Pad Kee Mao

This here is the reason I started loving homemade Thai food. My husband made this one day and its unreal how delicious it is!! It used to be like a rare delicacy he would make. But now its such a staple. This is for nights you don’t want to cook and still want to eat well! I think 30 minutes tops for cooking plus 10 minutes mise en plus. Delish.

Also, I have been on such a Thai kick lately. I have such phases. Haha. Anyways, I got some red curry paste, panang curry paste, and massaman curry paste. I know I know I should make them from scratch and worry not, I will! But I wanted to get a hang of the curry flavor profiles. I have eaten them around the world many times, but needed to try it out at the home front. Needless to say, coconut milk is like my thing now. Why shouldn’t it be. I want to add it to everything. Stop me now.

So here is the recipe. I do not claim it to be uber authentic. I need to compare it to the recipe in the “Simple Thai Food” cookbook. I’ll post changes, if any, later. But this dish as is, is a winner. Go make some. 🙂

Ingredients (Serves 4 moderately hungry people)

1 Packet Rice Noodles

1 Red Bell Pepper ( Can sub with Green bell pepper, but I like the color of the red for this dish) cut into thin strips

2 Shallots, finely minced

3 Cloves Garlic, finely minced

1/3 cup Fish Sauce

1/3 cup Oyster Sauce

1/3 cup Lemon Juice (I use bottled, fresh works well too)

1 Cup loosely packed Basil Leaves

2 tablespoon Peanut oil or Olive oil

1 lb Ground Chicken or Turkey ( I always end up using turkey but either option works)

Optional: Eggs x 4

How to?

1. Add the shallots and the garlic to the oil and saute for a minute or two. You do not want them to brown or worse, burn. Just get the aromatics working and get them ready. In the meantime, get some water boiling for the noodles.

2. Once the shallots and garlic are done, add in the ground meat. Try thawing it out before use. That way you can squeeze out excessive water before adding it into the pan. If there still is a lot of water residue, try draining some or add corn starch slurry to absorb. This is not as big a problem as I am making it out to be. I promise. ❤

3. Once the meat is cooked through and through, turn the heat up and add the bell pepper. Saute this well with the rest and get it only a little soft. Lets not go for mushy. Contrast in texture is a wonderful thing people! In the meantime, water is vigorously boiling. Turn the heat off. Add the noodles. Put on the lid and let it cook. Normally, takes me about 12 minutes. Check as you go. Once done, run them through cold water for 10 seconds to loosen them up. This way they don’t clump! Keep aside.

4. Now to the dish, add the three sauces and let them boil up. Once they do, mix them around well and add the noodles. Ooh it will look out of the world right about now.

5. Optional: scramble some eggs on a separate pan and add after the noodles. or you can scramble it in the same pan on the side.

6. Add the basil leaves whole (if small) or tear them up and add in.

7. Eat. Eat. Eat. Leftovers taste delicious as well!

Happy eating! 🙂

#songstuckinmyheadtoday

If you have escaped this song somehow, then please get it in your life. Even if you don’t like Adam Levine. He is adorable in this video, very unlike the “Animals” video. What was that video about really? What even? Moving on. This video has Adam Levine and band surprising brides & grooms at their weddings. Apparently, all the weddings are real but the footage of course is staged. Who cares. A good one to jam out to. Here we go. You’re welcome. ❤

Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” ― Julia Child

I received a very interesting email from Tumblr today. Happy Anniversary email at that. Haha. So 3 years ago, I made a similar effort at a blog. Well, it lasted all of 3 posts. However, it did remind me of a time when I was just starting to explore food with my then boyfriend, and now husband. It made me realize how far I have come and overall nostalgia. So I thought I’d share my opening post/about me with you guys to give you a sense of me in 2011. Hope you enjoy!

—-

Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” ― Julia Child

My claim to fame until 3 years ago was that I could mix milk and chocolate together and love every sip of it. Considering how much I love chocolate(oh you’ll find out), it was no big feat at all. Growing up in an Indian household, I never really had an opportunity to cook. You focused on your life and career, cooking would come later. Hence, I never really cared for it. Thought it would be something that I would not be able to do anyways. Why fret, eh?

My first love- seeing garlic frolic around in a bath of olive oil. Oh so beautiful and man did it smell gooood! I wanted to play with ingredients every day! Am I great cook? Yeah no. But do I love it. YES! I love it cause I cook for the ones I love. I love it cause it makes me happy. I love it cause I can put 2 and 2 together and it somehow blends into this blissful delight that I can’t help gushing over. Haha that got mushy real fast. This blog is an insight into what I do on weekends, the drinks I enjoy, the places I go to and the ones I share it with.

