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Southeast Asia

Recipe

For the Bangers:
½ lb ground chicken (preferably thigh)
1 T chopped cilantro (a small handful of loose)
1 scallion (finely minced) and the dark green tops of 3 scallions, split lengthwise
1/4 small Thai chili, finely chopped
1 T grated ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
Enough salt to make it tasty

For the Mash:
2 Yukon gold potatoes
¼ cup coconut milk (lite if you wish)
salt

Place the potatoes in a small pot covered with water. Bring the water to a boil and cook until a knife inserted comes out clean. Drain them of their cooking water and peel the skin off the potato. Fork mash the potatoes until they are soft, and pour in the coconut milk slowly, continuously fork mashing until they are soft and delicious. Season with salt and stir.

Mix together all of ingredients for the Bangers thoroughly.
Soften the dark green part of the scallions in the boiling water.
Make little patties (the recipe should make 6 little ones) by forming them with your hands.
Wrap one half of the scallion around the pattie in one direction, and then wrap the other half around the other. Tuck in the ends under each other, so they don't unwrap.

Heat up a pan with oil, and sear the patties on both sides until cooked through. Serve with the coconut mash.

November 14, 2007   |   0 comments
Tags: Chicken, Entrees, Europe, Fusion, Southeast Asia
Recipe

1 halibut filet (8 oz.) sliced into thick strips
6 medium sized cooked shrimp
1 garlic clove
1 T finely minced ginger
1 lemon grass stalk, peeled and finely chopped
1/8 tsp. turmeric
1 T all purpose flour
1 ½ T fish sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1 small green chile
1 can of light coconut milk (13.5 oz)
1 scant handful basil leaves
1 cup cauliflower (use broccoli and/or mushrooms if you prefer)
Salt to taste
Store bought puff pastry

Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Mash up the garlic with the minced ginger, lemongrass, and turmeric with a mortar and pestle.
Slice the chile in half and remove the seeds. Slice one half in thin strips.
Season the fish well with salt and pepper, and dust with the flour.
Coat the fish with the mashed spices.
Drizzle some olive oil on the bottom of a pie plate and place the fish and shrimp inside neatly.
Place the cauliflower or other vegetables that you are using around the fish and shrimp.
Pour over the fish sauce, soy sauce, and coconut milk. Nestle in the basil leaves and add in the appropriate amount of chiles according to your taste.
Refrigerate the pie shell while you roll out the puff pastry.
Usually store bought puff pastry comes in squares. You will just have to eyeball it according to the diameter of the plate. You will need less pastry than is the width of your plate, because you will have to roll it out.
On a floured surface, roll out the puff pastry enough to cover the top of the pie, without it becoming too thin.
Brush water around the edge of the pie plate, and then cover with the pastry dough. Tuck in the edges, and make sure that they stick to the plate (that is what the water is for). Cut two slits on the top, or make a nice shape with a pastry cutter.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the dough is cooked through and nice and brown.

November 14, 2007   |   0 comments
Tags: Entrees, Europe, Fish, Fusion, Southeast Asia
Recipe

2 cups rolled oats
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 2/3 cup light coconut milk (1 13.5 oz. can)
½ cup butter (1 stick)
¾ cup agave nectar
1 T powdered ginger
1 T minced fresh ginger
2 bananas

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Combine the oatmeal, flour, ginger, salt, and baking powder in a bowl.
Heat the milk, honey, and butter in another saucepan and stir to combine.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk together.
Mash up the bananas and then stir into the mixture.
Pour into a 9- inch baking pan, and bake for 35 minutes, or until a fork inserted comes out clean.

Recipe

This cocktail is named after the famous Burmese general who fought for his nation's independence from British occupation. Burma gained independence on January 4, 1948, but Aung San was assassinated almost 6 months beforehand, never getting to see the free nation that he had fought for.

1 juicy lime
1 shot of gin
1-2 T ginger syrup (see below)
Some sparkling water

Squeeze the lime juice into a rocks glass, and stir in the gin.

