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Mexican Dips > Salsa 26 May 2008

Posted by cath in easy, herbs, ingredients, mildly spicy, Recipes, shopping notes, variations, very spicy.
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Simple, spicy, tasty – try this salsa to go with all kinds of foods – not just mexican! I use leftovers in cheese sandwiches, with cold meats and salads, and of course as a relish for home-made burgers…

Ingredients

Tomatoes – 8-10 fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped*

2 Spring onions – finely chopped

Garlic – 2-3 cloves (to taste) crushed and chopped fine

Coriander leaf and stalk – small bunch, chop stalks finely, leaves roughly

Red/green chillies – 2-5 (to taste) chopped finely

1 tsp dried oregano

salt/pepper

tequila – 1 tbsp

lime juice – 1-2 tbsp (to taste).

Preparation

Combine everything in a bowl. Keeps in the fridge until needed.

If you’re pressed for time you can even chop everything roughly and blitz it in a hand blender or similar.  I prefer it more rustic, but you can also blend it until it’s smooth if you prefer.

* Out of season, you can use tinned tomatoes, although I recommend draining them well first or the salsa will be very runny (use the juice in the chilli con carne, or reserve for pasta sauce, stews etc. – it keeps well in the fridge).

For something a little different try a tin of green tomatoes – again drain before use and substitute for the red tomatoes. You can buy green tomatoes in tins from Lupe Pintos in Edinburgh.

Basic Recipes > Chilli with Beans 4 April 2008

Posted by cath in mildly spicy, Recipes, variations, vegetables, very spicy.
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My recipe for chilli is slightly inspired by Thai cuisine as I used to eat these very hot chilli con carnes out in Thailand. The recipe is quite spicy, with lots of fresh chillies, coriander and lime. Its nickname is “Tom Yum” Chilli because my Thai friend thought that it tasted like the hot and spicy Thai soup. Of course you should adjust the amount of chilli to your tastes.

This recipe below is actually a fantastic vegetarian chilli san carne, or you could try a variation with meat if you prefer.

Add guacamole and salsa, some tortilla wraps or chips to accompany the dish. You can use the basic stew recipe to make a variety of different Mexican inspired dishes…like this toasted chilli wrap.

 

Toasted Tortilla

Toasted Tortilla with Chilli, Sour cream, Salsa and Guacamole

Ingredients

1 tin Aduki beans, rinsed and drained then slightly crushed

1 tin Black-eyed beans, rinsed and drained then slightly crushed

1 tin Kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 small handful of each red split lentils and puy lentils – rinsed (uncooked)

1 large onion – chopped

1 leek – sliced finely

2-3 sticks celery – finely chopped or grated

1/2 golden beetroot – grated (If you want to use purple beetroot, use sparingly as they will bleed purple into everything!)

1 small carrot – grated

6-8 cloves garlic – crushed and finely chopped

1 large handful of coriander (leaf, stalk & roots, if available)

4 large red or green chillies – finely chopped (or to taste, remove the seeds for less heat)

1 large red chilli sliced for garnish

1 Bay leaf

1-2 heaped tsp cumin powder (to taste)

1 tsp sweet paprika

1 pinch smoked paprika

1-2 tsp chilli powder (cayenne pepper)

2 tbsp dried oregano (use fresh instead or as well if you can get it)

salt and pepper

1 large glass red wine (or a small glass of port)

2 tins tomatoes (or use fresh chopped tomatoes)

A selection of vegetables like mushrooms, peppers, spinach – diced/chopped as appropriate

