Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Pad Thai

Another amazing recipe from Marianne's kitchen.

150 gm wide vermicelli
2 large chicken thighs
(or breasts)
¼ t white pepper
3-4 T oil
1/3–½ C Pad Thai sauce (recipe below)
3 garlic cloves
1–2 shallots
½ t ground chili pepper (or 1 fresh chili)
6 chives or 2 green onions
1 C of bean sprouts
2 eggs
handful fresh cilantro or ½ T coriander
ground peanuts, bean sprouts, and cilantro (for garnish)

Put a small pan on to boil for the noodles. Meanwhile thinly slice the chicken and sprinkle with the white pepper. Set aside. 

Mince the garlic, shallots, and chives. 

When the water boils, turn off the heat and put the noodles in. Leave the noodles in the hot water for about 5 minutes or until soft enough that you can wrap one in a figure 8 around your fingers. The noodles should be white at this point. Drain and set aside.

Set a wok on the stove at the highest heat. Put 3 T of oil in the pan, and add garlic, shallots, and red pepper (if you are using dry coriander add it now). When the garlic and pepper become fragrant, add the chicken so it is a single layer in the bottom of the pan. When it begins sear, flip. Then add the noodles, then the Pad Thai sauce. Flip the noodles and chicken several times. You want to let them get a little crispy and the liquid in the pan to evaporate. 

When all the liquid is evaporated and the noodles have started to turn clear, add the bean sprouts and stir. Add the chives, then toss. 

As soon as there is no more liquid in the pan and the noodles start sticking to the pan, push all the noodles to one side. Add 1 T of oil, and crack both eggs into the pan. Break the eggs up a bit and scramble them. Put ½ of the fresh coriander on the noodles, and wait till the eggs are a bit cooked. Mix it all together and leave it on the heat until all the liquid dries up. There should be crispy bits on the bottom. 

Garnish with cilantro and ground peanuts if you want. 

Pad Thai sauce

¼ C fish sauce
¼ C brown sugar
3 T tamarind paste
(or lime juice or vinegar)

Place in a saucepan and cook for about 5 min or until it coats a spoon.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Crab Cakes

Crab Cakes with homemade rolls.
Another marvelous recipe from Marianne.

8 oz (about 1 C) crab meat (Be sure to pick through and remove any bits of shell, etc.)
1 t Old Bay seasoning (mainly celery seed, salt and pepper)
½ t dried spicy mustard
¼ t black pepper
2 T mayonnaise
1 egg
2 green onions, minced
2-3 T bread crumbs (you can use any leftover bread)
(4 T cornmeal)
(Oil for frying)

Squeeze all the liquid out of the crab meat and mix in all ingredients (except cornmeal). Let it sit for at least 1 hour.

Shape into mini crab cakes (about 6 mini cakes) and roll in cornmeal (if you just want to bake them, skip this step). 

Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a pan and fry crab cakes until browned on each side. If you prefer to bake them, bake at 180ºC (350ºF) for about 15 minutes or until browned.

Serve on toasted buns with Mango Aioli and any fresh vegetables you want.

Mango Aioli Sauce

Place in a blender and mix until smooth:

¼ C mayonnaise
2 T diced mango
(you can use fresh or frozen)
dash salt
dash black pepper (to taste)
1-2 cloves garlic
¼ t hot pepper paste
dash of mirin or honey (depending on how sweet or tart the mango is)

You can add or subtract any of the ingredients to taste. Let sit for an hour or so before serving. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

German Chocolate Cake

Marianne's adaptation of recipe from the Joy of Baking.

Pre-heat oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Butter/flour three 8 inch pans.

Sift together:

2¼ C all purpose flour
¾ C cocoa powder
1½ t baking powder
½ t baking soda
½ t salt

Place in a double-boiler, or met carefully in a microwave:

½ C (110 gm or 4 oz) baking chocolate (I prefer close to 70% cocoa)
1 C coffee

When chocolate is melted, add:

1 C buttermilk (or put 1 T vinegar in 1 C milk, leave for about 5 min, then add)

In a separate bowl, cream until fluffy (about 5 minutes):

1¼ C butter
2 C sugar

Add one at a time, and mix well after each addition:

5 large eggs


1½ t vanilla

Now, to mix it all together. Alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients in 3 parts, ending with dry. (If you want to use the egg whites left over from the frosting, whip them till fluffy and then fold them into the batter now.)

Divide the batter among the pans and bake for about 35 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool the cakes in their pans for at least 10 minutes, until the sides loosen a bit. Then remove, and place them on a wire rack to cool completely.

Coconut Pecan frosting:

Mix together:

1 C pecans, chopped and toasted
1½ C coconut
½ t vanilla

Put in a pan over low heat, and stir until thickened:

1 C evaporated milk (if you use sweetened condensed milk, don’t add any sugar)
1 C sugar
3 egg yolks
½ C butter
dash of salt

Pour the evaporated milk mixture over the nuts and mix. Let it cool either in the fridge or on the counter for an hour or so.

When the cakes are completely cooled, layer the cake and frosting. Let the cake sit for at least 3 hours before serving. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Panang Curry

Marianne's beautiful Panang Curry

1½ T panang curry paste
1 T peanut butter
½ medium sized onion, sliced
300 gm thinly sliced chicken (or beef)
2 regular Asian eggplants (if you can get the little round ones, those are even better)*

1 can coconut milk - left to sit so it separates
¼ t chicken bouillon

(2-4 T water)
½-1 T brown sugar (preferably palm sugar)
1 T fish sauce
Dash lime or lemon juice
(red chilies, if you really want to spice it up)
fresh holy basil or regular basil for garnishing)

*Other vegetable options are sliced kabocha squash, red pepper, or whatever else you think would be good. Keep in mind that harder vegetables take longer to cook, so if you use squash or carrots, put them in after the coconut milk. You can always take them out and set aside when done, so they don't turn to mush if you still want the broth simmer and cook down.

Place the coconut cream (from the top of the can) in a pan over medium heat. Cook gently until it begins to separate, then add the onions. When the onions are clear, add the panang curry paste and fry it till fragrant. 

Add the chicken and stirfry until the outside of the pieces turns whitish. Add the peanut butter (only if your panang paste doesn’t contain peanuts), the rest of the coconut milk and the bouillon. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time, then add the fish sauce and sugar to taste.  

Add the eggplant and/or other vegetables. Continue cooking over a low fire until everything is cooked and the sauce reduces a bit. It should look like a thick stew or curry. Turn the heat off, and add the dash of lime juice, chilies, and basil to taste.

Serve over fresh rice.