Thai! Rootie Style!
February 29, 2008, 8:51 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I love this stuff! For a quick, relatively kinda authentic Thai supper, take a can of curry paste as listed in the link, mix with a can of coconut milk, and marinate chicken parts in it for a couple of hours. Then grill the chicken parts, or maybe broil them, or whatever your favorite method is for cooking chicken parts. Save the marinade, and use it to make some peanut dipping sauce, and maybe cook up a pot of sticky rice (or just regular white rice, if you’d rather)to go with.

Peanut sauce:
Leftover marinade from the chicken (add chicken broth to make a cup)
1/4 cup peanut butter-smooth or crunchy
juice of 1 lime
Mix all together and bring to a boil in a pot, then turn temp down low and simmer. Add chicken broth if it’s getting thick.
Now, if you happen to have a bottle of fish sauce, the peanut sauce would benefit from a few squirts. A little ginger is good as well, but not necessary.

The thing about a good Thai meal is the juxtaposition of flavors and textures. Creamy, crunchy,sweet, salty,hot, mild are elements you find, and really tasty they are, too.

So, you have the spicy grilled chicken, the creamy peanut sauce (also spicy), bland sweet rice, and finish it with some crunchy raw cabbage. You’ll find that the flavor of the cabbage is stellar at cooling the heat from the spicy sauces. I like to take a cabbage leaf, put a bit of rice in it, a piece of chicken and some sauce and fold it into a package…very tasty!

I recommend that you heigh to your local Asian market, and get you a few cans of Maesri brand curry paste. I have found the massaman curry to be the mildest, then the panang, the red and finally the green being REALLY! hot. I tried the kaeng kua and karee pastes, but was unimpressed with their flavor.

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Comfort Food
February 27, 2008, 10:31 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Today is cold (well, relatively speaking) blustery day, and I want some seriously filling, stick to the ribs comfort food. For me, that means meatloaf, mashed potatoes made from scratch, and stewed okra with tomatoes.

Now, meatloaf can be anything. I’ve read recipes where you mix beef, veal and pork, others that just call for ordinary grocery-store ground beef, recipes with all sorts of esoteric ingredients, and others that have 3, maybe 4 items. Tonight’s meatloaf is from the Minimalist Betty Crocker school of meatloafery. Here’s the recipe:

2 lbs ground beef (I used a pound of chuck and a pound of sirloin, because it’s what was in the freezer)
1 package Onion Soup Mix (you know, the stuff you make that dip from)
1/3 cup dried bread crumbs
2 eggs
1/3 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons dried italian seasoning
Mix it all together, form into a loaf, and bake at 375 until done- about an hour.
I put some ketchup on top, as well.

Serve with homemade mashed potatoes:
3 pounds of russet potatoes, peeled and cut into smallish chunks
Boil until tender, and drain, then put back into the pot.
Add about a cup of hot milk (I just warm it in the microwave) and half a stick of butter
Salt to taste
To make it interesting, add a cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, a shake or so of garlic powder, and some chopped parsley (or flakes)
Mash up with your potato masher, or use a hand held electric mixer. Add more milk if you need to, to reach the consistancy you like. If for some reason you add too much milk and they’re thin, thicken them with some instant mashed potato flakes.

For your vegetable, try this:
3 cups frozen sliced okra
1 small can of diced tomatoes
2 cups water
1 beef boullion cube (or a teaspoon of beef base)
2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
a pinch of red pepper flakes
Mix everything together in a pot, and cook on medium until it begins to boil, then turn the temp down to medium-low, and simmer until time to eat. You don’t want to bring this to a vigorous boil, or keep it there, because the okra will become mucilaginous, and provoke rude comments about it’s texture.

That’s dinner tonight, warm, comforting food that tastes good and makes everyone happy.

What’s your comfort meal?