Pad Thai with Shrimp

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Pad Thai

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 handful of fresh rice noodles
  • 1 tbsp dried shrimp
  • 5 large shrimp
  • 2 tbsp chopped shallots
  • 1 handful scallions
  • 2 tbsp tamarind juice mixed with 1 tbsp palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp firm tofu cubed (deep fried)
  • 1 handful bean sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tsp fish sauce

Directions:

  • In a heated wok add oil
  • Add shrimp and cook until pink, remove from wok
  • Add egg and scramble with noodles
  • Add onions and scallions
  • Add water
  • Add tamarind sauce
  • Add fish sauce
  • Add cooked shrimp and dried shrimp
  • Reduce heat add bean sprouts and cook for 30 seconds
  • Add fried tofu
  • Garnish with crushed peanuts and lime wedge

 

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Easy Chicken Stock

Nothing makes a curry taste a millions times better than fresh chicken stock. Here’s a quick and easy recipe you can make and freeze for future use.

Easy Chicken Stock

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 – 2 pounds of fresh chicken bones (cleaned and washed)
  • 1 small piece of fresh ginger (cut)
  • 2-3 garlic pieces (smashed)
  • 1 cup celery (chopped)
  • 1 cup carrots (chopped)
  • 1 onion (cut)
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions:

  • In a large pot fill with water and add all ingredients.
  • Boil and simmer for 2-3 hours
  • Skim any scum from the top
  • Drain and freeze any unused stock

 

Green Papaya Salad

One of the many reasons I love living in California, is because we are able to get most of the ingredients needed to make authentic Thai food. Just 10 minutes from my house is a great Thai Market with all the fresh ingredients you need. This weekend I found a nice unripe papaya so I was inspired to make one of my favorite dishes, papaya salad.

Papaya Salad

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 unripe papaya (shredded)
  • 1 handful of roasted peanuts
  • 1 handful of cherry tomatoes (quartered)
  • 1 handful of Chinese long beans (cut)
  • 1-2 Tbsp of dried shrimp
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 fresh thai chilies (more if you want spicier)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp tamarind juice
  • 1 – 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp palm sugar (grated)

Directions:

  • In a large mortar and pestle pound the garlic, peanuts and shrimp together to make a loose paste.
  • Add chilies (per your taste) and pound together.
  • Add tomatoes and pound together.
  • Use a large metal spoon to mix the ingredients in the bottom of the mortar around to make sure you are mixing all ingredients.
  • Add the Chinese long beans and pound together.
  • Add the papaya and continue pounding until all ingredients are combined together. Continue to use the spoon to mix ingredients.
  • Add fresh lime juice, fish sauce, palm sugar and tamarind to taste.
  • The finished product should be a combination of sweet, spicy, and sour.
  • Serve on a plate with fresh cabbage and sticky rice.

 

Gratin Dauphinois

Christmas Eve dinner with our Aunt Patty has been an event we look forward to each year. She is an incredible chef and hostess. This year I was able to help her in the kitchen to learn her recipes that she has been making for many years. I was surprised on how simple each dish was to make! The biggest key to a successful dinner party is timing, patience and organization.

IMG_3397There are many dishes in her holiday meal and I will post each separately but categorize them under the menu “Holiday Meal” so that you can find them with ease.

Original recipe by Margery Katz

This dish is a speciality of Grenoble, a town bordering the Alps. Here leftover Gratin Dauphinois is eaten without reheating, accompanied by a green salad, seasoned with oil, vinegar and a generous amount of chopped garlic.

Gratin Dauphinois

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. boiling potatoes (peeled)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups cream
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper (freshly ground)
  • 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese (2 ounces)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Peel potatoes, wash and dry thoroughly (do not soak them)
  • Use a mandolin and slice them into 1/8 inch thick discs
  • In a large sauce pan, add potatoes, milk, cream, garlic, salt and pepper and bring to a moderate heat with a wooden spoon
  • Remove pan from heat and pour the mixture into a well buttered gratin or shallow baking dish.
  • Sprinkle the grated cheese over the mixture
  • Bake for about one hour
  • Remove from oven and check that potatoes are done when a knife can pierce into a potato easily
  • The top should be nicely browned
  • Serve hot!

