Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cookish: What's for dinner?

Pad Kee Mao

  • 1 (14-ounce) package wide rice noodles
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 2 limes)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 3 carrots, sliced on the bias
  • a handful or two of shelled edamame
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 medium jalapeƱo peppers, thinly sliced (I seeded one and left the seeds in the other to temper the heat,but you could probably leave the seeds in both. It wasn't very hot)
  • 1 cup loosely packed Thai basil leaves
Place noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for about 15 minutes, until loose and pliable but not soft; drain and set aside. Meanwhile, combine oyster sauce, fish sauce, and lime juice, mix well, and set aside. (It is easy to do this in a measuring cup. Pour in 1/4 of fish sauce; add enough oyster sauce to get to the 1/2 cup mark, and then add enough lime to get to 3/4 cup.)

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. An 11-in pan is the biggest I have, but it's a bit small for this, so I had to make some adaptations. Once the pan is heated, add shallots and garlic and half the jalapeno and cook for 2 minutes or until softened but not brown. Add ground chicken and break into small pieces. Cook until chicken is white and almost cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add carrots, edamame, and the other jalepeno, and stir-fry just until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Remove some chicken mixture to a large bowl, and move the rest to the edges of the pan and add eggs to the center. Scramble with a spatula until eggs are set and don’t run, about 1 minute. Remove eggs to the large bowl and add reserved sauce mixture. Once the sauce is boiling, add the drained noodles and toss to coat. Once coated, add to the large bowl and toss with the other ingredients, including the basil. Serve immediately. Yum!

My adaptations make this less authentic, but it still tastes good

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bookish Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

This book received a ton of press, so I was anxious to read it, though I didn't know anything about it. I didn't know, for example, that it is an epistolary novel. I probably would have been reluctant to read it, had I known, since I am always wary of books written entirely in letters, but my fears were quickly assuaged. The story is intriguing and keeps you turning pages (it might even make you want to write a letter!). The main character is a writer searching for inspiration in Britain after WWII. She stumbles upon a friendship with the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and goes to the island to visit, learning about the islanders' war experience along the way. It's a very interesting and touching story, and the letters reveal a lot about the characters writing them and being written about. Recommended.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cookish: Snacktime

This salsa was inspired by a creation of my dear friend, Clare.

1 can black beans
1 can chickpeas
1 can corn
1 serrano chile
1 medium tomato
1/4 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves
olive oil

Drain & rinse the beans and drain the corn; mix them all together. Core & quarter the tomato. squeeze out the seeds. Pre-heat the oven to 350. Put the chopped onion, garlic cloves (unpeeled), quartered tomato, and serrano chile (with the stem end chopped off) on a foil-line baking sheet or cake pan. drizzle with olive oil and salt & pepper and put in the oven for about 25 minutes. Remove the garlic (if soft), tomatoes, & chile. I roast the onions for about 10 minutes more, but that is up to you. Put the tomatoes & chile in a bowl and cover with saran wrap for 5-10 minutes. This will make the skin easier to remove. Remove the skin and chop the tomatoes, chile, and garlic together. Add to the beans and corn, along with the onion and olive oil used to roast the veggies. Add the juice of 1/2 the lime and some lime zest, along with salt and pepper to taste. Fridge to meld the flavors. Yum! Eat with chips, or on a salad, or on fish tacos, like I did! You could certainly add more tomatoes or onions to your taste, but the one chile does add uite a bit of heat, so be careful upping that! You could even remove some of the seeds if you are worried about it being too hot.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bookish Review: The Temptation of the Night Jasmine

This is the 5th book in Lauren Willig's Pink Carnation Series, and it follows along in the same formula as the others. All of the books are told on two levels: on one, Eloise, modern-day grad student and researcher and on the other, her latest discovery in her research. Eloise is dating a very handsome Brit who is descended from the very spies she is researching for her dissertation. In this volume, Eloise uncovers the story of Charlotte, a friend of some of the other ladies she has studied, and her distant cousin Robert. They, of course, fall in love and discover a plot to kidnap the king in the meantime!

These books are fun and fluffy, quite a quick read, and always have a happy ending. Good fun.