Juice of 1 lime

Method

  1. Heat a large pan, add a few tablespoons of oil (like Oleifera), you may need more as you cook all the vegetables.
  2. Fry the onion on low-medium heat, stirring occasionally. Just start to soften the onion, not brown it (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add the celery, leek and again fry off gently until they begin to soften (about 3 minutes), stirring gently.
  4. Then add the grated carrot and beetroot, fry, stirring gently – add a spoon more oil as required but don’t make it too greasy.
  5. Add the garlic, and taking the stalks and root from the coriander (save the leaf for later), chop finely and add to the pan. Stir again.
  6. [If you are using mince pork or beef, add it here and brown gently, stirring.]
  7. Now add the spices to the pan, the bay leaf and the dried oregano, a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Mix well and let fry gently for a minute.
  8. Get the crushed aduki and black eye beans, and the lentils and stir them into the pan with the spiced ingredients. Mix everything well.
  9. Add the wine, stir and let the alcohol evaporate.
  10. Add the tomatoes, break up the tinned tomatoes with the spoon. Stir well to combine. Add a large glass of water, and keep some at the side to add as required to loosen the mixture.
  11. Bring to a gentle simmer.
  12. Add the chopped mushrooms and fresh oregano if you have it.
  13. Simmer the dish with the lid partially on for 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding extra cold water if required (particularly if you are cooking lentils).
  14. With 10-15 minutes to go before you serve, add the peppers, check the seasoning and add more fresh chilli if required to taste.
  15. Add the drained kidney beans to heat through.
  16. With 5 minutes to go, stir in the spinach to wilt.
  17. Then remove from the heat, finish off with chopped coriander leaf and lime juice.

Serve with rice and sour cream.

Tips and Variations

Chilli is lovely with just mixed beans and vegetables as in the ingredients shown here, but you could also make it with pork or beef mince. Just substitute the meat for some or all of the beans and lentils. Add meat at the frying stage.

You can make chilli in advance as well. Remember that any beans in the dish will have continued absorbing liquid and flavour, which means you will need loosen the sauce with some extra cold water as you reheat it.

You can use any type of bean, or a mixture of different beans and lentils as I’ve used here. To save time, I usually use tins of pre-cooked beans, which will disintegrate more into the dish, but I also add some uncooked lentils to balance the different textures. Simmering the tinned beans gently in the sauce allows them to soak up the flavours. If you have time you could use dried beans and make everything from scratch – that way they will absorb even more flavour.

You can add any root vegetables you like – just grate and sweat them off in the base – they stew and melt into the sauce adding lots of flavour.

Chunks of mushrooms and peppers make a good addition to the dish, although you could use other vegetables – just put them in the sauce at the appropriate time to cook them through.

If you have any, you can also add some chopped fresh tomatoes at for a minute or two at the end of cooking for a fresher flavour (in season). Or try a tin of Mexican green tomatillos.

Thai Curry Pastes > Green Curry 3 February 2007

Posted by cath in freeze-friendly, Recipes, thai curry, Thai food, very spicy.
2 comments

There seems to be some more interest in Thai food again, and I guess this is as good a time of year as any to have a special treat of some imported ingredients. Check out your local Thai or Asian supermarkets for the specialty items, substitutions are OK too – so it depends how authentic you want to be.

Here’s my recipe, adapted from a traditional Thai recipe from Chiang Mai Thai Cooking School (Chiang Mai, Thailand). I would definitely recommend making your own green curry paste – and this is a slightly unusual and delicious recipe. You can make the paste in bulk and freeze it in portions (for up to a year in a modern 4* freezer), it takes an hour or two to defrost and is then ready to use. However, if you want to skip the paste, buy a good quality Thai brand of paste (I’m afraid I can’t recommend any in particular as I always make my own) and skip straight to the curry recipe.

This makes 1 large portion of paste, for curry serving 4-6. I usually triple or quadruple the quantities here and blend it all together in a small food processor. If you really want an arm-muscle workout and to be 100% traditional you can pound the ingredients together in a large pestle and mortar until smooth.

Check out my notes via the hyperlinks if you need to know more about the Thai ingredients, how to recognise them and prepare them.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 inch galangal (ginza) – skin removed and chopped
  2. 2-3 stalks lemongrass – lower 1/3 only (that’s the thickest, juiciest part), chopped
  3. The zest (peel) from 1 kaffir lime (ordinary lime will also be fine) – chopped
  4. 2 tbsp chopped coriander stalk and root – you can sometimes get some root on bunches of coriander, else just use lots of finely chopped stalks
  5. 3 Thai purple shallots – chopped (use 1-2 small European shallots as a substitute)
  6. 2-3 cloves garlic – crushed
  7. 1 tsp shrimp paste (leave this out for veggies!)
  8. 1-2 inches fresh turmeric – skin removed and chopped (or use 1 tsp turmeric powder as a substitute)
  9. 1/2 tsp coriander seeds – roasted until browned, then ground
  10. 1/2 tsp cumin seeds – roasted and ground
  11. 20-40 small green birds-eye chillies (depending how hot you like your curry)
  12. 20g sweet basil leaves (about 5-6 large stalks)
  13. A pinch of salt and a few twists of pepper

Method:

Blend the ingredients for about 10 minutes in a small processor, scraping down the sides occasionally to get a smooth paste (or longer by hand with a pestle and mortar).

