I loved the Thai house. I remember going to South Jackson to eat some of the most interesting and delicious food I have ever tasted. The flavor combination was amazing and something I had never tasted before. I miss the old Thai house and think of this restaurant every time I cook chicken curry for dinner.
I like to serve food that people wouldn’t normally prepare for dinner. You can surprise your guests and make them try something new. At a recent dinner I decided to try my favorite Thai menu. It is very easy to prepare, and you can get most of the ingredients at any major Asian grocery store or grocery store. Try; it doesn’t need to be spicy and you can adjust the heat level to your guests’ preferences.
Quick and easy green chicken curry
In a large saucepan, simmer a can of regular coconut milk (not light), along with 1 or 2 tablespoons of green curry paste (more or less depending on your heat level) over medium heat for about five minutes. Add 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces and simmer for about a minute. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, ¼ cup of brown sugar, ¼ cup of bamboo shoots, ½ cup of frozen peas and ½ cup of chicken broth. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Serve over jasmine or white rice.
Chicken and coconut milk soup
You can easily make this vegetarian soup by simply omitting the chicken breast and replacing the chicken broth with vegetable broth or water.
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
4 tablespoons of green onion, finely chopped
1 4-inch piece of lemongrass (if available)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of red or green curry paste
The zest of a lime
The juice of a lime
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finally chopped
3 cups of chicken broth, vegetable broth or water
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons of cornstarch combined with 2 tablespoons of water
1 can of 1 to 14 ounces of coconut milk (not low fat)
1 small can of bamboo shoots, drained
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup fish sauce (more or less to taste)
About 6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
In a medium saucepan, add the oil and stir in the garlic, green onion, lemongrass, pepper, curry paste, lime zest and ginger for two minutes. Add broth or water and bring to a boil. Add the chicken pieces and cook for about four minutes. Add the coconut milk, bamboo shoots, fish sauce and lime juice. If the soup is too runny, stir in the cornstarch and water mixture to thicken it.
Serve the soup warm and garnish with fresh cilantro.
Cucumber Salad with Cashew Nuts
2 cups of cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
1 red or sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons of white sugar
3 tablespoons of rice vinegar or white vinegar
½ cup of lukewarm water
¼ cup roasted cashews, peanuts, sesame seeds or any other combination
In a bowl or serving platter, arrange the cucumbers and onions in layers. Combine water, sugar, vinegar and chili flakes in a small bowl until the sugar has dissolved. Pour over the cucumbers and let marinate for a few hours. Serve, garnished with chopped salted peanuts.
Grilled Thai Beef Salad
1 pound round, flank or flat iron steak, about 1-1½ inch thick
3 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of canola oil
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
2-3 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped or squeezed
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, grated
1 ¼ teaspoon chili garlic sauce
1 head of romaine lettuce or other lettuce, washed and torn into pieces
½ cup cilantro leaves, rinsed and lightly chopped
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
To make the marinade and vinaigrette:
Combine: lime juice, soy sauce, oil, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and chili garlic sauce in a small bowl. Pour half the mixture over the meat and marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight. Save the rest to dress the salad.
When ready to serve, preheat the grill to high power and grill the steak until done, about five minutes per side. Remove from the heat and let the meat rest for a few minutes until it slices with the grain of the meat.
Combine lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, onion and dressing. Top with sliced meat.
Smoked Turkey Pot Stickers
These may take a few minutes to assemble, but it’s well worth it. I used to ask my kids to help seal the dumplings, so we could make a big batch in about 20 minutes.
1 pound. ground turkey meat
1 tablespoon mashed chipotle pepper paste
¼ cup heavy cream or milk
½ stick of butter, cut into cubes
4 green onions, roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 pack of jar sticker packaging or wonton packaging
Combine all ingredients except packages in a food processor and mix about 15-20 times to mix and mix well.
To form pot stickers:
Place about ½ to 1 teaspoon of the turkey mixture in the center of each package. Moisten the edges of the packaging with water and carefully roll up the sides of the packaging to form a triangle or half moon depending on the shape of the packaging. Seal tightly by pressing the edges together and wet the edges more if necessary.
Tap the dumpling against the work surface to flatten it on the bottom and repeat with the other wrappers. Store in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
When all the wrappers are full and you’re ready to cook, add about 2 tablespoons of oil to a large non-stick skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Remove the lid and carefully place all of the pan stickers into the pan one at a time, making sure they don’t touch each other. Cook for about three minutes until the bottom looks a bit crisp, then very carefully add about 1/3 cup of water to the pot and cover it so that the dumpling can steam. Once all the water has evaporated, remove the lid and allow the bottoms to become crisp again. Remove and continue to cook meatballs until cooked through.
Serve with soy sauce or ponzu (a 50/50 combination of rice wine vinegar and soy sauce.)
Cardamom cream spice cake
I have found that the dessert for a Thai dinner can be complicated. I want something simple and for the flavors to complement the meal. It’s a super simple end to a creative and delicious dinner.
Prepare canned spice cake mix according to package directions. You can make regular sheet cake, cupcakes, or decay cake. If you have an old family favorite recipe for spice cake, feel free to use that as well.
To prepare the cardamom cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon (or more if desired) ground cardamom
In a chilled bowl of your blender, combine the cream, brown sugar and cardamom. Whisk until stiff peaks form. Keep refrigerated.
To serve: Arrange the cake on an individual serving plate and garnish with a dollop of cream and a mint leaf for decoration.