Tag Archives: Salad

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.

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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!

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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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Nana Mac’s Potato and Orange Salad

My mum has been telling me about Nana’s potato salad for the last few months, and with the oranges on hand, I called and got the recipe… It was boiled potatoes, diced; orange, diced; white salad onion, finely diced; and the dressing was the only dressing I knew when I was growing up – cream, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Of course there were no quantities given.  Mum and I chatted a little and I told her I planned to change the dressing, add fresh herbs and use some different potatoes – she wants me to let her know how it went.

A delicious, refreshing salad of potatoes, oranges and fresh herbs.

Nana Mac's Potato and Orange Salad

This recipe was inspired by my grandmother's recipe for potato salad.

Ingredients

  • 250 g Purple Avon potatoes (or similar)
  • 250 g Sebago potatoes (or similar)
  • 4 oranges
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped mint
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped chives
  • 2 handfulls of baby rocket

For the dressing

  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sugar, to taste
  • salt and pepper

For Serving

  • 1 tsp finely chopped mint
  • 1 tsp finely chopped chives

Directions

  1. Peel the potatoes and place into a saucepan. Cover with cold water and add a little salt. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until just tender.
  2. Meanwhile cut top and base from each orange. Use a sharp knife to remove skin and white pith. Holding each orange over a bowl to catch any juice, cut along either side of the white membranes to remove orange segments and set aside. Using your hands, squeeze the off-cuts of the orange over the bowl to get as much juice as you can from them, discard the off-cuts.
  3. Prepare the dressing by adding the mustard, white wine vinegar and 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the juice and then whisk to combine, season with salt and pepper and add a little sugar if needed.
  4. When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and cut them into wedges, while they are still hot. Add the potatoes, mint, chives and oranges to the dressing and, using your hands, gently toss to ensure the potatoes and oranges are well coated in the dressing and herbs. Set in the fridge to cool.
  5. Just before serving, drain any excess dressing from the salad into a small bowl, add the remaining tablespoon of olive and whisk together. Add the rocket and toss to coat with the dressing.
  6. Place half the rocket into the base of a serving dish.
  7. Add the remaining rocket to the salad, and, again, using your hands, gently toss through.
  8. Arrange the salad on top of the rocket in the serving dish and scatter with the finely chopped mint and chives.

Notes:

  • Purple Avon potatoes are a purple fleshed potato.

Until next time…

Bon appétit!

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Source: Nana Mac’s Potato and Orange Salad

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Family, fun, love and food

Christmas morning dawned and we woke to the voices of children, our grandchildren, not all of them, mind you, the last one would arrive later in the morning along with other treasured members of our family.

Preparations had been underway for some time, and the day before, late afternoon, our Christmas began with the arrival of my husband’s daughter and her family from Roma in Queensland – it had taken them three days to get here. We were so excited to see them and have them join us in our new home for Christmas. This year was going to be very special with all of our children and grandchildren together with us for this special time of year.

It was going to be a hot day, but there was a lot of cooking to be done. A huge slab of pork belly was prepared and put in the oven, it needed to cook slow for a couple of hours. Chickens were filled with handfuls of fresh herbs and placed on a spit out on the terrace.

Meanwhile the vegetables were prepared – trays full for roasting, and others for the steamer. I had made a the day before and we also made a beetroot, orange and fresh herb salad.

The arrival of our son and his family from Melbourne, created great excitement with the family from Queensland meeting their little cousin, Cooper for the first time. There was a lot of catching up.

The cooking continued, electric fans were dusted off and set up to try and cool things down. Cream was whipped, Irish Mist Cream prepared to accompany the plum pudding which was bubbling away on the side burner of the BBQ alongside the chickens.

The vegetables were placed in the oven and the temperature bumped up so that we would have beautiful pork crackle.

The last of our guests arrived, my two gorgeous sisters, Sonnie and Jan, together with my beautiful mum and our great-nephew, Aussie. With everyone here, it was time to think about carving and serving, but alas, the oven was not cooperating with the quantity of food in it, the veg weren’t cooking fast enough and the crackle was definitely not happening!   The oven could not go any higher – Our lunch was going to be late, but what could I do!

The ham that I had cured and smoked was retrieved from the fridge – it would be served cold alongside the corned silverside, they were both carved. The chickens were carved, salads placed in bowls, veggies steamed, gravy made and finally the pork had to be carved, even though the crackle was not as I wanted – there was very little left, and the meat was succulent, tender and moist.

