Thai Chicken Risotto

This was one of the first dishes that really wowed me in taste, texture and uniqueness; Thai chicken risotto. I started putting together a cook book a couple of years ago and this was the first recipe i worked on. It is so damn good. The chicken is extremely succulent, ย (don’t over cook it when you’re first browning it, only lightly colour the surface, you don’t want it to dry out, it has plenty of time to cook through in the oven). It’s also important to closely watch the times of cooking or resting, it will be crucial to the end result.

Best thing to do with this dish is plan leftovers around it so when you go out to buy ingredients you’re only getting specific items. A lot of them are pantry staples so you shouldn’t really need to buy much. I just had to buy the chicken thighs and rice yesterday which cost me all up $8. It made 5 servings too and that was with us going back for seconds for dinner. Good family meal or leftovers for lunch the next day. Another pro tip thanks to my Dad, if you’re happy to buy Coles or Woollies brand chicken get them from the deli, they will be way cheaper than the prepackaged stuff that’s there for complete convenience. Sure you might have to take a ticket but you will save a few bucks. Buy double, split it up and freeze the rest for another day’s use!

I also highly recommend having a kaffir lime tree at home. If you like to cook Thai food you will save heaps, both in time, money and frustration of not having this important element for your dishes.

I made the red curry paste myself earlier in the week. I hadn’t made my own for a while. I even managed to get Thai shrimp place from a joint in town! No galangal though, ughh, elusive to me, especially fresh and juicy. It’s on my list to grow though. Store bought paste is fine, i have been using it for years.

This recipe comes from the below link. Again, use what you have on hand. I included frozen peas last night, i thought they were way better than the beans i had used in the past. Little pops of flavour and there are more of them scattered throughout the bowl.

The prep can take some time but just do it bit by bit, keep looking at the recipe so you don’t miss any steps or ingredients, once everything is prepped and chopped it comes together very easily.

Thai Chicken Risotto

Thai Chicken Risotto thanks to delicious.

This Saturday was the ‘Bollywood beach markets’ in Woolgoolga. I was thinking we’d really see some great Indian stalls from the heavily cultured community but was very disappointed by what was there! The beach was nice though ๐Ÿ™‚

Instead i am going to make some bases tonight and cook pizza haha, no worries, haven’t made homemade pizza in a long time. Till next time.

Woolgoolga beach
Disappointing markets ๐Ÿ™

Sashimi plate

We started off the year with something simple but incredibly fresh and tasty. I know sashimi isn’t everyone’s thing, yet others can’t get enough of it.

We went to the seafood markets and picked up fresh tuna and scallop sashimi. These sashimi grade scallops are pretty much the only ones i buy nowadays. I’d noticed that some scallops i’ve bought in the past have been cut in half, (lengthways), and placed on the half shell and sold like that. Greedy bastards.
These babies are $3.50 each, we don’t get them all that often but when we do we know we’re getting the best product available.
I used two, (cut in half), for our sashimi plate and the other 4 were going on shells and lightly grilled with a bit of butter and ponzu sauce.

Colourful as you like.
Colourful as you like.

I store empty scallop shells in the freezer. Saves paying for them every single time. Wash and reuse next time!

scallop shells

A dollop of butter and a drizzle of soy sauce. I used ponzu here. Ponzu is a citrus style of soy sauce.

Scallops with butter and ponzu

I probably had the grill too high, opps! Regardless, when the butter melts and mixes with the soy it’s divine. Oh yeah and the scallops were good too.

scallops

My new sashimi knife was christened. What a beast.

So shiny :)
So shiny ๐Ÿ™‚

I now buy Pure Wasabi. The wasabi on the left is the stuff you see everywhere. Funnily enough though, it’s 30% horseradish and only like 5% wasabi. We get the Pure Wasabi from Harris Farm and originally ordered it from New Zealand. Alternatively you can use the powder. You can fine tune the taste and texture. Ignore that expiry date ;P
Ange never used to like wasabi but now she loves it.

Got wasabi?
Got wasabi?

Red curry of prawns and potato

I’ve made this curry a few times now and it’s exceptional. It’s a one wok dish too!

The herbs really highlight this red curry, stirred through just before serving, add to that the fresh, fiery chilli thrown in at the beginning of the cooking process? It lingers wonderfully on the pallet.

The recipe says to cook the potatoes for about 10minutes until soft but i’ve found each time that it takes longer. Put a lid on the wok or saucepan so the sauce doesn’t evaporate and cook the potatoes until soft when pricked with a sharp knife. At that point add the prawns to cook for the final couple of minutes. I also added shredded kaffir lime leaves because they’re just so fantastic.

Don’t forget to serve in warmed bowls, you want that curry to stay hot, tastes so much better that way!

That time is upon us!

And if you have leftovers, as with most curries, they’re often better the next day as was the case here.

Red curry of prawns and potato.

 

Kung Pow Chicken

Wow, it’s been a while! My little page, so neglected. Oh well, here we go again. Seems it goes on hiatus whenever i get side tracked by something else hehe.

