Tag Archives: sugar

Lobster with Ginger Sauce

This was yummy, but quite spicy. The ingredients were:

  • Lobster, 2 pounds, cooked
  • Oil
  • Garlic, 4 cloves, minced
  • Sugar, 1 tablespoon
  • Fish sauce, 1 tablespoon
  • Oyster sauce, 2 tablespoons
  • Egg, 1, scrambled
  • Black pepper, 1 teaspoon
  • Ginger, 2 tablespoons
  • Jalapeno peppers, 2, sliced
  • Scallions, 1/2 cup, diced
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The ingredients.

This was my first time cooking with lobster. It was a bit intimidating, but a lot less so with the help of the internets. I was told that I had a few choices about how to cook the thing, and I chose to steam it. Notice how the color of the shell changed, indicating the lobster was ready? That’s a sign that God exists.

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The place I’d love to be.

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Who doesn’t want to be steamed and scalded?

The recipe called for the lobster to be retained in the shell at this stage, but I disagreed. I thought I’d prefer to remove the shell now, while it was relatively easy and clean, instead of later on. So, being an independent-minded sort, that’s exactly what I did.

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All that lobster yields so little lobster.

The rest of the cooking is pretty straightforward. Add the oil and everything except the lobster and cook for a while, until you like the look of the egg and the scallions.

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The next stage of the cooking process.

Then add in the lobster.

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The best part.

Cook for just long enough to warm the lobster and you’re done.

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Lobster is so good.

If I had it to do again, I’d probably use one less hot pepper, but you do you!

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Crispy Pork with Spinach

This one was delicious. AW bit salty, but so, so good – how can you go wrong with pork belly? The ingredients:

  • Oil
  • Pork belly, 2 lbs, thinly sliced
  • Spinach, about a bag worth, chopped
  • Kaffir lime leaves, 10
  • Sugar, 4 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Red curry paste, 6 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

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Not the same as bacon.

Not many ingredients in this one – but it has pork belly, and sometimes, that’s all you need. Cut it up like so, then fry it in the oil until the pork is crispy. Remove the bacon, get rid of the bacon grease, and melt some fresh oil in the pan.

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But just as delicious.

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Doesn’t it look good?

That didn’t take long! Then add the curry paste, mix it all together, and dump in all the other ingredients except for the lime leaves.

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The spinach was a perfect complement.

Cook down for a while. THEN add in the kaffir lime leaves, as well as that already-crispy pork. And you’re done!

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Don’t eat the lime leaves! You know what happens if you do.

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Green Curry with Chicken

This one was an awful lot of work – but it was good! The ingredients were:

For the custom-made Green Curry Paste:

  • Cumin, 2 teaspoons
  • Garlic, 16 cloves
  • Galangal, 2 tablespoons, sliced
  • Lemon grass, 4 stalks, chopped
  • Shrimp paste, 2 teaspoons
  • Kaffir lime skin, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cilantro root, 1 cup
  • Thai chili peppers, 10
  • Jalapeno, 3
  • Shallot, 1

And for the rest:

  • Chicken, 2 pounds, cubed
  • Thai eggplant, 2 cups, quartered
  • Thai basil, 1/2 cup
  • Kaffir lime leaves, 12
  • Sugar, 6 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Coconut milk, 2 cans
  • Coconut cream, 1 can
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The ingredients.

More exotic ingredients! If you’re a longtime blog reader, as many are, you may remember this post, in which I purchased an entire case of kaffir limes, just to harvest the skin.

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Blending.

A bit of that skin is a key ingredient in the green curry you’re supposed to make. As is a cup – an entire cup! – of chopped cilantro root. When I started this Thai cookbook project, I looked everywhere I could for cilantro root. I couldn’t find it anywhere locally, and while I found a small vial of dried and powdered cilantro root online, it wasn’t that cheap. A cup of it would cost me a small fortune. So instead I spent this summer growing more cilantro than I had any right to. Of course I tried to make use of the tops whenever I could, but the real prize were the roots, which I cleaned, chopped, and froze for later use.

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Blending.

Blend all the green curry ingredients together, and it looks like this.

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Coconut-ing.

Add that to the coconut milk, and turn on the heat.

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Stuff.

Put the meat in there, and cook until the meat is ready.

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Hot stuff.

Oh, add the eggplant too. Cook until that’s to your desired level of tenderness.

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Good stuff.

Add the rest – the coconut cream, the basil, the kaffir lime leaves. Cook for another couple of minutes, then enjoy.

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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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