I follow Mitch on Facebook and if you are like me, then he is usually one of your sources for a daily chuckle. Often our beloved GayNYCDad jests about his cooking. I’m not quite sure if I believe all those stories about his devoted family faithfully coming to the table each evening to be tortured by his cooking. Surely his soup is not really crunchy because he burns it beyond recognition!
Regardless, whether he is that detrimental in his kitchen to his
victims husband and son, what Mitch needs are some fun recipes that are not that hard to fix.
Robert Rose cookbooks are always my go to publisher to find unique books about health, DIY and cookbooks. Recently I received a copy of Simply Vegetarian Thai cooking 125 real Thai recipes created by Nancie McDermott to review in exchange for my honest opinion. I asked Mitch if I could share a couple of recipes with him and his readers. I love this cookbook. My favorite Thai restaurant went out of business but now I can fix my favorite Green Curry at home along with 124 real Thai dishes I have found in this book. This book has a great collection from drinks, appetizers, salads, soups, main dishes and desserts.
I try and stick to a vegetarian cooking mindset but the beauty of this recipe is that meat can easily be added.
Fingers crossed we will hear some good reports from Mitch about his cooking soon.
SERVES 1 AS A MAIN COURSE OR 2 AS AN APPETIZER
This makes only one or two portions, which is really the correct way to cook with a wok on a Western stove. Even in Thailand, expert cooks do only a batch or two at a time.
Asian-style wire strainer or slotted spoon
- 4 oz dried rice noodles, the width of
linguine or fettuccine
- Vegetable oil
- 8 oz firm tofu, cut into slender
1-inch (2.5 cm) long rods
- 1 tbsp coarsely chopped garlic
(4 to 6 cloves)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1⁄4 cup Vegetable Stock, homemade or store-bought
- 2 tbsp Tamarind Liquid
or freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tbsp Asian bean sauce
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1⁄2 tsp hot pepper flakes
- 1⁄2 cup finely chopped salted
dry-roasted peanuts, divided
- 2 cups bean sprouts, divided
- 3 green onions, whites thinly
- sliced crosswise and tender
green tops cut into 1-inch
- 1 lime, quartered lengthwise
1. Place dried rice noodles in warm water to soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, pour vegetable oil into a medium skillet to a depth of about 2 inches. Place over medium heat until a bit of tofu added to pan sizzles at once. Line a plate with paper towels and place near the stove. When oil is ready, add tofu in small batches to discourage them from sticking together.
Fry, turning to cook evenly, until crispy and golden,
About 2 minutes. Using a long-handled wire strainer
Or a slotted spoon, remove from oil, draining over pan briefly and transfer to prepared plate.
3. When noodles are very limp and white, drain and measure out 21/2 cups. Set near the stove.
4. Heat a wok or a large, deep skillet over medium –high
heat. Add 1 tbsp oil and swirl to coat pan. Add garlic and toss until golden, about 1 minute. Add egg and tilt pan to coat surface in a thin sheet. As soon as egg is opaque and beginning to set, scramble well and transfer to a serving platter.
5. Add 2 more tbsp oil to pan and heat for 30 seconds. Add softened noodles and using a spatula, spread and pull noodles into a thin layer covering surface of pan. Then scrape down into a clump again and gently turn over.
6. Add vegetable stock, tamarind, bean sauce, sugar, soy sauce and salt and toss well. Hook loops of noodles with edge of spatula and pull up the sides, spreading out into a layer again. Repeat this process several times as the stiff, white noodles soften and curl into ivory ringlets. Add pepper flakes and about half of the peanuts and turn noodles a few more times.
7. Set aside a little less than half of the bean sprouts for garnish. Add remainder to pan along with green onions and cooked egg. Toss well and cook until bean sprouts and green onion tops are shiny and beginning to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to serving platter and squeeze lime wedges over top. Garnish with remaining peanuts and bean sprouts on one side and serve at once.
My recipe instructs you to squeeze the lime juice over the noodles just before serving. This is because I have found that if I present the dish Thai style, with a lime wedge on the side, it is left behind like a parsley garnish on a dinner plate at a banquet. Thais always squeeze on lime juice, so I like to include some and then offer extra lime wedges to those who like an extra sour hit.
What could be better than ice cream for desert? Keeping the meal in the Thai theme is easy by serving Coconut Ice Cream. I think this is a lovely desert to offer after the main meal.
Coconut Ice Cream
Here is the classic Thai ice cream that sweetens the hottest evening in Thailand’s upcountry small towns. It could not be simpler and it could not be better. You can jazz it up with flavors and additions in the modern manner, but in my opinion it is perfect as is. Thais love it sprinkled with chopped peanuts and served in tiny bowls or in Thai Ice Cream Sandwiches (page 166).
MAKES ABOUT 1 PINT
Ice cream maker
- 2 cans (each 14 oz)
unsweetened coconut milk
(about 31⁄2 cups)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1⁄2 tsp salt
1. In a heavy saucepan, combine coconut milk, sugar and salt. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring often to dissolve sugar and salt. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl.
2. Cover bowl and refrigerate until very cold, about 2 hours. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Serve at once or transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 weeks.
You can make the ice cream base in advance, cover, and chill for up to 1 day before you churn it into ice cream.
If the ice cream loses its pleasing texture and becomes grainy, break it into chunks and briefly process in a food processor fit with a metal blade to restore its creaminess.
Disclosure: Courtesy of Simply Vegetarian Thai Cooking by Nancie McDermott, 2015 © www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.