Memories of Thailand

Green Thai Curry

This is a super-fast Thai recipe that I picked up when I was in Thailand a couple of years ago, it was cooked in front of me on a great roaring charcoal fire, in a little shack just next to a beach on Koh Samui.

It was so good I went back to the cook the next day and not only did she share her recipe with me, she also shared her thai green paste recipe which is easy to make and will last for two months in the freezer, just freeze it like ice cubes and use straight from the freezer. If you like the dish hotter just add more crushed chillies.

 

Ingredients: Serves 4

2 tbsp rapeseed oil (has a higher burn temp)

2 tsp – 3 tsp green paste (see recipe on ediblenews.com) depends on your heat limits!!

3 tbsp good fish sauce

300ml good coconut milk

100ml water

3 tsp palm sugar

1 aubergine chopped or thai ones if you can get them

3 chicken breasts, thinly sliced

1 red pepper, thinly sliced

12 thai basil leaves ripped, stalks removed

4 bamboo shoots, sliced very thinly

squeeze of lime juice

 

Method

Get your pan and oil hot, add the paste and stir until just turning darker color

Add fish sauce and when it evaporates add coconut milk and water, stir

Add the aubergines, cover and cook gently for 5 mins, taste

Add the chicken and sugar and simmer for 8 mins

Check taste again and balance it with more fish sauce / sugar if needed, should be a sweet, hot taste on palate

Add red pepper and shoots and taste again

Add basil and cook gently for another 5 mins, lid on

 

Serve with noodles or a plain white rice, I usually sprinkle some fried off chillies on mine for extra heat.

 

Curry Paste Recipe

Ingredients:

50g coriander seeds

25g cumin seeds

1 tsp nutmeg

8 cloves garlic, chopped

10 green chillies, deseeded and chopped

20 coriander roots chopped and a handful of leaves

6 lemon grass stalks, top and tailed and inner white section only, chopped

5 lime leaves, no stalks and chopped

100g shrimp paste

1 tbsp thai basil, chopped

 

Method

On a dry pan, gently roast your coriander and cumin seeds until brown and fragrant, set aside

Put everything else into a blender (if you like hard work, pound then in a pestle and mortar, thai style) adding them as you go and blend to a smooth paste add a little water to help them along.

Add your roasted seeds, blend again and divide up into an ice cube tray and freeze for up to two months

IMG_7704

 

 

 

 

You’ve got the power

If you want a lunch that is literally packed with tons of vits, lots of goodness and will keep your brain and body going well into the afternoon then go and make yourself one of these. My base is a wholemeal flatbread but you can also use pitta, focaccia (see recipe on site) pizza or leave it out altogether, either way, washed down with a homemade strawberry and banana smoothie it will satisfy your appetite, and you will be fighting fit until supper time.

I used twelve ingredients in mine, how many can you count?

IMG_7698

 

Golden love on a plate

Mozzarella and Basil Fritters with Roasted Garlic Sauce

Serve these either as canapés or as a side to a nice piece of roast cod, totally moorish!

Ingredients for Fritters: Serves 4

500g mozzarella

180g parmesan

2 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed

A handful of chopped basil

2 free-range eggs, beaten

4 tbsp flour

 

Sauce ingredients

6 plum tomatoes

4 garlic cloves

Sprig rosemary, stripped

1 tsp runny honey

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

1 tbsp tomato puree

 

Method – fritters

1. Dry the mozzarella very well you do not want it to be wet

       2. Grate both cheeses, mix with the garlic, basil, eggs and 2 tbsp flour and season

       3. Divide mix into 12 and shape into flat cakes

       4. Cover and place in fridge for at least 30 mins to firm up

 

Sauce

 

  1. Heat oven to 190c
  2. Cut tomatoes in half and place on a baking sheet, cut side up, scattered with the whole unpeeled garlic, rosemary leaves, honey, vinegar and oil, season and roast for 30 mins
  3. Remove from oven and cool a little before squeezing out the garlic.
  4. Place tomatoes, garlic, juices and puree into a food processor and blitz until smooth.
  5. Check seasoning

 

Back to fritters

 

  1. Coat fritters in flour
  2. Pour 1cm oil into a pan so it comes halfway up fritter and cook over a high heat
  3. When hot add fritters and cook for around 3 mins then turn over and cook until golden brown
  4. Drain them on kitchen paper
  5. Place on a serving plate and spoon over the sauce, I serve with a simple green salad, so good!

IMG_7664

IMG_7668

The future is orange

Carrot soup, nothing unusual you might think, well you haven’t tasted THIS Carrot, Honey and Ginger soup, it’s packed full of goodness and because it’s got a great sweet taste from the honey, kids go wild for it, so get peeling and let me know the results, it can also be frozen so make a big batch. At least you know exactly what’s in it, so apart from the honey, no added sugar or other nasty stuff etc!

