Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pad Prik King

On our Honeymoon, we ended up eating at Sombat's after visiting the Kilauea volcano. The food was delicious. We had a green chicken curry, a pad prik king, and an order of pad thai. Inspired to cook some Thai food at home since the prices are often ridiculous with skimpy portions, I tried making Pad Prik King and Eggplant Chicken Green curry which were both delicious. I do not have exact measurements for everything since the first time I made it, it was spot on but a little hot. The next time I made it I reduced the curry paste to make it less hot, but it didn't have the curry thickness. This is the Pad Prik King recipe :

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2-3 Tbsp red curry paste
1/2-1 cup water
1/2-1 chicken breast
3-4 cups green beans
4-5 kaffir leaves
1-2 tsp fish sauce
1-2 Tbsp sugar

1/2-1 Carrot
1/2 block tofu

You want enough oil to not let the curry paste burn. 1 Tbsp should be enough. Head the pan to medium heat with the oil coating the pan.
Cook the curry paste for 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Note: The first time I did this I used 3 Tbsp which turned out delicious, but hot. I might need to find another curry paste maker, or do something to cut the hotness because the consistency was great.
I had to add a little bit of water to the curry paste since I did not add to much oil to make it more of a curry consistency (~1/2-1 Cup water).
Cook the chicken until done.
Add green beans and optional ingredients. Cook until done, stirring occasionally.
Add sugar and fish sauce to taste.
Add kaffir lime leaves. I put my leaves in whole, can chop leaves if you like.

Edit 10/3/10:
Just tried making it again and used heavy cream to balance out some of the spiciness, 1 tsp of fish sauce, 4 tsp of sugar, and 1/4 of a lime instead of getting kaffir leaves. Still pretty awesome.

Sombat's Pad Prik King

My Pad Prik King

Curry Paste from 99 Ranch
A little too spicy for me, and too large to use before the rest goes bad. They have smaller canned versions of this curry paste, but were out the day I went.

Kaffir Leaves
You can buy these kaffir lime leaves from 99 ranch. Not too expensive. I froze the leftover leaves and they seem to still do the trick in my cooking.

Scotch Egg

I tried making these Scotch Eggs and they were not too bad. Definitely not an every day thing, but kind of fun for something different.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Del Mar Fair Eats

Lesson Learned: The way to do the fair is in a big group. Then you get to try everything!

Chocolate covered bacon:

These were pre-made and served cold in a take out container.  5 pieces for $6 I think.  The bacon is covered in dark chocolate and covered with large sea salt crystals.  They also give you salt packets in case the salt in the pork fat and sprinkled salt on top isn't enough salt for you.  The ratio of chocolate to bacon was off for me and there was too much chocolate.  Eh for me.

"Tasty Sweet Potato Fire Dog":
Tiny chunks of sweet potato were thrown into a batter covering a polish dog.  Served with a mustard/mayo-like sauce.  I would have liked it better if there were more sweet potatoes.

I thought the sweet potato dog would be more like this "Hash Dog":

Described as a "crispy golden hash brown corn dog."  I'm not really a hot-dog eater but it seemed like a good concept.

At the Texas Donut booth, we bought a deep-fried Reese's:

But it came out looking like a corn dog covered in powdered sugar!  I'm guessing it was a Reese's Whipps?

Tasty, but I am a peanut butter fan.  Could have been served hotter too.  Didn't seem as fresh?

Krispy Kreme chicken sandwich:

This was smaller than I expected, but then I guess I should have expected it to be the size of a Krispy Kreme donut!  I think the chicken was breaded (not a thick breading) and it had a surprising layer of jelly in between.

It wasn't anything special to me and tasted more like a Krispy Kreme donut than anything else.

Alice came back with a huge amount of food... chicken and waffles + a deep fried twinkie.
The verdict?  Not as good as Roscoe's?

I admit I did like the twinkie, even though I detest non-fried twinkies.

Deep-fried artichoke hearts served with ranch dressing.  They were freshly fried and delicious.

While walking around, we realized there was no shortage of smoked and BBQ-ed food: BBQ chicken, BBQ beef brisket, BBQ pork ribs, BBQ beef ribs, BBQ sundae... wait... what? 


