Monday, 07 May 2007

Green papaya salad (Som Tam)

This salad can be found pretty much anywhere in Thailand, often with slight variations (mostly including the addition of small black super sweet crabs, or the most foul smelling fermented fish you've ever had the misfortune of gagging over). Despite this, the regular version (sans rotting seafood) is quite delicious, and contains all four elements of Thai cooking : sweet, sour, salty, spicy)

Ingredients :

1 cup shredded green papaya (you could use the firm part of a cucumber, or shredded cabbage as well)
Chilli - 2 for "farang medium spicy" 5 for "holbrand thai spicy"
2-3 small peeled garlic cloves
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 tsp palm sugar
1/3 cup of chopped long beans (as long as their furry texture doesn't give you the heebies, like it does for me)
1 tomato chopped into about 6 peices
2 Tbsp dry roasted peanuts
1 Tbsp fish sauce
pinch of salt

Put chilli and garlic into mortar and crush, but don't make into a paste. Add beans and pound them till they are broken. Add other ingredients (excl papaya) and make sure sauce is mixed. Add papaya, and mix with pestle and spoon. Top with some more roasted peanuts, and serve. Eat with sticky rice, in the vicinity of a western toilet, with chilled TP close at hand.

Serving suggestion :

Serve with red curry...

... and a smile!

Saturday, 07 April 2007

Easter treat time!

Yummy springtime easter nests to celebrate the sun coming out in London at last. So easy it makes you want to cry. Or make more.

9 Shredded Wheats (1/2 a box)
2 blocks of dark chocolate
1 1/2 bags of Mini Eggs (2 if you have the munchies)

Melt chocolate. Keep ice on hand if you burn yourself on the pyrex dish.
Crush the Shredded Wheats to fine 'nest-like' consistency.
Stir chocolate into the Shredded Wheats until all are thoroughly coated.
Use a large spoon and dollop big dollops of mixture onto greaseproof paper.
Push three (or fewer if you've eaten them all) Mini Eggs into the centre of each dollop.
Leave to set (pop them in the fridge if you're impatient).

Yum yum. Happy Easter!

Wednesday, 04 April 2007

Corn, Coriander and Zucchini Fritters

1 1/2 cups gluten free self raising flour
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
cracked pepper
sea salt
400g tinned corn drained
1 zucchini/corgette grated
2 spring onions chopped finely
1/4 cup coriander (washed well and finely chopped)
vegetable oil for frying
1/2 cup chilli jam for dipping

Place flour, milk, eggs, pepper and salt and mix together well. Add corn, zucchini, onions and coriander and mix into the batter.Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and then add vegetable oil. Add 1 tablespoon of mixture into the frying pan. Fry until they are golden brown on both sides. Keep adding small amounts of oil to pan between batches.

Serve with Chilli Jam. Makes 30.

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Parsnip and Potato Latkes

Makes about 16 latkes. These are for Greg as they are from his favorite site Epicurious and because he had latkes at his 21st party.

1 large baking potato (8 to 10 oz)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 medium parsnips (1 lb total), peeled and coarsely grated
1/4 cup all-purpose flour or corn flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Accompaniment: smoked salmon and/or sour cream
Special equipment: a thin (fine-weave) kitchen towel

1. Preheat oven to 140°c to keep the latkes warm.
2. Peel potato and coarsely grate into a bowl. Add lemon juice and toss to combine. 3. Place potato on towel, then gather up corners to form a sack and twist tightly to wring out as much liquid as possible. Stir potato together with parsnips, flour, eggs, chives, salt, and pepper until combined well.
4. Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick frying pan over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Spoon tablespoons of the latke mixture into the frying pan, then flatten into rounds with a slotted spatula.
5. Form 3 more latkes in skillet, then cook until golden, about 1 1/2 minutes on each side.
6. Transfer latkes with spatula to paper towels to drain. Keep warm on a rack set in a shallow baking

Mushroom & Spinage Soup

2 punnets brown mushrooms or any other kind.
dried porchini - optional
2 onions
1 clove garlic
1 large bunch baby spinage or a large pillow pack (for those of you lucky enough to live in the land of Woolies!)
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 litre beef stock or 1 beef stock cube
butter, salt and lots of black pepper
cream to serve (optional)

Finely chop onions and garlic and saute in butter until soft. Finely chop mushrooms and add to onions. Add thyme (you can tie this in a bunch with string so it is easier to fish out later), porchini and stock and simmer until the mushrooms are cooked and soft. (If you are using a stock cube, add to the mixture and add a kettle of boiling water to the mixture). Once the mushrooms have cooked, about 20 min, turn off the heat and remove the thyme sprigs with a fork. Add the washed baby spinage to the soup. The hot soup will blanch the spinage and it will not taste hard and irony from over cooking. Blend the soup with a hand blender until smooth, adding salt to taste and lots of fresh black pepper. Add a swirl of cream to serve. Good in winter, super quick to make and the porchini just makes the mushroom flavour more intense.

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Thank you Aunty Peggy and Alex!

Serving suggestion: