…from the California Kitchen
How you doin’? One of the most fun projects Perspectives completed was the opening of Margaritaville—Las Vegas. It is an airy, island-influenced venue offering food, cocktails and entertainment. Located at the Flamingo Hotel, it also has a huge outdoor patio with views of the Strip.
This was to be the largest of the Margaritaville Restaurants in the collection. It is 3 floors high (27,000 square feet), has kitchens and a humongous Margaritaville bar with a tequila slide in the middle where a beautiful Margaritaville maiden slides down every hour. This had to be the only casino hotel in Las Vegas that pulled gaming apparatus out to make room for a restaurant/bar!
The restaurant was designed to do heavy customer counts. We had to make things as kitchen-easy as possible, but still have the quality of the Margaritaville lifestyle experience—the true Parrot Head fun experience. Jimmy Buffet gave us carte blanche to do something special—anything we wanted, except not to mess with his mother’s meatloaf recipe, which was very dear to him.
Our Stir-Fried Spicy Thai Chicken Salad was developed by Chef Spencer Kells, Perspectives’ Executive Chef at the time, especially for Margaritaville, Las Vegas. Chef had recently moved to the United States from a posting at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on the riverfront in Bangkok. This recipe is as authentically Thai as you can get, yet it is as easy as it can be and yummy, too.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Assembly time: 3 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
1 cup lime juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons fish sauce, (I prefer Tiparos brand)
1-1/2 tablespoons Sambal Oelek, hot chili-garlic paste
2 tablespoon peanut oil
1/2 tablespoon peeled and grated ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1-1/2 pounds ground chicken meat (I prefer dark meat, if available)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion tops cut in circles
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup chopped water chestnuts
1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
To Assemble The Thai Chicken Salad Plates
Yield: 1 plated serving
6 each butter lettuce cups
1/2 cup green shredded cabbage
6 ounces spicy chicken mixture (see recipe above)
6 blanched green beans, 3-inches in length
6 each mint sprigs
6 each cilantro sprigs
ChefSecret: I prefer to use ground dark chicken meat as it is moist and more flavorful even after refrigeration. With today’s chickens you can hardly tell the difference in the look between dark and white chicken meat. You can make the ground chicken mixture a day or two in advance.
Covid-19 Quip of the Day: “60 maybe the new 40, but 9 pm is the new midnight or is that only on Pacific Standard Time?”
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©Perspectives/The Consulting Group, Inc., 2021
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