Add about 1- 2 tablespoons of ginger syrup, and then top off with some sparkling water.

Give it a stir and enjoy!

Makes 1 drink.

Ginger Syrup

This is a flavorful syrup that can be used to sweeten teas, as well as in salad dressings, or drizzled over fruit for dessert.

½ cup sugar
1 cup water
1 1-inch knob of ginger, sliced into thin rounds

In a small saucepan, boil the sugar, water, and ginger until reduced by half.

Strain and cool.

September 19, 2007   |   0 comments
Tags: Drinks, Southeast Asia
Recipe

¼ cup large pearl tapioca
1 Thai coconut, cut open and water reserved
3/4 cup milk
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup sugar
1-2 cardamom pods, crushed

Soak the tapioca in at least 1 cup of water overnight in the fridge.

Drain the tapioca and put it in a small pot with the coconut water (a little more than 1 cup), milk, sugar, and cardamom.

Simmer on low heat for about an hour, stirring so that the milk does not burn.

The pearls will be translucent when it is done.

Remove the cardamom pods from the pudding.

Scrape up the coconut flesh off of the coconut shell with a fork.

Pour the tapioca into the shell, and stir it around with the fresh coconut meat.

Dig in and enjoy!

September 17, 2007   |   94 comments
Tags: Desserts, Southeast Asia
Recipe

This soup is great hot or cold, making it perfect for serving at parties. The curry blends perfectly together with the coconut and red bell peppers. It is light and healthy, so include it in any weightloss plan.

5 red bell peppers
1 T curry powder
1 Thai coconut, top cut off
½ onion
2 cloves garlic
2 T olive oil
Utensils: hammer or sturdy kitchen knife to crack open the coconut.

Garnish:
2 T creme fraiche and freshly cracked black pepper (Tellicherry peppercorns are best)

Rinse and dry the red peppers. With a small knife, cut around the stem and remove.
Cut the peppers in half lengthwise, and slice off the white veins on the inside. Remove the seeds, rinsing the peppers if necessary.
Slice the peppers into ½ - inch strips lengthwise, and then cut across horizontally, so that you end up with medium sized dice.
Slice the onion into thin half moons.
Crush the garlic cloves with the side of your knife.
Heat up a pot and pour in the olive oil. Add in the onion and saute for a few minutes.
You want to them to soften and gain a little bit of color.
Turn the heat to low and then add the crushed garlic. Season with some salt.
After about 2 minutes, add in the curry powder and stir. The heat should be low, so that the onions, garlic, and curry meld together.
Turn the heat up slightly, and add in the diced peppers. Stir them with the onion well, and let them sweat until they are nice and soft.
Meanwhile, hammer the nail into the coconut in two different places at the top, just as you would open two different holes in the top of a juice can.
Pour the coconut water over the red peppers, and then top off with some water so that the peppers are fully covered. Simmer until the peppers are completely soft.
Blend the soup either with a hand held or regular blender.
Strain the soup and keep it warm if you are going to eat it immediately.
If not, allow it to cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate.

For the garnish (optional): whisk together the creme fraiche with the freshly ground black pepper. Spoon a dollop atop the soup before serving.

Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 as the main dish.

Recipe

1 cup crystallized ginger pieces
½ cup peanuts
½ cup flaked coconut
1 banana
½ cup silken tofu
1 T + 1 tsp. Cream of Wheat
1 T honey

Chop up the ginger in a small food processor. Add in the peanuts, continue pulsing, and add in the coconut.

Process the mixture until it is a thick and rather cohesive mass. This is now your tart crust.

Work the ginger mixture into two mini tart shells, making sure there is an even layer throughout.

Place the crusts into the refrigerator.

Prepare the Cream of Wheat with ½ cup of water on the stovetop.

Rinse out the food processor, and now use it to blend together the tofu, banana, cream of wheat, and honey until smooth.

Pour this mixture into the ginger tart shells and refrigerate for about one hour.

Makes 2 small tart shells.

