Welcome to another Sunday Supper, where we are having Finger Foods for Dinner! I think we’d all agree that our inner children rejoice at any opportunity to not have to pick up a fork, right? I chose to make lettuce cups, one of my new favorite foods, and helpful that it’s lighter fare made delicious, too.
Certainly not always, but lettuce cups are often of the Asian persuasion, and this one fuses the heat and ginger of Thailand with the curry of India for one delicious and SPICY hand-held meal. Spicy enough, in fact, that you should not congratulate yourself on eating low-carb until AFTER you’ve managed to get through this without guzzling a beer to cool off your burning lips and tongue. I deserve absolutely zero back pats on this front.
But, it’s wickedly delicious, with incredible and complex flavor and the perfect texture. Oh, and you can totally back off on the heat level if you want. Combining lean beef (which I’d highly recommend for this purpose) and a drizzle of sesame oil at the end makes for the perfect pleasantly oily texture to complement the heft of the ground beef and soft lettuce leaves. This is one of my few repeat meals. Enjoy!
And make sure you check out all the fun Finger Foods brought to you by my fellow Sunday Supper bloggers!
Source: Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet by Padma Lakshmi
2 heads butter lettuce, or Boston lettuce
3 tbs canola oil
1 ½ lbs. lean ground beef
1 cup diced yellow onions
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbs minced fresh ginger
4 serrano chiles, or 20 green Thai chiles, chopped (you can seed the serranos if desired)
1-2 tbs soy sauce
1 generous tsp curry powder
1 tsp amchoor (dried mango powder), optional
1 cup rough chopped fresh mint
1 cup rough chopped fresh basil
1 ½ tbs fresh lemon juice
Salt, to taste if needed
1 tbs toasted sesame oil
Separate the lettuce leaves, discarding any that have browned or wilted. The inner leaves tend to be sturdier and better suited for lettuce cups. Dry the leaves well if needed and set aside.
Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then the beef, crumbling and cooking until no traces of pink remain. Lower the heat to medium and add the onion, garlic, ginger, and chiles. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft, 5 to 7 minutes.
Now add the soy sauce, curry powder, and amchoor if using. Stir to combine then turn the heat to low and let it simmer very gently for a few minutes to let the flavors marry well.
Stir in the mint, basil and lemon juice. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed.
To serve, spoon the mixture into the prepared lettuce cups and lightly drizzle sesame oil over each cup. Serve immediately.
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