Thursday, January 23, 2014

Getting the Heck Outa Dodge

When my friend asked what I was planning on doing today, I told her "Gettin the heck outa Dodge!"  I wasn't really sure where that quote came from, just vaguely that it means "getting as far as possible away from the present location as quickly as feasible."  Some internet research verified that was generally true, and now I also know that the quote came from old "Gunsmoke" episodes.  Hmmm.

Anyhoo, I had not been off Poplar Ridge since Friday morning when I went to work last week.  In the meantime, we had a snowy, cold weekend, a sick child on Monday, more snow, more cold, and 2 snow days.  As of now, we are looking at a 2 hour delay in the morning, and another 3-5 inches of snow tomorrow night.  (My brother in TX says that they have already called off school for tomorrow in Austin, with expected snow accumulation of .25 inches!)  I was ready to do something, ANYTHING, that was NOT HERE!

Apparently my friend felt similarly, so we joined forces and hit Sam's Club and the grocery store in the next big city.  It was nice to be out, and to be with a buddy, even though Sam's Club was the most exciting thing we could come up with!  The most stimulating part of our trip was a toss up between buying enemas and running out of windshield wiper fluid on the interstate with salty slush spraying all over the van.  Our lives are overwhelmingly interesting.

One reason that I wanted to visit Sam's Club was to buy ground turkey so that I could make Thai Basil of our favorite (easy) Thai dishes.  I'll share the recipe too, it takes a bucket full of basil, so you may want to grow it in your window sill all winter long, like we do.

Here are my 2 basil bushes, having already been
trimmed of 4 cups worth of leaves
(I made a double recipe!)
Thai Chicken with Basil
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
2 c fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
3 med garlic cloves, peeled
1 med jalapeno
3 T fish sauce
1 T rice wine vinegar
1 T sugar
1 lb ground turkey
3/4 cup shallots, thinly sliced (about 3)
2 T vegetable oil
Process half of basil along with garlic and jalapeno in food processor until finely chopped.  Remove 1 T of mixture to a small bowl, and mix with 2 T of fish sauce, vinegar and sugar.  Scrape remaining basil mixture to a 12 inch skillet, and add vegetable oil and shallots.  Cook and stir until shallots are softened.  Add ground turkey and remaining fish sauce and cook until only traces of pink remain.  Add basil/fish sauce mixture and cook until completely browned.  Roughly chop remaining basil, and add to meat mixture, cooking until wilted.  Serve over rice, and season with Thai Dipping Sauce if desired.
Thai Dipping Sauce
Adapted from The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook
3 T fish sauce
1 1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 T lime juice
1 tsp sugar
2 T warm water
sliced jalapeno & shallot (about 1 of each, we slice them with a mandolin)
Mix well and adjust ingredients to taste.

The Thai Basil was enjoyed by all.  JP and I felt warmed nose to toes with the spicy sauce.  I feel renewed from my morning out, and ready to face my one and only day of work this week!  Take that, Winter!  You can't keep us down!

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