 

Ingredients: serves 4

 

750g organic carrots, peeled and chopped

1 onion, peeled and chopped

1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped

3inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped

4 celery sticks, chopped

2 tbsp butter

salt and pepper to taste

1 ltr boiling water

3 tsp runny honey

1 fresh bay leaf

120ml double cream

finely chopped coriander

 

Method

 

  1. Melt the butter in a large heavy pan, add all the veg, ginger, season to taste and cover on a low heat for 30 mins until all nice and sweated.
  2. Pour in boiling water, honey , bay leaf, pepper and simmer for around 10mins until soft, remove bay leaf and liquidise in a blender, then run through a sieve.
  3. Stir in 4 tbsp of cream into soup and reheat gently.
  4. Pour into bowls and add a dash of cream to each.
  5. Top with coriander and serve with a crusty or olive infused bread

IMG_7654

Choc heaven, mmmm

If like me you love chocolate then look no further, these gooey fondants are literally to die for, the moment you stick your spoon into them and the loveliness oozes out, you know there is a reason to keep on living.

Ingredients : makes 4

4 150ml moulds, greased with butter and coated in cocoa powder

 

Fondants:

100g butter

200g dark chocolate, bournville is best

3 eggs plus 2 extra yolks

100g caster sugar

50g plain flour

 

  1. Cut the butter into cubes and melt with the chocolate in a bowl over a hot pan of water, stir to combine
  2. Put all the eggs plus extra yolks in a bowl along with the sugar and whisk until thick and mousse-like
  3. Fold the chocolate mixture into the eggs and mix well then add flour and combine
  4. Divide the mix equally into the moulds and place in fridge for at least 1 hour
  5. Heat oven to 200c
  6. Place on a baking tray and transfer to oven for around 13 minutes, keep an eye on them, they should be risen in the moulds, leave to stand for around a minute then invert the mould and tip onto plate, eat immediately.

IMG_7594

Valentines Bird

I don’t know about you, but I always try and cook for Valentines Night, I hate trying to book a table somewhere and sit with a load of other couples, some of whom clearly don’t want to gaze into their partner’s eyes or whisper sweet nothings over loud music.

Nowadays I try and cook something a little bit different from the standard Valentine’s fayre, so for Vals day try this simple but fresh, colourful and fronkalicious supper par deux , your love will be very impressed and, most of it can be prepared in advance, which allows more time for eye gazing, Quail with Pomegranate and Watercress and Feta Salad, serve with a side portion of Lana del Rey in the background, it’s definitely a lurve thang!

 

Ingredients  serves 4

4 quail, spatchcocked

Marinade

½ garlic clove, crushed

1 shallot, finely chopped

2 tsbs pomegranate molasses

pinch of cinnamon or to taste

Salad

75g toasted pine nuts

200g watercress leaves

1 tsp oregano sprigs chopped

Seeds of a pomegranate

200g feta

Dressing

½ garlic clove crushed

big pinch ground cumin

2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

½ tbsp orange juice

½ clear honey

4 tbsp olive oil

sea salt and ground pepper

 

Method

 

1 Place all your marinade ingredients in a processor and blitz until smooth, rub it all over the quail and marinade in a tight plastic bag overnight in the fridge.

2 Prepare your salad, clean and dry your cress leaves, adding all the other ingredients leaving the feta until 5 mins before serving as it goes soft and falls apart if put in too early.

3 Make your dressing by by adding garlic, cumin them molasses, mix well then, orange juice, honey and whisk in the oil season as you go, adding more honey if too sharp, add to salad.

4 Place your quail, breast side down on a baking tray and place under a hot grill until caramelised, turn and repeat then transfer to oven on 180C for around 10 – 12 mins until cooked through, keep an eye on it as it will burn easily because of the marinade.

5 Arrange your salad on a serving platter with the quail on top, I usually cut one quail into four as it looks nicer, enjoy and gaze!

IMG_7564

Pancakes three ways

Pancakes 3 Ways, I made these in 20mins, just get all your ingredients prepped and let the kids put on the fillings, all natural toppings and great fun.

Pancake mix ingredients: Makes around 10 pancakes

80g plain flour

Pinch of salt

2 large fresh eggs

150ml milk

little knobs of butter for cooking

 

Method

Place all your ingredients into a bowl with half the milk and whisk until smooth and lump free, then whisk in remaining milk.

Heat your butter in the pan over a medium heat and pour in a ladle full of mix into pan swirling the pan as you go to ensure an equal spread of the mix.

Cook for around 2 mins, when you start to see the mix rising in places it’s time for the all important olympic style flip!