Now its time to make up the curry

 

 

A note about roasting dry whole spices:

It’s worth ‘roasting’ the seeds to release more flavour.

Do the coriander seeds first, they are bigger and will take longer to brown. Do the cumin seeds separately, else some may blacken whilst the coriander is yet to brown.

Do not use burnt seeds in the recipe – chuck them away and try again!

Place the seeds in a dry frying pan or wok on low heat and shake occasionally. They will gradually brown – be careful not to leave them as they will burn.

Coriander seeds may take up to 20 minutes. For cumin seeds 5-10 minutes should be sufficient.

As they are ‘roasting’ they should start smelling more aromatic and slightly darken in colour, however this can be hard to tell – especially with cumin seeds, so watch them carefully lest they blacken.

You can grind all the roasted seeds together in a pestle and mortar once they’ve cooled.

Thai Food > Green Curry 3 February 2007

Posted by cath in freeze-friendly, ingredients, Recipes, thai curry, Thai food, very spicy.
6 comments

Perhaps the most well known Thai curry in the UK. I have a slightly different recipe which recreates the hot, spicy, sweet and sour curry without as much salt as many shop-bought pastes.

Green Curry

I’ve adapted this recipe from the one I learned in a Thai cooking school. It’s interesting to note that it is not the usual recipe you see in books, the special ingredient we were taught to include in the curry paste is Thai Sweet Basil. This is a good time of year to pick up some imported items for a change – if only to avoid another portion of cabbage!

Gaeng Kiawan Gai
(Green Curry with Chicken)

Serves 4 with steamed rice as a lunch or dinner, or more as one dish in a traditional meal
Ingredients:

  • 300-500g chicken (breast works very well in this dish, but use whatever you have) – thinly sliced
  • 750mls coconut milk – separated into thick and thin (you can do this by putting a tin in the fridge and then it’s easy to pour the thin coconut milk out – the thick milk will solidify at the top of the tin)
  • 80g (3 tablespoons) home-made green curry paste (2 tbsp of bought paste)
  • 5 apple egg plants – cut into quarters (do not do this in advance as the egg plants will brown)
  • A handful of small, pea egg plants – removed from their stalks
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves – torn into pieces, discarding stem
  • 1 big green chilli – sliced
  • 1 big red chilli – sliced
  • Dash of lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons groundnut oil
  • A handful or two of Thai sweet basil leaves

Method:

  1. First, heat up the oil in a pan. Then add the green curry paste and fry for about 4 minutes until the paste is cooked.
  2. Then add most of the thick coconut milk and mix in until you form a thick, smooth curry base. If your home-made paste is a bit coarse, you can liquidise this mixture to create a smoother look.
  3. Now add most of the thin coconut milk. Stir and heat to combine. (This part of the curry base can be made in advance and then left to cool until required.)
  4. Bring the curry base up to a simmer and add the thin chicken slices. Keep simmering gently for about 5 minutes until the chicken is nearly cooked through. As long you’ve cut the chicken strips thinly, this shouldn’t take too long.
  5. Cut and add the apple egg plants and bring to the boil again, simmer for about 4 minutes more.
  6. Add the pea egg plants and simmer again for a few minutes.
  7. Then add the fish sauce and kaffir lime leaves, stir and heat through.
  8. Turn off the heat, transfer into a serving bowl (if required) and garnish with big chillies, basil leaves and dash of lime juice to taste.

For a fancy finish: add a swirl of the leftover coconut milk by re-combining some thick and thin coconut milk in a small cup, pour some into the centre of the serving dish then quickly and gently stir to create a swirl of white against the green base.

