Wed03042015

News

Council considers freezing First St. development

Council considers freezing First St. development


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A pedestrian walks along First Street in downtown Los Altos last week. Future construction on the street could soon be barred by an emergency moratorium on development.

Further construction along First Street could be t...

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Schools

Former NFL player huddles with Blach students about life choices

Former NFL player huddles with Blach students about life choices


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Former NFL tight end Eason Ramson visited with Blach Intermediate School students, Feb. 13 to share the perils of drug use. Now a motivational speaker, Ramson works with at-risk teens in San Francisco.

Although former ...

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Community

Music for Minors partners with Harvard to expand efforts

Music for Minors partners with Harvard to expand efforts


Palmer

When the thriving Music for Minors began to outgrow its capacity, the local nonprofit organization made new friends.

Beginning in late February, Music for Minors – a Town Crier Holiday Fund recipient – partnered with Harvard Business Sch...

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Comment

Dangerous streets: A Piece of My Mind

I’m driving along El Monte Avenue between Foothill Expressway and Springer Road at approximately 6 p.m. on a midwinter evening. In keeping with the “village feeling” of our town, there are no sidewalks and no streetlights.

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Special Sections

Lions, lambs and Cab Franc for March

Lions, lambs and Cab Franc for March


Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
Oven fries, a slice of feta cheese and the bite of harissa mayonnaise make for a late-winter, early-spring dinner perfectly paired with Cabernet Franc.

I can’t help but wonder whether March will come in ...

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Business

Los Altos scientist named Inventor of the Year

Los Altos scientist named Inventor of the Year


Above Photo by Alicia Castro/Town Crier; Below Rendering Courtesy of SST inc.
Robert Showen, above, the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Lawyers Association’s Inventor of the Year, began researching his ShotSpotter technology in his Los A...

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Books

French novel

French novel "Hunting and Gathering" offers character-driven suspense


Anna Gavalda is a well-known author in her native France, where she has published six books, most of which have met with considerable praise and commercial success. Her fourth novel, “Hunting and Gathering” (Riverhead Books, 2007), is filled ...

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People

HELEN KNOFLOCH

HELEN KNOFLOCH

Aug. 14, 1920 – Feb.12, 2015

Resident of Cupertino

Helen Knofloch, 94, loving wife and devoted mother passed away on Feb. 12th. She was born in Vienna, Austria and moved to Los Altos in 1949, where she met Andy, the love of her life. They resided...

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Travel

Seoul of the city: Korean capital offers mix of old and new

Seoul of the city: Korean capital offers mix of old and new


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon public recreation space, above, features an elevated pedestrian bridge.

Seoul, South Korea, is a study in contrasts. Having grown quickly, the city is a mix of old and new.

Using...

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Stepping Out

TheatreWorks jumps into ‘Lake’

TheatreWorks jumps into ‘Lake’


Kevin Berne/Special to the Town Crier
Jason Bowen, from left, Adam Poss and Nilanjana Bose star in “The Lake Effect,” opening this weekend at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto and running through March 29.

The TheatreWorks production ...

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Spiritual Life

Is your thought life sabotaging your spiritual journey?

My computer started having problems – there seemed to be some sort of malware running in the background. At first it was just annoying, then it began to slow down my computer, interfering with its basic operations. What is it doing? Why can...

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Magazine

Local events serve up family fun

Local events serve up family fun


Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “Pecos Bill: A Tall Tale” is slated to open March 20 in Mountain View.

For families seeking a break from the daily routine, events abound this month and next in Los Alto...

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For summer dinners, transform your sandwich into a salad


Garrett Miller/Special to the Town Crier
Banh Mi Salad, a Vietnamese specialty, combines Asian flavors from cilantro, pickled vegetables and chiles with grilled or roasted meat.

For me, summertime means summer food. It means cooking and eating outside. Most of all, it means eating lighter, more healthful foods that won’t contribute to my heat-induced sluggishness.

