Thai Food - It's a First!
|Firstly.. thank you all for the wonderful support and well wishes in comments and e-mail - ya'll are the best, thanks so much for caring about myself and my Mommie. =)|
Secondly - FOOD. Let's get back to our favorite subject, shall we?
Not too very long ago, one of my closest friends, Morven, sent me a recipe for Pad Thai. I'd never had it (hell, I've never had Thai food period) but her description of it sounded so good and the recipe looked like something I could pull off pretty easily. So I printed it out in hopes to make it as soon as I had bought the ingredients. Specifically the rice noodles, as my local "mega" mart doesn't carry them. Go figger.
One day after a trip to the farmer's market, we headed to an area in Cleveland that is predominantly Asian, in hopes of finding a Asian market. Low and behold, we got lucky and struck pay dirt. We spent about 2 hours in there just looking around.. it was fabulous. Never before had I been in such a culturally rich environment. Seriously. The wonders of all the food items that I was not familiar with, the smells of so many spices, seafood and fresh produce. It was all new and fabulous. Needless to say, I found several varieties of rice noodles and picked up quite a few of them. We also bought all the ingredients we'll need to make our own sushi - which we are very much looking forward to (it's our new food passion). We left with bags and bags of items and were already looking forward to the next time we'd visit.
A few nights later, I took my new Pad Thai recipe out and set to work.. it was quite easy to put together and the end result was what I now refer to as my most favorite noodle dish of all time. I could eat this dish several times a week and be quite happy. Hubbs enjoyed it very much too and requested that I don't wait too long before making it again. I chose to use a wider rice noodle than what the recipe called for, mainly because I pretty much closed my eyes, stuck my hand in the bottom of the pantry and just grabbed a random bag of newly aquired noodles. I made sure to have all of my ingredients measured out and ready to go next to the stove so all I had to do was dump while putting it all together. This particular recipe called for both chicken and shrimp so it was quite a substantial meal. The flavors of rice wine, lime juice and the shrimp was predominant and lovely. There was a background hit of the salty fish sauce and the sweet addition of some sugar. The noodles were soft but firm and I found I really enjoyed the texture of them. I finished the dish off with fresh cilantro and a drizzle of sesame oil - which gave it that fresh factor that really brought out the other flavors. This, to me, was heaven in a bowl. I loved it and I wanna say again - THANKS, MORV! YOU ROCK! =)
I just found out about Ruth's Pesto Pasta Nights and because I think that it's such a great idea (I'll be submitting often!) I figured that the first submission should be a damn good one - and here it is, almost 2 weeks later and I'm still dreaming about this dish - just waiting for a night where I can relax and make it again! So Ruth, if you'll have me.. I'd like to share this recipe for Pad Thai! =)
Courtesy of Morven and adapted from Dish It Up by Simon Holst
150-200 grams rice noodles
1 TBS. canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 cloves garlic, crushed, peeled and chopped
2 (about 200 grams total) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1 tsp. minced red chile/chile paste
200 grams shrimp, thawed and drained if frozen
1 TBS. canola oil
4 spring onions, sliced diagonally
3 TBS. fish sauce
2 TBS. rice (or wine) vinegar
1 TBS. lime (or lemon) juice
2 TBS. sugar
1-2 c. bean sprouts (we couldn't find fresh that day so I used canned - very good)
chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) and roasted peanuts to garnish (I omitted the nuts)
Place the rice noodles in a large bowl, cover with boiling water and soak for 5-10 minutes or until soft and flexible, then drain well. (Check after 5 minutes as different brands seem to soften at different speeds and some get too soft if soaked for too long.)
Heat about 1 tsp. of the oil in a large wok or frypan, then add the beaten egg and cook to form a thin omelette. As soon as the upper surface looks dry, roll or fold the omelette and remove from the pan. Cut into 1 cm. ribbons and set aside.
Add the rest of the first measure of oil to the pan, then add the garlic, cook over high heat until it begins to brown, then add the chicken and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until chicken has lost it's pink color and is beginning to brown.
Stir in the chile and shrimp and stir-fry for a minute longer, then add the noodles, second measure of oil and the spring onion greens. Toss to combine, then add the fish sauce, vinegar, lime (or lemon) juice and sugar.
Stir-fry until the liquid has almost disappeared then add the bean sprouts and cook for 1 minute longer. The recipe never did say what to do with that reserved omelette, so I just added it at this point as well.
Serve immediately garnished with chopped cilantro and peanuts.