Iceberg is Cool

June 30, 2009

So Cool

Crisp and Cool

I love chatting with my delightful friend Katie – she’s full of sparkle, opinions and ideas. As a fellow pastry chef and professional eater, she’s always brimming with food thoughts. Not too long ago she mentioned that she made lettuce wraps for dinner. What a smart idea, it’s a light, flavourful and healthy meal. Here’s what I think* she put in hers, though I may be busted for not listening closely. In my defense, we probably covered at least a dozen other topics in that particular conversation. I’m pretty sure she used iceberg lettuce, at least I hope so, because it’s just wrong to use another type. There’s nothing like the chilly, crispy cold of iceberg. Too bad it doesn’t have a cool reputation.

Serves 4

1 head iceberg lettuce, leaves pulled apart and piled high on a plate

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 rib of celery, diced

5 cloves of garlic, minced

3″ piece of ginger, peeled and minced

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 pound lean ground turkey

6 shitake or button mushrooms, chopped

1 teaspoon agave nectar

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

12 fresh water chestnuts, peeled and chopped, optional**

1/2 fresh jalepeno, minced, use only if you like it extra spicy

drizzle of sesame oil

4 green onions, finely chopped

1/4 cup cashews, for crunch

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, swirl in olive oil. Add chopped onions and celery. Sauté for about five minutes, then add garlic, ginger and chili flakes and cook for another couple of minutes. Next, add the sea salt, turkey and mushrooms, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Cook for 7 – 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until meat is cooked through. Mix in the agave. Turn off the heat and glug in the apple cider vinegar and throw in the fresh, crisp water chestnuts and the minced jalepeno, if you have the cojones to eat it hot. Turn onto a serving platter, drizzle with sesame oil and garnish with green onions. Serve immediately with super cold iceberg and some crunchy cashews. Call Katie after dinner to tell her that she’s smart and pretty.

Water Chestnuts

Water Chestnuts

* Okay, I confess that this is probably not at all what Katie put in her lettuce wraps. I just stole the idea of lettuce wraps for dinner, and I encourage you to do the same. Try making it with all vegetables, or fresh spot prawns. Or another type of ground meat. You get the idea.

** I bought fresh water chestnuts at South China Seas Trading Co. on Granville Island. I know they’re far from local but they’re totally worth seeking out for their sweet crispness.


7 Responses to “Iceberg is Cool”

  1. Jen said

    Mmm. I never buy iceberg, but a couple of years ago, at a dinner at “my best friend’s place” I had a delicious salad that was a wedge of iceberg dressed with thousand island mixed with a generous dose of wasabi. I know, not quite your *level* of foodie-ness or healthful cooking, but SO DELICIOUS.

  2. Jason said

    I was fortunate enough to eat this meal with Dawne-O and Mike last night. Deliciously spicy, crisp and healthy!. The perfect after boxing meal.

  3. katie said

    You were listening! Very close to the ones I made…My filling to lettuce ratio was way off and we had a lot of extra filling left over…was delicious over steamed rice the next day for lunch.

  4. Alex said

    Ahhh….you CAN be pretty and smart, just like Katie. Nice shout out. 🙂

  5. Jadewa said

    These are damn good!!

  6. Cole said

    Once again, a very delicious meal…I made them tonight but I added chickpeas to the topping with the cashews for a little extra fibre. Excellent!!

  7. Karen Davidson said

    My friend Suzanne made these for me for lunch yesterday and I in turn LOVED the flavor made them for my family for dinner! Loved that there was no sauce and you didn’t miss it!

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