Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Thai Crunch Salad

California Pizza Kitchen Thai Crunch Salad

Servings: 4

Lime-Cilantro Dressing:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
1/4 cup honey
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 cloves garlic
dash salt
dash ground black pepper

Spicy Peanut Sauce:
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
6 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili sauce (or chili-garlic sauce)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 cup water

2 to 3 cups vegetable oil or vegetable shortening
8 wonton wrappers
handful bean threads
4 small skinless chicken breast fillets
1 cup cooked edamame
1 cup lightly salted cocktail peanuts
12 cups chopped napa cabbage, chopped (1 large head)
2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
2 cups shredded or julienned carrot
1 cup julienned cucumber
4 green onions, chopped (green part only)

Make lime-cilantro dressing by combining all ingredients in a blender on high speed for 20 seconds, or until cilantro is chopped fine, but not entirely pureed. Cover and chill. Make spicy peanut sauce by combining all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium/low heat. Heat until sauce is hot, but not boiling, and sugar is dissolved. Pour mixture into a blender and blend for about 20 seconds. Cover and chill. Flatten chicken breasts by covering them with plastic wrap and pounding them thin with a kitchen mallet. Rub oil on each breast, sprinkle each with a little salt and pepper, and grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until done. Wrap and chill the cooked chicken.

Make crispy wontons by heating 2 cups of vegetable shortening or oil in a medium saucepan to 375 degrees. Slice a stack of 8 wonton wrappers into 1/4-inch wide strips. Slice those strips in half. Fry them in hot oil for about 30 seconds or until light brown Drain on paper towels.

Fry a big handful of beans threads in hot on "for about 10 seconds or until they float to the top of the oil. Drain on paper towels. Cook edmame following the directions on the package. If the soybeans are in the pods, remove them and chill the beans after they have cooked. Toast the peanuts by heating them up in a skillet over medium/low heat for 3 to 4 minutes or just until starting to brown. Immediately remove them from the heat so that they don't burn.

Now you're ready to build the salads. For each serving, combine 3 cups napa cabbage, 1/2 cup red cabbage, 1/2 cup carrot, 1/4 cup cucumber, 1/4 cup edamame, 1/4 cup toasted peanuts, 1/4 cup crispy wontons, and a couple tablespoons of chopped green onion in a large bowl. Thinly slice a cold chicken breast into bite-size pieces and add it to the salad. Pour 4 to 5 tablespoons of cilantro-lime dressing over the salad and toss well.

Carefully pour tossed salad onto a serving plate. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup crispy bean threads on top of the salad. Spoon spicy peanut sauce into a squirt bottle and squirt the sauce in a sweeping motion over the top of the salad. repeat for remaining salads.