Tag Archives: Recipes

Smoked Trout

Some months ago, we took our first drive from our new home, across the mountains, to beautiful Bright – what a treat. The drive is an easy five to six hours, and the scenery is simply sensational! As we climbed the winding roads, the scenery continued to change. There were eagles soaring, incredible panoramas and great anticipation for a fun few days ahead. It was autumn and Bright in autumn is always a stunning canvas of autumnal colour. Continue reading

Som Tam Salad (Green Pawpaw/Mango Salad)

Som Tam is Green Pawpaw salad that originated in the north-east of Thailand (although some argue that it is actually from Laos). The wonderful, refreshing combination of sweet, hot, sour, salty and bitter is amazing and leaves you reaching for more, particularly on a hot summer’s day.  This salad is Thailand on a plate.

Som Tam Salad 2 – V 2

Som Tam Salad (Green Pawpaw/Mango Salad)

This recipe is based on the Thai Salad, Som Tam, a dish that originated in north-east Thailand, but is now popular throughout the country, and also abroad. Normally served with sticky rice, we enjoy it served with Tod Man Goong (Thai Prawn Cakes).

Ingredients

  • 3 green mangoes
  • 150 g green beans, sliced and blanched
  • 250 g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp peanuts, roasted and crushed
  • Fresh coriander leaves, to serve

For the dressing:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 1 golden shallot, chopped
  • 60 ml lime juice

Directions

  1. Peel the green mango and cut the flesh into long thin strands, if you have a mandolin, use the fine julienne or grater attachment.
  2. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic, shallots, and chillies into a paste.
  3. Add the palm sugar, fish sauce and lime juice and carefully mix to combine. Set aside.
  4. Combine the mango, beans and cherry tomatoes in a large bowl.
  5. Add the dressing and, using your hands, toss gently.
  6. Pile onto a large serving platter and sprinkle over the crushed peanuts and coriander leaves.

Until next time…

Happy Cooking & Bon appétit!

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A Thai Banquet – Sweet, Hot, Sour, Salty Bitter – Delicious!

While it sounds like someone has gone crazy in the kitchen, this is what Thai food is all about, balance and flavour, and there’s one thing I learned when taking a class in Thailand… That is if you need to adjust one element, you must slightly adjust other elements as well. This sounded a little strange – needs more salt? Add more salt – but also a little more sweet and sour as well!

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Wat Chalong – Phuket

The combination of sweet, hot, sour, salty and bitter is wonderfully refreshing, and leaves you reaching for more. Chilli is one of the most important ingredients, providing the heat in Thai Cuisine, but there are a number of other key ingredients used to provide the balance, flavour and aroma unique to Thai food. These ingredients are fish sauce, coconut milk and cream, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, palm sugar and lemon grass.

Like many of us, the people of Thailand love to share a meal together, and a Thai banquet is the perfect way to share a meal with family and friends. There are no individual courses – Everything is placed in the middle of the table for everyone to share – a soup, a curry, a steamed or fried dish, a salad, a vegetable dish, the sauces/condiments, and rather than fried rice, a large bowl of steamed rice is served. A platter of seasonal fresh fruit makes the perfect simple and refreshing finale to such a delicious meal.

Over the next week or so, I will be sharing a number of dishes that we enjoy when we plan a Thai banquet. We hope that you enjoy the flavours and aromas of Thai cooking as much as we do. The first dish on the table is Tod Man Goong (Deep Fried Shrimp Patties).

Tod Man Goong (Thai Prawn Cakes)

These fantastic little patties, are packed full of flavour and a Thai Banquet in our home would not be complete without them.

Ingredients

  • 300 g green prawn meat
  • 1 egg
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped)
  • 10 g coriander (finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Maggi seasoning sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 40 g breadcrumbs
  • 40 g minced pork fat or lard
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • Sweet plum sauce (to serve)

Directions

  1. Mince the prawn meat and lard/pork fat.
  2. Combine with remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Form into small patties.
  4. Coat in breadcrumbs and place on try in fridge for half an hour or longer if possible.
  5. Deep fry in hot oil until golden brown.
  6. Serve hot with sweet plum sauce, separately.

