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Jen Keenan

Thai Cooking at Home, 2007 – 2012

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The family is ready for a change, so this may be my last Thai meal for a while.

Pat prik king curry with chicken and yard-long beans, adapted from Thai Food. We used the chuu chee curry paste from yesterday, substituted chicken thighs for pork, shredded ginger for grachai, Thai basil for holy basil, and pickled green peppercorns for fresh.

Despite the substitutions, this is probably my favorite non-coconut milk curry. With slivered chiles, crunchy peppercorns, fragrant ginger and lime leaves, and handfuls of Thai basil, this curry exudes a wonderful array of aromas, textures, and flavors.

I’m not naming names, but half of the family members mixed in coconut milk to tone down the heat.

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Over the weekend I succumbed to food lust at the farmers market and returned home with a double bunch of Thai basil and too many long purple Asian eggplants. What to do with them?

First I cooked one of my favorite dishes, Kasma's recipe for Spicy Basil Chicken (Gkai Pad Gkaprow). This dish packs a wallop with lots of garlic and chiles.

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The Basil Chicken recipe is available here: http://www.thaifoodandtravel.com/recipes/baschi.html

Most of the eggplant and more of the basil went into another of Kasma's recipes, Stir-fried Eggplant with Chiles and Thai Basil (Pad Makeua Yao). I added in some ground pork to make a heartier main dish meal.

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And I still have one eggplant and a couple handfuls of basil left...

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. . . another of Kasma's recipes, Stir-fried Eggplant with Chiles and Thai Basil (Pad Makeua Yao).

djyee100, that eggplant looks like a delicious restaurant dish I once enjoyed. Where did you find the recipe?

Tom kha gai: semi-homemade chicken stock, simmered with chicken fat and bones, black peppercorns, onion, and garlic. Boiled the stock with galangal, lemongrass, and Thai lime leaves, added coconut milk, chunked chicken thigh, and sliced shiitake mushrooms, and then seasoned with lemon juice, palm sugar, fish sauce, bruised Thai chiles, and nahm phrik pao.

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Garlic-black bean pan-fried fish fillets: We substituted tilapia for snapper. The sauce contained a head of chopped garlic, ginger, cilantro stems, chopped fermented black beans, dark soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine, roasted chile powder, and a little sugar. Definitely worth making again, and very popular with the family. I look forward to cooking more recipes from Kasma’s Dancing Shrimp.

Stir-fried long beans with roasted chile sauce: The recipe called for string beans, but long beans looked particularly nice at the store. Garlic, fish sauce, Thai basil, and more nahm phrik pao. Simple and delicious, from Kasma’s It Rains Fishes.

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Bruce, your long bean dishes look absolutely wonderful. My family is always disappointed when I have to substitute regular green beans (very infrequently, as my local Asian market almost always has the long ones). The crunch and the lack of sweetness that regular green beans has is refreshing. Diana and I fight over the leftovers (since I'm the one at home during the day, I usually win!)

I wonder how well they freeze?

Did you grow Thai basil this year?


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Did you grow Thai basil this year?

Thanks, Susan. We didn’t grow any vegetables this year because of construction around the house. Surprisingly, one basil plant volunteered, but in a location where our male dog used it as a marking post. Not much culinary use for pee-scented basil.

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I wonder if any of you are interested in trying this experiment: if [pork] caul fat is available by ordering from your butcher, when you heat your oil, always add a bit of caul fat, to make up half or whatever % of your total "grease content" you feel comfortable with.

Especially with our "broiler" thighs, breast, greenhouse raised eggplant etc., an occasional experiment can become interesting. Even with the Tilapia fry, the use of the caul will add an extra depth of flavor. If you lightly wrap the marinaded fillet in a single lacy layer of the fat, and place it in a tiny bit of hot oil or even a bit of cooking spray on a non-stick frying pan or seasoned cast iron, wait till the fillet is let loose on one side, turn etc.-- experience the magic.

Differently aged pigs & breeds will have differently flavored fat but: any port in a storm, whatever is available from butchers. So much is made of leaf lard, but caul fat is overlooked for the most part.

Pure shrimp rolls [no rice paper], shrimp toast, fish cakes and the like, gently wrapped in a single or double layer of the fat and rolled lightly in whatever your preference, will create a very tasty, and actually a lighter, less greasy "fritter". The wrap will disappear on frying.

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V. gautam, someone else may need to try your experiment -- I don’t recall seeing caul fat at the store.

Kasma’s hot-and-sour shrimp salad with roasted chile paste, lemongrass, and mint (plah gkoong). Brining the shrimp before blanching for maybe 30 seconds yielded a tender, snappy texture.

