I’ve experimented with a few Pad Thai recipes and this one is simple, flavourful. The recipe is from a site called “Tastes Better From Scratch” that’s got loads of great recipes. I’ve made this a few times now and it’s been great each time. You can find a more detailed post here.
▢ 8 ounces flat rice noodles
▢ 3 Tablespoons oil
▢ 3 cloves garlic , minced
▢ 8 ounces uncooked shrimp, chicken, or extra-firm tofu , cut into small pieces
▢ 2 eggs
▢ 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
▢ 1 red bell pepper , thinly sliced
▢ 3 green onions , chopped
▢ 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts
▢ 2 limes
▢ 1/2 cup Fresh cilantro , chopped
For the Pad Thai sauce:
▢ 3 Tablespoons fish sauce
▢ 1 Tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
▢ 5 Tablespoons light brown sugar
▢ 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar * see note
▢ 1 Tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce , or more, to taste
▢ 2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter , optional
Cook noodles according to package instructions, just until tender. Rinse under cold water.
Mix the sauce ingredients together. Set aside.
Heat 1½ tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan or wok over medium-high heat.
Add the shrimp, chicken or tofu, garlic and bell pepper. The shrimp will cook quickly, about 1-2 minutes on each side, or until pink. If using chicken, cook until just cooked through, about 3-4 minutes, flipping only once.
Push everything to the side of the pan. Add a little more oil and add the beaten eggs. Scramble the eggs, breaking them into small pieces with a spatula as they cook.
Add noodles, sauce, bean sprouts and peanuts to the pan (reserving some peanuts for topping at the end). Toss everything to combine.
Top with green onions, extra peanuts, cilantro and lime wedges. Serve immediately!
My sister and her boyfriend gave this recipe to me as a part of my birthday present. I must say, I’ve made it at least a dozen times since then. It’s super easy, and really yummy. You can find a collection of their discerning recipes on this website right here.
Preheat oven to 300°F. Pour oil into a large wide saucepan and add shallot. Set over medium-high and cook, shaking pan often, until shallot is golden brown, 3–5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shallot to paper towels to drain; season with 1/2 tsp. salt.
Return pan with oil to medium-high heat and add ginger and curry paste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until paste begins to stick to pan, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and cream and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes begin to burst and curry just starts to stick to pan, 6–8 minutes. Remove from heat.
Season fish fillets all over with 1 tsp. salt and arrange over tomato mixture. Transfer pan to oven and bake until flesh is opaque all the way through, firm to the touch, and easily flakes when thickest part is pierced with a paring knife, 18–22 minutes.
Transfer fish and curry to a platter. Toss basil with lime juice and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Scatter over curry. Top with crispy shallots.
3 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup beef stock or chicken stock
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Place the potatoes in a single layer in a 13-x-9-inch baking dish and pour the oil over them. Add the garlic, dried oregano, salt and pepper to taste and toss well to coat with the oil.
Bake the potatoes for 15 minutes. Add the stock, toss and bake for 10 minutes more. Add the lemon juice, toss and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until the potatoes are cooked through. If you like, preheat the broiler and broil the potatoes for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown.
Sprinkle with the fresh oregano and serve at once.
I tried this last night and loved it! Of course I changed the recipe and used prawns instead of scallops and added garlic and onion and served it with brown rice. But that was it! It’s definitely a keeper. Wait a minute I also substituted chicken for veggie stock and I used only one can of coconut.
I added 5 cloves garlic, and one scallion which I pulverized in a food processor.
How to Make It
Combine stock, coconut milk, lemongrass, and ginger in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand 10 minutes. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer, and discard solids.
Return coconut milk mixture to pan; bring to a boil over high. Stir in mushrooms, sambal oelek, lime juice, fish sauce, and honey. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until mushrooms are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, and immediately stir in scallops, 2 tablespoons of the basil, and 2 tablespoons of the cilantro. Divide mixture evenly among 6 bowls, and top with remaining 2 tablespoons each basil and cilantro. Drizzle with chili oil, if desired, and serve immediately.
