Archive for thai

Recipe: Mango Yellow Curry

Posted in Eat, Entrees, Photos, Recipe with tags , , , on 29 December, 2009 by la fille

I spent some time waiting tables at a Thai restaurant when I was an undergrad, and while I absolutely despise waiting tables, I did get some positive things out of the experience. Primarily among those things was an unmitigated and abiding love of Thai food. I’m on a quest to find good Thai food here in New Orleans (episodes recounted here and here), and have yet to find a place that satisfies, so I’ve taken to cooking a lot more of it than I used to (here, for example).

All Thai-style curries rock balls, but yellow curry is by far the yummiest. It’s sweeter than green and red due to inclusion of cinnamon and cardamom, which I think provides a perfect balance with the spice. Of course, one varies ingredients depending on the curry, and here’s a list of stuff that’s awesome in yellow curry:

Onion

Potato

Carrot

Chicken

Shrimp

Tofu

MANGO

Almonds

Yellow bell pepper

Cauliflower

Sweet potato

Last night, I made a big batch to take to work for my lunches this week, and I included potatoes, carrots, onion, and mango.

I make a lot of yellow curry, not just because it is my favorite, but because New Orleans is the first place I’ve ever been able to find yellow curry paste in a grocery store and I am so excited about it. They carry it at Hong Kong market on the Westbank, which, if you haven’t been, IS THE BEST PLACE EVER. This is the shit you want to get:

Mae Ploy makes a great curry paste–if you aren’t making it from scratch, go with that brand. They do most kinds: yellow, green, red, massamun, panang, etc.

Although the traditional Thai accompaniment is jasmine rice, last night I used brown rice instead and was very pleased with my decision. I will probably be doing that from now on.

Ok, ok, on to the recipe.

Yellow Curry

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

2 c. brown rice

1/4 c. yellow curry paste

1 19oz. can of coconut milk (DO NOT USE “LIGHT” COCONUT MILK. IT IS DISGUSTING. GET FAT. IT’S WORTH IT.)

2-3 tbsp. fish sauce

1/3 c. sugar (Usually you’d use brown sugar, but I was out. You probably need less if you’re using brown sugar.)

1/2 c. water

Veggies, meat, fruit, cut into chunks or slices. For example, I used:

2 mangos

1/2 a large potato

1 medium sweet onion

2 medium carrots

Red pepper flakes or Sriracha if you want more spice

RECIPE

1. Cook rice according to instructions on bag. Brown rice takes longer to cook than jasmine rice, to plan accordingly. It usually works that you can start your rice cooking and by the time it’s ready, the curry will be also.

2. Combine curry paste and coconut milk in a wok or giant skillet on medium-high, and stir until the paste is blended in. Bring to a simmer, stir in sugar, fish sauce, and red pepper if you’re adding it. This would also be the time you add a protein if you’re using one, like chicken, and cook that.

3. Add ingredients based on time they take to cook. So in go the potatoes, carrots, and onions first. Simmer, stirring often, until they soften (15 minutes or so).

4. Toss in the mango and any other quick-cooking stuff and simmer for 5 more minutes. Serve over rice!

Also, go to Hong Kong Market!

925 Behrman Highway
Gretna, LA 70056-4569
(504) 394-7075

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Restaurant: Chill Out Cafe

Posted in Eat, Restaurants, Reviews with tags , , , on 29 January, 2009 by la fille

The quest for good Thai food in NOLA continue, and may not be futile after all.

Chill Out Cafe, which apparently just opened, is Uptown at 729 Burdette St, between Hampson and Maple. They bill themselves as “Breakfast and Asian Fusion” but it’s really just a mom-and-pop Thai joint that serves American style breakfast all day. It reminds me a lot of the Thai place I worked at in undergrad– definitely a family operation. I ordered Pad Thai, which is what I always do on my first visit to a new Thai joint, and it was some of the better I’ve had in this city so far. Still on the orangey side (you can read about my issues with orange vs. brown Pad Thai here), but all around tasty. Our spring rolls were different from most I’ve had–egg roll sized and more pork than veggies, but, once again, quite delish.

Here’s the best part:

The owner (hugely pregnant) was incredibly nice and we had a brief conversation in which I mentioned that I used to work at a Thai restaurant. She admitted that their menu was pretty standard and Americanized but if I ever wanted more traditional Thai fare, they’d be glad to whip up whatever.

AWESOME.

Recipe: Yam Neua (Thai-Style Beef Salad)

Posted in Eat, Entrees, Recipe with tags , , , , , on 27 January, 2009 by la fille

thai beef salad

We had friends stay with us this past weekend, which was a blast but afforded little time for cooking at home. We had some terrific meals, but they weren’t very healthy. Last night, with the house to ourselves again, Brother O’Mara and I decided we desperately needed something neither cheesy nor fried. Preferably with some vegetables.

This recipe is pretty ubiquitous, I think, but I’d never actually made it myself. It was super-easy and fast, and definitely a hit. Brother O’Mara put it on the list of things for us to make again, and I heartily agree. The flavors combined beautifully, while the beef afforded some needed protein. The recipe I used called for tomato, which I used, but I added red bell pepper as well, which actually tasted better. I will leave the tomato out next time.

We drank a 2006 Codice Tempranillo–or rather, Brother O’Mara had a glass and I, for some reason that still escapes me, apparently had pretty much the rest of the bottle. I didn’t really realize how much I’d consumed until we sat down to watch a movie and I immediately fell asleep. Not that this doesn’t happen infrequently–I’m notorious for falling asleep during movies–but usually I make it at least 20 minutes in before I conk out. Oh well.

(photo by lafille)

Yam Neua (Thai-Style Beef Salad)

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

Salad

8-10 oz. beef (I used rib-eye, which worked just fine)

1 small head of green leaf lettuce

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 Roma tomato, thinly sliced (optional)

1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced

salt and freshly ground pepper

Dressing

1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce

2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 small red chili, seeded and finely chopped

2 tbsp water

RECIPE

1. Season your meat with salt and pepper and sear it on the stove (or a grill) for 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove it from heat and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing it thinly (it should still be pretty pink in the middle).

2. While your meat is restin’, make the dressin’. Combine fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, chili, and 2 tbsp water in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and keep warm.

3. Toss all the veggies together, top with beef slices and warm dressing. Serve immediately.