To that end, I wanted to make a lighter version of the popular Vietnamese street food (and one of my all-time favorite sandwiches) known as “banh mi.” The culinary product of the French colonization of Vietnam, a traditional banh mi starts with a crusty baguette slathered with aioli and gets layers of Asian flavors from fresh cilantro, pickled vegetables and chiles. Proteins may include roasted or grilled meats, pork pâté or meatballs.

While the bread is typically what makes or breaks a banh mi, it doesn’t bring much to the flavor party, so why not skip it altogether and turn this tasty sandwich into a hearty dinner salad? A bed of crisp romaine and sliced fresh cucumbers were a good start, but I still needed a dressing that captured the creamy, tangy, spicy flavors of a banh mi, a tasty protein topping and my pickled vegetables.

I figured the pickles would translate well from sandwich to salad unaltered, so I made a brine in which to soak some matchstick-cut pieces of carrot and daikon radish, along with some sliced jalapeños. I thought the brine would also be a good start for the base of my dressing, as it already had the sweet, salty and spicy flavors I was seeking.

The dressing was a bit of a balancing act. I wanted mayonnaise, as it is traditional on the sandwich, but I wanted the final product to have plenty of zip, too. Fish sauce added a savory, umami note; lime juice cut the saltiness of the fish sauce; a little sugar took the harsh edge off the lime; and a squirt of sriracha sauce gave everything a bright, spicy kick.

For my meat, I chose pork loin, which could be grilled quickly and sliced to top my salad (though beef, chicken, shrimp, tofu or mushrooms would all make good stand-ins).

For the marinade, I used more fish sauce for Vietnamese flavor, sugar for added caramelization on the grill, and lemongrass and chiles for some zing.

Finally, I topped the salad with fresh cilantro and chopped scallions, to make my sandwich-to-salad transformation complete. You can serve this salad with a sliced baguette on the side, to bring the origin of the dish full circle. But this crisp, refreshing salad is so substantial, you won’t even miss the carbs.

Garrett Miller is a freelance writer, food blogger and graduate of Los Altos High School and UC Santa Cruz. For more of his comfort-food recipes, visit noodletherapy.wordpress.com.

Banh Mi Salad with Grilled Lemongrass Pork

Meat

• 1 pound pork loin, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick medallions

• 1/4 cup sugar

• 1/4 cup fish sauce

• 1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped

• 3 garlic cloves, minced

• 1 large shallot, minced

• 1 Thai or serrano chile, minced

• Black pepper, freshly ground

Place pork in container. In small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over pork. Let marinate for at least 1 hour, overnight if possible. Sear in cast-iron skillet 3-4 minutes on each side or grill.

Pickles

• 1/2 pound carrots, matchstick pieces

• 1 bunch red radishes, sliced or 1/2 pound daikon radish, matchstick pieces

• 1 cup warm water

• 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

• 2 tablespoons sugar

• 2 teaspoons salt

• 1 Thai or serrano chile, sliced

Combine water, vinegar, sugar, salt and Thai chile in small bowl or, preferably, sealable glass jar. Stir until sugar and salt are dissolved. Add carrots and radishes and let sit for at least 1 hour. Leftover pickles will keep for at least a week in the refrigerator.

Dressing

• 3 tablespoons reserved vinegar mixture

• 3 tablespoons fish sauce

• Juice of 1 lime

• 2 teaspoons sugar

• 3 tablespoons light mayonnaise

• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 1 tablespoon sriracha

• Salt and pepper, to taste

Whisk together dressing ingredients until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings with more lime juice, sugar or sriracha, as needed.

Salad

• 1 head romaine, roughly chopped

• 1/2 English cucumber, sliced

• 1/2 bunch scallions, chopped

• 1/2 bunch cilantro leaves

Toss ingredients in large bowl with as much dressing as desired. Top with pickled vegetables and sliced pork.

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