This made a zippy lunch with leftover rice and coconut chicken soup (“improved” with more fish sauce and roasted chile paste).

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That salad looks wonderful. I haven't made that one yet.

I was at the farmers market this AM to buy one, maybe two bunches of Thai basil. That was to be all, because I'm busy this week & I won't have that much time to cook.

I came home with...

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(Clockwise, left to right) Ong choy (aka morning glory or water spinach, with the long narrow leaves), regular Thai basil, Thai holy basil (the flowery stuff with serrated leaves in the right hand corner), some kind of trumpet mushrooms (the brown ones, never tried 'em before), alba or clamshell mushrooms (the little white ones, never tried those before either, so of course I have to), green beans, some beautiful late-season tomatoes (I forget the name now), okra (um, why did I buy these?), & some cute little Thai eggplants (couldn't resist 'em).

More Thai cooking on the agenda this week after all. But meanwhile, I cooked what I had planned for dinner, because I must make more room in the fridge for my impulse purchases this morning.

An easy stirfry dinner based on Broccoli with Thai Oyster Sauce (Broccoli Pad Nahm Man Hoi) from Kasma's It Rains Fishes. I added sauteed steak strips and a couple slivered fresno chiles for more heartiness and heat.

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For dessert, another of Kasma's recipes (taught in her classes), Tapioca Pudding with Corn (Dta-gkoh Sakoo), topped with salty-sweet coconut cream.

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And that's the last corn of the season. <sigh>


Edited by djyee100 (log)

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I hope you don’t mind if I borrow your rather clever idea of adding protein to a vegetable stir-fry for a quick, well-balanced weeknight meal.

So, what did you do with the rest of your farmer’s market haul? Ong choy has to be used pretty quickly, does it not?

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I hope you don’t mind if I borrow your rather clever idea of adding protein to a vegetable stir-fry for a quick, well-balanced weeknight meal.

Borrow away. To make that dish, I heated oil in the wok, and seared the steak strips in small batches so they got a good sear without overcooking. Then I removed them to a bowl and cooked the veg stirfry. The caramelized juices from the meat make the vegs taste extra good. Just before the vegs were done, I tossed the meat back in and let it finish cooking.

So, what did you do with the rest of your farmer’s market haul? Ong choy has to be used pretty quickly, does it not?

Ong choy/morning glory/water spinach used to drive me crazy because it would wilt and turn to mush within hours after I brought it home. But somewhere in one of her articles, Kasma says to keep the veg in a big bowl of water. That works. In my most recent batch, the veg kept well for a day and a half before I cooked it, and the leaves were still perky. Occasionally I dunk the leaves underwater when they appear to be drying out. Morning glory is a vine that spreads over the surface of ponds and waterways (clogs them, actually). Letting it float in a big bowl of water seems to keep it happy.

I also recently learned (again from Kasma) to prep morning glory by breaking the stems midway between each leaf node, so each piece has a leaf attached to it. I used to saw away at those long stems with a big chef's knife. Kasma's method takes longer, but the pieces cook more evenly and look better in the finished dish.

The morning glory, prepped and ready to cook.

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I made Kasma's recipe for Red-Flamed Morning Glory from It Rains Fishes. If you don't have water spinach handy, you can substitute choy sum or another leafy Asian vegetable, or even regular broccoli. The sauce makes this dish taste good. I also cooked Basil Pork, which is basically the same as Basil Chicken ( http://www.thaifoodandtravel.com/recipes/baschi.html ). The meat was strips of pork shoulder. I reduced the chiles by half in the Basil Pork, since I knew I was serving it with spicy morning glory. I also added about 1 TB of palm sugar to enhance the pork, and did that taste good. The meat was salty-sweet, like Chinese BBQ.

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More to come. My fridge is full of things to cook.

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Wok-Tossed Mussels with Lemon Grass & Basil (Hoi Malaeng Poo Gkata) from Kasma's Dancing Shrimp. A potent mix of mussels, lots of garlic, lemongrass, chiles & basil. I made my dish with fresno chiles and holy basil, & added a little palm sugar to round off the flavors. Delicious and fiery. Serve it with plenty of rice to moderate the heat.

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Oh my goodness! I'm drooling ... all those dishes look just fabulous.

Does anyone know of this dish? On the menu it just says " Fried Beef with Kaffir Lime Leaves" (image #15) It's really yummy and I'd like to try make it at home.

link

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Does anyone know of this dish? On the menu it just says " Fried Beef with Kaffir Lime Leaves" (image #15) It's really yummy and I'd like to try make it at home.

This website calls it Beef Panang. Is this what you mean?

http://www.thaitable.com/Thai/recipes/Beef_Panang.htm

The quality of your red curry paste in this dish will make all the difference.

