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Bison Salad with Mountain Mint, Isan-Style

Bison Salad with Mountain Mint Isan-Style
It’s a kind of mint,” a vendor at the market said to me as I inquired about the herb on the table between us—the herb I’d never seen before. He seemed unsure about its identity but said he believed it was a type of mountain mint that had just been foraged. He didn’t seem confident about how to use it either. “You can use it in, you know, whatever you usually make that has mint in it, I guess.” He then shrugged and distorted his face. “Ice cream?.”

Rational, cautious people would have walked away. Not me. Curiosity—the kind that historically must have killed several cats—made me hand him the money and bring this herb home. I had no idea what would happen to me, but I knew lap* would be happening in my kitchen that afternoon. Continue Reading →

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Lemongrass-Scented Roasted Chicken with Spicy Dipping Sauce

Lemongrass-Scented Roasted Chicken with Spicy Dipping Sauce by SheSimmers.com
If the first quarter is any indication, 2015 is slated to be the year I roast more chickens than any of the previous years of my life. I don’t have an explanation for this, and if there was one, I’m sure you’d find it earthshatteringly boring. But if I had to guess, I’d say laziness would be the most likely culprit.

Roasting a chicken is easy. The bird requires little babysitting as it cooks. The juices at the bottom of the pan become the sauce, requiring no further effort on your part to embellish it. The whole process also leaves you with only one or two containers to wash. All you have to do is put a whole chicken in front of you, stare at it for a while, look through the herbs and spices in your cupboard and refrigerator, return your gaze to the chicken, nod to yourself reassuringly, and assign a flavor theme to it. Your theme du jour can be anything that you like or can create with the spices and aromatics you have on hand.

Well, one day, I had a lot of fresh lemongrass on hand. Continue Reading →

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Lemongrass Baked Chicken Wings (ปีกไก่อบตะไคร้)

Thai Baked Chicken Wings with Dried Chili Dipping Sauce by SheSimmers.com
This post is brought to you by excitement at the level that is so unreasonable it’s awkward. I just made these wings less than a couple of hours ago. The kitchen and my clothes still smell like them as I’m sitting here, writing.

(Whispering, because the wings are within earshot) These wings would have been much better grilled, in my opinion. But where I am, the weather is not yet warm enough to grill outside. So I went for the next best option: baking. Continue Reading →

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