Notes:

  • Adapted from’Thai Country Cooking from Laguna Beach Resort’ (2002) p35.
  • You can substitute minced white fish meat for the prawns, the dish is then called Tod Man Pla.
  • These make a wonderful dish to share as part of a Thai Banquet, equally, served with a green mango or pawpaw salad, they make a delicious entree or main course.

Phang Nga Bay

We are slowly getting the Thai herbs and aromatics growing in our garden, and our Kaffir Lime is looking wonderful.

Until next time…

Happy Cooking & Bon appétit!

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Chard, Onion and Cheese Gratin

I have read many recipes for Swiss Chard or Silverbeet gratin, where the prominent ingredient is the stalk, rather than the rich green leaves.  I recently stumbled upon this recipe that I thought I would try, because it includes some of the leaves as well.  I was so thrilled with the end result, I cooked it again a couple of days later.

This gratin really is very easy to make, and the end result is a delicious cheesy gratin with the stalks providing texture, the leaves, colour, and both contributing to the wonderful flavour.

Chard, Onion and Cheese Gratin

The stalks of Swiss Chard make a gratin that is delicious and delicate in flavour, and pairs beautifully with a roast. Equally it can be served as a light meal with a fresh green salad on the side.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced
  • Stalks from a large bunch of chard, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced.
  • 4 chard leaves, thinly shredded
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 150 ml full-cream milk
  • 1 tbsp double cream
  • 30 g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Sea Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the topping

  • 3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C
  2. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the oil and half the butter.
  3. Add the onion and chard stalks, place the lid on and cook over low heat for 5-10 minutes, until the onion softens.
  4. Stir in the flour, and cook for a 1 minute over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the milk. Bring to the boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer until the sauce has thickened. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Stir in the chard leaves and cook for another minute or two until the leaves have wilted a little.
  6. Then stir in the Parmesan and the cream, then pour into a greased gratin dish.
  7. Mix the topping ingredients together and scatter over the top of the gratin. Dot with the remaining butter.
  8. Bake 20-25 minutes until bubbling and golden on top.

Notes:

  • This gratin can also be popped under the grill ’til golden and crispy, if short on time or oven space.
  • For a gluten free version, simply replace the flour with the same amount of gluten free flour blend.
  • Adapted from Easy Vegetarian One Pot, 2011, R Woods (ed), p159

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Chard, Onion and Cheese Gratin

Gluten Free Four Blend

Swiss Chard

Chard, Chicken and Potato Soup

I love this soup, the chard stalk in this soup gives it a little texture and the leaves add a lovely rich green fleck through it. This is also a great way to use up left over roast chicken, but if you do not have any left over cooked chicken, you could poach some chicken thigh fillets in the stock and then shred or chop them up and add to the soup.

Chard, Chicken and Potato Soup

A delicious soup that can be enjoyed all year round.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 250 g cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
  • 125 g bacon rashers, cut into fine julienne
  • 125 g onion, diced
  • 125 g celery, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 500 g potatoes, cut into 1 cm dice
  • 2 litres chicken stock
  • 10 swiss chard/silverbeet leaves, washed
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Remove the swiss chard leaves from the stalks. Finely chop the stalks and set aside, then finely chop the leaves and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan, add the bacon and gently fry, stirring, until slightly crisp.
  3. Add chard stalks, onion, celery, garlic and potato, stir, put the lid on the pan and cook gently until onion is soft, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer, until the potato is just tender.
  5. Add the cooked chicken and swiss chard leaves, simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Serve hot.

Notes:

  • The broth keeps the soup nice and light.

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Chard, Chicken and Potato Soup

Swiss Chard AKA Silverbeet

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