Friday, June 24, 2011

Piada - Welcome to Gahanna!

Today was a big day for Piada fans. The Gahanna Piada opened at Stoneridge Center at the corner of Morse and Hamilton Roads. Hooray! Many of us have been anticipating this day ever since we had our first taste of Piada's deliciousness at the Lane Avenue location.

For those individuals that are not familiar with Piada, you are in for a treat! The ordering setup is quite easy. (And no, I refuse to go the "just like Chipotle" route again.) Let's say it is quick, easy and fun! The staff is happy to help walk you through the process.

Choose a piada (wrap), pasta or salad. Add your protein,


and toppings.
Behind the front line - meats, pasta and grilled veggies are constantly being cooked up fresh for a line of hungry customers that moves amazingly fast!
Additional choices include soups, side salads, spinach artichoke dip, a variety of piada sticks, and cannoli chips & cream for dessert.
Add a drink (the Italian peach tea is my personal favorite) ranging from teas and sodas to beer, wine and peach bellinis!

All of that makes for happy customers ... like Jane!

Welcome Piada! We sure are glad you're here!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Thai Beef with Chilies and Basil over Coconut Rice

Each afternoon I get a text from Everyday Food with a suggestion for dinner. Yesterday's suggestion grabbed ahold of me and just didn't let go. I checked the pantry & fridge to make sure I had all of the needed ingredients. As always, I was one ingredient short. When I told Bob, he volunteered to run to the store. 'Cause who has red jalepenos just laying around? I sure don't. And I really wanted to make this dish.

Bob got home with the needed chilies and we were set to go! First thing we did was to get the rice going. This was the first time I made coconut rice and I was really excited. I did use lite coconut milk to save a few bazillion fat grams.
Now that we had the rice going, Bob set to work chopping.
Red chilies were seeded and sliced into 2 inch matchsticks (note the gloves). As you can see, we used the red jalepenos. I can pretty much handle their heat. Sometimes. If they are seeded and deveined. And cooked so they lose some of their power. Yeah, I can pretty much handle red jalepenos.

Next the garlic was chopped. Please, please do not look at my sorry cutting board. I keep swearing that I'm going to get new ones but I never seem to get around to it. I like to just pretend that there's so much character from all the meals cooked with love and tenderness reflected on that board that ... oh what the hell am I saying??? I just haven't gotten around to buying some new ones.
When the rice was almost ready, I mixed the fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar.

I got the wok screaming hot, put in the oil and quickly added the garlic and half the chiles. Gave that about 15 seconds and added the beef. While it cooked, I broke up the beef and mixed the garlic and chiles well into it.

When the beef was browned, I added the soy sauce mixture. I cooked this for about 30 seconds. Smelling good!

Add the rest of the chiles and the torn basil. Isn't it gorgeous?

Now, I only used 2 chiles. Next time I will definitely use all three. And we were a bit short on basil, so we added some while cooking the beef and had a bowl of torn fresh basil to add to the dish on the table.

I served the Thai Beef over the coconut rice (which by the way is like, totally awesome!) I'm not sure how I'm ever going to make regular rice again! I also served optional toppings: chopped green onion, sliced radishes, the torn basil leaves, and grape tomatoes just because I like them. Oh! And soy sauce and Thai sweet chili sauce.

Okay, now here is where I confess to being a tad scatterbrained. I forgot the lime wedges. We kept thinking that this was really good but it was just kind of missing a little something. Yeah Jean ... maybe a little something green? That would have been perfect. (Guess that's why it's in the recipe, huh?)

Bob and I agreed this is a definite do-over. Overall, this was absolutely delicious. And it took almost no time to put together. Next time I will use all three chilies and probably more garlic. And I will NOT forget the limes!

Thai Beef with Chiles and Basil Over Coconut Rice - Everyday Food


• 1 1/4 cups jasmine rice
• 1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut milk {used light coconut milk}
• Coarse salt
• 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce
• 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 3 garlic cloves, chopped {used 4}
• 3 long hot peppers or red jalapeno chiles, seeded and sliced into 2-inch matchsticks {used red jalapeƱos}
• 1 1/4 pounds ground beef sirloin
• 1 cup loosely packed torn fresh basil leaves
• Lime wedges, for serving

1. In a medium saucepan, combine rice, coconut milk, 3/4 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed, about 25 minutes.

2. When rice is almost done, combine fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar in a small bowl; set aside. Heat a cast-iron skillet or wok over high. Add oil and heat; add garlic and half the chiles. Cook, stirring constantly, 15 seconds. Add beef and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until completely browned, about 4 minutes. Add soy mixture and cook 30 seconds. Add basil and remaining chiles and stir to combine. Serve beef over coconut rice with lime wedges.