My sister introduced me to this and now I can’t stop making it. You can find this and some other fantastic recipes on her website here. For anyone who ever wondered how to make crispy tofu, put the oil away. This is easy, fast and super delicious. I’m what my brother calls a ‘radical’ cook, a nice way of saying I can’t follow recipes. For this recipe I used tablespoons instead of teaspoons for the marinade.
14ozextra firm tofu(preferably organic, non-GMO)
1tspchili garlic sauce
1tsptoasted sesame oil
2 ½tbspcreamy peanut butter (or other nut or seed butter)
1 tsp Bragg’s
1tbspchili garlic sauce
1 tsp maple syrup
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Start pressing tofu using a tofu press, or wrap in clean, absorbent towel and set something heavy — like a cast iron skillet or books — on top to press out the moisture. Press for about 15-20 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare peanut sauce by combining peanut butter, Bragg’s, chili garlic sauce, lime juice, maple syrup, and sesame oil in a small mixing bowl and whisking thoroughly to combine. Set aside.
Cut pressed tofu into 3/4-inch cubes and add to a large plate. Top with Bragg’s, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, and maple syrup. Gently toss to combine using hands or a spoon. Let marinate 2-3 minutes, stirring/tossing occasionally.
Use a slotted spoon or your hands to transfer tofu to a paper bag. Add cornstarch 1 tbsp at a time and toss to coat. Continue adding more cornstarch and tossing until tofu is coated in a gummy, white layer.
Transfer tofu to the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 20-25 minutes, flipping at the 18-minute mark to encourage even baking. It should be firm to the touch, firm on the edges, and slightly browned on the exterior once removed from the oven. Bake slightly longer if needed.
Heat a large metal or cast iron skillet (12 inch) over medium heat. Once hot, add tofu and the peanut sauce. Toss to coat. Stirring frequently, sauté the tofu for about 2 minutes, or until the tofu is hot and well coated with peanut sauce.
My brother brought this recipe to my attention when he was planning his wife’s birthday meal. It turned out to be a huge success so I thought I would also give it a try. He got this recipe in the LCBO magazine where you can find many great recipes. I made a rookie mistake when I made these and made them too big so they literally were shrimp CAKES. While delicious it was pretty rich! What I like the most about these shrimp cakes is that it really is mostly roughly cut pieces of shrimp held very delicately together with egg and breadcrumbs! Hope you enjoy these as much as we did.
DILL REMOULADE ½ cup (125 mL) mayonnaise (reduced fat is fine) 1 small clove garlic, minced 2 tbsp (30 mL) thinly sliced green onion 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped dill 2 tsp (10 mL) capers, rinsed, chopped 1½ tsp (7 mL) Dijon mustard 1½ tsp (7 mL) grainy mustard 1 tsp (5 mL) fresh lemon juice ½ tsp (2 mL) hot sauce Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
FENNEL SLAW ½ fennel bulb, trimmed 1 tbsp (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh lemon juice Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
SHRIMP CAKES 1 lb (500 g) shrimp, peeled, deveined 1 large egg, lightly beaten 1 green onion, thinly sliced ½ tsp (2 mL) smoked paprika 6 tbsp (90 mL) panko bread crumbs Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste ⅓ cup (80 mL) cornmeal ¼ cup (60 mL) vegetable oil, divided Dill leaves to garnish
1 For the dill remoulade, combine mayonnaise, garlic, green onion, dill, capers, mustards, lemon juice and hot sauce in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Season with salt, if necessary, and pepper. (Remoulade will keep, covered and refrigerated, for 5 days.)
2 For the fennel slaw, cut fennel in half lengthwise through core. Slice thinly crosswise on a mandolin, discarding cores. Add olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Mix. Cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours. Drain before using.
3 For the shrimp cakes, rinse shrimp and pat dry with paper towel. Using a sharp knife, chop into pieces between ¼ and ½ inch (0.5 to 1 cm). Place in a mixing bowl with egg, onion, smoked paprika and panko. Season with salt, if necessary (most frozen shrimp are salty), and pepper. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
4 Place cornmeal on a plate. Form heaping 2-tbsp (30-mL-plus) portions of shrimp mixture into 2½-inch-diameter (6-cm) patties. Coat patties in cornmeal.