Cook again for around 2 mins, check to see if base is golden and you’re ready for the topping.

Toppings:

Apple Strudel

1 apple peeled, cored and chopped

I ripe pear, peeled cored and chopped

1 tbsp water

1 tbsp castor sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

 

Coulis

10 fresh strawberries, topped and diced

20 fresh raspberries cleaned and halved

1 tsp castor sugar

big squeeze lemon juice

 

Blueberry Surprise

100g fresh blueberries, left whole

½ banana chopped finely

1 tbsp Canadian maple syrup

For the apple strudel, simply place everything in a small pot with a lid over a low heat and cook until soft, around 15mins, leave to cool

For the coulis, place all ingredients into a bowl and microwave on high for around 3 mins, leave to cool

For blueberry Surprise, marinade all the ingredients in the fridge for at least 2 hours

IMG_7582

 

Moroccan Turkey Meatballs

Switch from red meat to healthy turkey for this alternative, it’s quick and simple to make and the kids will enjoy the change too.

Moroccan Turkey Meatballs

Ingredients: Serves 4

500g turkey minced

1 tsp mild chilli

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp sweet paprika

1 tbsp orange zest

1 onion very finely chopped

1 orange chopped small

250g large couscous

250g organic chicken stock

2 tsp olive oil

1 tbsp chopped coriander

2 tbsp plain yoghurt

1 tbsp mango chutney

 

Method

 

In a large bowl mix all spices, zest, onion and turkey together and form into small, walnut size balls.

 

Pour the stock over the couscous, cover and leave for around 10mins.

 

Heat the oil over a medium heat and cook meatballs until golden brown, around 10 mins

 

Mix the yoghurt and chutney together to serve on the side

 

Fluff up the couscous, add the orange segments, arrange on a platter, scatter over coriander and serve.

IMG_7555

 

Simple Red Onion Focaccia

I’m currently enjoying Chef’s Table on Netflix, ep1 features the maestro, Massimo Bottura and tells the parallel stories of his love for his wife and his love of food.

In it he talks animatedly about how as a child, he would sit under his grandma’s table and catch the bits of tortellini that fell through the cracks as she made it and in the knowledge that she would protect him from his older brothers, but it was in those moments that his future would be ingrained in his soul, he was always going to be a chef. He felt those same emotions when he met his wife for the first time, they were always going to be together, no matter what.

That’s real passion!

So here’s my VERY humble Italian offering, Red Onion Focaccia.

 

Ingredients

4 ½ tbsp olive oil

2 rosemary sprigs

10g fresh yeast

150ml warm water

250g plain flour

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp salt

1 Red onion sliced and gently fried

1 clove garlic, peeled and roasted

Method

 

  1. Soak the rosemary in a little oil, set aside
  2. Dissolve yeast in 2 tbsp of warm water
  3. In a large bowl add flour and 1 tsp salt, pour in dissolved yeast, add remaining oil and at least ¾ of the water, mix quickly so that your dough is slightly on the wetter side.
  4. Mix well then turn out onto a floured surface and knead well for 10mins, add your onion and garlic, knead in.
  5. Place your rosemary onto a greased tin and spread out your dough into an oval shape 2cm thick on top of the rosemary, cover with cling film loosely and leave to rise for around 1 hour.
  6. 6.Set oven to 200C then remove cling film, and make little dimples with your finger in dough gently, drizzle over the oil and sea salt and bake until golden brown.

     Allow it to cool on a rack.

IMG_7468

Tasty Thai Salad

Try this easy peasy Thai Beef Salad for lunch to help get rid of the winter blues, it’s packed full of fresh herbs with vitamins such as Zinc, C and K as well as nuts and ginger.

 

Ingredients: serves 4

1 tbsp sunflower oil

500g beef sirloin, cut in 2in slices

 

Dressing

2 finely chopped garlic cloves

1cm finely chopped root ginger

1 lemongrass stock, stripped of outer layer and tender middle section finely chopped

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

2 limes, squeezed

3 tbsp nam pla or to taste

2 tbsp palm sugar

 

Salad

3 shallots, finely chopped

Large handful of thai basil leaves

Large handful of coriander leaves

Small handful of mint leaves

Unsalted peanuts, roasted

3 tbsp fried shallots

 

Method

 

  1. Place all the dressing  ingredients into a medium bowl and mix well and adjust the seasoning to taste, it should be sweet, salty and hot.
  2. In a large bowl assemble your salad ingredients.
  3. Over a medium heat fry your steak for around 1 min each side
  4. Add your steak to salad mixture and pour over half of the sweet chilli dressing, reserve the rest for dipping.
  5. Place on a platter and scatter the nuts and fried shallots on top, serve with a cold thai beer such as Singha or Chang.

IMG_7430

IMG_7428