Monthly Archives: July 2010

#422 – Pad Thai Lunch

#422 - Pad Thai

This lunch is my entry into the My Easy Cooking Thai themed first blogging event.  After my success with nut butter in the last Daring Cook’s Challenge I though I might try my hand at making satay from scratch, but after picking up a small brick of tamarind pulp at the New Asian Spice Supermarket in Sea Point I finally decided on Pad Thai. For inspiration I turned to Chez Pim and her method of making Pad Thai.

Today’s Lunch:

  • Pad Thai with
  • chopped peanuts seasoned with a little chilli powder and
  • a wedge of lemon

My easy Cooking Event # 1 - Thai
The first step is to prepare the Pad Thai sauce, but before I could do that I had to process my brick of tamarind pulp. For 250g of tamarind I used two cups of warm water letting it soak for a little while, then working the seeds and fibres from the pulp and finally straining the soaked tamarind to catch any bits I might have missed. This is the fun messy part  🙂

Once I had my tamarind paste I heated a 1/4 cup each of fish sauce, tamarind paste and unrefined brown sugar and 1 tsp chilli powder over a low heat until the sugar melted. This was enough for three portions. Now the sauce was completed I could move on to preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Ingredients (per portion):

  • prepared Pad Thai sauce
  • 1 tsp peanut oil
  • 1/2 a chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 a clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 60g rice noodles (approx 1/6 of a 375g bag), soaked in water till pliable
  • 6 prawns, cooked and shelled
  • 6 sugar snap peas, cut in half diagonally
  • 2 ears of baby corn, cut in half lengthways and then into thirds
  • 1/4 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 spring onion, sliced diagonally
  • chilli powder (for serving)
  • Thai basil (for serving)
  • chopped peanuts (for serving)
  • lemon wedges (for serving)

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan.
  2. Add chicken, garlic and a spoonful of prepared sauce. Stir-fry until chicken is nearly cooked.
  3. Add noodles and another few spoons of sauce. Continue stir-frying until noodles soften.
  4. Push chicken and noodles to the side of the wok/pan, crack egg into empty side and quickly scramble till cooked.
  5. Add prawns, sugar snap peas, baby corn and yellow pepper. Stir-fry all ingredients together until vegetables are just cooked.
  6. Serve immediately, sprinkled with chilli powder, spring onions, torn Thai basil, chopped peanuts and spritz of lemon.

#421 – Greek Pasta Salad Lunch

#421 - Greek Pasta Salad

If you follow me on Twitter you probably read my tweets about my newly acquired bento from The Crazy Store.  Fellow Tweeter and bento fan Amanda pointed it out to me and I’m so glad she did! It’s a great little set and I got to take it out on it’s maiden voyage today.

Today’s Lunch:

  • Greek flavoured pasta salad: pasta tossed with garlicky braised tomatoes, feta cheese, cucumber and yoghurt dressing (recipe below) topped with wilted pea shoots,
  • apple slices,
  • almonds and
  • wasabi peas.

I received a jar of Kara’s Original Greek Herb Dressing in my goodie bag at the SA Food Bloggers Conference earlier this year and since the conference I’ve used it to dress leafy salads and steamed vegetables with great results.  Here is my simple recipe for a Greek flavoured yoghurt dressing using this herb mix.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tsp Kara’s Original Greek Herb Dressing Mix
  • 6 tsp warm water
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 150ml plain yoghurt

Method:

  1. Add warm water to herb mixture and leave to rehydrate for a few minutes
  2. Add celery salt and lemon juice
  3. Stir into plain yoghurt

This is enough to dress half a packet of pasta (250g dried). I think it would also make a great marinade or dip, although if you plan to use it as a dip you may want to use less salt.

#420 – Butter Chicken Lunch

#420 - Butter Chicken

Leftovers from this month’s Daring Cooks challenge made for an excellent lunchtime treat, especially with the freezing rainy and snowy weather we’ve been having in the Cape recently.

Today’s Lunch:

  • Butter chicken,
  • basmati rice with fried onions,
  • carrots and
  • green beans.

Daring Cooks July 2010 – Nut Butter

Daring Cooks July 2010 - Nut Butter

The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.

The first part of this month’s challenge was to produce a fresh nut butter using nuts of our choice.  I chose to make a raw almond butter and because the end result would be used in a savoury dish I loosened it up with a little garlic infused avocado oil. For awhile I thought my little food processor wouldn’t be able to handle the nuts or produce anything but nuts crumbs. But with a little patience and a few added teaspoons of avocado oil we eventually got there.

Daring Cooks July 2010 - Nut Butter

The final part of the challenge was to produce a savoury dish using our freshly made nut butter. I chose the butter chicken recipe as it is a dish I’ve wanted to cook for awhile.  It came out really well and yet again I find myself wondering what I was so afraid of and thinking that sometimes things are not as complicated as you think they are.

Daring Cooks July 2010 - Butter Chicken

All recipes from this months challenge can be found here.