5 Working in 2 batches, heat half of vegetable oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Pan-fry half of shrimp cakes until cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towel. Repeat for remaining shrimp cakes.
6 Arrange shrimp cakes on a serving platter. Top each with a dollop of remoulade and some drained fennel slaw. Garnish with dill leaves.
The Lemon Drop Martini is a thing of beauty. Perfect for breezy summer evenings, a drink on the dock, or backyard BBQ, it’s great anytime, anywhere as long as someone else makes it for you! That’s the key. It needs to be delivered on a tray in an icy, frosted glass.
In an attempt to cheer myself up this last weekend, I cooked like crazy and Dave made Lemon Drops, (several I might add and which turned to Lime Drops when we eventually ran out of lemons). It was nothing less than a perfect collaboration. And guess what? I climbed out of my downward spiral of OH MY GOD the world is going to hell and other self-inflicted sadnesses that seemed determined to take me down.
Here’s how to make these lovely little gems.
For one Single Lemon Drop
1/2 ounce triple sec
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
3/4 ounce fresh lemon (or lime) juice
4 to 5 ice cubes
Chill martini glass in freezer for ten minutes. Pour vodka, triple sec, sugar and lemon into martini shaker with ice cubes. Use lemon to rim the glass and dunk in sugar. Shake martini shaker, pour, drink, enjoy and repeat!
While Dave made these I prepared an appetizer of avocado, prawns and aioli with a twist of lemon, followed by fresh tomato bisque soup finished with whipped cream, and then the final course, pasta with fresh pesto. The next night I made paella. I’m happy to say that all this food and drink celebration beat back the sads and I had a fantastic weekend enjoying something of a culinary and liquid renaissance!
101 Cookbooks is my new favourite vegetarian cooking website. I love the context and details provided for each recipe. There isn’t so much that it’s too much to read but there’s exactly enough to give you everything you need to understand the “why” of cooking something a certain way.
I’m not a lover of commercial pesto and rarely eat it but this pesto is simple and fabulous. The trick is to hand chop everything. You can get the full explanation of why it is so much better here but my own feeling is that the unevenness of hand-chopping makes each bite a little different.
1large bunch of basil,leaves only, washed and dried
3medium cloves of garlic
one small handful of raw pine nuts
roughly 3/4 cup Parmesan,loosely packed and freshly grated
A few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
The official chopping protocol from 101 Cookbooks is below. As I’m incapable of being able to follow any recipe to the letter, we simply chopped the large bunch of basil, the handful of nuts, and garlic and then slowly added in the parmesan and then made sure it was properly mixed. The 101 Cooks method leaves you with something of a pesto cake (yum!). We prepared some elbow pasta, mixed in the pesto added salt and pepper and presto Pesto!
It was delicious.
Chop the garlic along with about 1/3 of the basil leaves. Once this is loosely chopped add more basil, chop some more, add the rest of the basil, chop some more. At this point the basil and garlic should be a very fine mince. Add about half the pine nuts, chop. Add the rest of the pine nuts, chop. Add half of the Parmesan, chop. Add the rest of the Parmesan, and chop. In the end you want a chop so fine that you can press all the ingredients into a basil “cake” – see the photo up above. Transfer the pesto “cake” to a small bowl (not much bigger than the cake).
Form a Paste
Cover the pesto “cake” with a bit of olive oil. It doesn’t take much, just a few tablespoons. At this point, you can set the pesto aside, or place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Just before serving, give the pesto a quick stir to incorporate some of the oil into the basil. Francesca’s mom occasionally thins the pesto with a splash of pasta water for more coverage, but for our gnocchi this wasn’t necessary.
I was dreaming of kaffir lime leaves the other day and then lo and behold there they were right in front of me at the super market. It was a signal. I came home and went recipe hunting. As you can tell from the number of curry recipes in my recipe index curry is one of my number one favourite foods right behind French Fries!