This is all about the little luxuries of life 🙂

Pan seared Salmon and spinach with an avocado remoulade

This recipe inspiration goes to Elise at http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/pan_seared_salmon_with_avocado_remoulade/. I just loved the idea of the remoulade and gosh it was creamy and absolutely a knock out sauce. Plus, this dish healthy and loaded with all the good kind of fats and proteins. And oodles of flavor. (Yes, I used oodles. That’s how much I loved this dish. Loove)

Here is the recipe  for the remoulade taken from Elise below. As for the salmon, I seared it skin side down on the pan for 2-3 minutes until crispy. Then I flipped the salmon and put it in the oven for 11-12 minutes at 400F. Cooked perfect flaky and a little under. On the side, I sautéed some garlic and spinach until the leaves wilted (salt and pepper to taste) and poached an egg. Why poached egg? Umm why not poached egg? Hope you enjoy this as much as we did. Thanks Elise for a great sauce recipe!

Ingredients

  • 2 large avocados, roughly cut
  • 3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (I squeezed one fresh lemon)
  • 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced shallots
  • 1 Tbsp minced parsley (fresh, please go with fresh on this one)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard or to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to?

Add the avocado and lemon/lime juice and blend until smooth. Continue by adding olive oil and pulsing until desired consistency. Add the shallots, parsley, dijon mustard and blend until uniform. Pause and taste. Now add the salt and pepper and get it to perfection.

Read more: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/pan_seared_salmon_with_avocado_remoulade/#ixzz3IVvUa9UI
IMG_4290Pan seared salmon and spinach with avocado remoulade

Steak salad with goat cheese and quinoa in a soy chili vinaigrette

If you love these flavors, this should instantly connect in your head. If you are not familiar with these flavors, together, then great excuse to make this salad and completely fall in love with it. I have been on such a goat cheese kick lately, just had to figure out a recipe to work around. Almost, contemplated making a ravioli but thats for another day!

As for the vinaigrette, oh my it was to die for. It has been adapted from this beautiful blog http://iowagirleats.com/2014/01/27/steak-salad-with-crispy-shallots-dried-cherries-candied-pecans-and-goat-cheese/. The only variation I made was substitute honey with oyster sauce giving it a more south east asian flavor, which I absolutely love. But go with the flavor profile you enjoy and have fun with it. Oh and I also did add a bit of sambal olek chili paste to it. Spiced it up just enough to make it delectable. Yummm. Safe to say we licked it clean.

Hope you enjoy the salad. I am just starting to get a whole week of salads ready and I’ll post some snapshots on here. Some amazing blogs out there to see a step by step salad prepping process for a week, if you are interested. In the meantime, please stuff your face with some goat cheese. I know I did.

Steak salad with goat cheese in soy vinaigrette

Steak salad with goat cheese in soy vinaigrette

Steak salad with goat cheese in soy vinaigrette

Ingredients:

Serves 2

Salad:

1 medium yellow onion or red onion(if you want it sweeter)

1 NY strip steak

0.5 cup tricolored Quinoa

1 cup mushrooms (any kind you like. I used baby bella)

1/4 cup almonds (toasted lightly in olive oil)

1/3 cup goat cheese crumbled

Spinach/arugula/and other greens to portion preference

Few leaves of Basil for freshness

Vinaigrette(modified):

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
1 Tablespoon soy sauce or gluten-free Tamari
1 garlic clove, microplaned or finely minced (I used finely minced)
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, microplaned or finely minced (I used finely minced)

1 Tablespoon oyster sauce (The original recipe used honey)

1/2 tablespoon sambal olek chili paste (to taste)

Salad Assembly:

1. Wash the quinoa thoroughly to wash away the Saponin (bitter chemical that coats the seed). Toast without oil on a hot pan for 1 minute. Then add 1 cup of chicken broth and bring to a vigorous boil. Once its boiling, turn the heat to the lowest setting and cover the pan and let it cook for 15 mins or until all liquid has evaporated. If you want more flavor, add shavings of parmesan and some basil.

2. While the Quinoa is finishing up, go ahead and slice the onion thin and uniform. You want them to cook evenly and brown evenly. Add about 1/2 tablespoon oil and caramelize them. Do not go overboard with the color as it can get bitter if burnt. Stay on safer side and taste as you go.

3. Once the onions are cooked, sauté the almonds on the same pan, followed by the mushrooms. As the mushrooms are cooking, lets go ahead and get the vinaigrette ready. Just mix all the ingredients and blend it all with a whisk. Let it sit for the remaining duration while you now prep your steak.

4. Last and final step, get your steak on the pan. I had an inch thick NY strip and it cooked fast. Just salt and pepper on the steak. Add about a tablespoon of oil, few cloves of garlic and rosemary (fresh springs or dried/optional) to the pan and cook the steak about 3 minutes per side for a medium rare. Of course, let it rest, no matter how quickly you might want to devour it. 😉 Once it has rested for about 5 minutes, cut into strips or cubes.

