Monthly Archives: March 2017

Pork and Beans, But Thai

This recipe was delicious, and would have been a lot less arduous if I hadn’t misunderstood the instructions. The ingredients:

  • Ground pork, 1 pound
  • Shrimp, peeled, 8 oz to 1 pound
  • Snake beans, 1 pound
  • Thai chili peppers, 6-10
  • Bell peppers, 1-2
  • Garlic, 16 cloves, minced
  • Shrimp paste, 2 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 6 tablespoons
  • Lime juice, 6 tablespoons
  • Brown sugar, 4 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

These are snake beans, by the way. They taste more or less like green beans do; they’re just extraordinarily long. I found these at an asian market.

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Snake beans, before.

My misunderstanding was this: the instructions said that I should remove the beans from their pods. So I did so. But that’s not necessary with snake beans. Whoops.

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Snake beans, after.

These are the beans that resulted. But again, it would have been fine if I’d just used them like green beans.

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Snake beans, after.

The next step is to crush the garlic, shrimp paste, and chili peppers together, until they’re well-mashed. Using a mortar and pestle would be appropriate, here.

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Crushing things is fun.

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Crushed.

Next, add in the sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice. Let that stew for a while.

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Stewing.

In a pan, start to stir-fry the ground pork in some oil.

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Ground pork is ground.

Then start to add everything else. First, the bell peppers.

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With bell peppers.

Then the shrimp and the paste mixture. Cook until everything seems done to you, and enjoy.

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And all the rest. Enjoy!

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Jungle Catfish Curry

This dish was good, but not exceptional. Be forewarned. The ingredients:

  • Catfish, 1.5 pounds, cut into cubes or 1-inch slices
  • Thai eggplant, 1 cup
  • Jalapeno pepper, sliced, 1/4 cup
  • Thai basil, 1/2 cup
  • Kaffir lime leaves, 10
  • Fish sauce, 1/4 cup
  • Water, 3 cups

And for the paste:

  • Shallots, 8
  • Garlic, 6 cloves
  • Jalapeno peppers, 4-6
  • Canned peppercorns, 1 teaspoon
  • Shrimp paste, 1 teaspoon
  • Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Lesser ginger, 1/4 cup, chopped
  • Lemongrass, 2 tablespoons, chopped
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The ingredients.

Some of the ingredients are a little unusual, or hard to find. The Thai eggplants I found at an asian market.

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Thai eggplants. They’re like American eggplants, but different.

The lesser ginger I couldn’t find fresh, and so I had to order it dried, and online. When you use it, be sure to soak it in water for at least 30 minutes beforehand.

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The lesser ginger.

Finally, I found the canned peppercorns at an asian market, as well. They look like this:

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Canned peppercorns.

Blend together all the ingredients for the paste, until it looks something like this:

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The paste.

Then add the paste to a pan with some oil and fry for about a minute. Then, add in the fish, vegetables, kaffir lime leaves, water, and fish sauce.

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Into the pot it goes.

While they’re cooking, you can prepare some of the remaining ingredients: the jalapeno and thai basil.

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Slicing and washing.

Once everything else is cooked down to your satisfaction, add in the basil and jalapeno, and dinner is served!

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Enjoy.

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Seafood with Lemongrass

Oh my, this was delicious. Delicious!!! The ingredients:

  • Shrimp, shelled, about 8 oz
  • Scallops, about 8 oz
  • Fish fillets, about 8 oz
  • Mussels, about 8 oz
  • Bamboo shoots, 1 can
  • Mushrooms, 8 oz
  • Green bell pepper, sliced
  • Thai basil, 2/3 cup
  • Lemongrass, copped, about 2 stalks’ worth
  • Sugar, 1 tablespoon
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Coconut milk, 1 can
  • Green curry paste, 1/2 cup
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The ingredients.

First, you’ll want to prep the ingredients. I used fresh mussels, but you don’t have to. But if you do, you may want to wash them, and possibly debeard them.

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Mussel prep.

The other seafood is easier to prepare.

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Seafood prep.

Put the seafood in the pan, along with some oil, and saute on high heat for 2 minutes or so.

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Seafood in the pan.

This should be enough time for you to cut and slice the mushrooms and peppers.

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Veggie prep.

Then add them to the pan as well, along with all the other ingredients.

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Veggies in the pan.

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Along with everything else.

Cook until everything is done and the vegetables are at your desired texture. Enjoy! This dish is amazing.

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Seriously: yum.

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Burmese Chicken Curry

I pronounce this recipe: good. The ingredients:

  • Chicken, 3 pounds of breasts or thighs
  • Shallots, 8, thinly sliced
  • Tomatoes, 4, cut into wedges
  • Mushrooms, 8-16 oz, sliced
  • Water, 6 cups
  • Milk, 1 cup
  • Fish sauce, 1/3 cup
  • Butter, 4 tablespoons
  • Sugar, 3 tablespoons
  • Yellow curry powder, 2 tablespoons
  • Red curry paste, 2 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

The first step: cutting up the chicken. You should cut yours exactly like I cut mine. Exactly.

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Exactly.

