Monday, November 1, 2010
I’m a huge fan of Asian Food. Well, maybe that’s too broad of a statement. I’m a huge fan of what American’s consider Asian food. I’ve tried Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Thai... I love it. I could eat Chinese at least once a week. If mr would let me. Which he does NOT. Because he totally does not understand the depth of my feelings for the cuisine. Although, when I was pregnant with bug, I ate Chinese ALMOST once a week... I blamed cravings.
Tonight I dubbed Monday Food Fest “Thai Food Fest” based on this recipe I found over at Katie’s Cucina. It’s a recipe for Pad Thai, which was originally found at Thai Kitchen. So I clicked on over there, and found a wealth of Thai dishes to choose from. More Thai than I could ever dream of making. I chose to make Pad Thai, Thai Chicken Salad, and Spring Rolls. I thought of making my crab rangoons, but didn’t want overkill. So I decided to save that one for later. (Just a teaser, because I know you’ll want to come back for THAT!) I looked through the desserts, and didn’t find one that really spoke to me, but I got out my “Recipes To Try” file folder (which hasn’t happened in a long time) and found a recipe for Apple-Cherry Pie Pockets. I was drawn in because they use Egg Roll wrappers for “pastry” shell. And that pretty much makes it Thai food, doesn’t it?
I’ve made Pad Thai before, but with a different recipe. I actually like both recipes equally as well, and the one from tonight was immensely easier. I didn’t realize at first that it involved using a “Pad Thai Sauce” premade from a package. If I had, I probably would have avoided the recipe, because you know me. I like to do it all myself and make things really difficult on myself. But in actuality, there was enough to do with cooking up the chicken and the eggs and the noodles and cutting the onions and mincing the spices and grating the garlic (not to mention doing all the other dishes) without making the sauce from scratch. Anyway, you can find the Pad Thai recipe here. It’s VERY good. My only caution is to make sure you don’t overcook the rice noodles. Boy do they get mushy. And make sure to squeeze some fresh lime all over it. Yum.
I also didn’t realize initially that the salad I’d picked out to make was really more of a main dish. (Here I go with the not reading the recipes thoroughly enough ahead of time) And since the main dish and the spring rolls already had chicken in them, I decided to omit the chicken. So, basically I mixed everything but the chicken all up, then tossed it together with the lettuce to make a Thai Side Salad. I’ve included that recipe below. If you’d like the original recipe with the chicken, go here. What I liked most about the salad was how light it was and it had an awesome flavor. What I did NOT like was burning my stinkin’ mouth off because of the chili pepper flakes. Whew! When I make it again, I’ll half the amount. Sooooo spicy!
Spicy Thai Side Salad
1 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
3 mandarin oranges, peeled and seeded, split into sections
1/2 small red onion
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 to 12 fresh mint leaves, torn
1 T lime juice
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
1 head green leaf lettuce lettuce
Place orange slices and red onion in large bowl. Add crushed red pepper, garlic, ginger, salt and mint leaves; toss gently. Drizzle with lime juice and fish sauce; toss again. Add lettuce and toss gently. Bring oranges to the top. Serve immediately.
The Spring Rolls were so incredibly strange to make. My mom did most of it, because she showed up early and wanted to help. And who can turn that down? She couldn’t get over the texture of the rice wrappers, and I admit it was weird. The taste was pretty good, although I really think the mint was overwhelming. The recipe called for 3-5 leaves and we used 3, and it was still too much. If I ever make them again, I would only use one, if not omit them altogether. I pulled the mint out of one to eat and liked it much better. I was skeptical of the sauce after I threw it together, but I actually liked it quite a lot. It was spicy but sweet. The Spring Rolls and Sauce can be found here.
Amazingly, not only was dessert NOT my favorite part this time (the Pad Thai was), but it was also of a low cal variety. Which is a good change of pace sometimes. (I mean, did you SEE what we ate last week for dessert? I look at it and gain five pounds). For being low cal, the pockets were surprisingly yummy. I would like to see what the filling tastes like inside actual pastry sometime, though. You know. Just for kicks. I have to admit that I have no idea where the initial recipe came from. It’s one that’s been in my possession for a long time but I have never tried. So here it is.
Apple-Cherry Pie Pockets
1 C peeled and chopped apples (any sweet variety)
1 package frozen dark sweet cherries, thawed
egg roll wrappers
2 T sugar
1/2 T cornstarch
1/2 T lemon juice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
2 drops almond extract
Butter flavored spray - cooking spray or "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" spray, etc.
Preheat oven to 350. Combine the apples and cherries in a medium bowl. Add lemon juice and almond extract and mix well. Set aside. In a small dish, combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix well. Add to fruit mixture and stir to coat. Set aside. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with foil and spraying it with nonstick spray. Set aside. On a flat, dry surface, lay out an egg roll wrapper. Wet the edges with warm water. Spoon some filling into the bottom portion of the egg roll wrapper, leaving about 1/2 inch at the bottom. Fold the top down. Wet all edges with water again. Fold three edges in about 1/4 inch (not the folded part). Press with the prongs of a fork to create a seal all the way around the three edges (not the folded part). Do this until the filling is gone. Place on baking sheet and spray the tops with the butter flavored spray. Bake for about 15-18 minutes.
Mom loved it all, except the salad. She took one tiny taste and her lips almost fell off. I think mom and I have similar tastes, so we give the meal similar good reviews. Dad loved the Pad Thai, liked the salad, so-so’d the Spring Rolls, and alright-ed the fruit pockets. And mr really only liked the Pad Thai. I swear, he’s the hardest one to please. Besides the picky two-year-old, of course. If I ever make a meal where he says he loves it all and it’s all incredible, I’ll know I’ve arrived.
The Pad Thai is definitely worth a try. As are the salad and fruit pockets. You could probably look for a different Spring Rolls though.
And that, as my mom said when finishing the Spring Rolls, is a wrap!
Hey, you guys know I don’t get compensated in anyway for these little food reviews, right? Not from a blog, or website or food company. I don’t get paid and these are strictly off the record, all in fun. Right? Right.