 

Vegetarian / Vegan Thai Yellow Curry

Today my friend Tess is coming to hang out with the family so I thought I would cook her a tasty vegetarian yellow curry. She doesn’t eat any animal products so curry is a great flavorful option to serve. This is not a traditional recipe, its one that I have adapted myself. I used salt instead of fish sauce and vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.

Serve with cucumber salad to give the curry some texture and brightness.

Vegetarian Thai Yellow Curry

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients for curry

  • 1/2 can of yellow curry paste
  • 1 tbs peanut oil
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp dry turmeric powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp palm sugar
  • 1 cup sliced baby dutch potatoes
  • 1 large white sweet onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup firm tofu (cubed)
  • 1 tsp of salt (instead of fish sauce)

Directions

  • In a large pot heat over medium fire
  • Add oil and yellow curry paste
  • Add turmeric powder
  • Add sweet onion and stir until translucent
  • Add coconut milk stir for 2 minutes
  • Add vegetable stock
  • Add potatoes
  • Add palm sugar and salt
  • Reduce heat and let simmer until potatoes are soft
  • Add tofu and simmer for 10-15 more minutes
  • Taste and adjust sugar or salt
  • Serve over white Jasmine rice and cucumber salad

Ingredients for cucumber salad

  • 2 Persian cucumbers (diced)
  • 1 shallot (chopped)
  • 1 tbs cilantro (minced)
  • 1 stock green onion (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbs water

Directions for cucumber salad

  • Mix together and let marinate for 30 minutes

Potato and Pancetta Soup

I’ve been fighting a cold this last week and hot soup always seems to be the best remedy to feel better. I’m not a fan of eating noodles in my soup, I prefer vegetables. Lately I have been in love with baby dutch potatoes.

Here’s the soup I made for myself yesterday. You can change it up to whatever you like. I wanted my soup to be light and lots of broth so I don’t use a thickener.

Potato and Pancetta Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 8-10 small baby dutch potatoes (sliced on mandolin in circles)
  • 2 fresh carrots (sliced on mandolin in circles)
  • 1 large sweet onion (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme (removed from stem)
  • 4 cups of fresh chicken broth (store bought is ok)
  • 1 package of pancetta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream (you can use half and half for lighter version)

Directions:

  • In a large pot melt butter
  • Add onions and cook until translucent
  • Add garlic and mix for 1 minute
  • Add chicken broth and bring to a boil
  • Add potatoes, carrots, parsley, thyme
  • Cook until all vegetables are soft
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Add heavy cream

Easy BBQ Chicken

During my weekend cooking session with my friend Clifford we decided to make some BBQ chicken instead of fried chicken. This was probably the easiest protein i’ve cooked in a long time and it turned out so good!  You can make this any night of the week and your family will be super impressed!

Easy BBQ Chicken

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Easy BBQ Chicken –

  • 1-2 packages of Organic chicken legs, breast and wings (skin on)
  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dried Parsley
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Trader Joes Organic Sriracha and BBQ sauce

Directions:

  • Remove the chicken from packaging and since chicken.
  • Place in large bowl or container
  • Mix together all spices and rub all over chicken until coated
  • Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour
  • Heat grill
  • Place chicken on hot grill and baste with the Sriracha and BBQ sauce through the entire cooking process. (this will lock in flavor and keep the meat moist)
  • Cook until done (no pink inside)

Serve hot! Enjoy!

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Stuffed Mushrooms with Three Cheeses

I’ve been making this recipe for 22 years. Its always a hit at any party! I typically make this for the holidays. The trick to serving these is when you remove them from the oven and plate them, walk around the party and serve them. They taste best right out of the oven.

Stuffed Mushrooms with Three Cheeses

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients –

  • 2 packages of white or brown button mushrooms
  • 1 cup of fresh mozzarella cheese (grated)
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese (finely grated)
  • 1 packaged of cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped chives
  • 1/4 cup of panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of half and half
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 stick of melted butter

Directions –

  • Clean mushrooms carefully and remove the stem from the middle
  • Set them in a casserole pan
  • in a medium bow, mix mozzarella, parmesan, cream cheese, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of half and half, if it needs a little more so you can mix gradually add another tablespoon.
  • Add the chopped chives
  • Stuff filling in each mushrooms, make sure you heap and pack in the filling.
  • Melt the butter in the microwave
  • Dip each mushroom bottom in the butter and place back into pan
  • Drizzle the tops of the mushrooms with any remaining butter
  • Bake at 350 for 15 – 20 minutes until gold brown and soft
  • Serve immediately!

