Lemon-Shallot Salad Dressing
By Sam Sifton, published in the New York Times
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 shallot, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine the lemon juice, vinegar, shallot, and mustard in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until the dressing emulsifies. Add salt and pepper to taste. Whisk again before dressing salad.
Asparagus and Shallots
1 lb asparagus
5-8 shallots, halved
2-3 tbsp olive oil plus 1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Arrange the asparagus and shallots in a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with the 2-3 tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the asparagus and shallots for 12 to 15 minutes, until the thick end of the asparagus is tender when pierced with a fork or thin bladed knife. Remove to a platter. Whisk together the 1/3 cup olive oil, vinegar, and mustard and pour over the asparagus and shallots. Season with more salt and pepper as needed.
Shallots are one of the key ingredients in authentic Pad Thai. Feel free to add any meat or vegetables to this recipe that you like. You should be able to find the tamarind paste and fish sauce in any good grocery store, but if you’re having trouble you may have to visit an Asian market. It will be worth it though, since the result will rival any Pad Thai you’ve had!
2 tbsp tamarind paste
½ tsp brown or white sugar (or cane sugar, if you have it)
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1½ tbsp fish sauce
Dash of light soy sauce
1 chopped fresh or dried chili, if you like it spicy (optional)
4-7 tbsp peanut oil
¼ tsp salt
½ lb tofu cut into 1-inch squares and pressed lightly between two paper towels
2 shallots, minced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb cooked rice noodles (regular wheat pasta works too, in a pinch)
1 bunch scallions, chopped into 1 inch pieces
A few sprigs of cilantro
Chopped or ground roasted peanuts
In a small bowl, mix together a sauce of tamarind paste, sugar, rice vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and optional chili. Set aside.
Heat a wok over high heat and add 3 tbsp peanut oil. Whisk together the eggs and salt, and pour into the peanut oil when it is hot but not quite to the smoking point. Allow the egg to bubble up around the edges, and then, using a wooden spoon, tip the wok one direction and push the egg mass in the other, allowing the uncooked eggs on top to run down to the center of the pan. Repeat in the other direction 2 or 3 times until the eggs are fully cooked through and then remove to a bowl. This whole process should take only about 2 minutes.
Add 1-2 tbsp of oil to the wok (enough to cover the bottom with about 1/8 inch), and when it is hot add the cubed tofu. Allow to cook without disturbing until lightly browned on one side, about 3 minutes (the secret to keeping tofu from sticking is not to try to move too early). Flip the cubes over and repeat on the other side. Remove to the same bowl as the egg.
If the wok is dry, add another 1-2 tbsp peanut oil and heat over high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and stir-fry quickly until browned, only about 1 minute. If you are adding any meat or vegetables, add to the pan at this point. Add the cooked noodles and toss until heated through. Add the tofu, egg, and scallions to the pan and toss quickly to distribute. Pour over the sauce and cook for 30 seconds more, enough to heat through but not enough to boil it off. Remove to bowls and garnish with cilantro, peanut, and lime slices.