Wednesday, January 28, 2009

asian home cooking

as i have mentioned before, seth really loves asian food, and i am a pretty big fan myself. so we have been cooking up some yummy asian food at home. seth recently made this awesome thai curry he has been making for years and i tried a new recipe for pork meatballs from this new cook book we got call food lovers vietnamese, a culinary journey of discovery. both recipes follow.

red or green chicken curry:
heat 1 oz oil and 2-3 tbsp red or green curry paste for one minute
add 3/4-1 lb cubed chicken until brown
add 1 cup coconut milk and 2 cup water, bring to boil, simmer 15 minutes
add veggies (tomatoes, snow peas, shitakis, etc.) cook 5 minutes
add 1 tbsp fish sauce, 2 tsp brown sugar, 2 tsp grated lime rind, 1/2 cup basil
toss well and season with salt and pepper to your liking
serve with basmati rice

this past time seth made this dish he used maine shrimp in addition to chicken. the shrimp worked beautifully. any protien really would. my only complaint about this amazingly flavorful meal is that the curry is never as thick as the ones you get in thai restaurants. in looking at the recipe it may be because you add so much water. cutting back on the water a little may help to thicken it. we also always use low fat coconut milk which probably changes the consistency a little. i'm sure we have tried to thicken it with corn starch before, but i can't remember how it turned out.

vietnamese pork meatballs (nem nuong):
2 tsp fish sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1lb coarsely ground pork
1 head tender lettuce, leaves separated
1 carrot, peeled and cut into thin strips
1 small cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced into half-rounds
12 or more fresh mint leaves
1 tbsp vegetable oil

put fish sauce and sugar in a bowl and whisk until sugar is completely dissolved. stir in shallot and garlic, and season with pepper to taste. add ground pork and mix together thoroughly. cover and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.
pinch off about 1 tbsp pork mixture and shape into small meatballs.
arrange lettuce leaves, carrots, cucumber, and mint leaves in individual piles on a large platter.
heat oil in a nonstick skillet, then add meatballs and cook, rolling them around, for 5 minutes, or until golden all over.
to eat, put meatball in center of lettuce leaf with carrot cucumber and mint leaf. wrap up and dip in your favorite sauce.

i served the meatballs with a super simple peanut sauce made by mixing equal parts water, hoisin sauce, and peanut butter. i also make a quick nuoc cham by mixing fish sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, garlic, and thai chilies. both sauces were also from food lovers vietnamese.

the meatballs were delicious. the sugar sort of caramelized all over the outside so even though they were quite savory they had this delicate sweetness to them. we ate them as dinner but they would also be a great appetizer.

1 comment:

Kate said...

jenner, i read that you like the bachelor, and i, too, as an educated woman, am embarassed to say that i like to get my bachelor fix every monday. are you rooting for anyone to win? i am just glad stephane is gone (is it insulting transvestites to say that she looked like one!?). enjoy your 2 hours of mind-numbing awesomeness tonight.