They say that you either have a sweet tooth or you don't - I definitely have a sweet tooth and if you follow the pattern of my blog posts, you can see that I can hardly stop myself from baking! I really enjoy it and it's an activity that will keep me happily occupied for hours, if not days. I still remember they time I spent a continuous 13 hours baking and icing cupcakes and I hardly felt the time go by. I do miss those those days!
Well, baking aside, every now and then I do need to resurface for something to eat and behind pastas, my second favourite thing to make are salads. I love the combination of fresh flavours and just how versatile salads can be; you can mix and match with the ingredients you have at home, and if you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can combine a whole load of different ingredients to make your very own salad. I guess I wasn't too adventurous with this one, just happened to stumble across the recipe as I was doing a minor clean up of my room (argh, let's say I didn't get very far with the cleaning!)
This recipe comes out of Donna Hay's 'Pasta, Rice & Noodles' and I've followed the recipe quite closely with a few changes here and there - FYI: I have just managed to completely fill a 60L container with all of Donna Hay's magazines and cookbooks; I absolutely adore her!
Place 150g vermicelli noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to stand for 5 minutes or unit soft. Drain.
I was down to my last pack of Luv-A-Duck Peking Duck Legs which I bought at the Good Food & Wine Show this year. Only takes about 15 minutes in a mini oven to reheat at a temperature of 170 degrees.
This salad is actually really easy to make. Not that much chopping and if you have a mezzaluna, chopping actually becomes quite fun. You'll need about 1 cup chopped coriander leaves and 1 cup basil leaves.
To the drained noodles, add in the chopped coriander and basil, 6 chopped small red chillies, 1/3 cup roasted peanuts (as I was using the oven, I simply toasted these in a pan over the stovetop - it's much quicker but the pan also heats up very quickly so you'll need to be careful not to burn them; don't do what I did although a slightly burnt peanut does seem to add a tolerable smokiness to the salad).
Add in the sliced duck.
Combine 60mL lemon juice (as I didn't have lime at home), 60mL fish sauce with 2 tbsp brown sugar to make the dressing. Pour over the noodles.
Recipe is meant to feed 4 but I actually think it's just enough for two if you are having this as a main meal. The original recipe from the book also asks for mint and green chillies which I didn't have at home but my version seemed to turn out rather well without them (hence why I love making salads - you don't exactly have to have everything as per the recipe for it to turn out ok).
As with all salads, I find they do tend to leave me feeling a little peckish later in the afternoon and this one was no exception. Could've definitely made more and eaten more but next time!