Pad Thai

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(Click on pic to enlarge)

Serves 2

4 OZ. of Thai noodles (Cooked)
2 TBSP vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic
2 chicken thighs (boiled in 2 cups water for 20 minutes and de-boned, cut into cubes)
¼ red bell pepper or green bell pepper sliced thin
¼ yellow bell pepper sliced thin
3 scallions chopped
Fresh cilantro chopped for garnish
½ cup frozen peas
½ cup frozen broccoli
½ cup re-hydrated dried shiitake mushrooms
Lime slices optional
Fresh Thai Basil (from my garden) cut into thin strips with scissors.

Sauce
3 TBSP Vegan fish sauce (See Vegan Fish Sauce)
1 TBSP soy sauce
2 TBSP light brown sugar or Shaoxing Cooking Wine
1 TBSP Sriracha
2 TBSP creamy peanut butter or add whole peanuts to the dish or both (Most Pad Thai calls for whole peanuts)

Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl with a small whisk.

In an iron Dutch oven add the oil and throw in all the veggies and stir fry 10 minutes on medium.  Toss in the chicken and remaining ingredients.  Add the sauce and mix. Heat until everything is hot and the chicken is cooked tenderly.

Serve over hot Thai noodles, add more Sriracha and cilantro.

Thai Noodles are found in most super markets.  All noodles including Italian cook exactly 12 minutes.

As of 7/3/21

Thai Beef with Thai Noodles and Thai Basil

Serves two, adjust accordingly. If you can’t find Thai Basil substitute cilantro only add the cilantro at the end when serving.  (Pic w/cilantro below).

4 oz, Thai Kitchen Brand stir-fry rice noodle (or Ramen Noodles from the cheap pack)

4 tsp. Thai Kitchen red curry paste
1 large garlic clove minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lime squeezed juice
¼ cup white wine
¼ cup chicken stock
Dash red pepper flakes, (If you would prefer instead of flakes add Sriracha or Chiu Chow Chili Oil when serving)
1 Tbsp. brown sugar (Or substitute Aji-Mirin)

Suggest cut on a mandolin:
½ red onion thinly sliced
½ large cucumber thinly sliced and again into spaghetti
1 red bell pepper thinly sliced (or 1/2 red bell and carrots slice thinly)
¼ cup Thai basil leaves or regular basil sliced (or add cilantro when serving)

1 Lb. flank steak (or rib eye steak)
S&P
Olive oil

Brush olive oil on flank steak and add salt and pepper to both sides. Get your grille hot cook 3 minutes each side remove bring inside and let rest. Should be red on the inside. Cut long ways 2 inches with the grain and then cut slices against the grain.

In a large Dutch over add olive oil and add onion, cucumber, red bell, basil and sauté gently about 5 minutes (al dente) and remove.

In the same pot add red curry, garlic and gently fry together a couple of minutes then add the wine, chicken stock, brown sugar, red pepper flakes and lime juice. Stir until you get slight gravy. Add the meat and cook on medium with the lid on for 12 minutes and turn off and let steam.

At the same time boil water with salt and when the water is boiling add the noodles and cook exactly 12 minutes. Drain the noodles.

Place the vegetables in the microwave for 30 secs to reheat.

Take tongs and grab some noodle and place in a bowl, use the tongs to grab some veggies and place over noodle, use the tongs and place meat on top and spoon in some red curry gravy.

Serve and eat with chop sticks.

The idea is to char the meat but leave the center uncooked. When added to the gravy it will cook a little more and brown but will be warm and tender when served. The veggies should still be al dente and the noodles soft.

As of 4/18/21

Chicken Piccata

Piccata is referring to a sauce.  Piccata in general is made with veal.  In this case chicken.  This dish is fried chicken with a buttery lemon sauce.

Serves 2

First boil water for the pasta.  When adding the pasta at about half way cooking add the spinach listed below.

Slice the chicken in two pieces and then slice the thick part down the middle flat ½ inch thick.  Pound if need to make ½ inch.  Place plastic over chicken and gently pound the chicken just a little.  Salt and pepper the chicken. 

Flour chicken:
Dredge the chicken in flour.  Add tow TBSP olive oil and heat. In a 12″ fry pan get the oil hot shimmer, add chicken and brown golden for ~ 4 minutes per side.  When the chicken is browned, remove, place in a platter.

Sauce:
½ cup white wine
1 TBSP capers
1 TBSP chopped Italian Parsley
2 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 TBSP butter
¼ cup chicken stock

In the pan drippings, add the capers and then the wine to de glaze the pan and then add the rest of the ingredients and finish on low temp.  Return the chicken and coat in the sauce. 

Pasta:
Thin Spaghetti
Fresh baby spinach
1 TBSP butter
Reserve some pasta water to reheat

No matter what time zone or country of origin you are in, all dried pasta takes EXACTLY 12 minutes to cook in boiling water.