Next, saute the shallot slices in 3/4 of the butter.

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In the pan.

Cook until they’re golden brown, and then set aside.

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Cooked.

Then add the rest of the butter to the pan, , and stir in the curry paste and the curry poweder. Cook for about two minutes, or until the next resignation from the Trump Administration, whichever comes first.

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More stuff in the pan. Does it never end?

Then add the chicken and cook for five more minutes, on high heat.

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Now the chicken goes in, too.

This may be a good time to prep the other ingredients: your tomato and mushroom slices.

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Mushrooms and tomatoes and bears, oh my!

Next, add in everything else. Wait! With on exception: not the shallots. Discriminate against them for a while.

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Discriminate.

Heat to boiling and cook for another 30 minutes, or until the dish looks exactly like this. Exactly.

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Nearly done.

Then eat over rice and sprinkle the shallots on top.

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This is the part where you eat it.

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Mom’s Apple Pie

This apple pie is great – every time I make it, it gets rave reviews. The ingredients:

  • Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust
  • Sugar, ¾ cup
  • Flour, 2 tablespoons
  • Sour cream, 1 cup
  • Vanilla, ½ tsp
  • Apples, 3-4 cups
  • 1 egg (well-beaten)

And for the topping:

  • Sugar, 1/3 cup
  • Flour, 1/3 cup
  • Cinnamon, 1 tsp
  • Butter, cold, ¼ cup
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The ingredients.

First, place the pie crust, and then flute the edges, like so:

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Pie crust,

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fluted.

The next step is to combine the sugar and flour.

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Stuff.

And then mix in the egg, vanilla, and sour cream.

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More stuff.

Mix in the apple slices.

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Still more stuff.

And then place them in the pie.

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Stuff INSIDE of stuff.

Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, and then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes more.

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Still more stuff.

Meanwhile, make the topping: blend the topping ingredients until crumbles are formed. Then sprinkle these on top of the pie and bake for another 15 minutes.

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The crumbles.

Your pie should come out looking like this: beautiful!

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The end result.

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Delicious Ginger Snap Cookies

These came out incredibly. The ingredients:

  • Flour, all-purpose, 2 cups
  • Baking soda, 2 teaspoons
  • Ground ginger, 1 teaspoon
  • Ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon sugar, 1/3 cup
  • Sugar, 1 cup
  • Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Dark molasses, 1/4 cup
  • Butter, 3/4 cup
  • Egg, 1
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The ingredients.

In case you’re wondering, cinnamon sugar is awesome, and you can make it yourself, as I did.

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Cinnamon sugar.

First, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Then, sift a few of the ingredients together into a mixing bowl: the flour, ginger, salt, and cinnamon. Then sift again into another bowl, to ensure an even mixture, and because you deserve the sifting-punishment.

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This is how you sift. With a sifter.

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Sifted.

Next, put the butter in a bowl and beat until creamy.

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Beaten.

At that point, gradually beat in the white sugar. Then the egg, and dark molasses. And then, the crème de la crème: the opposite of cream, the flour mixture. Sift in a third of it at first, blend thoroughly, then sift in the rest.

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Beaten, part deux.

Mix together until a doughy softness forms. Pinch off small amounts and roll into 1-inch diameter balls; then roll those balls in the cinnamon sugar.

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Doughy goodness.

Place these on a baking sheet (ungreased) and bake for about 10 minutes.

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Into the oven.

Then cool and enjoy. They’re great!

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Out of the oven.

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Fish With Pickled Plums

Sadly, this recipe was a failure. Admittedly, I made the dish with fillets instead of whole fish, and that may have made a difference. But as it was, it was barely edible. So naturally, you’ll want to know the recipe. The ingredients are:

  • Fish, cod or some other white fish, 1.5 pounds (again, I used fillets rather than a whole fish)
  • Jalapeno peppers, 2, sliced
  • Pickled plums, 3, slivered
  • Lime juice, 2 tablespoons
  • White wine, 1 tablespoon
  • Ginger, slivered, 2 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 1 tablespoon
  • Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Ground white pepper, 1/2 teaspoon
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The ingredients.

The unique ingredient here is pickled plum. I found mine at a Japanese grocery.

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The pickled plums.

This is what they look like, in case you’re curious.

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The pickled plums.

The first step is to coat the fish in the salt and pepper, which I did by shaking it in a bag, like so.

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Prepping the fish.

Then place it on a steaming plate.

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Steaming.

Add in the rest of the ingredients as well.

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Steaming.

Then cover and steam for 30 minutes, and you’re done. Enjoy? I didn’t, but as I said – if you use a whole fish, you may have better results.

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Yum? Ummm…

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Panaeng Curry

This recipe turned out yummy and nutty, though perhaps it could have benefited from a few more veggies. The ingredients:

  • Beef, 2 pounds, sliced
  • Green bell pepper, sliced
  • Red bell pepper, sliced
  • Onion, sliced
  • Roasted peanuts, ground, 8 tablespoons
  • Panaeng curry paste, 8 tablespoons
  • Coconut cream, 4 tablespoons

And for the sauce:

  • Coconut milk, 2 cans
  • Fish sauce, 8 tablespoons
  • Sugar, 8 tablespoons
  • Kaffir lime leaves, 12
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The ingredients.