Serve with fresh steamed Thai fragrant rice

Variations

Fish, prawns or beef all work well in the green curry. All meats and fish can be cooked in the same manner, with some variation in cooking time:

  • Beef steak, cut thinly can be used much like chicken, or cooked for even less time as you prefer.
  • Prawns take a very short amount of time and therefore should be placed in the curry sauce last, for 1-2 minutes to cook.
  • Monkfish is excellent in this dish, and needs less cooking than meat, add the chunks of fish about 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Other white fish also works well.
  • Left-over roast meat (beef, chicken etc.) can also be used, just thinly slice and add to the sauce for 1-2 minutes to heat through at the end.

Pork benefits from a 30 minute pre-cook in thin coconut milk, see the panang recipe for more details.

Add other vegetables as well as or instead of Thai aubergines.

Vegetarian options:

Green curry makes a good vegetarian option, although you will have to miss out the fish sauce and replace this with soy sauce for strict vegetarians. Also make sure you miss out the shrimp paste from the curry paste.

Try different combinations of vegetables, depending on the time of year:

Baby corn, mange tout, courgette, purple aubergine, carrot, potato, cauliflower.

Cookalicious Spicy Thai-style Beef Salad 11 October 2006

Posted by cath in specials, Thai food, thai salad, very spicy.
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A Thai-inspired, spicy, fresh and meaty salad dish. Great for special occasions – use only the best quality meat, and cook it rare to be at it’s best. This dish works with hot, freshly cooked beef, sliced and dressed or equally well cold so you can also make it with any left-over roast beef. I must admit that this particular salad was made from topside, roasted specially for this salad and also to have some yummy roast beef sandwiches…

As for the chillies, I’ve used a handful of my own homegrown chillies this time and got a good, spicy result. You can remove the seeds to get a more mellow heat, but I would recommend making this dish spicy – it’s both authentic and the sweetness of the mint plus freshness of the lime makes a great contrast of flavours with the chili.

spicybeefsalad

The finished dish: Spicy Thai-style Beef Salad

Ingredients:

(Serves 2 as a light dinner or lunch, more as a dish in a larger Thai meal)

Cooked beef (hot or cold) – 2 thick steaks (sirloin or rib-eye is best) cooked until rare or some rare roasted Topside/Silverside

Mint leaves – a large handful, roughly chopped

Coriander – a small bunch, roughly chopped

Chillies – add as many as you like (the hotter the better!) chop finely

Spring onions – 3 or 4 sliced quite finely on the diagonal

Garlic – 2 or 3 cloves, peeled and sliced very finely

Dressing – Juice of 1 lime, 1-2 tbsp fish sauce, freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkling of sugar (to taste)

 

Method

  1. Cut the cooked beef into thin strips or chunks (as you prefer)
  2. Mix together lime juice and fish sauce with some pepper and sugar
  3. Combine all the herbs, garlic, spring onions, chillies and beef in a bowl and mix well
  4. Pour over the dressing and mix again
  5. Serve with sticky rice and fresh vegetables: cucumber, green beans and cabbage or Chinese leaf

Simple but very tasty!

closeup

Spicy Thai-style Beef Salad

 

 

 

Spicy Tomato Pasta with Homegrown Chillies 22 July 2006

Posted by cath in easy, freeze-friendly, mildly spicy, Recipes, summer, variations, very spicy.
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I’ve been growing chillies in the hottest, sunniest window of the house. Yesterday was finally time to try the first fruits.

I’ve got a mixture of red, purpley and still green chillies on the plant, so we tasted a bright red and a green one.

 

chillies fresh from the plant

homegrown chillies

 

An easy dinner, variation on the basic tomato sauce: Spicy Tomato sauce, this one has chorizo, chillies, basil and a ewes milk Parmesan style cheese:

Close up of finished dish

spaghetti with spicy tomato and chorizo sauce

 

First make your basic tomato sauce with 5 or 6 tomatoes per person.

Once the tomato sauce has cooked for an hour, put on the spaghetti in a large pot with plenty of boiling water.

Use about 2 chillies per person, or to taste. Two of my fresh homegrown chillies were sampled – very hot and fiery with a lovely fresh taste and amazing smell, 4 of these in 2 portions gave a pretty spicy dish). The red chili was hot but mellow and slightly sweet, the green chili was slightly hotter and fresher, more zingy in flavour.

