Tag Archives: sugar

Gai Pad Bai Gaprow

This is my favorite Thai takeout dish, so why not try to make it myself? Well, it’s been a long journey, hamstrung by a lack of certain ingredients, but I finally managed. Those ingredients, by the way, are:

  • Chicken, minced, 2 pounds
  • Bell peppers, 1-2
  • Mushrooms, 1-2 cartons
  • Onions, 1-2
  • Jalapeno peppers, 3-12 (depending on how hot you want it!)
  • Hot basil leaves, 2 cups
  • Sugar, 4 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Oil
  • Canned green peppercorns, 2 teaspoons
  • Shallots, 8, minced
  • Garlic, 12 cloves, minced
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The ingredients.

The first one you may have trouble locating is canned green peppercorns. I had to go to an Asian market to obtain mine.

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Peppercorns.

But the other was harder still – hot basil, otherwise known as holy basil, or tulsi. I couldn’t find it anywhere, so I ultimately bought some seeds and grew my own. Which, you know, took a while, but the results were delicious.

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Happy hot basil.

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The prunings.

Once you’ve assembled your ingredients, the first step is to blend. Some recipes alternately call for mashing with a mortar and pestle, but I decided to blend instead. Blend what, you ask? The shallots, the hot peppers, the garlic, and the peppercorns.

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Pre-blend.

When you do you’ll get a paste like this:

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Post-blend.

Add that paste to your wok, after you’ve heated some oil.

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In the wok.

After you’ve warmed the paste for a minute or so, add in the chicken, sugar, and fish sauce.

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Adding the chicken.

Heat until the chicken is cooked.

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Chicken, cooked.

Then add in the veggies you’ve prepared.

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Veggies!

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Veggies!

When they’ve cooked down to your desired level of tenderness, add the basil leaves.

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So, so delicious.

Finally, serve over rice – with a fried egg on top, if you wish.

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Still not as good as takeout – but yummy nonetheless.

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Spicy Catfish

My note for this recipe is one word: “yummy.” The ingredients are:

  • Catfish, 2 lbs
  • Thai Eggplant, 1-2 cups, cut into wedges
  • Thai basil leaves, 1 cup or so
  • Lemon grass, 4 stalks
  • Garlic, 12 cloves, minced
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Sugar, 2 tablespoons
  • Lesser Ginger, 1/2 cup, thinly sliced
  • Oil
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The ingredients.

I have to say, I looked at the local Asian markets and couldn’t find fresh lesser ginger. So I bought it dried, online.

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Lesser ginger.

When you get it dried, you should soak it before you cook with it. I soaked it for half an hour or so, but I’d actually recommend 2-3 times as long.

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Soaking.

The cooking instructions are so simple, that you may find (like I did) that your first step should simply be to prepare the ingredients. This is the eggplant, basil, lemongrass.

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Prepped.

Oh, and garlic.

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Pre-mince.

Remember when I said the cooking instructions were simple? Well, they are. Heat the oil in a skillet, then add the catfish.

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The catfish.

And then, you know, everything else.

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In the skillet.

Cook until the catfish is done, and then the meal is done.

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Done.

We ate ours over rice!

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Yum!

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Lemon Grass Pork Chops

These were so yummy. The ingredients:

  • Pork chops, about 4 or so
  • Garlic, 2 cloves, minced
  • Lemon grass, 2 tablespoons, chopped
  • Scallion, 1 tablespoon, chopped
  • White pepper, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Sugar, 2 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 2 tablespoons
  • Soy sauce, 2 tablespoons
  • Sesame oil, 1 tablespoon
  • Whiskey, 1 tablespoon
  • Coconut milk, 2 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

The first step is to make the marinade, which combines all the ingredients except the pork (although, ultimately as you can guess, the pork goes in as well).

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The marinade.

Yup, you guessed it: then add the pork.

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Marinading.

Marinade for at leats 10 minutes, and then grill – perhaps for about 8 minutes on each side, although your experience may differ.

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Grilling.

And then it’s done and – believe me – delicious.

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These were great. Have I said that enough?

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Calamari That’s Spicy (But Not Really)

Another Thai adventure; here’s the ingredients:

  • Cleaned Squid, 2 lbs
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato
  • Garlic, 10 cloves, minced
  • Cornstarch, 2 tablespoons
  • White pepper, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Sugar, 2 tablespoons
  • Soy sauce, 2 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 4 tablespoons
  • White wine, 4 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

This was my first time cooking with squid, and it was fun. The first step is to create the marinade, by mixing all of the ingredients with the exception of the garnishes (cucumber and tomato) and the squid. When you do, it looks like this:

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The marinade.

The squid itself requires a bit more work. This is what a mantle looks like:

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The mantle.

After it’s been washed and whatnot, you should do a bunch of scoring – hatch marks diagonally in both directions. This will help soften the squid as it cooks, and allow the flavors of the marinade to more deeply penetrate and infuse the flesh.

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The mantle, scored.

Then slice it up into strips or rings or whatever you like. You may also have some tentacle bits, as we did. Again, you’ll wash these.

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Tentacles!

Then add everything into the marinade and let it steep for at least 10 minutes.

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Marinading.

Then stir-fry on the stove, in some oil (I separated the squid from the marinade because it was, after all, just a marinade).

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Saute!

When the squid is firm and curled, you’ll know you’re done cooking.

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Curly bits.

Then garnish and you’re done. Yum!

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Done!

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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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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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Glass Noodles With Pork

This dish turned out okay – nice, tasty, but nothing particularly special. The ingredients were:

  • Ground pork, 1 lb
  • Cellophane noodles, 4 oz
  • Cabbage, sliced, 1-2 cups
  • Scallions, chopped into 1-inch lengths, 1-2 cups
  • Eggs, 4
  • Garlic, 6 cloves
  • Fish sauce, 6 tablespoons
  • Sugar, 4 tablespoons
  • Maggi seasoning, 2 tablespoons
  • Oil
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The ingredients.

The first step is simple: soak the noodles in warm water for about 10 minutes.

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Warm water and noodles.

After a while, you’ll see that they’ve grown, as if by magic!

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Just the noodles.

Next, fry the pork in the oil. Then add the eggs and garlic.

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Frying, frying.

Once that’s more-or-less cooked, add in everything else.

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The onions and cabbage, prepared in advance.

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The finished product.

And voila! Enjoy.

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