Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday Recipes - Thai Omelets and Shrimp Rice Salad

Broke out the Thai cookbook today. My recipes were limited by the fact that I didn't want to buy 2 dozen ingredients, and I don't like coconut. I briefly considered making spring rolls, but didn't want to deal with the wrapping and frying. I figured an omelette would be pretty easy, and a salad even easier.

I had to improvise a bit. The store I went to did have lemongrass (and let me tell you, it's very bizarre to cut up something that looks like a dry scallion and have it smell like lemon), but they didn't have lime leaves or thai basil. Also, I forgot to buy cucumber, but the salad recipe says that you can pretty much throw anything in there and it'll work. Also, I used frozen shrimp instead of dried shrimp with shrimp paste.

Thai Omelet
8oz pork (I actually used a pound, and the flavors still came out just fine)
2 tomatoes, diced
onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2T sugar
2T fish sauce (doesn't actually taste like fish, so don't let the name deter you)
1-2T cilantro, minced
2T peanut/grapeseed oil
5 eggs
2T fish sauce

Pour oil into pan and saute onion and garlic until soft (but don't let the garlic brown or it can become bitter). Add pork and cook until slightly browned. Add tomato, cilantro, 2T fish sauce and sugar and cook until liquid (from the tomatoes) has thickened a little bit (or, until you get tired of cooking it, like me, and just use a slotted spoon to remove it from the pan).

Beat eggs together with 2T fish sauce (what I did was to do three eggs at a time, as that was one omelet and when I make the rest of the pork into the omelet, I'll crack more eggs). Pour the egg mixture in a thin layer into a medium-large pan and cook until slightly browned on the bottom and no longer runny on top. Spoon pork mixture on top. Using a spatula, serve on a plate. The recipe said to fold the egg over the pork into a packet. However, I put too much pork and it just didn't fold easily (it'll come out of the pan more easily if you lift it a little on each side to loosen before sliding the whole thing out). So I just had a pork sandwiched in egg, and it was tasty.

Shrimp Rice Salad
3C cooked rice (I used brown rice)
20 frozen shrimp, defrosted and cut into small pieces (I'm guessing at the amount, this is flexible)
2 lemongrass stalks, sliced into small pieces
C toasted slivered almonds
avocado, pitted and diced
juice of 1 lime (the recipe called for 2 lime leaves)
2 Thai basil leaves (I left this out all together)
1 Asian pear, cored and diced
1 1/4C water
2T sweet chili sauce
1 spicy green/red pepper, minced
2T brown sugar

While the rice is cooking, put the water, sugar, 1/2 stalk sliced lemongrass, lime juice, and shrimp in a small pot and bring to a boil for about five minutes. The original recipe said to strain the liquid and use that as dressing, discarding the rest (given that the dried shrimp would not be included and therefore not discarded. I chose to add the shrimp to the dressing, and therefore didn't strain it).

Put the rice in a large bowl and let it cool. Remove dressing from heat and let cool. While cooling, cut up the pear, the rest of the lemongrass, and the avocado (and 1/2 cucumber, if desired). Toast the almonds.

Add the pear, lemongrass, avocado, almonds, sweet chili sauce, Thai basil (if desired), chili pepper and dressing. Mix thoroughly.

To be honest, I haven't actually tried it yet, but will be eating it for lunch. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday Recipe - Spicy Chicken Stir Fry

This week starts of Asian month on the Lethological Gourmet. This stir fry is Chinese with a touch of Thai in the lime juice.

It actually turned out pretty well. Whenever I make stir fry, it either seems to turn out really well or really badly, with no in between. Thankfully, it ended up quite flavorful and spicy (I added in some extra red pepper flakes, just in case). The cilantro is also my addition, just because I had a bunch extra fom another recipe that I didn't want to go to waste.

The recipe makes about four large servings, and I served it on a bed of quinoa.

Spicy Chicken Stir Fry
1/2t ground turmeric
1/2t ground ginger
t salt
t ground pepper
2t ground cumin
T ground coriander
t red pepper flakes (to taste)
T sugar
lb skinless, boneless chicken, cut into small pieces
1 bunch of scallions, sliced into small rounds
2 red bell peppers, cut into thin 2" strips
1 zucchini, cut into thin 2" strips
1 baby eggplant, peeled and cut into 2" strips
1 medium onion, cut into 2" strips
T lime juice
T honey
1/4-1/2C minced cilantro

Mix the turmeric, ginger, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes and sugar in a bowl and mix well. Add the chicken to the spice mixture and coat thoroughly.

Heat 2T of oil in a pan and stir fry chicken until cooked through and golden brown. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Add a little more oil to the pan and cook veggies until soft. Add chicken, lime juice and honey. Add cilantro just before serving.