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A warming soup for cooler weather, Hot and Sour Prawn Soup (Dtom Yam Gkoong). I hadn't made this soup in awhile, and I forgot how good it is. Not something to cook unless you feel like spending time in the kitchen. There's the stock to make (a shrimp-lemongrass stock), and a bunch of other ingredients to prep. After that the soup cooks quickly.

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If you don't have roasted chili paste, nam prik pow, (and I didn't) you can add a little palm sugar to take the edge off the lime juice.

As for the new mushrooms I was trying from the farmers market, the alba or clamshell mushrooms, the little white ones, are attractive in presentation, but not that flavorful. They are quite bitter when raw, and are still a little bitter after they are cooked. But sometimes you put things in the pot for their looks. :wink:

The stumpy brown mushrooms, which (I think) are King Trumpet mushrooms, are tasty both raw and cooked. They remind me of shittake mushrooms in their meatiness, even a little sweet when they are raw. I'll definitely eat these again. They would taste good in a variety of dishes.

The recipe for the soup is available here: http://www.thaifoodandtravel.com/recipes/hotsou.html

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Fish in Green Curry Sauce with Thai Eggplants and Basil (Gkaeng Kiow Wahn Bplah), from Kasma's Dancing Shrimp. The recipe calls for salmon, but the steelhead trout at the market was fresher and cheaper, so that went into the shopping cart. This is one of my favorite curries. It's a rich and mild curry. (Mild for Kasma, anyway. :wink: )

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The recipe for Green Curry with Pork on Kasma's website is very similar to the Salmon Curry recipe. Substitute 1 lb of fish chunks for the pork, and add the fish at the end of cooking. Bring the sauce to a high simmer, add the fish, cover, and take the pot off the heat. Let sit for 5 mins. http://www.thaifoodandtravel.com/recipes/greencurp.html

The recipe for Green Curry Paste is here: http://www.thaifoodandtravel.com/recipes/greencur2.html

The recipe yields over a cup of green curry paste. I froze my leftover curry paste in little 1/4 cup portions, wrapped in plastic wrap. The next time I want to make a quick and easy green curry, I'll use one of those portions. The frozen curry paste should be OK for at least a month, & probably longer than that.

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Wow, what beautiful meals – those mussels, the tom yam goong, ong choy, and especially that gorgeous green curry. I had hoped to make that green curry tonight, but events intervened.

Anyway, we did make smoked trout salad from Thai Food, one of our favorite salads. Grilled, peeled, and sliced shallots, garlic, apple eggplants, ginger (sub for galangal), and red chiles. Shredded green mango, Thai basil, mint, and roasted rice powder, tossed with a dressing of fish sauce, lime juice, and a little sugar.

We rounded out the meal with leftover penne pasta with red bell peppers and bacon.

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Does anyone know of this dish? On the menu it just says " Fried Beef with Kaffir Lime Leaves" (image #15) It's really yummy and I'd like to try make it at home.

This website calls it Beef Panang. Is this what you mean?

http://www.thaitable.com/Thai/recipes/Beef_Panang.htm

The quality of your red curry paste in this dish will make all the difference.

I don't think that they're the same. Beef Penang is braised (in the curry sauce as in that recipe or separately as in David Thompson's recipe, which braises the meat in coconut milk). That sounds more like a double-fried method....


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Does anyone know of this dish? On the menu it just says " Fried Beef with Kaffir Lime Leaves" (image #15) It's really yummy and I'd like to try make it at home.

This website calls it Beef Panang. Is this what you mean?

http://www.thaitable.com/Thai/recipes/Beef_Panang.htm

The quality of your red curry paste in this dish will make all the difference.

I don't think that they're the same. Beef Penang is braised (in the curry sauce as in that recipe or separately as in David Thompson's recipe, which braises the meat in coconut milk). That sounds more like a double-fried method....

Not Panang for sure coz I had Fish Panang at the same place and it was different but delish.

This was something marinated and fried.

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Salmon poached in green curry sauce with baby eggplants and Thai basil (gkaeng kiow wahn bplah salmon): Recipe from Dancing Shrimp; green curry paste from It Rains Fishes, and props to djyee100 for inspiring me to try this.

Chunks of raw salmon are placed in a heated tureen, covered with boiling curry, and then poached for a few minutes. This yields a remarkably delicate texture and flavor. Thai eggplants, Thai lime leaves, Thai basil, slivered chiles, peas (no pea eggplants to be found), fish sauce, and palm sugar rounded out the flavors.

Served with jasmine rice and eternal cucumbers.