Enjoy!

Clean mushrooms and place in casserole pan.
Clean mushrooms and place in casserole pan.

Cheese ingredients before stuffing into mushrooms
Cheese ingredients before stuffing into mushrooms

This is how the stuffing should look for each mushroom
This is how the stuffing should look for each mushroom

Dip each mushroom in melted butter
Dip each mushroom in melted butter

Mushrooms are brown and cooked through.
Mushrooms are brown and cooked through.

Vegetable Frittata and Arugula Salad

Who says you can’t have breakfast for dinner? I started back at the gym this week and I find it very difficult to get the amount of protein needed and keep my carbs down low. This healthy dinner provides lots of protein from eggs and 6 different types of vegetables. You can use any veggies you like or even throw in meat. I just used all my fresh vegetables I picked up at the farmers market. YUMMY!

Vegetable Frittata and Arugula Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Vegetable Fritta and Arugula Salad
Vegetable Fritta and Arugula Salad

  • I cup of chopped mushrooms (any kind is fine)
  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 cup of chopped asparagus
  • 1 cup of sweet onions
  • 6 organic eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of half and half
  • 1 cup of your favorite shredded cheese (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350

Stir together the butter or olive oil in a cast iron pan with onions. Cook until translucent and then add the mushrooms. When the mushrooms cook down, add the spinach and asparagus and sauté for about 1 minute. Whip the eggs in a bowl and add the salt and pepper and cheese. Add to the pan and stir for about 1-2 minutes. When you see the eggs start to form, put in the oven for 17 – 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 1 – 2 minutes.

Arugula Salad

  • 1-2 handfuls of arugula
  • 1 cup of chopped baby tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil

Toss together the arugula and tomatoes add vinegar and olive oil.

Enjoy!

Mushrooms, Spinach, Asparagus, Onions
Mushrooms, Spinach, Asparagus, Onions

Vegetables for the frittata
Vegetables for the frittata

This is what the egg and vegetable mixture should look like before you put it in the oven.
This is what the egg and vegetable mixture should look like before you put it in the oven.

Frittata out of the oven.
Frittata out of the oven.

Easy Thai Red Curry

I’ve been cooking Thai food since I was a young child. I’ve made Red Curry all different ways. If you make the curry paste from scratch it can take a lot longer. I’ve opted to take the easy route and buy the curry paste. I do however, take the time to make home made chicken stock. I think this makes the curry so rich and flavorful. Also, adding fresh Thai basil is key. (don’t skimp not that)

Thai Red Curry

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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I made mine tonight with untraditional vegetables that are not typically used in Thai red curry recipes. I was inspired by the farmers market this week so I used what I found there.)

Ingredients:

1 can of red curry paste (I like the Maesri brand)

1 can of coconut milk (I like Chaokoh brand)

2 cups of chicken broth (I prefer homemade or a high quality brand)

1 package of organic chicken tenders

1 can of bamboo shoots (I like Chaokah brand)

1 Tablespoon of soybean oil or peanut oil

2 Teaspoons (or more to taste) of fish sauce (any brand will is fine)

1 Tablespoon of palm sugar or table sugar (if you want it sweeter, you can gradually add more)

1 large handful of Thai basil

1 Large zucchini (chopped)

1 handful of green beans (chopped)

1 handful of mushrooms (any kind is fine)

1 sweet onion (chopped)

Directions:

Heat the red curry paste and the oil together stirring regularly for about 1-2 minutes. This will help the curry paste waken up and the flavors to be more rich.  Add chopped onion and let the onions cook through.

Add 1 can of coconut milk and bring to a boil then add 2 cups of chicken broth.

Add the large handful of Thai basil (make sure your remove the stems).

Add bite sized chicken and let cook through.

Add all vegetables

Add sugar and fish sauce

Let boil until the vegetables are cooked through (about 20 minutes)

Serve over rice or noodles.

Can be kept in air tight container for up to 3 days.

Enjoy!

Thai Red CurryIngrediants
Thai Red Curry Ingrediants

Making the red curry base
Making the red curry base

Easy Thai Red Curry
Easy Thai Red Curry