Colour's what I think about when Thailand comes to mind. The culture is vibrant, the landscape is amazing, and the food explodes to excite your senses with spicy, sweet, salty, sour, and bitter notes.
Of course, that's only what I think of when Thailand comes to mind, because I have yet to go on my dream vacation (as I've already told you when I made Pad Thai last year). I would love to visit the land of beautiful beaches, experience a Thai massage, see the Grand Palace, go on a canal tour, and most of all - eat delicious authentic Thai food until my heart's content (not an easy task!).
My recipe for Sweet Potato and Chicken Salad incorporates flavours, colours, and ingredients that I think are a Canadian version of a Thai picnic dish and I would love to find out if I am right.
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
1 head of garlic
2 tablespoons of olive oil (divided)
1 pinch of salt and pepper
1/2 cup of peanut butter
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
3 tablespoons of lime juice
3 tablespoons of vinegar
1 tablespoon pickled ginger, minced
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
3/4 cup snow peas, halved
1 cup bean sprouts
1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped
2 cups of rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 lime, quartered for garnish
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Toss sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Line them in an even layer on a cookie sheet.
3. Slice the top 1/2 centimetre of the head of garlic off. Place the head of garlic on a small square of foil and pour the remaining tablespoon of olive oil into the centre of the head of garlic. Wrap the foil around the garlic and place it on the same cookie as the sweet potatoes. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the sweet potatoes soften. Occasionally stir the sweet potatoes while they are cooking.
4. While the potatoes and garlic are baking, make your dressing. Vigorously stir together the mayonnaise, peanut butter, lime juice, vinegar, pickled ginger, and red pepper flakes.
5. When the potatoes and garlic have finished cooking, let them cool slightly and then peel and roughly chop each clove of garlic.
6. Add the dressing to a large bowl and toss with the green onions, snow peas, bean sprouts, and chicken. Add the potatoes and garlic and lightly toss. Sprinkle with peanuts.
7. Serve on plates with lime wedges for squeezing and garnish with plenty of fresh cilantro.
Have I made you want to go to Thailand yet? While you save, try my dish!