This recipe is Thai inspired and has chickpeas, roasted butternut squash and spinach. The kaffir leaves give it a fresh Thai flavour and the bonus is that it’s super easy to make. I found this recipe on trinitykitchen.com. Give it a visit as she has come great recipes on it.
Here it is in all its glory!
1 large butternut squash (1kg or 2lbs approx)
350ml (1½ cups) water
10 kaffir lime leaves
7 cardamom pods
1 heaped teaspoon grated ginger
4 large garlic cloves
1 teaspoon celtic sea salt
2 heaped teaspoons ground coriander
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper
250ml (1 cup) passata (called sieved tomatoes in the US)
200g (1 cup) cooked chickpeas
100g (3½ oz) creamed coconut (see notes)
40g spinach ( a large handful)
Small handful of fresh basil leaves
Bake the squash
Peel, de-seed and dice the butternut squash into chunks of about 1.5cm (or ½ an inch) cubed. Larger chunks are fine, although you’ll need to add extra baking time.
Place the squash onto a baking tray and pop into an oven heated to gas mark 7 (425F/220C).
Bake until you can pierce a fork through the chunks. This make take 30 – 45 minutes.
Whilst the squash is baking make the rest of the curry.
Place the kaffir lime leaves and 350ml of water into a medium sized pan and bring to the boil. (Note: Count the kaffir lime leaves as you put them in and remember how many you used, because you will have to remove them at the end of the cooking period. They are meant for flavour, rather than eating).
Take the seeds out of the cardamom pods and crush with a pestle and mortar (or alternatively chop repeatedly over and over with a sharp heavy knife until they look ground). Toss them into the pan.
Peel and grate a heaped teaspoon worth of fresh ginger. Toss it into the pan.
Peel and crush 4 large garlic cloves and add to the pan.
Add the sea salt, coriander, turmeric, black pepper, passata, creamed coconut and chickpeas to the pan, stir together and allow all of the flavours to infuse. Let this simmer on the lowest heat for about 20 minutes and turn off the heat.
(Don’t add the spinach leaves right until the end – AFTER you remove the kaffir lime leaves.)
Once the squash has baked, take the kaffir lime leaves out of your other pan. When you are happy that all of the lime leave are out, then roughly chop the spinach and mix in the curry pan along with the roasted squash.
Add a little extra water if the sauce is too thick.
Use the basil to garnish.
Serve with rice, quinoa or millet or on it’s own as a stew.
I found this recipe on 101 Cooks and it is FANTASTIC. Not only that, it’s every bit as easy as it claims to be. I didn’t have yellow curry paste so I used a good heaping tablespoon of curry powder. It gives you the option of coconut milk or cashew milk. I used coconut and squeezed two limes into after it was done with salt to taste. My topping was crushed raw cashews and finely chopped green onions and it was deeeeeeee-licious. There are some great recipes on 101 Cooks so hurry over and check them out. I’m definitely going to be going back for more!
101 COOKS PHOTO CREDIT
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
3 tablespoons yellow curry paste, or more to taste
3 small new potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large head of cauliflower florets (~1 1/2 lb)
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt , plus more to taste
1/2 – 1 cup cashew milk or coconut milk
to serve: croutons, or (as pictured) toasted pine nuts, fried shallots, hemp seeds, and more of the yellow curry paste whisked with a bit of shallot oil
Pour the olive oil into a large pot over medium-high heat. When hot, stir in the onion, and garlic. Sauté for a couple minutes, just long enough for things to soften up. Stir in the curry paste, potatoes, cauliflower, and salt, and allow to cook for another 5 minutes or so. Add 4 1/2 cups of water, and bring just to a boil. Dial back the heat and simmer just long enough for the cauliflower and potatoes to get tender throughout, another 5-10 minutes. Immediately remove the soup from heat, and transfer to a high-speed blender (in batches, if necessary). Alternately, you can use a hand blender directly in the pot. Stir in the cashew milk. And here’s the make or break step – add more salt if needed, and a good amount of fresh lime juice. Adjust until the seasoning is balanced and just right. It should taste bright and sharp, and delicious. Serve sprinkled with any/all of the suggested toppings.