Category Archives: Thai

Savor my Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Curry

A few weeks ago I had some people over for dinner and because I have been having a curry craze ever since I moved back from Israel I have been making lots of curries.  A makes fun of me when we go out for Thai food because I have some curry with my rice… I love it so much I could almost lick the bowl! Living in Boston was great because there are so many places to get (a) good food and (b) great ethnic food so we loved it! Now that we are in Miami things are different. (a) Everything is much more expensive and (b) there is not as big a variety of foods here as there was in Boston. You do have your good Thai/Sushi restaurant as well as your great Italian, but nothing like DaLat in Worcester or Le’s in Boston where you can eat an excellent meal for like $10 bucks including a drink! So I decided to make my own.  I have yet to make my own sushi which I have been wanting to make for quite some time. Just a side note, last night we ordered sushi from this place we had been once and it was gross, nothing like yucky sushi.

SO I have been experimenting with Curries. Curries with coconut milk or without, vegetarian or not.  Since we eat Kosher, we never have chicken curry or beef curry when we go out to eat. It is always tofu or just plain vegetarian. Learning how to make these at home has given me the opportunity to eat chicken/beef curry.

Curries are pretty simple to make. The great thing about them is that you can make them with any vegetable you have at home, any kind of protein, and serve it with rice or noodles.

A few months ago I got a Curry Recipe book at TJMaxx and I absolutely love it.  I am on a mission to try every single recipe possible. The biggest challenge has been finding all the ingredients needed, but I have currently solved that since I found the Asian market near my house the other day.  Anyways I have been writing this post for about 5 days now and I think I have forgotten how I made this specific curry but I will share a similar one from my book.  I used this recipe as my guide but added a few things based on the flavor I was getting.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 red onions, sliced
  • 1/3 cup grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled, and cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp of Red curry paste (You can add more if you want)
  • 1 1/4 cups of vegetable stock
  • Fresh Vegetables (Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Bean sprouts, Broccoli, Cauliflower, etc.)
  • 1 – 14 oz can of coconut milk
  • Chopped fresh cilantro to garnish
  • Freshly cooked rice to serve

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a preheated wok  and add the onions and celery and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
  2. While the onions and celery are cooking place the cumin and coriander seeds in a small pan to cook until you smell the aroma of the spices.  Grind in a spice mill.
  3. Add the ground spices and the ginger to the pot and cook for about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the squash and sweet potatoes and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes.
  5. While the squash is cooking, mix the curry paste and the vegetable stock in a separate bowl. Make sure the curry paste has diluted.
  6. Add the curry paste, coconut milk, and vegetable stock mixture to the pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer gently for 3-4 minutes. Cook until the squash is tender.
  7. Add the vegetables to the wok (pot) and cook for about 3-4 minutes until they are hot but still crunchy.
  8. Sprinkle cilantro over the curry and serve with Basmati or Jasmine rice.

Bon Appetit!

บอน appetit!

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Demystifying Pad Thai

Hi Fran!

I am not entirely sure why I always crave Asian food, and why I have such a soft spot for it…. but I have come to realize that so many things that I cook are Asian. So a few weeks ago, I started on a semi-obsessive mission to make: Great Pad Thai. I have miserably failed a few times, watched shows, where even the food-stylist could not make the dish look appetizing, and read many terrible recipes… until I stumbled upon: Chez Pim.

She provides a great post on all things related to Pad Thai. She explains what all the ingredients do, how they should be prepared and the whole process. However, it was a little difficult to follow, even when I read it twice before starting to cook, and especially while cooking at the same time. So what I am doing is basically dumbing her tutorial down, to make it easier to follow and as per her comment (it really is fool-proof).

Cooking Pad Thai is in 4 Steps:

  1. Sauce
  2. Noodles
  3. Prepping
  4. Stirfrying

1. SAUCE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup Taramind paste
  • 1/2 cup Fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup Palm sugar (or 1/3 cup brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp chili powder

DIRECTIONS:

  1. OPEN ALL WINDOWS, DOORS, VENTILATION!! This sauce will make your house smell awful! (But it is the secret to the tasty pad thai)
  2. In a saucepan heat all the ingredients together until they are heated through and form a smooth sauce.
  3. Turn off the heat, and leave for later use.

2. NOODLES

INGREDIENTS:

  • Thin rice noodles (rice sticks, Banh Pho, Chantaboon) (2 cups cooked)
  • (I used Udon noodles, as I am still a very beginner and they don’t stick together as easily)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring water to the boil. Add noodles and cook to the point where they are almost al dente. (Basically cook them to the point where they are arguably eatable).
  2. Remove from heat, strain through colander, and immediately cool off with cold running tap water, to prevent from cooking further.

3. PREPPING

One of the most important things in stir fries is having all your ingredients prepped, you do not have time to do the chopping while the wok is going. (Trust me on this)

INGREDIENTS TO BE PREPPED:

  • 9 per person Shrimp (de-vein)
  • 9 per person Tofu (chop in bite size pieces) {I did not add any, this time}
  • 2 per person Fresh onions (cut into 2 inch pieces)
  • 2 cloves Garlic (Chopped)
  • 3/4 cup beansprouts (rinsed)
  • Cilantro (chop)
  • Lime (wedged)
  • Red chili pepper (cut into thin slices)

4. STIRFRYING

INGREDIENTS (for 2 servings):

  • 2 cups cooked Noodles
  • 1/3 cup Sauce (slightly warm still)
  • 2 chopped Garlic cloves
  • 18 pcs Shrimp
  • 18 pcs Tofu
  • 2 Eggs (beaten)
  • 4 sliced fresh onions
  • 3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 tbsp chopped peanuts

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat wok over high heat, until very hot.
  2. Add vegetable oil, swirl to coat most of wok.
  3. Add tofu and garlic. Cook until crispy and brown on edges.
  4. Add noodles, a few of the chili strips, and ladle in 1/3 cup sauce. Stir rigorously, keeping everything moving in the wok. Cook noodle until soft, sprinkle a little bit of water to help separate noodles and spread sauce. (*break up noodle, ensure it does not lump together.)
  5. When noodle is ready, move up the side of the wok, and pour in scrambled eggs.Let them cook for 15 seconds, then toss everything together.
  6. Add shrimps, peanuts and beansprouts. Keep things moving. If mix looks pale add more sauce.
  7. When shrimps are done, add spring onion, turn off the heat and give a good final stir.
  8. Serve with lime wedge, chopped peanuts, chili slices and cilantro sprinkled on top

Hope you have as much luck as I did with it!

Many kisses from me!!

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