You’ll also need a handful of basil, some grated Parmesan-style cheese, pepper and extra virgin olive oil. I’ve also used some chorizo, but this is optional.

 

  1. Finely chop the chillies – seeds and all if you want it properly spicy, add it to the sauce on the heat and continue to cook until the pasta is cooked
  2. Roughly chop the chorizo, if using
  3. One the pasta is cooked, drain it and return to the pan with some olive oil, swirl together
  4. Turn off the heat from the sauce, add chorizo, basil and stir through
  5. Serve the pasta, top with sauce and a sprinkling of cheese and a grind of pepper

Spicy Tomato Pasta

The finished dish

 

Thai Recipes > Soups > Tom Yum 7 May 2006

Posted by cath in freeze-friendly, Recipes, Thai food, thai soups, variations, very spicy.
3 comments

SpicyTom Yum Gungfreeze-friendly
(Hot and Sour Soup with Prawns)

Serves 4 as a lunch with steamed rice, or as a dish in a main meal

Ingredients:
300g whole, large prawns – uncooked, unpeeled
750mls water
2 stalks lemongrass – lower 1/3 only, cut into 3cm/1inch pieces
5 kaffir lime leaves – torn into pieces, discarding stem
3 purple shallots – sliced
3 cloves garlic – crushed
2 tomatoes – cut into 8 segments each
5 thin slices of galangal (ginza) – skin removed
300g small-medium sized mushrooms – cut in half or quarters into small chunks
20 green birds-eye chillies – cut in half lengthways
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
A handful of chopped fresh coriander

Method:

  1. First, prepare the prawns. Wash, peel and de-vein the prawns, keeping the shells and heads.
  2. Put the shells and heads into a pan with the water and bring to the boil, then simmer for about 10-15 minutes, you should notice a smear of oil floating on top. Strain the stock, squeezing out the flavour from the prawn peelings.
  3. Return the stock to the pan and bring back to the boil.
  4. Bruise the lemongrass in a pestle and mortar, then add to the stock with the kaffir lime leaves and mushrooms.
  5. Add the shallots, garlic, tomatoes and galangal and bring to the boil again.
  6. Add the chillies to the stock with the fish sauce.
  7. Cook the stock gently for 2 minutes, then add the prawns. Bring back to the boil and simmer until they have just changed colour.
  8. Turn off the heat.
  9. Remove from the heat, transfer into a serving bowl if required.
  10. Finally, just before serving stir in the lime juice and garnish with coriander.

It's important to stir in the lime juice right before serving, and not whilst it's still on the heat, as this keeps the flavour fresh.

Serve with fresh steamed thai fragrant rice

Cooks Notes:
Tom Yum is usually made very spicy.
You can adjust the levels to your taste, for example to reduce the heat you could use less chillies, consider removing seeds from the chillies if you only like a very mild spice. Leaving them whole also keeps the heat mild, or try bruising whole chillies lightly with a pestle and mortar to release some flavour but allow them to be easily picked out of the finished dish.
On the other hand, slicing the chillies lets out a lot of the flavour and the balance of hot, salty and sour in this dish is unbelievable. You can still avoid eating the half chillies if you like!

Thai cooks use straw mushrooms in tom yum soup and other cooking. Straw mushrooms are available in the UK in tins – watch out though, they are usually stored in brine and will need to be very well drained and rinsed. Remember to cut the mushrooms in half – they have an air pocket inside and this also fills with brine, so rinse them again to ensure the extra salt doesn't ruin your dish!
I've not seen any fresh straw mushrooms here in Edinburgh, but they'd be worth trying if you can get them. The best bet is to buy fresh mushrooms of any kind – I prefer to use brown cap mushrooms, or another closed cup variety because large flat mushrooms make sauces and soups go brown. Other fresh mushrooms such as oyster or shitake also work well.
No fresh mushrooms? Dried mushrooms make a great substitute, especially shitake. Soak in boiling water until soft (about an hour), drain, chop and add to the broth as usual. You can reserve the mushroom liquor for use in risottos or as a mushroom stock. Seal and keep in the fridge or freeze in ice cube trays, store in bags and pop into pasta sauces, gravies, soups etc.

