Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mom's Birthday Present: Part 1

For my mom's birthday last month, I gave her a gift certificate: five nights where I will come to her house and purchase, prepare, and clean up dinner. We made the first date for earlier this week. When I asked what she might want to have, she picked out the peanut sesame noodles from this blog, and I added a salad and dressing to the menu.

You may remember the peanut sesame noodles I recently posted about. I won't bore you with recipe details again, but here's some photos from the cooking process. I made the sauce at home in my amazing food processor, and did the pasta and veggies and putting it all together at my parent's house.

I've wanted to try making this salad dressing forever. You know the amazing, tangy, orange dressing that Japanese restaurants put on their salads? Well here it is.

Miso Carrot Ginger Dressing

¼ cup peanut or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn
¼ cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons white miso, sold at Asian markets and specialty stores
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into big pieces
1 inch-long piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into coins
Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

1. Put all ingredients except salt and pepper into food processor and pulse a few times to mince carrots. Then let machine run for a minute or so until mixture is chunky-smooth.

2. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or cover tightly and refrigerate for up to several days.

Yield: About 1¼ cup.

My mom brought me this adorable vinaigrette maker/spinner/storer from France. Isn't it a nice way to display the dressing? It'll definitely be better for thinner dressings, as this one is a bit chunky and didn't pour out of the container very well, but it sure is cute. And it has recipe ideas on the side!

I threw together an Asian-style salad: romaine, sliced almonds, corn, mandarin oranges, water chestnuts, spicy pumpkin seeds. Served up with the miso-carrot-ginger dressing and the peanut sesame noodles.

Happy Birthday Dinner number 1 of 5, Mom!

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