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Vietnamese Lettuce Wraps

So where did I come up with Vietnamese Lettuce Wraps?

On a girls weekend to San Francisco last fall we enjoyed some fabulous meals. It rained pretty much the whole weekend except for Sunday afternoon when the sun came out and we were enjoying a meal at the Slanted Door on the waterfront. We had imperial rolls that were amazing and a few dishes to share.  One of our dishes was a chicken with vermicelli rice noodles, there was also some lettuce on the side so we assumed we were to make lettuce wraps and they were delicious. Though later we learned the lettuce was actually for a different purpose. I decided to re-create the dish at home and serve it as a lettuce wrap. Thanks to the help of a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen I was able to come pretty close.

Vietnamese Lettuce Wraps
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There is lots of chopping in this recipe so it is great to do with a friend.
Vietnamese Lettuce Wraps
Print Recipe
There is lots of chopping in this recipe so it is great to do with a friend.
Ingredients
Chicken:
Sauce:
Stir-fry:
Instructions
  1. Dice the chicken into tiny bite sized pieces and mix together in a bowl with first 4 ingredients: sherry, soy sauce, sesame oil and corn starch. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  2. Whisk together all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Follow instructions on the package for cooking the noodles or try the following method. Boil 6-8 cups of water in the kettle and pour into a large bowl. Break up noodles with your hands to about 5 cm size pieces and add to the water. Let sit for 3-4 minutes and rinse under cold water and set aside.
  4. Prepare all the vegetables. Finely dice celery and carrots, remove the stems from the mushrooms and thinly slice, and chop the water chestnuts into small pieces as well. Thinly slice the green onions separating the white part from the green. Wash and finely chop the fresh mint. Mint and green onion parts can be set aside in a bowl for the garnish.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a large frying pan or brasier over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook stirring often for about 5 minutes until chicken is slightly brown and cooked through. Set aside in a bowl.
  6. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and cook celery, carrots, cabbage and mushrooms until celery is tender crisp and mushrooms have cooked down about 5 minutes. Add white parts of the green onion, water chestnuts, garlic and ginger. Stir constantly and cook for another minute.
  7. If preparing ahead of time. Return chicken to the pan and toss with vermicelli and sauce but do not re-heat until you are ready for dinner.
  8. Just before dinner heat thoroughly. Spoon into lettuce leaves and sprinkle with mint and green onions.
  9. Serve with hoisin sauce.
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Turkey Burgers & Apple Celery Salad

This is the perfect kid menu for the mini-chef or just to enjoy at dinner.  It works best to do one recipe at a time. Start with the salad and it can sit on the counter while you make the burgers.

Apple Celery Salad
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I love this salad especially for kids who might shy away from a traditional greens. This is also perfect packed in a lunch because it can be dressed ahead of time. Throw a bit of arugula in before serving for a more grown up version.
Apple Celery Salad
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I love this salad especially for kids who might shy away from a traditional greens. This is also perfect packed in a lunch because it can be dressed ahead of time. Throw a bit of arugula in before serving for a more grown up version.
Instructions
  1. Cut apples in thin slices shaped like half moons.
  2. Cut celery in thin angled slices.
  3. Toast almonds in a frying pan on medium heat until golden brown and fragrant. Watch closely as they will burn easily.
  4. Using a peeler cut 16 or so curls of parmesan cheese.
  5. Mix together dressing in a small bowl with a fork.
  6. Toss apples and celery in the dressing and top with cheese and almonds.
  7. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours.
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Turkey Burgers
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Each recipe will make 4 burgers our family has now graduated to 1 1/4 lb of meat for 5 burgers so I find it easiest to get this at the butcher, often we also get ground turkey breast for a leaner option. If you are cooking with friends you can share packages. The host can supply buns too which are often cheaper in larger quantities. Guests will need to bring a container or plate for transporting home uncooked burgers
Turkey Burgers
Print Recipe
Each recipe will make 4 burgers our family has now graduated to 1 1/4 lb of meat for 5 burgers so I find it easiest to get this at the butcher, often we also get ground turkey breast for a leaner option. If you are cooking with friends you can share packages. The host can supply buns too which are often cheaper in larger quantities. Guests will need to bring a container or plate for transporting home uncooked burgers
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. To prepare add all ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. With clean hands mix together all ingredients and divide into 4 or 5 portions depending on the number in your family.
  3. Form each portion into a patty about 1.5 cm thick onto parchment paper.
  4. Store in the refrigerator or freezer covered until ready to cook.
  5. Preheat barbeque grill to high.
  6. Reduce temperature to medium low and grill burgers 6-8 minutes per side until cooked through and internal temperature reads 165 degrees.
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