Blissful retreat, never taken for granted.
View of Lake Washington
from my chair by the shore.
September is here and I look forward to soups and stews and a bit of snow in winter.
Memories of  floating around in my inner tube, cooking breakfast by the shore and binocularing in on ospreys, kingfishers and screechy eagles will stay with me until next August.
Support your local Farmer's Market!
Lake Forest Park's Town Center
last day for the summer is
Sunday, October 9


This recipe for Vietnamese chicken salad is one I created from memory. I had the original for lunch at a restaurant in S.F. Named Tu Lan... I figured it out as best I could from eating it so often when I worked in there. If you are ever in town I  recommend stopping in at this hole-in-the wall spot on 6th street in the Tenderloin. The salty nuts combined with the layers of sweet, vinegary, ginger chicken, bright cilantro and warm comfort noodles make this a great one dish meal.

Here is what I do.

Grill, boil, bake, broil or sauté a couple of large, boneless, skinless chicken breasts after marinating them for awhile in white balsamic vinegar, fresh chopped garlic and sesame oil...throw in a little white wine and/or lemonade if you like.  I grill mine on my electric patio grill for about 20 minutes each side ....half hour to 40 minutes bone side down if they have a bone in them.
Take 3 or 4 limes ...lemons are fine too. Squeeze the juice out of them and add the zest of a couple mixed with a bit of sugar. Into this juice add 3 to 4 tbsp. of fresh grated ginger, pour in a few healthy splashes of fish sauce and 3/4 cup of seasoned rice vinegar...you can live without the fish sauce if you haven't any, but it adds to the flavor.
Chop up 4 or 5 green onions, 1/2 tsp. Thai chili paste or diced hot pepper if you like a little heat, add a cup of bean sprouts, some sliced celery and a chopped bunch of fresh cilantro...1/2 cup matchstick carrots and one diced cucumber, mix with 6 cups of chopped bok choy, cabbage, crispy romaine...anything crunchy and green.
The final stages:
Shred or chop up the chicken breasts...
Pour the liquid over the chicken while it is warm. Salt and pepper to taste. Toss it all together with the salad. Chill for 20 minutes.
Cook up a package of angel hair pasta...or whatever thin noodles you like. Cook 2 min. Drain.

Now you're ready to serve it!
Lace the warm noodles with a bit of olive oil and arrange on a platter, top with the cold chicken salad and top everything with crushed peanuts (spanish or salted) warmed up a bit if you like.
Serve alone or with melon...pork buns..or with the traditional Vietnamese spring roll rooster shown below!