Thai Red Curry Mussels

Thai red curry mussels

Thai red curry mussels

2 kg mussels
2 can coconut milk (800 ml)
olive oil
Thai red curry paste

Clean and debeard  the mussels. Discard any mussels that aren’t tightly closed.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the Thai red curry paste, reduce to medium heat and cook stirring frequently for another minute. Add muscles, stir well and cover the pan. Cook  on medium high heat five minutes, until the mussels are open. Add coconut milk, stir well and bring to the boil.

Finish with a squeeze of lime, and sprinkle with coriander leaves and some chili.

Cod eggplant red curry

Cod eggplant curry
Thai red curry paste 
500 g fresh cod
1 small eggplant
1 small onion
1 small kohlrabi (or chayote)
1 can coconut milk
salt

Make the curry paste. Slice the eggplant into quarters and sprinkle the salt all over it. Salt will draw out the vegetable’s moisture and bitterness (It’s a process known as “degorging“). Leave it in a colander for a half an hour.

Cut the onion, kohlrabi and cod in bite size pieces.

Heat the small amount of sunflower oil in a sauce pan and fry the onion on it for few minutes, until golden. Add the thai red curry paste and fry the spice mixture for about a minute. Add coconut milk, bring the mixture to boil, add the vegetables and cook for 10 minutes, add the cod and cook for 5 minutes more.

Serve on top of basmati rice.

Vietnamese Noodle Soup

3 cups chicken stock
1+1/2 chicken breast (cubed)
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
4 tbsp. fish sauce
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1 small chili (chopped)
1 tsp. muscovado sugar
165 ml (like 3/4 cup) coconut milk
2 tbsp. lime juice
1 spring onion (sliced)
2 tbsp. chopped peanuts
150 g rice noodles (cooked)
1 tsp. sesame oil
salt
white pepper
bean sprouts (blanched)

Add turmeric, fish sauce, garlic, chili, sugar and coconut milk to the stock. Bring to a boil, add cubed chicken breast and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce heat and add sesame oil and peanuts.
Assembly – place rice noodles in a bowl, add some bean sprouts, cover with soup and garnish with spring onion.

Singaporean laksa soup

Singaporean laksa soup

Laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup found in many Asian regions, especially Malaysia and Singapore. There is no one specific way to make Laksa, for it has been altered over hundreds of years, and each culture – and even person – has a unique signature recipe.

The most important step is to make your own spice paste – unique to your own liking! I don’t like it too spicy, so i cut the amount of chilies in half and we are using olive oil instead of peanut oil.

 Spice paste 
3 stalks of lemon grass (tender, white hearts minced)
2 hot red chili peppers (deseeded, minced)
4 tsp. galangal (or 4 slices of fresh ginger)
1 tbsp. fresh ginger (chopped)
1 tsp. shrimp paste
3 shallots (roughly chopped)
4 large cloves garlic
4 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (chopped)
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup tamarind paste

Directions to make spice paste:
Combine lemongrass, chile peppers, galangal, ginger, shrimp paste, shallots, garlic and peanut oil to a blender or food processor. Pulse until well combined. Blend in the cilantro, turmeric, sugar and tamarind and pulse until it has made a paste. Reserve until ready to use. Make paste one day ahead of time for flavors to blend.

Laksa paste

Broth: 
2 tbsp. olive oil
spice paste from recipe above
4 cups homemade chicken stock
1/4 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
1/4 cup sweet Thai basil (chopped)
1/4 cup fish sauce

To assemble:
200 g thin rice noodles (cooked, drained)
1 can coconut milk
3 cups cooked cubed chicken or whole cooked shrimp

Directions for broth and assembling soup:
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir spice paste into oil and heat for a few minutes. Add chicken stock and let it come to a boil. Lower heat to low and add in cilantro, basil and fish sauce and let gently simmer.

When ready to serve, stir the coconut milk into the hot broth. Place precooked noodles in a large bowl and top with chicken or shrimp and pour broth around noodles.

Garnish:
hard boiled eggs
cucumber (deseeded, cut in strips)
1 cup bean sprouts (blanched)
freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
fresh cilantro leaves

Top the soup with garnishes and squeeze a lime over soup.

The Story of dim sum

Dim Sum

Dim sum and tea make a charming combination not just on our tables, but in the tale of Chinese history.
While journeying the famous Silk Road, weary travelers and farmers would stop at teahouse for Yum Cha, or “sipping tea”, for some hot tea and relaxing conversation. As the tea’s ability in aiding digestion become known, a variety of light dish were served together with the tea.
This gave birth to the custom of Dim Sum or “a bit of heart”.

My story with dim sum is always the same, I go home with my pants unbuttoned.

pants down
If dim sum is well prepared with high quality ingredients there is nothing better to eat in this world.

Dim Sum has a bit of my heart too.

Aloo Gobi

Aloo Gobi

Aloo gobi, in India that simply means: “potato cauliflower”. You can modify this recipe using sweet potatoes.

2 large potatoes (peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks)
1 head cauliflower (cut into florets)
2 onion (diced)
1 tbsp. whole cumin seeds
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. homemade curry powder 
salt
1/2 cup water
1 bunch cilantro (chopped )
butter and olive oil

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, adding some oil will prevent butter from overheating. Add the cumin seeds and gently fry them for a minute or two to heat them through (remove staleness and brighten their flavour).

