Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Natalie's Thai Night

Gourmet Night at Darla's

CHICKEN COCONUT SOUP (Tom Kah Kai)
1 ½ C. coconut milk
½ C. water
2 lemon grass stalks, cut 1” long
4 Kaffir lime leaves
4-6 Thai chilies
1/3 lb. boneless chicken, cut in strips
20 canned straw mushrooms, drained
2 TB. Fish sauce
2 TB. Lime juice
1 TB. Chopped green onion
Cilantro as desired

1. Bring coconut milk, water, lemon grass, kaffir leaves and chilies to a boil.
2. Add chicken, mushrooms, fish sauce and lime juice and cook until meat changes color (about 10-15 min.).
3. Sprinkle with green onion and cilantro and serve. (The lemon grass and kaffir leaves are just for flavor, so you can take them out before serving, or just avoid them when dishing up.)


SPRING ROLL with THAI PEANUT SAUCE
SPRING ROLLS
2 oz. bean thread noodles
4-5 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 TB. Sesame oil
1 cup green cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup soy sauce
¼ cup maple syrup
10 paper spring roll wrappers
1 ¼ cups carrots, shredded
½ cup fresh cilantro
½ cup cucumber, seeded and julienned

THAI PEANUT SAUCE
2 TB. Sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 TB. Red curry paste
8 TB. Coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
1 TB. Sugar
1 TB. Salt
1 TB. Lemon juice
4 TB. Peanut butter

FOR SPRING ROLLS
1. The first two ingredients can be soaking at the same time in separate bowls of hot water: Soak bean thread noodles until softened, about 10 min. Drain and set aside. Soak mushrooms until softened, about 15 min. Remove and discard stems and chop the mushrooms fine; set aside.
2. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook about 2 min. Add cabbage and cook another 2 min. Add noodles, cucumbers, soy sauce and maple syrup and cook another 2 min. Cool mixture to room temp.
3. Fill large bowl with warm water. Working with one rice paper wrapper at a time, soak wrapper in water until pliable, 10-30 seconds. Transfer wrapper to clean kitchen towel and pat dry. Spread 2 TB. carrots in 1-inch-wide layer across bottom half of wrapper. Top with a portion of mushroom mixture and several leaves of cilantro. Roll up like a burrito, folding in sides as you roll. Serve with peanut sauce.

FOR PEANUT SAUCE
Heat oil. Add garlic and fry until golden. Add the curry paste and mix well. Add coconut milk. Add broth, sugar, salt and lemon juice. Stir well. Cook for a minute, constantly stirring. Add peanut butter. Stir to blend.


GREEN CURRY
½ lb. beef or chicken, cut in pieces
1 TB. Oil
1 ½ TB. Green curry paste
4 TB. Coconut milk
1 ¼ C. Coconut milk
2 TB. Fish sauce
1 tsp. palm sugar
1 C. canned bamboo shoots
¼ C. green peas
6 Kaffir lime leaves
10 Thai basil leaves

1. Stir-fry oil, green curry paste and 4 TB. coconut milk in medium heat until fragrant.
2. Add meat and remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat to medium and cook 10 minutes. Serve over hot rice.


MANGO STICKY RICE (Khao Nieow Ma Muang)
1 ¼ C. Thai Sticky rice (this is different than Japanese rice. You must go to an Asian market to get it)
¾ C. Thick coconut milk (do not shake can before opening; spoon out thick part on top of can)
¼ C. Sugar
¾ C. Thick coconut milk for topping the rice
½ tsp. salt
6 mangoes, peeled and sliced

1. Cook rice that has soaked in water overnight in steamer 20-25 minutes.
2. Heat on low ¾ cup coconut milk. Add sugar and salt and cook until dissolved.
3. Remove from heat and pour over cooked rice. Stir to mix well and set aside for 15 minutes.
4. Heat remaining coconut milk for topping rice.
5. To serve, place mangoes over rice and top with 1-2 tsp. coconut sauce.



FRIED THAI NOODLES (Pad Thai)
¼ lb. chicken and/or tofu, sliced
1 lb. Sen Lek noodles (thin rice noodles)
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. Thai chili, minced
2 eggs
1 ½ TB. fish sauce
1 ½ TB. tamarind juice
1 TB. sugar
¼ tsp. paprika powder
1/3 lb. bean sprouts
1-2 TB. crushed peanuts

*½ lb. dry Sen Lek noodles soaked and softened according to package directions will double in weight to 1 lb.

1. Heat 1 TB. oil and stir-fry noodles until hot; remove and set aside.
2. Heat 2 TB. oil and stir-fry garlic and chili until fragrant; add meat and/or tofu and stir-fry until color changes. Add eggs and stir-fry until slightly dry.
3. Add remaining ingredients and noodles and stir-fry briefly. Take off heat and toss with more bean sprouts and big pieces of green onion, if desired.
4. Serve with sugar, lime wedges, crushed peanuts and red pepper flakes on the side. (This allows people to add flavor as they wish- some like hot more than sweet and visa versa.)

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