People gathered around, filled their plates, and then everyone decided to sit around our kitchen table, which comfortably seats six! Chairs were seconded from throughout the house and squeezed wherever they would or might fit, our table was surrounded by fourteen – it was amazing.

After the meal was finished and everything cleared away it was time for something the children had been waiting for all day…. Gifts from under the tree – they couldn’t wait… Everyone gathered in the sitting room and Jan, Chris, and I played Santa, handing out gifts, to some particularly eager little ones, and some almost as eager older ones – it was mayhem, but wonderful mayhem.

Unfortunately time was close for Chris and his family to return to Melbourne, so we quickly served a little dessert for them to eat before they left.

Once they left, Pavlova with lashings of cream and fresh berries, cheesecake heaped with cherries, peaches, and various other fresh fruits, and of course, the plum pudding with Irish Mist Cream, brandy sauce and icecream were set out for all to enjoy. As we were enjoying our sweet treats, Sonnie walked in and said “don’t eat the cream – it’s off!” Everyone stopped, and then it dawned on them that there was nothing wrong with the cream – it is her favourite and she was just trying to stop eveyone eating it.

So that was our Christmas feast – family, fun, love and food, one cannot ask for anything more, can one.

The afternoon continued with time to cool off in the pool, and I was surprised that people were interested in eating again later that evening. So brought out a platters of local cheeses, fresh fruit, cold meat and fruit cake, and we all sat around the table on the back porch and nibbled and chatted. Before setting up beds for all, for a good night sleep.

Until next time…

Bon appétit!

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Bresaola

Some time back we had the opportunity to visit the farmgate of Wuk Wuk Beef, where I purchased a girello roast on the advice that it would make a lovely carpaccio. Unfortunately the carpaccio was not to our taste and I thought I would just have to roast the rest. Then, in a light bulb moment, I decided to do a little research with a view to turning it into a Bresaola. For those of you who don’t know, Bresaola is an Italian air-dried, salted beef that has been aged two or three months until it becomes hard and turns a dark red, almost purple colour, with the help of the red wine included in the cure. During my research, I discovered that some people use a wet cure, others use a dry cure… The recipe I finally decided on was that of another fellow blogger from The Apple Isle – Tasmania. The blog is Tasmanian Artisan and the post is for Wine Salt Bresaola . There is a recipe on the blog for the wine salt used in the brine, but it just so happened that I had purchased some merlot salt from a stall holder at the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne, and decided to use that instead.

Given the girello I had was only 750g, I got to and did all of the calculations to ensure that I had the correct ratio of ingredients for the size of meat that I would be curing. (I must say, I love a dry cure, it’s a simple process and takes much less room in the fridge than the wet cure.) dsc05957-r

The ingredients were prepared and set out, and the meat trimmed and set on a plate. Then it was time to massage the cure into the meat, taking time to ensure that it got into all the cuts and folds, and, of course, that it was evenly distributed over the meat. dsc05959-r

The meat, together with any of the cure that was left on the plate was then popped into a snap-lock/resealable plastic bag, ensuring that all the air was squeezed out, before being placed in a dish and then put in the fridge. For the next 12 days I turned the bag and gave the meat a little massage to ensure an even distribution of the cure.

After 12 days I was happy with the feel of the meat, and moved onto the next stage. So after removing the meat from the bag, it was rinsed under cold water to remove any excess cure, and patted dry with some paper towel, before being placed on a wire rack,on the

kitchen bench, for a couple of hours, to allow it to come back to room temperature.  The meat was weighed and the weight recorded on my kitchen calendar on the date it was hung, so that I would know how long it had been hanging, and could keep track of the weight loss. Finally it was wrapped in muslin and then hung. dsc06156-r

Given the weather at this time in Australia, I had to hang it in the fridge, not exactly ideal, I know, but we have a second fridge in the garage, so I placed a couple of small trays of Himalayan rock salt under the bresaola to help manage the humidity.

Each week the meat was taken down, unwrapped and checked to ensure there were no nasty moulds developing, and weighed to check the progress of the cure – the weight needs to reduce by at least 30%.

Finally the big day came and it was time to slice and taste…

The verdict – I hope it lasts until Christmas so the family can taste it – yes, its really, really good.

To star the Bresaola, I decided to create a lovely Bresaola, Beetroot, Orange and Goats Cheese Salad, the flavours worked amazingly well together.

Thank you Tasmanian Artisan, your recipe and guide were easy to adapt and follow.

Until next time…

Bon appétit!

Links:

Bresaola, Beetroot, Orange and Goats Cheese Salad

Wine Salt Bresaola

Tasmanian Artisan

Wuk Wuk Beef

 

 

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