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Hot and Sour Prawns with Tomatoes and Okra (Pad Bpriow Wahn). A quick and easy stirfry of garlic, onion, prawns, fresno chiles, okra, tomatoes (both yellow and red tomatoes here), with a sauce of fish sauce and white vinegar, plus a little sugar. My adaptation of a recipe from Kasma's classes; the original recipe calls for slices of pickling cucumber rather than okra.

If you keep the okra pods whole (except trim off the cap), and dry them thoroughly before sauteing, they will not be slimy. Really. (I'm trying to win over okra converts here.)

The hot and sour flavor of this dish is a welcome change from the usual stirfry.

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Crab fried rice (kao pad bpoo), from Dancing Shrimp. The recipe only called for a cup of crab meat, but crab meat comes in pound containers. Oh, well. We stir-fried generous quantities of garlic and crab paste, added the rice, fried the eggs, and finished with scallions, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and white pepper. Served with cucumbers, lime wedges, and Thai chiles in fish sauce (prik nahm bplah).

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From the other night: improvised green curry with chicken and mushrooms; stir-fried gai lan with garlic and oyster sauce; jasmine rice; and cucumbers.

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I'm waiting for Dungeness crab season here so I can make that Crab Fried Rice. The improvised green curry looks good too.

I made another foray into the farmers market on Sunday morning, and I was very disciplined about buying only those items that would be cooked or eaten this week.

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(Clockwise, left to right) Arkansas Black apples (never tried 'em), Granny Smith apples, and Davisson apples (never tried these either). The Davisson apples are supposed to be a sport variety of apple, but I couldn't find out anything about them on the web. Also some pickling cukes for salad, and some Nepali Orange chiles (an Indian chile), and some Thai bird chiles.

I was showing admirable self-restraint in my shopping until I passed by a vendor who was selling plants. He had a real bay tree for sale, the true Mediterranean bay tree, as opposed to the California bay so common around here. The flavor of Mediterranean bay leaves is supposed to be superior to that of California bay leaves. Goodbye, self-restraint. I bought a tree.

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That little tree is as cute as a puppy. What can I say?

Back home some apples went into Hot and Sour Apples, a recipe from Kasma's classes. The apples should really be very unripe, crisp, hard green mangoes, but supermarkets usually sell them too ripe for this dish. Tart apples are an OK substitute. I sliced up a couple Granny Smith apples into thin, bite-size pieces, and tossed the pieces with lime juice, thinly sliced Thai chiles, salt and a little sugar until I found a hot, sour, sweet balance that I liked. I overdid the chiles in this batch (because I was entranced by the pretty colors), so I brought out the yogurt and made Thai-style raita with the apples as a topping.

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For Sunday dinner, Pan-Seared Scallops Topped with Choo Chee Curry Sauce (Gkaeng Choo Chee Hoi Shel) from Kasma's Dancing Shrimp. An opulent dish of pan-fried scallops in a thick sauce of red curry and coconut cream. It's spicy, too. A delicious dish, and I know I'll make this one again.

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Shoulda put some bay leaves on it for garnish. :wink:

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For Sunday dinner, Pan-Seared Scallops Topped with Choo Chee Curry Sauce (Gkaeng Choo Chee Hoi Shel) from Kasma's Dancing Shrimp. An opulent dish of pan-fried scallops in a thick sauce of red curry and coconut cream. It's spicy, too. A delicious dish, and I know I'll make this one again.

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Shoulda put some bay leaves on it for garnish.  :wink:

Do you hear that scratching sound? That is the sound an asterisk being inscribed next to that recipe. I love choo chee hoi shel, and yours looks great, especially the beautifully-seared scallops.

Mrs. C brought back a similar haul of apples and pears from a local orchard -- mostly Steadman apples, which have a crisp texture and plenty of tart to balance the sweet. They were delicious in an apple and pear crisp.

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For dinner tonight, Wok-Tossed Fish With Chiles and Thai Basil (Bplah Pad Gkaprow) from Kasma's Dancing Shrimp. Another variation on the ever-popular Basil Chicken. I made this dish with steelhead trout. Some kind of Pad Gkaprow is my go-to dish for busy weekday nights. It's quick and tasty.

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Baked Oysters with Salted Black Beans and Pickled Garlic (Hoi Nahnglom Ohb Dtow See) from Kasma's Dancing Shrimp. Oysters baked with a sauteed topping of pickled garlic, fresh garlic, salted black beans, cilantro root, and ginger. I tossed in a Thai bird chile because I was afraid the mixture would be too bland. ( :laugh: ) A little of this topping goes a long way. I reduced the amt of topping in the recipe by half, and will probably use a little less the next time I cook this dish. The oysters can be served as an appetizer, but I like them best as a main course, served with plenty of steamed rice.

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