September 17, 2007   |   1 comments
Tags: Antioxidant, Desserts, Nuts, Southeast Asia
Recipe

2 cups rice noodles
1 garlic clove
1 T grated ginger
1 T chopped lemon grass stalk
½ onion
2 T oil
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ T chili powder
1 tsp turmeric
2 T fish sauce
1 T tomato paste
½ cup water
2 chicken breasts, cut up into medium sized pieces
For accompaniment: some chopped cilantro and scallions.

Soak the rice noodles in warm water until soft. Get a pot with ample water ready on the stovetop to cook them later.

In a food processor, make a paste with the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and onion.

Heat up a few tablespoons of oil in a skillet and cook the paste until it becomes quite dry, without burning it.

Add in the salt, chili powder, and turmeric and stir them well with the paste.

Add in the chicken pieces, stirring enough to completely coat with the spices. Pour in the fish sauce, tomato paste, and water. Stir.

Cover the pan and cook until the chicken is done.

Remove the lid and transfer chicken pieces to a cutting board. Shred the chicken using two forks.

If the sauce gets too dry, add in more water, one tablespoon at a time.

Meanwhile, bring the pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles until soft.

Drain and add them to the skillet with the chicken curry. Mix everything together well.

Serve the dish with some chopped cilantro and scallions.

Serves 2 quite well, with some to take to work the next day.

September 17, 2007   |   3 comments
Tags: Chicken, Entrees, Pasta & Risotto, Southeast Asia
Recipe

4 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage (about 2/3 head)
2 T unsalted roasted peanuts
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
6 medium shrimp, shell on
2 garlic cloves + 2 T oil for frying
3 T sesame oil
2 T green tea leaves
1 tsp fish sauce
1 juicy lime
2 T cilantro, finely chopped
½ tomato, seeded and diced (optional)

Shell and de-vein the shrimp.

Fill a medium sized saucepan with water and bring it to a simmer. Poach the shrimp until just cooked through, which only takes a matter of minutes.

Remove them from their poaching liquid as soon as they are done cooking, cool, and refrigerate.

Clean the shrimp shells under running water. Dry them well.

Heat up the sesame oil in a small pan, and add in the shrimp shells along with the tea leaves. Let them infuse in the oil on moderate heat for 5-10 minutes, then turn off the heat and continue to let them infuse while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Slice the poached shrimps in half lengthwise.

Heat up the 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet, and fry the garlic until golden brown. Remove the garlic with a slotted spatula and set it on some paper towel to soak up some of the oil.

Combine the cabbage, peanuts, sesame seeds, shrimp, and tomato (if you are using) together in a bowl.

Drain the infusing oil of the shrimp shells and tea leaves, pressing hard on the solids, in order to extract all of the flavored oil.

Make the dressing by whisking together the infused oil, fish sauce, lime juice, some salt to taste, and the cilantro.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well.

Top the salad with the fried garlic.

Serves 2 as a main dish, 4 appetizer portions.

September 17, 2007   |   11 comments
Tags: Antioxidant, Fish, Nuts, Salads & Dressings, Southeast Asia
Recipe

This easy homemade ketchup recipe is quite easy to make. Be sure to buy your tomatoes from a local farmers market.

2 lbs of yellow and orange organic tomatoes
1 T olive oil
1 celery rib
½ onion
1 T + 1 tsp. curry powder
½ cup white wine vinegar
2 tsp. sugar

Thinly slice the celery and onion and sweat in the olive oil.

Chop up the tomatoes, and remove the seed sacks.

You can save them and use them to make tomato vinaigrette later.

In another pot, throw in the tomato pieces, curry powder, vinegar, and sugar, and simmer for a long time.

Once the onions and celery have cooked through, add them to the pot with the stewing tomatoes as well.

Once the tomatoes have cooked down and are quite thick, puree the ingredients and strain the liquid.

Return the tomato puree to the heat and reduce it even more until you reach your preferred ketchup consistency.

Makes about a cup.

This easy homemade ketchup recipe is quite easy to make. Be sure to buy your tomatoes from a local farmers market.