Tag: Carrot

Mariam’s Salad Rolls

Mariam's Salad Rolls // Serious Crust

Mariam's Salad Rolls // Serious Crust
Mariam's Salad Rolls // Serious Crust

It was 100 degrees in Portland yesterday. The sun was not beating down, no. It was a cloudy, muggy day (by Pacific Northwest standards). And so when the time came to cook dinner, the thought of turning on any heating device just felt wrong. So I went to the store and picked up some fresh, crunchy, fruity, flavor packed ingredients to make salad rolls.

I had seen a recipe for salad rolls using lentils, but I didn’t really have time to cook them, so I thought I’d use another flavor of Mariam’s lentil dips (which I’ve written about before here). I went with the curry and green lentil flavor, thinking it would go nicely with the kind of Asian flavor. I’m not sure a few of these rolls would have made enough for dinner without the lentils – they’re packed with protein, and they made the rolls much more filling. They were delicious!

You can fill these rolls with whatever you’d like, really. You can slice up some tofu and put it in raw or cooked. You can grill some shrimp. You can add some vermicelli noodles, bean sprouts, red onions, or even shiitake mushrooms. The possibilities are endless!

Mariam’s Salad Rolls

Note: If Mariam’s lentil dip isn’t available where you are, feel free to substitute with some cooked green lentils, tossed with a little sesame oil, soy sauce, sriracha, salt, etc. Or see above for other recommendations.


½ cucumber, thinly sliced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 large ripe mango (or 2 small ripe mangos), thinly sliced
1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
Cilantro, picked from stems
Mariam’s Curry and Green Lentil Dip
Spring roll wrappers (available in the Asian section of most grocery stores)
Sweet chili sauce for dipping


Arrange all of your ingredients in bowls or on plates, so that they are easily accessible. Set out a large bowl of room temperature water, and a damp dishtowel. Follow the instructions on the spring roll wrapper package to prepare, or if they don’t have instructions, prepare like this: soak in room temperature water for 15 seconds, until the wrappers have almost no crinkle left, and spread on a damp dish towel. Arrange a few slices of cucumber, carrot, mango, avocado, a few leaves of cilantro, and a few dollops of Mariam’s Curry and Green Lentil Dip down the center of the wrapper, leaving about an inch on either end. Fold in the short ends over the ingredients, fold the bottom half of the wrapper up over the ingredients, and roll up the rest of the way. Enjoy dipped in sweet chili sauce or other dipping sauces.

This is a sponsored post. All of the opinions below are my own.

Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

When I was getting ready to make this Asian pulled pork, I knew I wanted to write about it. I didn’t intend to write about it so soon – I knew I had a few posts to be written, the pictures sitting in their appropriate folders on my desktop – but things changed.

As I was putting all of these ingredients together on Monday, the kitchen already started to smell good. The fragrance of the lemongrass and ginger, combined with the rice vinegar and soy sauce, had begun to permeate the kitchen, and when my friend Elsa stopped by while I was making the pickles, she asked, “What smells so good?” as soon as she opened the door. When I left for work a few hours later, the slow cooker was on, the pickles were in the fridge, and mostly I just couldn’t wait to get home and eat the stuff.

After work, I had a message from my mom, asking me to call her. My phone was nearly dead (a morning on the phone with various auto insurance agents will do that to you), so I decided to wait till I could get home and plug my phone in to call. I opened the front door, and I was surrounded by this smell. The Asian flavors swirling around, making my stomach grumble. And then I looked at Jonah, sitting at the kitchen table, and he asked me, “Have you called your mom?” No. “Herby died,” he said.

I immediately called my mom, who was on the other line with my Nana, and said she’d call me back shortly. Herby, or Poppa Herb, is my grandfather. Herby had been sick for a long long time, and I had known for a while that his time was coming to a close. We all knew. And yet, as I said to Jonah moments after he told me, knowing it’s coming doesn’t seem to make it any less sad. Herby suffered for a long time, and so did Nana, really. He was unwell and hard to care for, and he was very ready to go. So after some tears, we couldn’t do much but continue to get dinner ready. The lid came off the slow cooker, and the scrumptious aroma wafted into the air, perfuming our meal. Before we actually sat down to eat, I got to talk to my mom, who let me know that one of the last meals Herb enjoyed was 5 (count them, 5) slices of her french toast. Thank goodness he ate well until the end. And then we ate.

As I started to think about writing this post, I haven’t been able to think about this dish without thinking of Poppa. And while the association could be sad, it really isn’t. It makes me a little more thoughtful, but mostly happy. Happy that I got to have this wonderful extra grandfather, who loved me like I was his own flesh and blood, who believed in me, who used to do little funny dances around the kitchen, who wore all those silly sweatshirts we made for him when we were little, and who made it possible for my family to see each other every year on the Oregon coast. And while I certainly don’t want this recipe to make you sad, I do hope that this post can make you think a little bit more about doing and eating the things we enjoy, and who we enjoy them with.

Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork Tacos

Note: You’ll see in my pictures that I minced up the lemongrass with the garlic, ginger, and jalapeño, as recommended in the Garden Betty recipe. I would suggest cutting it into coins or large chunks instead – the stalks were too hard for my food processor, and so I ended up with some sharp/pokey pieces of lemongrass amongst the meat.


Pulled Pork

2 inch piece of ginger
1 jalapeño
5 large cloves of garlic, or 6 smaller cloves
2 stalks of lemongrass
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 1/2 Tbl fish sauce
2 1/2 lbs pork shoulder roast
4-5 large portobello mushrooms (optional, but recommended)

Quick Pickled Daikon and Carrots

2 large carrots
1-2 large daikon
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar plus 1/2 cup
3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup lukewarm water


Small corn tortillas
Lime wedges
Slices of jalapeño (if you like heat)
Sauces: sweet chili sauce, Sriracha, plum sauce…


Pulled Pork

To prepare the meat, mince the garlic, ginger, jalapeño, and lemongrass (I did mine in the food processor; see note). Combine those four ingredients, as well as the brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and fish sauce in a small pot over low heat. Cook until the brown sugar is dissolved, then pour into your slow cooker. Place the pork shoulder in the sauce, turning to coat, and then cook for 8-14 hours (I did mine for 8… but it definitely could’ve been softer and more fall-apart-tender, so I suggest going for longer). If you are opting to use the portobello mushrooms (which you really should), cut them into large slices and add them to the slow cooker 4 hours before the meat is done.

Quick Pickled Daikon and Carrots

Once the meat is nestled in the slow cooker, ready for the long haul, you can prepare your pickles. Peel and julienne the daikon and carrots, and put them in a bowl. Sprinkle them with the salt and 2 tsp of sugar, and then gently massage/knead them for 3 minutes. When the daikon is very bendy, and a little pool of water has collected at the bottom of the bowl, rinse the vegetables in cold water, and pat or press them dry with paper towels. Put them into a jar (or jars, depending on how big your jars are and how big your carrots and daikon were). Now make the brine by combining the 1/2 cup sugar, rice vinegar, white vinegar, and lukewarm water in a bowl and stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the brine over the vegetables in the jar, and allow to sit for at least 1 hour. In a jar, these will last for about 4 weeks in the fridge.


When the meat is cooked, remove the strings, and pull it apart with two forks. Leave the slow cooker on warm while you warm you tortillas, slice your cucumbers and jalapeño, and pick your cilantro. Then, enjoy!

P.S. The meat and sauce and toppings make great leftovers when heaped atop a bowl of fresh rice or soba noodles.

Poppa Herb and I at the Oregon coast, many years ago.
Poppa Herb and I at the Oregon coast, many years ago.

Friday Finds 8:2:13

This Friday Finds comes to you from a cute little coffee shop on N Albina, called Albina Press. Lots of light and tables, and the coffee is pretty dang good. (Take that with a grain of salt – I don’t usually drink coffee and am not great at knowing the difference between good and great… so there you have it.) Here’s what I found this week:

1. Using leftover beer

Ways to use that extra beer from The Kitchn on Friday Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Ways to use that extra beer from The Kitchn

It happens to everyone. You throw a party. You tell everyone to bring some beer, expecting maybe a few guests to actually do it. And then, lo and behold, EVERYONE brings beer. After the party, you have more of the stuff than you know what to do with (unless you’re planning on throwing a rager with your college buddies). The Kitchn has a few ideas for ways to use all that leftover beer: make a shandy, use it to steam clams, etc. You can also use it as a substitute for wine in your risotto 😉

2. Carrot Margarita

Carrot Margarita from Flora Farms on Friday Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Carrot Margarita from Flora Farms

I’ll be honest, this carrot margarita from Flora Farms (found on The Latin Kitchen by way of Cupcakes and Cashmere) sounds so so so good. I love the sweetness of carrot juice, and this is a fun way to change it up.

3. H&M Home

H&M Home on Friday Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
H&M Home is now available!

H&M now has a home section! With some cute linens and kitchen accessories, I’m sure I’ll be hitting it up soon. It’s a great way to do seasonal revamping on a budget. They’ve got some cool storage tins and photographic tea towels that I’m eyeing.

4. Charred Corn Crepes from Smitten Kitchen

Charred Corn Crepes from Smitten Kitchen on Friday Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Charred Corn Crepes from Smitten Kitchen

These charred corn crepes look so fun to make, and can be made in so many variations (sweet? savory? spicy? creamy?) that you could use the batter again and again. These are on my to do list, for reals.

