And this little figgy piggy screamed “kiwi, kiwi, kiwi” all the way home!
This semi-exotic fruit lends a clean, tart flavor to savory dishes.
Making chicken stock isn’t difficult. I watched Martha Stewart demonstrate it years ago, except she used two whole chickens and then tossed them! But if Martha can do it, so can you. You don’t need to use whole chickens like she did. Just think, how often are you stopping at the grocery store to get baked rotisserie chicken for your family meal? Instead of throwing out the carcass the next time, put it in a ziploc bag in the freezer, and on a lazy afternoon make some chicken stock and then freeze it.
As I was growing up in Thailand, kaffir limes were a common sight. Not so much here in the U.S. So imagine my surprise when I get a call from Charles, the excitement in his voice palpable, extolling that our little organic food store in Salem, Lifesource Foods, had kaffir limes and did I want any? Are you kidding? Yes! My family has gone to great lengths to make sure that wherever we’ve lived — Texas, Maryland, Oregon — we’ve always had a kaffir lime plant. Usually, Mom has to scour her friends in Houston and bring a live plant back on the plane after one of her annual visits there. Sometimes, we beg to have plants sent to us via FedEx. The fruit doesn’t contain much juice, but in Thai cooking, the rind and the entire fruit are used to impart their bright, clean, citrus flavor and aroma. The most common dishes that use kaffir lime rind or leaves are Tom Yum soup and Tom Kha soup.
Thai porridge brings back fond memories from my childhood in Thailand, where I spent many weekends at my cousin’s house. It’s a dish that my favorite uncle would serve for breakfast. The bland taste of the rice porridge would be punctuated by the side dishes that were each full of their own flavors: salty, savory, sweet, sour and pungent. To this day, it’s a comfort food that we enjoy at our home and it brings back warm memories of my cousin who is now half a world away, and my favorite uncle who is no longer alive.
Vic and I were served this dish as an appetizer at The Brewer’s Art in Baltimore some years ago. It impressed us so much that we asked for the recipe. No dice! Realizing that steaming these ingredients wouldn’t be too difficult to re-create, we then begged for advice on which ale to use. A Belgian White was the curt reply. We dined at this well-known Baltimore spot frequently and surly service was never the norm. As a matter of fact, when creating the link to their site for this article, I learned that Esquire magazine had named them the #1 bar in America. For the record, Portland’s Horse Brass Pub was #5.
Making a gumbo can be a religious experience and shouldn’t be attempted when you’re short on time. Most will agree that any gumbo will begin with a dark roux and can be thickened further with the okra or filé powder (ground sassafras leaves). Not wanting to be exclusive, I use all three.
I remember as a child growing up in Bangkok, our family cook would often enlist me to help in the kitchen. I think it was because she knew I liked to pound on things. One of the essential tools in Thai cooking is a mortar and pestle. Oh, forget the convenience of a blender or […]