Once all the prep is done, assemble, and drizzle and add the goat cheese and have a fantastic dinner. If you never liked salads, well be ready to change your mind!

Bon Apetit!

What’s cooking this chilly Tuesday afternoon? Umm NO on the chilly part.

We are 2 days away for Halloweekend. Yes. So at this point in life you would not be wrong to expect temperatures to be in the 70s. But if you live in Florida, that can be a distant dream as I have come to realize. I used to always scoff at people who said things like this: ” I LOVE seasons!” or “I LOVE cool weather”. I did not understand that BUT Florida will be the end of the old me. Now, I LOVE seasons. After spending a tortuous winter in NY last year (Sorry for reminding everyone about that nightmare), I was very excited about the never ending summer that is Florida. But you know what, I miss my warm fuzzy jackets, my warm cuddly uggs, and warm food. That sounds weird: warm food? There are some recipes that scream winter and I miss them all.

So, you know what, I’m going turn the temperate down in the house and have a winter party. Or give it a few weeks and I will be eating my words cause I miss the summer. Who knows.

So back to the post, what is cooking today? I am making turkey burgers! Woohoo. I got some amazing goat cheese yesterday and have been scouring the internet for recipes. A burger seems fitting. I am even considering making my own buns. *GASP* More to come on that. IF it was success.

Also, this past weekend I had some amazing baked brie with some macadamia nuts and fun other toppings. I’m hooked and will go exploring for some recipes. You got ideas, come share and save me some googling. There is only SO much google-fu a gal can do in a day. Or is there? *What is in this coffee?*

Also, I am going to be doing some collaboration posts with family aka my sister 🙂 Watch out for that. VERY excited for this one. I’ll do a profile introducing her as well!

Have a fun afternoon guys and lets talk tonight after my burger expedition.

Weeknight dinners: Yogurt & Ginger Spiced Chicken with Mint

Who does not like an easy but tasty meal? I love it when I can finish cooking in under 30 minutes. AND especially if you can get a curry done in under 30 minutes – WIN! Maybe, I am new to this. Maybe most seasoned curry chefs cook in under 30 minutes. Who knows. Let me celebrate my victories where I can get it, right?

The other night, we went to a local craft beer brewfest. Fantastic selection of beers and a great night overall. We get back and of course, both the husband and I are starving (yes even after having a ton of beer. No judgy). So I turned to this trusty recipe and whipped it up even before the rice was done cooking. This was enough for my husband to prompt me to apply for Masterchef. Oh the things he says in his drunked stupor. Haha.

Anyways, hope you enjoy this. Its great with some fresh coriander rice or naan bread. Or if you’re watching carbs, just have it like a curry soup (don’t know what that is). No matter how you have it, C’est si bon!!

Yogurt & Ginger Spiced Chicken with Mint (Serves 2)

INGREDIENTS:

4 chicken legs (Skinless. Important to have skinless legs as they are lighter and more delicious. With skin meat can be tasty but quite unhealthy and fatty)
4 medium sized garlic cloves
3 inch ginger root. 2/3rd chopped and rest julienned
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

Whole spices:
Peppercorns
Bay leaf
Cinnamon
Cloves
(you may skip some if not available)

Marinade:
1.5 cup thick yogurt (unflavored greek yogurt will work)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon coriander and cumin powder
1 teaspoon paprika/cayenne pepper/kashmiri chili powder (All good substitutes. Add depending on heat preference)
1 tablespoon mint powder
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
1 green chili chopped
1/4 cup chopped coriander
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt to taste

How to:

1. Marinate the chicken leg pieces with the ingredients listed for marinade. Put it in the fridge while you prep your other ingredients.

2. Go ahead and thinly slice the red onion, and dice the ginger and garlic (no need to make a paste).

3. Pour one tablespoon of oil into the pan. Add about 6 black peppercorns, 2 bay leaves, 5 cloves, and a one inch cinnamon stick. (The photograph doesn’t indicate all the ingredients cause I was in a hurry. Its to just give you guys an idea.) Saute the whole spices, until you a get a nice aroma.

4. Saute the onions, garlic, and ginger in the aromatic oil until the onions turn light golden and the garlic and ginger lose the raw smell. Things should start smelling fantastic right about now.

5. Go ahead and get the chicken out of the fridge and add to the onion mixture.

6. Cover the pan and cook at medium high for about 20 minutes or until cooked through. (20 minutes for this quantity of chicken is very accurate).

7. Remove cover, and top the dish with gresh ginger (julienned), few teaspoons of cream(optional), and fresh mint leaves. Ready to serve!

P.S. Don’t hate me cause I forgot to photograph the final dish. Coming soon. I promise!

IMG_3739

IMG_4158

IMG_4163

IMG_4164

IMG_4165

IMG_4166