A while back (Easter Dinner) I made some grilled asparagus. I just can't throw anything away that I think I might get some flavor out of later--so I threw the asparagus trimmings in the freezer. And last week I made Com Xa Ga (lemon grass and chicken rice) using meat I had cut off of three chicken thighs. Well I saved those nice meaty bones, too. (I also saved the orange peel from some oranges I used for a Costa Rican casserole, but that'll be another story--and the casserole didn't turn out so hot, so that's the last you'll hear of it.)
- A small amount of vegetable oil or peanut oil
- 3 meaty chicken thigh bones
- One onion quartered
- 2 stalks of lemongrass, trimmed and smashed
- 4 thin slices ginger, peeled and smashed
- 2 small red chilis
- A couple black or white peppercorns
- 3-4 oz Asparagus trimmings
- Water to cover
- 2 TB fish sauce
- A couple squirts lime juice
- Heat the oil and brown the chicken thigh bones and the onion.
- Add the lemongrass, ginger, chilis, peppercorns, and saute until fragrant.
- Add the asparagus and saute for a couple of minutes.
- Cover with water about and inch above the igredients.
- Add the fish sauce and the lime juice.
- Bring to a boil, and then turn down to a slow simmer.
- Simmer for an hour.
- Strain the broth.
- Run cold water over the chicken thighs until they are cool enough to handle and shred off what chicken meat is left and add to the soup.
- Return the soup to the stove and add a small bundle of cellophane noodles, they will cook in a minute or less.
- Serve with Nuoc Cham and herbs (I used mint, cilantro would be good).
Rice SaladAs unseasonably warm as it has been I was craving something cool when I came up with this side dish. I know I'll be able to come up with an infinite amount of garnishes and dressing to keep this salad alive all spring and summer long.
- 2 cups cold cooked long grain rice (preferably jasmine, but I didn't have it so I used basmati)
- Garnishes: I used Duo Gai -- preserved bean sprouts, shredded green onions, shredded carrots, three little slices of a small red chili, and 1/4 tsp shredded ginger.
- Dressing: I used Nuoc Cham.
- Press 1/2 cup of cooked rice into a small bowl, cover with a pretty plate and turn over, shaking slightly to loosen the rice from the mold.
- Sprinkle garnishes and dressing over rice.
- Pickled Daikon
- Thinly sliced cucumber.
- Shredded papaya.
- Chunks of oranges or grapefruit.