Recently I was invited to a lunch cooked by Chef Katie Chin, an Asian food expert, cookbook author, TV host and food blogger. The meal was wonderful and Katie was absolutely delightful. She taught us the basics of Thai cooking and how easy it is to bring Thai flavors into our own kitchens.
Katie showed us how a few ingredients could make beautiful “Pineapple Fried Rice” brilliantly presented in a fresh pineapple.
She said the secret to fried rice is using cold, leftover Jasmine rice that was washed before cooking. (Recipe on page 115, Everyday Thai Cooking)
Next she made “Beef with Red Chili Paste and Lime Leaves.” She showed us how in just 32 minutes this dish could be on the table!
Katie made a less spicy version for the wimps in the room. I, being one of them. It was fabulously aromatic. (Recipe on page 87, Everyday Thai Cooking)
The grand finale was a moist and delightful “Coconut Cake with Mango Sauce.”
We all fell in love with this beautiful tropical dessert. (Recipe on page 133, Everyday Thai Cooking)
I have always felt that Thai food, like Chinese, is best left to the experts. I didn’t want to mess with the ingredients or fail at techniques that I haven’t yet learned. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised after reading Katie’s latest book “Everyday Thai Cooking.” Katie steps you through basic techniques with helpful tips.
I was excited to dig in to my own Thai adventure, and I started with something simple. I made Tom Kah Goong (Shrimp Coconut Soup) and it turned out so well. With new confidence, I moved on to Chiang Mai Chicken in Lettuce Cups. This turned out so well, I decided to take it to our Los Angeles Food Bloggers Cookie Exchange (because we can’t live on sugar alone) where it was a hit. Special thanks to Erika of In Erika’s Kitchen for making both these events possible. See the links below for all of the blogger’s wonderful cookies recipes.
I was happy. Everyone was happy. Thai food makes you happy – it’s simple and so flavorful. This simple appetizer takes less than 20 minutes to make. You can substitute ground turkey for the chicken if you wish.
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 teaspoons minced galangal or fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 fresh red or green Thai chili, finely sliced and deseeded
- ½ Ib (250 g) ground chicken
- ½ cup (75 g) canned chopped water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion (scallion), white and green parts
- 1 tablespoon minced lemongrass
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (nam pia)
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 large butter lettuce leaves
- ½ cup (125 ml) water
- ½ cup (100 g) sugar
- 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
- 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar or white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce (nam pia)
- 1 fresh hot red or green pepper, preferably Thai, deseeded and finely sliced
- Heat oil in a wok or skillet on moderately high heat. Add galangal, garlic, and chili and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add ground chicken and stir-fry for 4 minutes. Add water chestnuts and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
- Add fresh coriander leaves, green onion, lemongrass, fish sauce, crushed red pepper, and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl.
- Serve chicken mixture with endive or lettuce leaves and Ginger Lime Dipping Sauce, allowing guests to form their own.
- Bring sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cool slightly. Mix ¼ cup (65 ml) of the syrup with the ginger, lime juice, vinegar, fish sauce, and chili in a small bowl. Transfer to a small serving bowl.
- Discard the remaining syrup.
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES - COOKING TIME: 6 MINUTES
Dipping Sauce: MAKES 1 CUP (250 ML)
PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES - COOKING TIME: 10 MINUTES
Katie’s Note: If you-can’t find Thai chilies, she recommend using jalapeno or Serrano chilies.
Cathy’s Note: If you can’t find lemon grass or ginger, Gourmet Garden makes both these fabulous ingredients accessible in a tube. Look for these in your local grocery store.
Photo of the Day
Mingling with the locals at Wat Chiwatthanaram, Ayutthaya, Thailand.
Thanks Katie for such a fabulous Thai cookbook that brings back wonderful memories of Thailand for me.
I think this book would make a great hostess or holiday gift. You can purchase a copy of “Everyday Thai Cooking” by clicking here. You can also follow Katie’s blog at The Sweet and Sour Chronicles and check her out on You Tube.
Quote of the Day
“I dislike feeling at home when I am abroad.” – George Bernard Shaw
“I like feeling abroad when I am at home.” – Cathy Nelson Arkle
Thanks to Katie’s cookbook this is possible for me.
…and then, she paused for thought.
FBLA 2013 Cookie Exchange Recipes
- Chai Tea Cookies — Cathy Arkle of She Paused 4 Thought (She also got tired of rolling the dough and refashioned the rest into Baby Hedgehog cookies.)
- Butter Pecan Fudge — Dorothy Reinhold (me!) from Shockingly Delicious.
- Antioxidant Chocolate Bark — Erika Kerekes (our hostess) of In Erika’s Kitchen.
- Sweet Potato Marshmallow Bars with White Chocolate Chips – Jennifer Richmond of Kitchy Cooking.
- Chocolate Chip and Apricot Walnut Rugelach and Vegan Chocolate Mini Cupcakes (“Naughty & Nice Cookies”) — Dana of Foodie Goes Healthy
- Vintage Sponge Drops with Double Fudge Filling — Leslie Macchiarella of Bake This Cake.
- Sicilian Christmas cookies — Judy Lyness of Two Broads Abroad.
- Cranberry Orange Walnut Sugar Cookies — Patricia Rose of Fresh Food in a Flash.
- Brown Butter Praline Chocolate Chip Cookies — Valentina Wein of Cooking On The Weekends.
- Mini Chocolate Nut Sandwich Cookies — Kelly Page of Tasting Page.
- Rosemary Raisin Cocktail Shortbread — Sharon Graves of Cheesy Pennies.
- Saketini Christmas Balls, Chocolate Macarons with Japanese Wine Cream Centers, and Matcha Green Tea Cookies with Chocolate Centers & Espresso Cookies with Caramel Fillings — Kim Watkinson of Ninja Baking.
- Blueberry Coconut Mini Cupcakes, Rainbow Chocolate Bark, and Vegan Gingersnaps — Judy Weintraub of Bumbleberry Breeze.
- Chocolate-Dipped Apricots with Pistachios — Adair Seldon of Lentil Breakdown.
- Spumoni Shortbread — Nancy Rose Eisman of Adventures with Nancy Rose.
- Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and Cardamom Gingersnap Cookies — Alison Ashton of Nourish Network .
- Gluten-Free Pumpkin Oat Bars — Alanna Waldron of Eats Real Food.
- Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies — Tanaya Ghosh of Tanaya’s Table. (Tanaya’s Table, the blog, will launch in 2014.)
- Black and White Cookies — Tina Kil. (Her blog isn’t up yet, but watch for her contributions in the future!)