Pork Belly Lettuce and Tomato Noodles

Pork Belly Lettuce and Tomato Noodles

Ingredients1/4 Cup Sesame Oil1/4 Cup Rice Vinegar2 Cloves Garlic (Smashed) Chile FlakeBrown SugarFish SauceSalt1.25 Pounds Pork Belly (boneless skinless) Rice NoodlesMayoSrirachaRice VinegarFish SauceLettuceTomato For: 4 PeoplePreparation: 20 minCooking: 3 minReady in: 23 min InstructionsThe pork was tossed in a mixture of sesame oil, rice vinegar, garlic, chile flake, brown sugar, salt, and fish sauce. I…

Pesto Mashed Potato with Corn Zucchini Pork Hash

Pesto Mashed Potato with Corn Zucchini Pork Hash

I had some leftover pesto but it was only basil hazelnut and garlic, there was no cheese in it. I was brainstorming on how to repurpose the pesto, and because of the lack of cheese I was thinking of going Asian with it. Basil with a nut made me think that a vaguely Thai dish would work. I was thinking of mixing the pesto with some rice noodles at first and maybe popping some pork I had in the freezer on top, but when I was at the store, I was persuaded by the fresh summer corn and zucchini, and some really tasty looking potatoes. I ended up mixing the pesto in with mashed potato, and topping it with a mixture of the pork, corn, and zucchini dressed with some sriracha and fish sauce. It all came out fantastic, summery, and bright, and somehow light yet hearty and filling.

Spicy Chile Basil Tofu Tacos

Spicy Chile Basil Tofu Tacos

I thought it was pretty convenient when Pepcid wanted to do a sponsored post with me. I don’t know if you guys have seen this here blog of mine, but if you have you probably can believe that I get heartburn from time to time. My plan was to make an aggressively spicy feast for my friends and see if Pepcid was strong enough to prevent everyone from getting heartburn! We started with this appetizer of Polenta Stuffed Mushrooms that I posted on Tuesday, and then we moved on to the main event, these crazy hot chile basil tofu tacos.

Drunken Noodle Lasagna

Drunken Noodle Lasagna

At the Asian market I noticed that they had square rice paper. I have only seen the round kind in the past. When Mandi saw the square kind, she instantly suggested that I use them to make some sort of Thai or Vietnamese lasagna.  The first thing I did was buy a pan the same size as the rice paper.  Then I went back and forth on some different ideas and flavors to use in this lasagna, and finally went with drunken noodles. The sauce can really stand up to the prolonged cooking time, and it’s pretty much my go-to Thai dish anyways. I used ground chicken and diced up the veggies extra small to give it that lasagna feel, and swapped out the ricotta cheese for some tasty tofu.

Crispy Chicken with Lemongrass Vermicelli

Crispy Chicken with Lemongrass Vermicelli

I was craving a breaded chicken dish with pasta like chicken parm but I wanted it to be lighter. I was also craving Vietnamese bun vermicelli. I put the two cravings together to create this dish. I had been thinking of Vietnamese for a long time actually. The other day I finally was going to order some but I was having a lazy day and didn’t want to leave the house, so I found the only place that delivered. I had never been there and didn’t look at the reviews, but it turned out that it was more of a Chinese place that had some Vietnamese dishes on the menu. The bun vermicelli was almost embarrassingly bad and it made me crave the stuff even more! I’m not saying what I made here is super authentic or anything, but when I am craving it what I really need is the interplay of cucumber, mint, peanut, fish sauce, and rice noodles. The one that I ordered that day only had 3 out of 5 of these ingredients and for me that just doesn’t cut it!

Saltala-Maki Roll

Saltala-Maki Roll

While watching a late season Red Sox game on ESPN a few weeks ago, I noticed that one of my favorite announcers John Kruk seemed to be having trouble with Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s last name. He kept calling him Saltamaki, and all I could think was mmm sounds like a nice sushi roll. When setting out to make the Saltala-Maki Roll, I was first thinking salt cod, but I couldn’t formulate it into something that wasn’t either A. bacalao fritters, or B. disgusting. I kind of got stuck on it for a few days, until I decided to switch the focus onto something else really salty. Once I thought of using potato chips, the whole thing came together perfectly!  I’m thrilled to have the Sox back in the Postseason this year as I live only a few blocks from Fenway.  There is nothing like the excitement in my neighborhood on game day!   And I even have tickets to game 2 this Sunday night. Go Sox!

5-Spice Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Cabbage and Spicy Tempeh

5-Spice Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Cabbage and Spicy Tempeh

After a couple weeks of fairly unhealthy activities and lots of beer, I decided to go on one of my week long health kicks. After a few days of only eating salads and seeds, I was really craving a hearty warming meal, especially on a rainy early september afternoon. After thinking a bit about what flavors I was specifically craving, this dish was created in my head and I went for it. The results were totally different from anything I have had in awhile and amazingly flavorful in a unique way. It’s totally vegan too!

Sriracha Mushroom Sausage Mac and Cheese

Sriracha Mushroom Sausage Mac and Cheese

This mac and cheese has been haunting me for over a year. It was on the list, but kept getting pushed back. The idea sprang from something Mandi ate at an upscale pub awhile back. Since I love the combo of mac and cheese with sriracha but never officially posted such a recipe on here, I was excited to make it. The problem was every time I tried to make it, I couldn’t find any decent mushrooms! Mushroom season is weird you guys! The other day I was in Whole Foods and they happened to have a crazy abundance of delicious and weird looking mushrooms, so I snatched them up and ran home to make this.

Vietnamese Cous Cous Salad

Vietnamese Cous Cous Salad

I decided while I was away that when I came back I would make sure to stick to a more regular posting schedule. Instead of sometimes posting 4 or 5 times a week, then only posting twice some weeks, I would just always post 3 times, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I am going to try and stick to this for the time being, with Wednesdays usually featuring my most recent Tablespoon post, and see how it goes. Of course, there will still be theme weeks from time to time, where I post every day so I think the frequency will be pretty much the same as in the past.

Seems kinda weird to tell you all that info on a Tuesday post. But since I’ve been away so long, I figured I would give you guys a bonus recipe this week. It’s a good one too! I had some marinaded meat leftover from these burgers, and decided to cook it loose in a pan and serve it with a cous cous salad that was based on one of my favorite dishes, Vietnamese Bun Vermicelli. I ate this for lunch one day while getting some serious writing done and it really got me through the day! In fact I went back for more every hour or so…

Stuffed Tofu with Noodles

Stuffed Tofu with Noodles

When I was frying some tofu one day, I noticed that it sticks together really easily. As the tofu cooks, it basically binds to any other tofu cooking nearby. This gave me the idea to one day stuff cubes of tofu, considering that whatever the stuffing may be, the tofu would hold it in nicely. When “one day” finally came, I made a vaguely Asian turkey meatball mixture to stuff into the little cubes.