Saturday, March 9, 2013

Thai feature drink and dessert

After giving ourselves some time to recover and digest the Thai apps, we moved on to dinner! Forgive me, but I can't for the life of me remember what wine we had to drink. As I recall, there aren't too many Thai wines around so I'm guessing there were a bunch of reds that went with spicy food.

On the other hand, the feature drink of the evening was rather more-ish. I would totally make it another time and likely double the recipe. Six people can go through it quickly!

Lemongrass-Lime Leaf Sparkler 

(with gin added) from

  • 1/4 cup lemon zest (from 6 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup lime zest (from 8 limes)
  • 20 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup Simple Syrup, divided (1 cup sugar, 1 cup water)
  • 6 cups soda water, divided

  • Directions:Combine citrus zest, lime leaves, lemongrass, and 2 cups water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain lemongrass mixture into a jar and chill. Fill a 12 ounce glass with ice cubes. Add 2 tablespoons lemongrass mixture and 1 tablespoon simple syrup. Top with soda water (about 1/2 cup) and stir to combine. Repeat to make 11 more sodas.

    Or, just double the recipe and enjoy...

    Mango and Sticky Rice 

    Friday, March 1, 2013

    Thai entrees

    We're carefully catching up on the meal from Thailand and now is the time for the entrees. I'll post the feature drink and the dessert in a separate post. The internet was a wonderful resource here since there are a plethora of Thai recipes available. However, one should always wonder if each part is exactly authentic. Or not. The Curried Beef Stew is not exactly authentic, but the Thai spice influence is unmistakable. And I would totally make it again, just as a weeknight dinner. Also, just a reminder that I have cut and pasted these recipes and then have added my own comments within - if you want the unadulterated version, please use the link provided at the end of each recipe.

    We also had Tom Yum Goong soup (sweet and sour) to start off the entree menu. This is my "go to" in many Thai restaurants. The local Kingston restaurant called Ly's Place (run by Ly and his family - Ly had worked previously for Chez Piggy restaurant which is featured in the Where to Eat in Canada food guide) has a KILLER version of this soup. It's simply amazing and even has little spheres of Thai sausage in it. If you ever come to YGK, you have to check our Ly's!

    FYI, when I've made it in the past I've frozen the surplus. It has tasted just fine out of the freezer, too, when reheated gently on the stove.

    Anyway, the Tom Yum Goong looked like this:

    Tom Yum Goong Soup

    And you can make it by following these instructions:

    Tom Yum Goong - Sour & Spicy Lemongrass Shrimp Soup Recipe

    • 4 cups of water
    • 2 stalks fresh lemongrass, trim off the very end of the root and smash with the side of a cleaver of chef's knife; cut into 1 inch pieces; or 2 pc dried
    • 3 slices fresh galangal root (smashed) or 2 pc dried
    • 3 fresh kaffir lime leave or 4 pc dried
    • 1 tbsp. tamarind paste, with or without seeds
    • 1 tbsp. fish sauceGolden Boy preferred
    • 3/4 lb shrimps, medium to large size, shelled and de-veined; butterfly if desired
    • 12 fresh Thai chili peppers, whole or 2 medium sized jalepenos, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips.
    • 1/2 small white onion, cut 1/4 inch slices
    • 2 tbsp. roasted chili paste (nam prik pao)
    • 1 (16 oz.) can straw mushrooms, drained and rinsed
    • 1 small ripe tomato, cut into wedges 1/4 inch thick
    • 1 small lime, squeezed
    • 2 sprigs fresh cilantro


    Bring water to boil over high heat in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the lemon grass, galangal, kaffir lime leaf, fish sauce and tamarind paste (break apart the tamarind paste with your fingers as you add it). Add the shrimp, bring to a boil and cook 3 minutes. Add the onion, nam prik pao and straw mushrooms. Boil for another 7 minutes until the shrimp is cooked through. Add the chile peppers and tomatoes. Turn off the heat. Add the lime juice. Taste to adjust the seasoning, adding fish sauce to taste. Garnish with cilatantro if desired and serve.
    Serves 3 to 4 (but we stretched it to 6).

    Chicken Curry - Gang Gai แกงไก่

    • 1 chicken breast
      1 cup coconut milk
      1 tablespoon red curry paste
      1/2 lb eggplant
      2 tablespoons fish sauce
      4-5 kaffir lime leaves Optional, but you really SHOULD put them in!
      3-5 sprigs Thai basil Also, optional but necessary in my opinion...
      3 cups water
      Cut up the chicken into bite size pieces. If you have this dish in Thailand, you will see that the chicken comes with bones. All parts such as legs and thighs can be used. The bones make the curry more flavourful. I could only find regular eggplant but Thai eggplant is usually called for in this recipe.
      Pour half of the coconut milk into a large pot, over low to medium low heat. Add the red curry paste. Break up the paste and mix it with coconut milk. Stir constantly. Lower the heat if it splatters too much. Add chicken when you see red oil bubbling on top. Stir and coat chicken with curry sauce. Add the eggplant when chicken starts to turn white. Add the rest of thecoconut milk and water and the fish sauce. Let it boil until all the eggplant pieces turn dark and tender. The longer you boil the curry, the thicker the curry becomes because the eggplant disintegrates and thickens the sauce. Pull the center stem off from the kaffir lime leaves and add them to the curry. Add the basilleaves just before you serve and make sure the leaves are submerged quickly in the curry to preserve the color.
      Serve hot with rice. If you prefer, use rice noodles.

    Chicken Curry

    Curried Beef Stew

    Curry paste:
    • 6 dried puya or 3 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 lemongrass stalk, bottom 4" only, tough outer layer removed, cut into 1" pieces
    • 2 tablespoons sliced peeled fresh galangal
    • 2 tablespoons sliced peeled fresh turmeric
    • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
    • 1/4 cup halved garlic cloves
    • 1 tablespoon Thai shrimp paste


    • 2 pounds trimmed beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2"–2" cubes
    • 3 tablespoons soy sauce, preferably Thai thin soy sauce (such as Healthy Boy)
    • 2 tablespoons ground dried Thai chiles
    • 9 cups beef broth, preferably low-salt
    • 1 cup halved shallots
    • 3 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch thick half-moons (about 1 cup)
    • 6 fresh or frozen kaffir lime leaves
    • Chopped fresh cilantro
    • Thinly sliced Thai basil


    For curry paste:
    In a mortar, pound chiles and salt with a pestle until pulverized, about 5 minutes. Add ingredients one by one in order listed, fully pulverizing each before adding the next, about 15 minutes total. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 week ahead; cover and chill.
    For stew: 
    Combine curry paste, beef, soy sauce, and ground dried chiles in a pot; stir to evenly coat beef. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beef is tender but not falling apart, 2–2 1/2 hours.
    Stir in shallots, carrots, and lime leaves. Simmer until vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes. If broth is too salty, add water a few tablespoonfuls at a time.
    Garnish with cilantro and basil.
    Check the webpage for wine pairing suggestions!

    Curried Beef Stew