Rice Noodle Salad with Fried Tofu

_MG_4988I have made a version of this salad pretty much once a week since the beginning of the summer, but neglected to post it until now because it usually disappears too quickly. It's the perfect summer dish, to me -- light, full of texture, and minimal cooking time. It also uses my favorite ingredients of the summer -- namely, lime juice, fish sauce and a little hot pepper. I was always wary of fish sauce until a couple of years ago, afraid of the pungent smell and implications behind the name. But luckily, I got over that and now I use it in dressings, marinades and sauces all the time -- it adds the perfect salty, unctuous flavor to almost anything. The original recipe uses panko-coated pan-fried shrimp instead of tofu, which is also delicious. _MG_4985

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Rice Noodle Salad with Fried Tofu (adapted from Food & Wine, serves 4)

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

_MG_4712One of my favorite parts of warm weather, hand's down, is eating outside. And one of the foods I associate most with eating outside is barbecue. In New York, I'm fortunate enough to be near some excellent restaurants, but I had never tried my hand at making pulled pork. It always seemed far too complicated, and I never planned far enough in advance. But one Sunday I woke up, and knew that I just needed some pulled pork. My favorite versions are piled with coleslaw and served with pickles, and I found a recipe that includes both of those in one. The pork itself did take a while and called to be marinated overnight (I marinated it for four hours), but I have seen some great-looking recipes that can just be thrown in a slow-cooker which would make it really easy for a weeknight dinner. Of course, I think the best pulled pork sandwiches have an inherent smokiness from a wood fire, but until I have my hands on a grill, the oven works perfectly well._MG_4715 I followed this recipe from Food & Wine for the pulled pork exactly, and this recipe from Bon Appétit for the slaw, which I modified slightly by adding 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar for more acidity and 1/2 cup mayo for creaminess. Serve sandwiches on a picnic table with a cold beer, slathered in barbecue sauce._MG_4721

Also, I'm very excited to announce that I am collaborating with my friend Max, who started the amazing site Wine & Bowties. It is pretty much the go-to site for everything that's cool in music, art, style and culture, and I am incredibly excited to begin a recipe series with them. My first recipe (the guacamole that I posted here) went up on Monday night, and you can look for more new recipes every couple of weeks. Wine & Bowties also has a ton of other fascinating content, so be sure to check out their other features as well.

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