ShareThis Page
Food & Drink

Thai Turkey Lettuce Cups are fast food

| Saturday, June 30, 2012, 8:59 p.m.
This recipe for Thai Turkey Lettuce Cups comes from Food Network star Giada de Laurentiis. 
(Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune/MCT)
This recipe for Thai Turkey Lettuce Cups comes from Food Network star Giada de Laurentiis. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

Giada De Laurentiis, the Food Network star and cookbook author, might not live just like you and me (we're assuming she lives more fabulously), but she says, in her new book, that she faces the same difficult task at the end of a workday: Too tired to cook something complicated and labor-intensive, she still wants something tempting for dinner.

Hence, “Weeknights with Giada: Quick and Simple Recipes to Revamp Dinner” (Potter, $35). In it, she promises dinners that can be made in less than an hour, and she delivers plenty of variety to break up the routine, such as halibut sandwiches with sun-dried tomatoes, fresh herbs, capers and arugula, and Asian chicken salad with a soy-rice vinegar dressing.

We picked a fast dish, well within our 30-minute limit — her Thai Turkey Lettuce Cups, and enjoyed its bright flavors.

De Laurentiis suggests serving the lettuce cups with sticky rice. A crisp white wine would be a refreshing counterpoint to the tang of the sauce.

Joe Gray is a staff writer for the Chicago Tribune.

Thai Turkey Lettuce Cups

From “Weeknights with Giada,” by Giada De Laurentiis. For the lemongrass, peel off the tough outer layers to expose the tender inner part.

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 12 minutes

For the dressing:

13 cup fresh lime juice (about 5 limes)

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)

2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce

2 tablespoons honey

For the Thai Turkey:

3 tablespoons canola oil

½ medium-size red onion, diced

3 small shallots, thinly sliced

1 piece (4-inches long) lemongrass, minced (about ¼ cup)

1 Thai or serrano chili pepper, stemmed, thinly sliced

1½ pounds ground turkey, preferably, dark meat

¼ teaspoon salt, plus more, to taste

½ cup chopped, fresh mint leaves

Freshly ground black pepper. to taste

1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated

To prepare the dressing: Whisk together the lime and lemon juices, fish sauce and honey in a small bowl.

To prepare the Thai Turkey: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add the onion, shallots, lemongrass and chili pepper. Cook until the vegetables begin to soften, for 5 minutes. Add the turkey; season with the salt. Cook, stirring often, until the meat and vegetables are cooked through, for 5 minutes.

Add the dressing; cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in the mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve: Divide the lettuce leaves among 4 dinner plates. Spoon the mixture into the leaves.

Makes 4 servings.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me