Add the onions and sauté until they soften. Add the cinnamon and curry powder and stir well for another minute or so.

Add the potato and cauliflower and stir well to coat them with the spices.

Season with salt, add a splash or two of water, cover with a tight-fitting lid and lower the heat. Continue cooking until the potatoes are tender, another 20 minutes or so.

Just before serving, sprinkle with fresh cilantro.

Candid Ginger

Homemade Candid ginger

David Lebovitz’s recipe:

500 g fresh ginger, peeled
4 cups sugar (around 800 g), plus plus additional sugar for coating the ginger slices
4 cups (1L) water
pinch of salt

1. Slice the ginger as thinly as possible. It can’t be too thin, so use a sharp knife.

Fresh ginger

2. Put the ginger slices in a pot, add enough water to cover the ginger, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let ginger simmer for ten minutes. Drain, and repeat, simmering the ginger slices one more time.

3. Mix the sugar and 4 cups (1l) water in the pot, along with a pinch of salt and the ginger slices, and cook until the temperature reaches 106C. (You don’t need a candy thermometer to make this. Simply keep an eye on the pot and when the liquid is the consistency of thin honey, it’s done and ready to go.)

4. Remove from heat and let stand for at least an hour, drain very well while the ginger is hot, so the syrup will drain away better.

5. Toss the drained ginger slices in granulated sugar. Shake off excess sugar, and spread the ginger slices on a cooling rack overnight, until they’re somewhat dry. The sugar can be reused in a batter or ice cream base, or for another purpose.

It takes few days for ginger to be dry completely.

Dried ginger

If tossed in sugar, the pieces can be stored at room temperature for a few months.

Tuna steak with Zucchini Spaghetti in a Thai red curry and sweet carrots

Great lunch. Truly worthily of the efforts, and the dishes. Spectacular!

This is our new version of Zucchini Spaghetti in a Thai red curry. We found new improved recipe for the Thai red curry paste and because of the excitement forget to put all the ingredients which usually goes to this recipe. Nevertheless it was great. Different and more complex version you can read here: Zucchini Spaghetti with Scallops in a Thai red curry!

First prepare sweet carrots and then zucchini spaghetti and at the end fry tuna steak.

Sweet carrots preparation
250 g sweet red carrots
2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. muscovado sugar
pinch of salt
1/3 cup water

Slice the carrots into halts or quarters. Blanche them in boiling salty water for 3 minutes. Put them in a sauté pan with the butter, salt, sugar, and water. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the carrots are tender and the liquid has reduced to a glaze.

Zucchini Spaghetti preparation


500 g zucchini (cut with a mandolin in a spaghetti strips)
splash olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a wok over moderate heat, add zucchini strips to the wok and sauté, tossing gently for about 1 minutes. Season with salt & pepper and immediately remove from heat, but keep them warm.

Thai red curry preparation
1/2 can coconut cream
2 tbsp. Thai red curry paste

Add 1/2 cup coconut creme into a wok over high heat, bring to boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Reduce to medium heat and add Thai red curry paste and cook stirring frequently for another 2 minutes.
Cover Zuchini Spaghetti  with a Thai red curry mixture just before serving.

Tuna steak preparation
350 g tuna steak
salt and pepper
olive oil

Heat the large frying, heavy bottom pan, when hot, add olive oil and fry tuna stakes, 7 minutes on each side. So that they stay nice and moist and little red inside.

Assembly and enjoy!

Thai red curry paste – new improved version

3 lemongrass stalks
10 fresh red chilies (seeded and sliced)
115 g red onions or shallots (chopped)
4 garlic cloves
1 cm piece fresh galangal (peeled, sliced and bruised)
stems from 4 fresh coriander springs
1 – 2 tbsp. grape seed oil
1 tsp. grated citrus rind
1 tsp. shrimp paste (wrapped in foil and warmed in a frying pan)
1 tbsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. salt

My darling did this recipe old school style, with a mortar and a pestle. You can use food processor for making this paste. Also you’ll need nut grinder or mortar for making a powder of coriander and cumin seeds.

Slice the tender, lower portion of the lemongrass stalks and bruise them with a cleaver. Put them in a large mortar and add chilies, onions, garlic, galangal and coriander stems.

Grind with a pestle, gradually adding the oil until the mixture forms a paste. Alternatively, puree the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Add the citrus rind and the shrimp paste. Mix well.

Dry-fry the coriander and cumin seeds in a frying pan.  Grind them to a powder in nut grinder. Stir the powder into the spice paste, add the salt. Mix well.

Use the paste immediately or scrape into a glass jar. Cover with clear film (plastic wrap) and airtight lid, then store in a refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.

Recipes and inspirations:
Zucchini Spaghetti with Scallops in a Thai red curry

Lemon grass rice with cardamom

1 cup basmati rice (rinsed and drained)
1 lemon gras stalk (outer leaves removed, cut into 3 pieces)
6 cardamm pods (bruised)
2 cups water

Cook the rice with lemon grass and cardamom in a rice cooker or on a stove. When done, season with salt, cover and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Here, sprinkled with fresh chives and served with Pork tenderloin au poivre and chayote tops.