5. EatWith

EatWith on Friday Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

New site EatWith looks crazy, kind of like Airbnbor Couchsurfing, but for meals. EatWith meets with hosts to evaluate their chops and space, and then hosts are allowed to put up events on EatWith, which anyone can attend (that the host chooses). Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, ranging anywhere from $10 to meals in the hundreds, this seems like such a cool way to try new food and meet new people. This is definitely something to look into when traveling!

6. 50 Best Things to Eat & Drink Right Now

GQ's 50 best things to eat & drink right now on Friday Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
GQ’s 50 best things to eat & drink right now

GQ has a list of the 50 best things to eat and drink right now, with dishes from restaurants all over the place (the clam chowder at Portland restaurant Ox makes the list), as well as ingredients that are becoming the hot new thing (a la kale). Check it out and see if anything in your area makes the list.

Seared Sea Scallops with Carrot-Marjoram Sauce

Seared Sea Scallops with Carrot-Marjoram Sauce

Seared Sea Scallops with Carrot-Marjoram Sauce
Seared Sea Scallops with Carrot-Marjoram Sauce

Seared Sea Scallops with Carrot-Marjoram Sauce

When Jonah’s parents were in town, we had them over for dinner. My dad had sent me a recipe for these scallops with reduced carrot sauce that he made a couple times when I was younger. This is the recipe that made me discover scallops. I used to think scallops were gross, the texture was a little too slimy for me, so I never ever ate them. But this sauce was so good that I tried one of the scallops that was drenched in it, and now scallops are one of my favorite seafoods.

This recipe is from The Herbfarm Cookbook, which is a book my dad uses all the time. The Herbfarm is a restaurant in Woodinville, Washington (near where I grew up). I’ve never eaten there, partially because $$$$$$ and partially because you have to make reservations hella in advance. Anyway, if you’re in the market for a beautiful cookbook with lots of good recipes, here’s one to check out.

Seared Sea Scallops with Carrot-Marjoram Sauce

Serves 4 people


2 cups fresh carrot juice (one of those personal Odwalla bottles is usually 2 cups)
1/2 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
3 Tbl freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 medium shallot, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbl unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 8 pieces
8 3-inch sprigs fresh marjoram, tied together with kitchen twine (if you can’t find marjoram, you can substitute fresh tarragon or fresh lemon thyme)
1 1/2 pounds large sea scallops (~12), untreated (dry-pack)
salt and pepper
2 Tbl vegetable or olive oil


A warning before we start. This recipe is long. But it’s not really that hard, it just seems hard because there are a lot of steps. However, it is totally worth it because these scallops and this sauce are so delectable. I promise. Just try it. I’m going to type it out in the same steps as in the cookbook because it breaks it down into little pieces. Quite nice if you ask me.

Combine the carrot juice, 1/4 cup of the wine, the lemon juice, shallot, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat just enough to maintain a steady boil. Cook the mixture until reduced to about 1/2 cup of liquid. The sauce should be thicker, about “the same consistency as pulpy orange juice.” This should take about 20-30 minutes. You can do this step ahead of time and stick the mixture in the fridge overnight.

Reduce the heat so the sauce is gently simmering and add the butter, one piece at a time. Whisk the butter in, and wait until each piece is melted and incorporated before adding another. Return the sauce to a simmer, whisking constantly. Add the bundle of marjoram, submerging it completely in the sauce, and remove the pan from heat. Set aside till you’re done cooking the scallops!

It’s time to sear the scallops. I’ll let you know that Jonah and I struggled a little bit with this step, mostly because we decided to try to use our cast iron skillet (the recipe says to use a heavy bottomed saute pan). We’ve had some trouble, despite reading about how to cook in a cast iron and clean and care for it, with things sticking to the pan, and can’t really figure out what we’re doing wrong. Anyway. The recipe also says to heat your oven to 175 and then turn it off and you can put the scallops in there to warm them, but our oven was otherwise occupied, so we just put them on a rack on a pan.

Pat the scallops dry and season them lightly with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in whatever pan you choose to use until it is very hot and smoking. Using tongs, carefully put the scallops flat side down in the pan. Let them cook without touching them for 2-3 minutes or until the side touching the pan is a deep golden brown. Then turn them and cook them another 1-2 minutes on the other side. When you turn them, you want to preferable put them in a different part of the pan, where there has not just been a scallop. When they’re done cooking, remove them from the pan and put them in the oven or on a rack or whatever you choose to do.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the other 1/4 cup of wine. Scrape up the little browned bits in the pan and add the liquid from the pan to the carrot juice.

Remove the marjoram bundle from the carrot sauce, squeeze it dry, and get rid of it. Reheat the sauce over medium heat, whisking in the oil/wine mixture from the scallop pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper if needed. If you want the sauce to be super smooth, you can put it through a fine sieve. I like the little scallop bits and shallots, so we skipped the straining. Now put the scallops on plates, dress them with the sauce, and enjoy!

Seared Sea Scallops with Carrot-Marjoram Sauce