Sunday, April 9, 2006
Tantalizing Thai – April 2006
Thai Iced Tea
Thai Tea from the Co-op (Good Earth) with star anise, cinnamon, and vanilla. The steeped tea then is flavored with sugar, and after being cooled is mixed with cream and often condensed milk for a refreshing creamy drink add vodka with a real doozy!
6 c water
1 c Thai tea
¾ c sugar
6 T cream
6 T condensed milk
In a kettle, bring the water to a boil. Place the tea in a teapot or glass container. Pour the water over the tea and let steep until bright orange in color, 3 to 5 minutes. Strain into a clean container, such as a pitcher (or, if in tea bags, remove the bags). Add sugar and stir to dissolve. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Fill 6 tall glasses with crushed ice and add tea to 3/4 full. Add 1 tablespoon cream and 1 tablespoon condensed milk to each glass.
Potstickers with Prawn and Cilantro
1 package gyoza or wonton wrappers
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ tsp salt
1 c ground pork (not lean)
4 ounces shrimp meat, finely chopped
6 shelled and deveined prawns, finely chopped
5 water chestnuts, fresh or canned, finely chopped
4 T shredded carrot
¼ c chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 T minced green/spring onion
1 T minced ginger
1 T soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
Freshly ground black or white pepper, to taste
Lightly beat the egg with the salt. Place the pork in a bowl, add the shrimp, prawns, water chestnuts, carrot, cilantro, green onion, ginger, egg, soy sauce, sesame oil and pepper. Place a small bowl of water on the work area. Lay out one of the gyoza wrappers in front of you. Dip your finger in the water and moisten the edges of the wrapper. Place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper. Fold the gyoza wrapper over the filling and pinch the edges to seal it shut. (You may want to use a cornstarch/water mixture to make this easier). Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet or wok.When oil is ready, carefully add the dumplings and cook on high heat until golden brown (about 1 minute). Without turning the dumplings over, add ½ cup of water and cover. Cook for about 1 minute to cook the raw filling and then uncover and continue cooking until most of the liquid is absorbed.
½ pound firm tofu
½ c finely shredded carrot
½ c finely chopped bok choy
¼ c finely chopped water chestnuts
¼ c finely chopped bamboo shoots
¼ c finely chopped garlic chives
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 T dark soy sauce
½ tsp sesame oil
¼ tsp salt
1 package potsticker or gyoza wrappers
2 T oil for frying the dumplings
Drain the tofu, cut into cubes and mash. Wash and prepare the vegetables. Combine the tofu with the remainder of the ingredients and seasonings. Lay out one of the gyoza wrappers in front of you. Dip your finger in the water and moisten the edges of the wrapper. Place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper. Fold the gyoza wrapper over the filling and pinch the edges to seal it shut. (You may want to use a cornstarch/water mixture to make this easier). Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet or wok. When oil is ready, carefully add the dumplings and cook on high heat until golden brown (about 1 minute). Without turning the dumplings over, add ½ cup of water and cover. Cook for about 1 minute to cook the raw filling and then uncover and continue cooking until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Green Mango Salad
2 firm green mangoes
¼ c dry shredded unsweetened coconut
2 c bean sprouts
½ c fresh basil
3-4 spring onions, sliced
handful of peanuts or cashews, left whole or roughly chopped
2 T soy sauce
2 T lime juice
1 T brown sugar (loose, not packed)
1-2 fresh red chillies, de-seeded and minced, OR 1-2 tsp. Thai chili sauce
Place the coconut in a frying pan or wok (no oil required). "Dry-fry" the coconut (as if you were stir-frying it) for 2-3 minutes over medium heat, or until it turns a light golden-brown and is fragrant. Set aside. Tip: Once the coconut is toasted, remove it from the pan right away and place it in a bowl, otherwise it will keep on toasting!
Peel off the green skin of the mangoes and discard. Grate the orange flesh of the mangoes into a mixing bowl. Prepare the dressing by mixing together all the salad dressing ingredients in a bowl or cup. Set aside.
To the bowl of shredded mango, add: bean sprouts, basil, spring onions, plus half the toasted coconut. Toss well to combine. Add the dressing and toss again. Place on a serving platter. Sprinkle the nuts over top plus the remaining toasted coconut, and enjoy!
