As a caterer one my fave things to create are stations. My yummy vege pad Thai salad is gorgeous centerpiece for 200 but just a nice for two and paired with a nice light cucumber mint salad. What follows are a coupla dishes that are great for a crowd or an intimate rendezvous for two…or three? Hey, whatever floats your tuchas!
For two or three, buy one package of Pad Thai rice noodles. You can get this in most Asian or gourmet markets. Drop in boiling water for not long, like 5 minutes, then drain, cool under cold water, drain again and toss in a little drizzle of sesame oil. Make a gorgeous dressing out of one plop Chinese chili paste, a plop of brown sugar, the juice of one lime, and a few good drizzles of soy sauce. Adjust to your liking with hot-ness and sweet-ness. I like it kinda equal; spicy and sweet, like ME! Now then here’s where you can get creative. I like to throw in snow peas. You’ll want to blanch snow peas (fancy chef talk for throw in a pot of boiling water, then cool in ice water so they turn bright green). They need to be cleaned first of course and I like to half them on an angle. I also love to throw in sliced smoked tofu, peeled and julienne carrots, peeled and julienne daikon, julienne cucumbers, bean sprouts and my old sneakers, but really darlings you can personalize to your heart’s content. Just toss your everything together and adjust seasoning, then top with loads of sliced scallions and chopped cilantro. This is a room temp feast and you can make all the items ahead of time and toss a half before serving. Makes life easy!
I would exactly call this a classic Thai dish my dears, but it pairs gorgeously with Pad Thai. I like to use English cucumber, but any kind will do. Slice your cucumbers in quarter inch slices across and then you can cut in two for nice half moons. For a small group, buy 4 cucumbers. Make a dressing out of a two shots of rice wine vinegar; mixed with equal amounts of kosher salt and sugar, a heaping plop of each and then a handful of fresh chopped fresh mint. Toss the whole shebang together at least an hour before serving so the cucumbers start to pickle. Two hours before serving is fine too. Sliced onion is also nice in this salad.
Via Rossi aka Chef Rossi Rossi- yes she only has one name- has been a writer for many publications, such as “The Daily News,” “Time Out New York” and “Mcsweeney’s” to name a few. She is the writer of the “Eat Me” column for “Bust” magazine and hosts her own hit radio show on WOMR and WFMR in Cape Cod called “Bite This”, now going into its 8th season. She has been featured on “The Food Network” and “NPR” and has just completed her first edible memoir “The Devil and Mrs. Goldstein!” As the owner and executive chef of “The Raging Skillet” a cutting-edge catering company known for breaking any and all rules, she has earned a reputation as the one to call when it’s time to do something different. www.rossirant.com www.theragingskillet.com