Variations:
You can use any meat – chicken, pork, beef, fish, or for vegetarians mixed mushrooms, baby corn or tofu (and switch fish sauce for soy sauce).
Use a home made chicken stock for the best flavoured broth. Be careful of using bought stock cubes as they will add extra (unnecessary) salt to the dish – diluting twice as much as recommended should help.
Chicken and pork take a bit longer to cook, so add the raw meat after step 5 (before adding the chillies) and simmer until just cooked, then add chillies, fish sauce and cook for 2 minutes more. Check the meat, when it's cooked through, remove the pan from the heat and finish the dish with lime juice and coriander.

Thai Recipes > Curry > Panaeng Moo 29 March 2006

Posted by cath in freeze-friendly, Recipes, thai curry, Thai food, very spicy.
3 comments

SpicyPanaeng Moo
freeze-friendly

(Panaeng Curry Pork)

Serves 4

I must admit to being a bit of a cheater on this one…I have a great recipe for Panaeng curry paste, but I've got into the habit of buying it from the Thai or Chinese supermarket as, unlike some bought pastes, this one has a really authentic flavour…its Mae Ploy Brand, the variety they call "Panang Curry Paste" has a blue strip at the top of the label. They do a whole selection of curry pastes, but the Panaeng is exceptionally good.

Panaeng Paste

Keep your tub of Panaeng paste in the fridge, it will last for ages.

Ingredients:

500g Pork fillet or Tenderloin – thinly sliced
2 tins coconut milk – separated into a saucepan of the thin milk, retaining the thick milk (creamy, solid) for later
1 tin cold water (measure with the empty coconut milk tin)
3 tablespoons groundnut or similar oil
2 tablespoons Panaeng curry paste
2 tablespoons fish sauce
5 kaffir lime leaves – torn into pieces, discarding the stem
2 tablespoons palm sugar (or brown sugar)
2 big red chillies (optional)
Sweet basil leaves
Juice of 1 lime

Method:

  1. Put the pork into the saucepan with the thin coconut milk and water. Make sure the pork is covered by the liquid, then bring to the boil and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  2. Put the oil in a wok or large saucepan and fry the Panaeng curry paste for about 4 minutes until cooked. Be careful at this stage not to burn the paste. Frying the paste produces a strong, spicy smell so you might want to close the kitchen door, turn on the extractor fan or open a window! For best results just keep moving the paste around the wok and keep the heat fairly gentle.
  3. Once the paste has been frying for a few minutes add most of the thick coconut milk and bring to the boil.
  4. Add the cooked pork and all the remaining thin coconut milk from the saucepan and incorporate it into the curry base, bring back to the boil.
  5. Add the palm sugar and stir to melt and combine, then add the fish sauce and lime leaves. Stir to combine.
  6. Turn off the heat and garnish with basil leaves, chillies and a swirl of thick coconut milk. Serve with steamed Thai fragrant rice.

Variations on the Traditional Ingredients:
Although traditional Panaeng Moo doesn't often include vegetables, I've found that quartered chestnut/brown cap mushrooms and courgette pieces work really well with this curry. Just add the mushrooms to the curry base, or add both mushrooms and courgette chunks when you add the cooked pork and cook for 5-10 minutes depending how crunchy you like your courgette. Alternatively try adding your own favourite vegetables to the curry and leave a comment if you come up with a good combination!

Cooks Note:
Putting the tins of coconut in the fridge for a few hours makes them much easier to separate into thin and thick coconut milk.
Take the can from the fridge and open (being careful not to shake it). Using a knife or spoon handle, push a hole down the side of the tin through the cream to the bottom of the can. Repeat on the opposite side so you have two holes. Then, using the knife/handle to hold open the lower hole, pour the thin milk through it from the bottom of the can straight into a saucepan. Don't worry if some of the thicker milk or cream also gets into the pan, as long as you have some thick milk left to use for making the curry base. Repeat with the second tin.