As of 6/20/21

Stir Fry Sweet Beef with Veggies and Turmeric

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(click on pics to enlarge)

This is my own formula. I’ve been working on the exact right flavors and found it. It is kind of a Thai assortment and has a little heat with the chili sauce and then sweetness with the Shoaxing and turmeric.  If you can’ find Shoaxing then substitute brown sugar and sherry.

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Marinade for 1 pound of meat:
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp corn starch
2 tsp sherry
Alternatively using Chinese Shoaxing Cooking Wine:
2 tsp veg oil
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp Shoaxing Wine

First Step to marinade:
1 tsp baking soda (add the baking soda to 1/2 cup water and soak the meat ~30 minutes.  Not too long or the meat will get gushy.  The baking soda tenderizes the meat and help it brown better in the wok.   Thoroughly rinse the meat to remove the baking soda)

Second step is to marinade the meat at least an hour in the marinade choice listed above.

Wok Sauce:
1/3 cup chicken stock
1 ½ TBSP soy sauce
1 tsp. chili sauce
1 TBSP cornstarch (added to the cold chicken broth and whisk, the cornstarch thickens the sauce)
½ tsp. Turmeric
1 ½ TBSP Shoaxing cooking wine or sherry

Veggies:
4 small Napa cabbage (Chinese cabbage) cut thin
1 carrot cut into match sticks
4 mushrooms (Shiitake or white)
3 scallions chopped
4 or 5 broccoli heads quartered
½ TBSP garlic – minced
½ TBSP fresh ginger – minced
½ small yellow onion chopped into half moon pieces
½ green bell pepper, thinly sliced
½ orange bell pepper, thinly sliced

Meat:
½ Lb. beef chuck, sliced into thinly cut short pieces

Oil
3 TBSP veggie oil
1 TBSP sesame oil

Prepare the veggies, ginger, garlic and meat

Marinade: Place the beef in a bowl and mix with the marinade listed above and leave on the counter.

Wok Sauce: Mix all ingredients in the 1/3 cup of cold water and let stand.

In a wok:

Sauté the ginger and garlic in a TBSP of oil for a minute or so on a low heat and remove. This avoids burning the ginger/garlic.

Brown the meat in the oil in batches. Add more oil as you need. Remove and set aside.

Sauté the onions for a minute or so and then add the veggies. Add more oil as needed. Cook those about 4 to 5 minutes – stir often.

Return everything to the wok and then add the sauce. Get the sauce hot until it thickens, mix everything together and then cover and cook on low for several minutes.

Serve over rice or noodles.

As of 6/20/21

Maque Choux (Corn Vegetable Stew)

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This is a purely Cajun dish. But, up here in the Midwest there is wonderful sweet corn. In fact, the best sweet corn I ever ate. Between my garden and my neighbor’s garden, there are enough veggies and fresh herbs around to make a fresh Maque Choux (corn vegetable stew). The corn came from a farmer nearby.  The really nice part about growing vegetables versus playing golf or fishing, you can drink a LOT of beer and wine waiting for your vegetables to grow. Just sayin.

I add a little sausage for flavor. My mother used to make it this way. Other recipes I’ve seen use andouille sausage, bacon or tasso (Cajun ham). The reason I chose Kielbasa is I will share this with my neighbor and as a plain Midwestern version. You can spice this up all you want, I’m not a big cayenne pepper fan.

I want the browned meat b/c I will use the meat “fond” for added flavor. As you know a “fond” is a French term that means “base” or remaining little bits of meat. But, there are many versions that do not include meat served as a side. I will serve this as a main dish.

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Ingredients:
10 oz. Turkey, Beef and Pork Kielbasa (Brown sausage in olive oil)
1 TBSP olive oil

6 uncooked fresh ears of corn – cut the corn using a sharp knife digging into the cob and getting the milk of the corn (There is no way you can do this without getting corn on the floor.)

Mirepoix Trinity (Used at first for the natural sugar and flavors)
½ cup quarter chopped celery stalks, I prefer the center stalk
1 cup or 1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup of green bell pepper, chopped

2 cups diced tomatoes – I used one Roma and one yellow
¾ cup scallions (green onions)
1 garlic clove minced

8 TBSP unsalted butter
Thyme – fresh
Kosher salt (pinch)

Dash of white wine
½ cup of chicken stock

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Cooking Directions:
• Lightly brown the sausage in olive oil and remove
• Add the (Mirepoix) onion, celery, bell pepper and sauté four minutes. Add the dash of white wine to release the fond while sautéing and scraping the bottom of the pot
• Add the butter and melt
• On low heat add the corn and mix until the corn is buttered.
• Add thyme, return the meat, pinch of salt, ½ cup chicken stock and cook covered on medium heat 15 minutes
• Watch the pot, don’t let it over cook
• Add the remaining ingredients and cook another 15 minutes on medium to low heat. Add more chicken stock if necessary (There should only be just enough fluids to steam the corn and release the corn milk)

100_6878As of 6/6/21