Quick tasty dinner and back to work…

Friday 2 October 2009 | Posted by Kishi | Easy Cooking,Food

Pad thai
Busy with so many things around haven’t blogged so much. Have been craving pad thai for a while now and I guess with brother back in town it kind of gave me a push to make it. I have a lot of fond memories with Thailand and some bitter ones too. Customarily Pad Thai is a dish of stir-fried rice noodles with eggs, fish sauce, tamarind juice, red chilli pepper, plus any combination of bean sprouts, shrimp, chicken, or tofu, garnished with crushed peanuts and coriander. It is normally served with a piece of lime, the juice of which can be added along with Thai condiments. Pad Thai is one of Thailand’s national dishes.

I don’t follow the traditional recipe of the same. I cook with the veggies I have and cook the amount according to the number of people eating. Being the house filled with foodies we generally tend to have a lot of food around. Plus my pantry is filled with all exotic items.

Here is quick recipe:

I packet Pad Thai rice noodles
1 box silken tofu
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
1 Red onion Sliced
3-4 Snow Peas Chopped
10-12 beans sliced length wise
½ head cauliflower chopped
2 cups bean sprouts
2 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup fresh coriander/cilantro
1/4 cup ground peanuts

PAD THAI SAUCE:
3/4 Tbsp. tamarind paste
1/4 cup hot water
4 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1/2 to 2 tsp. chilli sauce (to taste)
2 Tbsp Honey

OTHER:
3-4 Tbsp. oil for stir-frying
2-3 Tbsp. beg stock or water
Lemon wedges for serving

Preparation:

  • Bring a pot of water to a bubble and remove from heat. Bathe as I would like to say noodles in the hot water for 6-8 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.

Tip: Noodles are ready to drain when they are soft enough to eat, but still firm and a little bit “crunchy”. The noodles will finish cooking when they are fried.

  • Dissolve the tamarind paste in the hot water. Add the other pad thai sauce ingredients and stir well to dissolve the sugar. Add as much or as little chilli sauce as you prefer, but don’t skimp on the sugar (you need it to balance the sourness of the tamarind).
  • Reserve
  • Place your wok (Kadai if you don’t have wok) over medium-high heat.
  • Add 1-2 Tbsp. oil plus the garlic and red onion
  • Stir-fry 1 minute till translucent.
  • Add all the veggies/tofu and stir fry again for a min or so.
  • Add the noodles.
  • Add half the pad thai sauce (coconut milk optional)and continue stir-frying in the same way for 1-2 more minutes, or until the noodles begin to soften and become sticky. Reduce heat to medium if noodles begin to stick and burn.
  • Add the bean sprouts plus the remaining sauce. Stir-fry to incorporate everything together for 1-3 more minutes, or until noodles are done.
  • To garnish in end add peanuts, lemon juice and some sweet basil and some cherry tomatoes.

Enjoy and tell me how it was…I for sure ate and enjoyed!!

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Hop,skip and Jump

Friday 8 May 2009 | Posted by Kishi | South Asian Cooking

sushiI was going through my pantry to search for some ingredients and check what all I have so I can try some New Mexican recipes. I tried Sancho’s yesterday at South ex and my experience was not a satisfying one. They didn’t serve beer, so my friend was a bit upset coz our plan was to snack on nachos and watch the IPL match. Forget beer they didn’t serve us water for a while. The food was not at all authentic. We tried burritos, sizzling fajitas, melon martini and rose sangria. And quesadilla-the only on the menu I recommend. The debacle meal made me frenzied to try some Mexican food at home and fulfill my hankering.
I owe my Mexican food knowledge to my Chef friend Crystal who is half Mexican and has also travelled with me there and made me venture into some very delicious vegetarian meals and changed my perception. I was searching for tostada’s coz I remember picking up a box. In my entire exploration, in the ever filled cupboard I found a packet of Nori Seaweed. Suppose sister had got it from Singapore and it’s just been lying around.
So I decided to hop from Latin to South East Asian cuisine.
Nori = Seaweed=Sushi! For those who are wondering what’s Nori – its dried and pressed layer sheets of seaweed or algae. All sushi has a base of specially prepared rice, and complemented with other ingredients
Here is my take on it …my dad didn’t enjoy it and we concluded he doesn’t like Sushi. Mom and I in actuality got pleasure from making and eating it…so try it.

Ingredients/Amount

Short grain rice 1 ½ cups
Water 1 ½ cups
Salt 1 teaspoon
Sugar 1 tablespoon
Rice vinegar 1/4cup

Sushi Fillings:

Nori seaweed 1 pack
Avocado, cut into thick strips 2 each
Cucumbers cut into thick strips 1 each
Carrots cut into thick strips 2 each

OPTIONAL:
Pickled daikon
Sesame seeds, toasted 1/4 cup
Black sesame seeds 1/4 cup

Sushi Garnishes/condiments:

Pickled ginger aka GARI 1/2 cup
Wasabi 1/8 cup
Water 1 tablespoon
Soy sauce, light aka SHOYU 1/2 cup

To Cook the Rice:
Wash the rice until it is clear. Cover with 3 cups water, add salt and sugar, and bring to a boil on the stove. Cover and place in a 350º oven until it is tender, approximately 30 minutes. Transfer rice to a flat pan and allow to partially cool. Add vinegar and mix well. Cover and reserve.

To Prepare the Fillings:
Have all of the ingredients including the rice, the filling, and the garnishes prepared before rolling the sushi. The vegetables should be cut into long strips that are approximately 1/4 inch wide.

To Assemble the Sushi Rolls:

1. Place a piece of the nori onto the bamboo mat and spread the cooked rice out to the edges leaving a 1 inch strip at the top of the nori to “seal” the roll. Moistening your hands with cold water will prevent the rice from sticking to your hand and it will spread much easier.

2. Spread a small amount of the wasabi down the center of the rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place the fillings down the center over the top of the wasabi in single rows. Leave the filling sticking out both ends.

3. Begin rolling by lifting the mat over the top of the filling with your thumbs and hold the filling in place with your fingers. Roll tightly to the end and form into different shapes like circles, squares, or semi-circles. Get the roll as tight as possible without tearing the nori. Unroll the mat and check for uneven areas. Reposition the mat and reshape as needed. Set aside and allow resting for a few minutes before cutting.

4. To cut the sushi, a sharp knife is a must and you need to be aggressive and cut with swift deliberate strokes. If cutting is a problem, try dipping the knife into cold water and wipe off any water and residue before each slice. The three basic cuts are the straight cuts, the end cuts, and the diagonal cuts. A combination of the different shapes will help to produce a more interesting presentation, although the length of the cuts should be consistent.

5. Arrange the sushi onto boards or platters and garnish with wasabi paste and the pickled ginger. Serve with chopsticks.

Suggestions: Anything can be used to fill the sushi rolls including a variety of vegetables like carrots and asparagus, different cooked meats, and fish both raw and cooked. Tofu, eggs. It’s a game of probability. Mix and Match and a new type of sushi will be born! For my meat eater friends try the California Roll with king crab legs, cucumbers, and avocado or the Philadelphia Roll with cream cheese, smoked salmon, and cucumber. I made one with corn and cream cheese with red chilies. If the Nori has a rougher side, spread the rice onto it because it will stick better. Thinner rolls can be made for hors d oeuvres and larger rolls would be more appropriate if served as an entree. You may want to wrap the bamboo roller (I had picked mine from Singapore) in plastic wrap to keep it clean.

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