Lemon Grass-Tofu Soup
A little note about this and other soups: lemon grass, galangal root and lime leaves, the trio of flavors that give many Thai soups their distinctive taste are unchewable, but form dictates that they be left in the soup. It is then up to the soup slurpers to avoid eating them. Furthermore, though lemon grass is easy to find, galangal root and lime leaves are not so easy. They can be substituted with ginger root and lime juice respectively as indicated in the recipes.
4 c water
1 stick lemongrass
4 lime leaves (or 2 tbsp lime juice)
1 inch galangal root (or ginger root)
2 fresh hot chilies
3 T fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 ½ tsp chili paste
2 oz button mushrooms, quartered
5 chicken breasts/tofu
3 T lime juice
Fresh coriander leaves
Heat 4 cups water in a soup pot to boiling.
Smash the lemon grass with the flat of a chef's knife once, and then cut into 1- inch pieces; tear the lime leaves into thirds; and slice the galangal into thin rounds. Reserve all three of these ingredients together.
Crush the fresh chilies and cut in half. Reserve separately.
When the water has boiled, add the reserved lemon grass/galangal/lime leaves. Boil for 1 minute. Add fish sauce, sugar and chili paste. Boil for another 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and boil for 2 minutes. Add partially/completely cooked chicken and lime juice (3 tbsp plus the other 2 tbsp if you haven't used the lime leaves) and lower heat to medium-high. Cook until chicken is done. Transfer to a soup tureen, decorate with fresh coriander leaves and serve immediately.
Side Dish: Tamara
Thai Marinated Cucumbers
1/3 c white vinegar
¼ c sugar
¼ c water
¼ tsp salt
1 large cucumber
¼ c chopped roasted peanuts
In a small pan, combine vinegar, sugar, water and salt; cook over medium heat, stirring, until liquid boils and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Peel or score cucumber, if desired and cut lengthwise into quarters; then cut quarters crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Place in a serving bowl, pour marinade over cucumbers; stir to blend. If made ahead, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours. Top with peanuts before serving.
Scrumptious Shrimp in Yellow Curry
½ lb cooked shrimp
1 T veggie oil
1-2 mixed bell peppers, halved and sliced
1 large onion, white, chopped
1 T fresh ginger, minced
2-5 cloves garlic, minced
2 T yellow curry paste
2 cans light coconut milk
2-3 red potatoes
2 carrots julienned
1 T curry powder (equal parts turmeric, coriander, mustard)
1 T fish sauce (or soy sauce)
1 T sugar
3 spring onions chopped
Heat oil in large sauce pan or wok. Brown onion, add ginger and garlic. Add curry paste and mix well. It’s okay if globby, it will meld. Add coconut milk. Add carrots and potato. Boil uncovered until potatoes are cooked. Add shrimp (or tofu), bell peppers, fish sauce (or soy). Add sugar, chilies and curry. Simmer 5 minutes. Serve alone or with rice. Adjust as needed for salt, heat and veggie needs.
Fried Bananas with Thai Ice Cream
1 pound bananas, about 6 or 8. Traditionally small Asian bananas are used but you can use any bananas.
1 c rice flour
1 c all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 c water
½ c coconut milk
½ tsp salt
¼ c sesame seeds
3 T sugar
¾ c shredded coconut
4 c oil for deep frying
Peel and slice each banana lengthwise into four slices. In a mixing bowl, combine all the batter ingredients and stir just to mix together. Heat the oil in a deep fryer or wok to 375 degrees F. Dip each piece of banana into the batter to completely coat, and deep fry until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Serve with Thai ice cream.
Thai Ice Cream
2 c coconut milk
1 c water
1 tsp of vanilla or rosewater
pinch of salt
2 tsp of shredded coconut
sprigs of mint for garnish
Stir fry the coconut until golden brown. In a saucepan, heat the coconut milk and water over medium heat, stirring continuously for a couple of minutes. Do not allow to boil.
In a bowl, beat two eggs, plus two yolks, then add the other ingredients, and whisk gently.
Transfer the mixture to a double boiler and gently boiling water, and slowly blend in the hot coconut milk, stirring until the mixture thickens to form a continuous slightly sticky coat on the back of a spoon lifted from the mixture.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then transfer to a ice cream maker. Let the mixture work in the ice cream maker for 20-30 minutes then transfer the metal bowl to the freezer.
one part mandarin vodka
two parts fresh squeezed orange juice
two parts sweet and sour mix
blend in blender with lots of ice
pour into a large glass. Float champagne on top and garnish with a fresh wedge of lime and a straw.