Monday, September 04, 2006

Weekend Cookbook Challenge #8 - A Foreign Dish

The totally super and lovely Ruth from Once Upon A Feast is hosting Weekend Cookbook Challenge #8 and she chose "A Foreign Dish" as the theme.

I was psyched for this one; I had recently received a cookbook from my mom that would be absolutely perfect for this challenge.

When I was a teenager my family went to Hawaii for a holiday. I had a couple of food ephiphanies that trip and one of them was Thai food.

We ate dinner at a restaurant called Keo's that served food unlike anything I'd had in my life. It was an amazing meal for me. My mom bought the cookbook before we left so we could try to re-create some of these amazing dishes at home. Tragically we were never happy with any of our attempts, mainly because the small town we lived in did not carry most of the ingredients needed.

Earlier this year my mom gave me her Keo's cookbook to bring home. I was so excited that I filed it on my cookbook bookcase and promptly forgot about it until Ruth announced her theme. Thanks Ruth! Not only did I have a lot of fun cooking it brought back some sweet memories of vacationing with my family too.

Crisp Noodles
All recipes from Keo's Thai Cuisine by Keo Sananikone

This was the dish that always stayed in my memory - one of the best noodle dishes I had ever had in my life. If you try to make this you need to make sure that the rice noodles you use are fryable - they have to puff up. That was the problem my mom and I always had. This time I went down to Chinatown and looked for rice noodles that had directions to fry them on the package.

1/4 lb boneless chicken breast
2 oz shrimp (optional)
1/2 cup dried tamarind
1/2 cup warm water i used 1 tb of tamarind paste and 1/2 cup water
1 tsp ketchup i used 1 tb
1-4 tb fish sauce i used soy sauce
1 tb red wine vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
5 cups oil for deep frying
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1 green onion chopped
4 oz rice noodles

Dice chicken. Shell and devein shrimp; dice. Combine water and tamarind; blend well and strain. In a large saucepan combine chicken, shrimp, tamarind water, ketchup, fish sauce, wine vinegar and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low, cover and simmer one hour. Set aside to cool. In a wok heat oil over medium high heat. Fry rice noodles a little at a time until they puff up. Remove from wok and drain on paper towel. Combine noodles, bean sprouts, green onion and sauce; toss lightly to mix. Garnish with chile peppers and parsley.

Beef Sa-teh on Skewers

1 lb combination of boneless chicken, beef and pork
3 tb oil
1 stalk fresh lemon grass
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp seeded and chopped red chile pepper
1 tb curry powder
1 tsp sugar or honey
1/4 tsp salt

Cut chicken beef and pork thinly into 2" strips. In a food processor or blender combine oil, lemon grass, garlic, chile pepper, curry powder, honey and salt. Blend until smooth. Pour over meat and marinade for at least two hours. Thread meat onto skewers and barbecue or broil, turning occasionally, until cooked. Serve with cucumber sauce.

Cucumber Sauce

1 cucumber
5 tb sugar
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 tsp salt
3-5 red chile peppers seeded and finely chopped
3 green onions finely chopped

Thinly slice cucumber; place in bowl. Dissolve sugar in boiling water; stir in vinegar and salt. Pour sauce over cucumber slices and sprinkle with chile peppers and green onions.

Evil Jungle Prince with Chicken

1/2 lb boneless chicken breast
2-6 small red chile peppers i had to use green
1/2 stalk lemon grass
2 kaffir lime leaves
2 tb oil
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp salt
1-4 tb fish sauce
10-15 fresh basil leaves
1 cup chopped cabbage i served over rice

Thinly cut chicken into 2" strips. Grind together chile peppers, lemon grass and lime leaves in a food processor or blender. Heat oil over medium high heat and cook pepper mixture for 3 minutes. Stir in coconut milk and cook 2 more minutes. Add chicken and cook for 5 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in basil and fish sauce. Serve on a bed of chopped cabbage.


Ruth said...

Wonderful post, Sara. I particularly love the sound of Evil Jungle Prince - from the name to the ingredients.

Thanks for asking me to co host WCC. It's been fab!

George said...

Your entries today bring back such great memories. I lived in Honolulu from '96-'02, and would eat at Keo's at least 3-4 times a month. I love Asian food and you'll find plenty of it in Hawaii.
Thanks for the recipes.

Lea said...

The Beef Sa-teh looks wonderful!! I will definitely have to try it! =)

Sara said...

Ruth - thanks! I was so happy to have you co-host.
George - you lucky! I'll remember that dinner for my whole life I think.
Lea - Thanks, I hope you do give it a try. Don't forget to make the cucmber sauce with it.

Lisa Jean said...

I had to make Evil Jungle Prince tonight on the basis of the name alone. It was wonderful!

Jasmine said...

Hi Sara

I just tagged you for the "five foods" project at Traveller's Lunchbox.

Hope you can participate :)


peabody said...

Darn it....I missed it.
The name Evil Jungle Prince makes me giggle....I love it.

Tanna said...

Wow, you did it up right! Lovely.
Evil Jungle Prince - too funny!

Sara said...

lisa jean - that was why I made it - the name.
jasmine - thanks!
peabody - can we expect to see you at #9?
tanna - thank you!