The Finished Dish:

Panang Moo

Thai Recipes > Salads > Pomelo 12 March 2006

Posted by cath in Info and Cooks Notes, ingredients, preparing thai ingredients, Recipes, Thai food, thai salad, very spicy.
3 comments

SpicySpicy Pomelo Salad
(Dtam Somoh)

Serves 4 as a lunch with sticky rice or as a dish in a main meal
Ingredients:
1 pomelo – prepared into shreds (see instructions below)
2 cloves garlic -– finely chopped
1 stalk lemongrass -– thinly sliced
3-10 bird’s eye chillies
a generous bunch of coriander -– split into stalk (finely chop) and leaves (roughly chopped)
a handful of cashew nuts (plain) or peanuts -– roughly chopped
4 tomatoes -– quartered
2 snake beans (or several fine beans) -– cut into 2cm lengths
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice (roughly the juice of 1 lime)
A selection of fresh vegetables e.g. white cabbage or Chinese leaf, green beans (or snake beans), cucumber, celery

Preparation:
1. Take the washed pomelo and cut a slice off the top. The peel and pith is quite thick and can be cut off in fairly thick slices. Quarter the pomelo as shown below and begin cutting off the peel and pith.

prepare pomelo 1

prepare pomelo 2

prepare pomelo 3

2. Now peel away the rest of the tough pith around the pomelo segments and shred them roughly into smaller segments, as shown below.

prepare pomelo 4

prepare pomelo 5

prepare pomelo 6

prepare pomelo 7

Finishing the Dish:

  1. In a large bowl, pound the garlic, lemongrass, coriander stalks and bird’s eye chillies together with the end of a rolling pin, aiming to bruise them slightly but not crush them.
  2. Add the chopped cashew nuts, tomatoes and beans and mix thoroughly, again bruising slightly but being careful not to crush the tomatoes.
  3. Add the shredded pomelo and mix well with a spoon, be careful not to crush the pomelo segments. Then add the chopped coriander leaves and stir through.
  4. Mix the fish sauce and lime juice and pour over the salad, mix again and serve immediately.

Serve with the cabbage leaves and other raw vegetables and with steamed white Sticky Rice.

Notes:
Thai fruit salads are typically served very spicy, with lots of fresh herbs and crunchy vegetables on the side.

What it looks like…

pomelo salad

Thai Recipes > Salads > Laab 1 March 2006

Posted by cath in Info and Cooks Notes, ingredients, Recipes, Thai food, thai salad, very spicy.
10 comments

SpicyLaab
(Spicy Minced Meat Salad)

Serves 4 as a lunch with sticky rice or as a dish in a main meal

Ingredients:
500g minced meat – beef, pork, chicken or lamb
4 shallots – thinly sliced
2 slices ginza – finely chopped
4 tbsp fish sauce
4 tbsp lime juice (roughly the juice of 2 limes)
1½ tbsp chilli powder
a generous bunch of coriander – split into stalk (finely chop) and leaves (roughly chopped)
2 spring onions – chopped
a generous bunch of mint – roughly chop the leaves
3 tbsp sticky rice – roasted and ground
10 finely chopped small birds-eye chillies (Optional)
A selection of fresh vegetables e.g. white cabbage or Chinese leaf green beans (or snake beans) cucumber celery sweet basil leaves

Preparation:

  1. Begin by marinating the mince. Put the mince, shallots, ginza, fish sauce, lime juice, coriander stalks and chilli powder into a bowl and mix thoroughly
  2. Place the chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves and spring onion in a serving dish.
  3. Make the ground, roasted sticky rice by putting the rice grains (uncooked, not soaked) into a dry wok or small frying pan over a low heat and roast (no oil) for about ½ hour, agitating occasionally. When they are golden brown in colour, remove from the heat and grind in a pestle and mortar to a fairly fine powder (some larger grains will create a nice crunch to the salad).
  4. For an extra fresh and spicy laab, add the chopped birds-eye chillies to the finished dish.

To Cook:

  1. Heat a wok (or large saucepan/frying pan) on medium heat
  2. Stir fry the mince mixture for about 5 minutes or until the meat is cooked
  3. Transfer the hot cooked mince into the serving dish and mix with the spring onion, mint and coriander leaves
  4. Add the ground, roasted sticky rice and mix well

Serve immediately with the cabbage leaves and other raw vegetables and with steamed white Sticky Rice.

Notes:
Thai salads are typically served warm, very spicy, with lots of fresh herbs and crunchy vegetables on the side. You can substitute other herbs, such as Thai Sweet Basil, but I think mint gives the best flavour to this salad.

And the finished dish:

Laab Moo