The first step is simple: mix together all the sauce ingredients and then set them aside. Ignore them pointedly and studiously.

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The sauce, being prepped.

Next, prep some of your other ingredients – the beef, the peppers, etc.

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Sliced beef.

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Sliced other stuff.

Next, heat the curry paste in oil for about a minute, on low heat. Then, turn up the heat and add the beef.

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Beef fry.

While the beef is frying, you can prep the peanuts. Unless you have ground peanuts lying around – I don’t – you may want to do as I did and use a spice grinder to grind them up.

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Unground.

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Ground.

Once the beef has cooked a bit, add in the sauce, and cook until the sauce has thickened a bit.

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Adding the sauce.

Then add in everything else!

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Adding veggies.

Cook until the veggies have reached your desired level of tastiness, and you’re done. If you want, you can serve the curry with some extra coconut cream on top.

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The final product.

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Beef Bourguignon

This is one of our favorite recipes. It’s time-consuming to prepare, but absolutely delicious. The ingredients:

  • Beef, 3 pounds, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Bacon, thick-cut, 6-8 slices
  • Red wine, 2 cups, divided
  • Onions, 2 medium, thinly sliced
  • Carrots, 4 medium, diced
  • Celery, 3 stalks, diced
  • Mushrooms, 1 pound, quartered
  • Garlic, 2 cloves, minced
  • Tomato paste, 1 tablespoon (or more, if you don’t want to waste the rest)
  • Chicken broth, 1-2 cups
  • Thyme, 3-4 sprigs, fresh
  • Bay leaf, 1

You may also want to serve with paste, or a baguette, or with chopped parsley to garnish.

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The ingredients.

The first step is to chop up the bacon, and fry it, like so:

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Bacon in a pan.

Remove the bacon from the pan – you’ll add it later. And remove most of the bacon grease as well; leave just enough to coat the bottom of the pan.

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Bacon outside a pan.

Prepare your beef with as much salt and pepper as you prefer.

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Peppered beef!

Then begin to sear the cubes in batches. Don’t crowd the meat, and be sure to let it char a bit before you dislodge it. You’re not actually trying to cook it thoroughly; instead, you’re simply searing it in the bacon fat.

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Deliciousness.

Once you’re done with a batch, put the cubes in your slow cooker.

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In the slow cooker.

Add a bit of the wine to the pan, a quarter cup each time, to dislodge and scrape off whatever bits of meat may remain, pour/scrape those into the slow cooker, as well. Continue until all the beef is prepared.

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Cleaning the pan with wine.

Next, prepare your carrots, celery, and onion.

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Veggies, sweet veggies.

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Oh, and onions too.

Fry the onion in some more of the bacon grease until it’s browned, and then add in the carrots and the celery; cook until soft.

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Now they’re golden.

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Cooked in bacon grease.

Then add in a few more ingredients – the garlic and the tomato paste. Cook until fragrant, and then add the whole mixture to the slow cooker.

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With garlic and tomato paste.

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Then into the slow cooker.

Make sure the pan is clean, and then add more of the bacon grease; add the mushrooms when it’s warm, along with 1/4 teaspoon of salt (to help release the liquid from the mushrooms). Cook until the mushrooms are golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Then set the mushrooms aside – you’ll add them later, just like the bacon.

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Before.

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And after.

As for the stuff in the slow cooker, you slow cook it. Covered, on low, for 8 hours or so. Before you do, add in a teaspoon of salt, the bay leaf, and the sprigs of thyme. Also pour in the rest of the wine and the chicken broth; the liquid should come about three-quarters of the way to the top of the ingredients.

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Slow cooking.

Then, in 6-8 hours, mix in the mushrooms and the bacon, and enjoy (perhaps with pasta or good bread). It’s delicious!

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Egyptian Red Lentil Soup

This recipe didn’t turn out so well for me – it was a bit thick and felt like it stuck to my insides. Maybe it’ll work better with a bit more water? In any case, it was a great opportunity for us to break out the immersion blender. The ingredients:

  • Water, 5 cups
  • Red lentils, 2 cups
  • Onions, chopped, 2 cups
  • Potatoes, chopped, 1 cup
  • Garlic, 8-10 cloves
  • Cilantro, chopped, 1/3 cup
  • Lemon juice, 3 tablespoons
  • Oil, 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin, 2 teaspoons
  • Salt, 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
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The ingredients.

First, bring the water to a boil along with the potatoes, onions, lentils, and garlic. Then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until everything is tender.

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Boil, and then simmer.

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Once the simmering is complete.

Then warm the oil until it’s hot, but not smoking pot. Then add the spices – the turmeric, cumin, and salt, stirring constantly until it becomes fragrant, or about 2-3 minutes.

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Adding spices to warm oil.

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Mixed.

Then remove from the heat and allow to cool for a minute or two before you add the mixture, along with the cilantro, to the main pot.

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All in the pot.

This is where you get to use the immersion blender.

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A fine machine.

Add the lemon juice, and then you’re done!

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The finished product.

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