes where I want a vegetable accompaniment that can add a light and fresh element to the meal such as bbq or other grilled foods. Even though it may sound spicy, it really isn’t packed with heat but has plenty of satisfying flavors. Since limes can vary a little with flavor, I usually taste the dressing and adjust the amount of fish sauce. You want to be able to taste the saltiness without actually being able to tell it is fish sauce. If you have ever had Thai food, you probably are familiar with the flavor combination already.
6T fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
¼ cup olive oil
2T sesame oil
3T Fish Sauce
3 slices fresh jalapeño
1t chopped fresh cilantro stems
1 small mint leaf
Fresh ground pepper
Sprinkle of salt (the fish sauce is salty too, so just a touch)
6-8 cups of Napa Cabbage
½ cup chopped cilantro with stems
½ cup chopped fresh mint
½ cup chopped fresh basil
1 Red bell pepper cut into strips
2 Jalapeno pepper seeded and chopped
Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl, and set aside. You can do ahead and store it in the refrigerator.
Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl. When ready to serve, pour dressing over salad and toss thoroughly. If you dress the salad too early the salt will draw the water out of the Napa cabbage, so it’s best when mixed fresh.
Jamaican Jerk Grilled Shrimp
A very quick and simple recipe that is loaded with the unique flavors of the Caribbean. I often buy frozen wild shrimp, which can be quickly defrosted by placing in a colander and running cold water over the shrimp for 5 minutes. You can buy authentic spice paste in the grocery stores or look online. There is usually a mild and a spicy version. I prefer the spicy, of course. I usually serve this over a bed of wild rice and a serving of my Southeast Asian Slaw (see my recipe) on the side. For a complimentary beverage, I like a good German Hefe-weisan (wheat beer) because it is usually brewed with spices that leave a flavor profile of banana and clove, which are both usually present in Caribbean cuisine. A nice French Rose wine from Provence that has a lot of red grapes would also pair nicely with the spice in this dish.
Fresh shrimp (I prefer wild-caught, 25-30 count per pound)
Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Paste
Skewer the shrimp, and place it on a cutting board or plate. In a bowl combine Jamaican Jerk paste with enough olive oil to make it more liquid. Spoon past mix over the top of the shrimp, and spread with a basting brush. Turn shrimp and coat the second side as well. Preheat the grill to 350 degrees, and place shrimp on the grill. Cook 5 minutes, then flip and cook the second side. When the shrimp is firm it can be removed from the grill. Serve immediately over rice.