It would be pretty disgusting if it was BBQ beef on actual ice cream (though I can't say it would surprise me since we were at the Fair) but the beef was over mashed potatoes.

I enjoyed the presentation complete with "cherry" tomato on top.

Other Fair favorites: grilled corn on the cob and turkey drumsticks.
There is something primitive about seeing people walk around holding giant drumsticks...

We finally found the booth serving funnel cake on-a-stick (why is everything at the Fair on-a-stick?) but it didn't seem like anything extraordinary so we went for the normal funnel cake.  Only we couldn't make up our mind.  Raspberry?  Apple???  Luckily, the nice woman behind the counter let us do half-and-half:

The raspberry reminded me of a jelly donut.  This was delicious but when is funnel cake not delicious?

Nearby, the creme puff booth looked interesting.  Of course, they also offered them on-a-stick.  We got the sampler ($5).
Chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and blue raspberry.  Honestly I didn't notice much in the different flavors and these were disappointing.  The creme was a basic whip cream and not a pastry cream which normally gives a cream puff its custardy texture.  Steph makes them much better.

New to the Fair this year: a deep-fried Klondike bar!

We were told to eat this quickly because it would melt so I have no gooey, melty pictures of the inside.  But I guarantee that it was gooey and melty inside.  It was good and not as disgusting as I thought it would be.  A thick layer of hot breaded batter mixed with melting vanilla ice cream inside is a nice combination.

Having polished off two of those Klondike bars, we decided to go BIG and walk over to the Heart Attack Cafe.  I wonder if this has any relation to the scary Heart Attack Grill?
One order of deep fried cinnamon butter coming up!

This was a complete disappointment and grosssssss beyond belief.  It seemed like it was a churro that they had injected with melted butter, sprinkled cinnamon on, and placed over some fried tortillas.  Oh, and covered with whip cream from a can.  There was a pool of oily grossness at the bottom of the tray.  After everyone had tried a bit, we threw the rest away.  Ewwwww.

Well, we couldn't end on such a bad note, so we went for one more item.  Fresh cooked potato chips.

Regular basket ($6) which was served fresh and hot.  These were excellent and devoured quickly.

I hope my heart forgives me after today.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Mapo Tofu, the good way

I've been trying to work on Chinese food cooking and I'd say this dish is bang on. I tried this version, but found it to be too oily. It was a good start, and I came up with this recipe instead:

1 T Chili oil
1/4 lb ground pork
2 cloves garlic (either pressed or chopped)
3 Tbsp chili bean sauce
1 Tbsp black bean garlic sauce

3 stalks green onion
2 blocks soft tofu

five spice powder to taste

1) Pour in chili oil to coat the bottom of the pan. If this is too oily, can lessen amount.
2) Cook ground pork in oil for a couple minutes, then add garlic cloves, chili bean sauce, and black bean garlic sauce.
3) Cook pork until done.
4) Once meat is done or near done, add green onion.
5) Add soft tofu, chopped in blocks to your liking.
6) Add five spice powder to taste.
7) Cook for a few more minutes, trying not to break the tofu, until tofu and green onions are done.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

When life hands you lemons, make lemon cake!

Or was that lemonade? Lemonade is so boring. After a coworker left behind an abundance of lemons for the taking on the freebie table, I decided to make this lemon cake. I had all of the ingredients (except for 1 egg - thanks j&k!).

Unfortunately, I guess I didn't grease the pan enough because the cake BROKE after trying to remove it!


I sprayed the pan with Pam but apparently it wasn't enough. I guess I'll have to do more than the 1/10000 of a second serving next time. I loosened the cake with a knife as directed but I couldn't reach the top of the pan and thought it would just come off. Nope. Parts of the cake were still stuck to the pan once I flipped it over. :(

I had planned on bringing in the cake to work, but since it looked... well, un-cake-like, I just distributed it to the family members.

Lemon Bliss Cake (or disaster cake)

The cake isn't as moist as I would have liked despite having still glazed it. I also would have preferred a more intense lemon flavor. I noticed later there wasn't any actual lemon flavoring in the cake itself -- just the glaze. It isn't bad and certainly is acceptable, but I am overall disappointed with this experience.
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