I have only cooked this once before, a couple of years ago, actually i think it might of been the page’s 1st or 2nd post? I do not know why it’s taken me so long to do it again! It’s a bit fiddly getting all the steps done and prepared but it all comes together quite quickly at the end. Just read and prepare each stage of the recipe and you will not get flustered at the end when everything is going into the wok.

It’s got some unique ingredients, such as black vinegar and chilli bean paste but they can be found easily in an Asian supermarket.

Get all the little recipe steps organized in little bowls. It saves a heap of stress later!
Get all the little recipe steps organized in little bowls. It saves a heap of stress later!

Kung Pow Chicken. It has the numbing sensation from the Sichaun peppercorns and hits that spicy note with the dried chilli’s and chilli bean paste. A nice rich sauce, succulent pieces of chicken with the crunch of peanuts. It really is an amazing dish. Serve with rice.

Serving shot was a bit 'messy'.....
Serving shot was a bit ‘messy’…..

You’ll wake up the next day excited for leftovers!

This is the recipe i used.

http://www.seriouseats.com/โ€ฆ/real-deal-kung-pao-chicken-recโ€ฆ

Twice cooked beans with pork and XO sauce

An old favourite of mine with simple ingredients, just a little prep and a few minutes cooking time. Perfect for that week night dinner where you’re short on time but still wanting a tasty meal. If you’ve got some pork mince sitting in the freezer you get the added bonus of a cheap meal.

I recommend buying some dried Shiitake and black fungus, also known as wood ear or cloud ear mushrooms. Soaked in a little boiling water they can bulk out a meal and add that little extra flavour and texture, great in stir fries like this. Just a packet of each costing a few bucks will last you a long time ๐Ÿ™‚

Serves 2.

Dried Shiitake and Black Fungus mushrooms.

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1 tbs light soy sauce.

4 of each, dried Shiitake and Black fungus mushrooms, chopped, (about 10grams dried).

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Prep done :)
Prep done ๐Ÿ™‚

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Combine the soy sauces, rice wine, sugar, cornflour and pork in a bowl, then set aside for 15 minutes to marinate.

Blanch beans in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 1 minute. Drain and pat dry (it is essential beans are completely dry before frying).

Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Stir-fry the beans for 2-3 minutes until tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.

Twice cooked beans

Add the garlic and chilli to the wok, and stir-fry for 30 seconds over high heat until fragrant. Add the pork mixture to the wok and stir-fry for a further 3-4 minutes until cooked through. Add the XO sauce and stir to combine. When just about done stir through the beans to warm through and serve on warmed plates with extra XO sauce.

Twice cooked beans with pork & XO sauce————————————————————————————-

A very smooth dish, soft pork mince, with crunchy beans. XO sauce gives it a bit of spice along with the chilli. This is a nice recipe to bring out and surprise your friends or family with. Something different that will introduce you to new flavours! After that the XO sauce will become a fridge favourite, it definitely is here ๐Ÿ™‚

This original recipe is from taste.com.au. Twice cooked beans with pork and XO sauce.

๐Ÿ™‚

Another incarnation from another cook!
Another incarnation from another cook!

 

 

XO prawns and snow peas

With a handful of ingredients, minimal prep and hardly any cooking time this recipe was perfect for a hot and windy Monday.

I was eager to get XO sauce back on the menu. Stir fried withย juicy prawns and crunchy snow peas this simple dish would have ample flavour, spice and texture. Fabulous XO prawns tonight!

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Serves 2.

12 large green prawns, peeled, deveined.

1 tsp peanut oil.

80g snow peas, trimmed, sliced in half on an angle.

1tbs XO sauce, (i use Lee Kum Kee).

1/2 tsp cornflour, combined with 2 tbs of chicken stock.

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The wine wasn't part of the recipe ;)
The wine wasn’t part of the recipe ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Butterfly the prawns by cutting through the back about halfway through and pressing open with the flat side of a knife.

Heat a wok over high heat and drizzle the oil around the edge. Add prawns, season with a pinch of salt and stir-fry for about 1 minute or until prawns start to turn pink.

Add the snow peas and stir-fry for a further minute. Add XO sauce and toss through for a further minute or until the prawns are just cooked and snow peas are tender but still crunchy.

Drizzle over the cornflour mixture, a little at a time, while tossing to combine for a final 30 seconds. Transfer to warmed plates and serve immediately.

IMG_9833————————————————————————————-

Get all your prep done, get that wok smoking and off you go, tossing, turning, scraping, ahhh the smell as each ingredient is added! Luckily it only takes a few minutes cook, it’s torture.

Beautiful meal, the prawns were succulent, the rich, salty, spicy sauce with crunchy snow peas. ย Ange was pretty wrapped, she’s not usually one for the rich, salty dishes but she was thumbs up in this case.

You could use any greens really, whatever you have available, just cut them into appropriate sizes. XO sauce is quite versatile so having a tub in the fridge can be used with a variety of ingredients!

This recipe was from delicious magazine 131