Green Papaya Salad with Lemongrass Chicken AND Linguine with Clams
11/1/2012 12:34:00 PM
Green Papaya Salad with Lemongrass Chicken
Linguine with Clams
Lemongrass. I’ve eaten it (or umm eaten things served with it?) but I didn’t know WHAT it looked like or where to get it. I was SURE you had to go somewhere like Whole Foods, or TJ’s or Olivers…BUT happily enough, I found it at my regular hant, Foodmaxx. YES – if you are looking for lemongrass, they have it at Foodmaxx (the one in Roseland)
NOW –that being said, just because I “took it to the Maxx” and had it in my hot little hand, it doesn’t mean I had any idea what to do with it next.
Lemongrass is like long fibrous tubes with leaves tightly woven around it. And it’s HARD to cut through (like burlap or something ) So, I actually had to find instructions on the internet to figure out “how to cut lemongrass.” If you have never dealt with lemongrass…it’s not a bad idea to look up how to work with it.
The lemongrass was added to the marinade for the chicken. Between you and I, Guy says to marinate the chicken for 4 to 24 hours, and I only did 4 hours (I had some time constraints going on) and 4 hours isn’t really enough to get the flava into the meat. I have let things marinate for 24 hours and it’s AWESOME. So do that.
Now, I try to make Guy’s recipes all to his qualifications and standards and follow everything properly…but there was one small thing that didn’t work out this time. What you were supposed to do was put the chicken on skewers before grilling it…but at the late hour I was trying to finish the recipe, I realized I didn’t have any. So, I went down to the store to get some and I asked the dude “where are your skewers” and he goes “Skewers? What are skewers?” This was a very bad sign. Needless to say, I went home skewerless.
That being said – the chicken was pretty good. But the green papaya salad was AMAZING. Now, finding a green papaya aint’ easy, and frankly – I think mine was a bit too orange. But I got it as unripe as I could possibly get it. Let me tell you, papaya is very hard to cut into matchsticks (as the recipe called for) but, even though my strips were kinda thick – the salad turned out AMAZING. The dressing was great, the other vegetables were great. It was fresh. It popped in your mouth. Definitely a recipe to keep on hand for the summer.
Now, onto the Linguine with clams. Like the lemongrass, I had eaten clams here and there, but I had never worked with them. And frankly, I was a bit afraid. What about sand? What about dead ones? What about the fact that they are alive…then you bring them home and kill them? (and why is it ok to bring home something dead, wrapped in cling wrap but freaky to bring home something still alive?)
In any case, I was at my mom’s when I made the recipe – so we took a trip over to Costco cuz she needed some stuff. We looked for the clams there, and all they had was cockles. WOW – do those look a lot like clams. It was then, that I realized that these things are still alive….and there they were sitting on ice, waiting to meet their destiny. We talked about trying the recipe with the cockles, but I really wanted to maintain the integrity of the recipe – so we went to Lucky’s and got clams.
To rid the clams of sand, you put them in a bath with corn meal, water and salt and let them sit for an hour or more. They basically sit in there, spitting out the sand. It actually worked VERY well – no sand at ALL in our recipe.
What was a bit freaky, is that when my mother would come across a clam with an open shell, she would tap on it with her acrylic nail. If it closed, it was alive…and that whole thing of tapping on this things home to see if they close the door was a bit freaky (another reminder they were alive)
All of that being said - in the end it was ALL worth it. This recipe had a subtle, delicate taste and really highlighted the clams. It was…lovely. Really, the way Linguine and clams should be made. This is a keeper and it will impress your guests!
I am not sure what I am making next. I know I have been threatening to make Baltimore Bad Boys with top round soon – and my friend Rose wants to take me to buy top round…since I don’t know what it is.
AND my dad is visiting this weekend, and we are gonna go through the book and cook some stuff only we will like – like hopefully Pork and Watermelon Tacos (if we can find some watermelon) So – I’ll let ya know how it goes!