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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Phad Thai fried Noodles

Phad Thai (ผัดไท)

Phad Thai is a fried noodle dish that is perhaps the most well known and beloved Thai streetfood dish in the world as far as foreigners are concerned. It is also probably one of the most popular fastfoods amongst the Thais too. Phad Thai foodstalls are seen on the streets all over Thailand's towns and villages. Phad Thai is a rather sweet tasting chewy fried noodle dish served with beansprouts, omellete, dried or fresh shrimps, tofu, and a slice of Kaffir Lime, which is then squeezed over the noodles to compliment the sugary sweetness with some sourness. Ground peanuts are also sprinkled over the dish as a condiment, along with chilli powder. Traditionally, the classic Phad Thai is made using band noodles but it can also be served with glass noodle too.

You will need a wok to make Phad Thai noodles.

If with glass noodles, you must order "Phad Thai Wun Sen"   (ผัดไทวุ้นเส้น) Wun means jelly and sen means "line" but is used as a term to describe the type of noodle. All noodles are referred to as "Sen" - flat band noodles are called "Sen lek, or Sen jant", wide band noodle is "Sen yai", yellow egg noodle is called "Sen bamee", rice noodle "Sen Mee" and glass noodles are "wun Sen".
 Pic Left; Phad Thai Hor Khai - Phad Thai wrapped in egg.
Another version of Phad Thai is "Phad Thai Hor Khai" (wrapped in egg). This is a bit more of an art to make, so i recommend that you get the phad Thai noodles off to a tee first before attempting this one.

How to make Phad Thai Video;

Alternative method for if you can't find all the ingredients;
  • 1 (8 ounce) package rice noodles
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 12 medium fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 pound bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 1/4 pound bean sprouts
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
Squid Brand Fish Sauce, 24-Ounce Bottle (Pack of 2)

1. In a medium bowl, soak the noodles in cold water for 15 min; drain. Cover noodles with hot water, and soak for 15 minutes; drain. Rinse with cold water, drain, and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a wok or large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add shrimp, and cook until pink. Stir in ketchup, fish sauce, sugar, lemon juice and vinegar. Pour in the beaten egg, and cook without stirring until egg is partially set. Add drained noodles, 1/4 pound bean sprouts, and 1/2 cup peanuts. Mix while cooking until noodles are tender.

You can see how the Thais make it in this video taken on a floating market in Samu Prakarn, Thailand. It is amazing how the Thais make everything so compact, quickly and conveniently, with a very inventive manner, which would seldom occur to any westerner. Watch the video and see what i mean.


How to make Tortoni (Italian Dessert)

Delicious frozen Almond Biscuit Tortoni dessert - I don't think that there could ever be anyone who doesn't just love this classic but nowadays rare Italian Frozen dessert.

This video depicts a well known Italian dessert that is seldom seen in Italian restaurants these days. The classic Tortoni! Mary shows you that with proper organization you can simply prepare this dessert in several easy steps. Tortoni is the perfect dessert to serve to Guests, Family, and of course for those Romantic Candlelit dinners with the one you love, is a real winner, that will leave your loved one enchanted with you.
I have included two different recipe methods below the video for alternatives to make Tortoni Italian Frozen Dessert.  Amarena Fabbri 8 Ounce Italian Cherries in Syrup
Watch Video - Mary Cooks - How to Make Tortoni

Here are two variations of recipes for Tortoni

Biscuit Tortoni

1/2 cup chopped blanched almonds
5 ounces amarettini cookies
3 tablespoons dark rum
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
3 tablespoons brandy
1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Place chopped almonds on a tray and toast in preheated oven until lightly colored and fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes. Let cool completely.
Crumble the cookies into 1/2 inch pieces by wrapping in a tea towel and tapping lightly with a rolling pin or mallet. Do not crush into small pieces. Place crumbled cookies in a medium bowl and sprinkle with rum. Toss with almonds and chocolate chips. Set aside. 
Napoli Panettone Cake - Traditional Italian Dessert, 2.2 lb /1000gr
In a large bowl, beat cream with an electric mixer until thickened. Pour in brandy and beat until soft peaks form. Spoon whipped cream over cookie mixture. In whipped cream bowl, now beat ice cream just until softened (with a flat whip, if available). Fold cookie and cream mixture into ice cream. Freeze until serving.

Almond Tortoni

1 egg white
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon sherry wine or Marsala
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup almond macaroon crumbs
1/2 cup ground almonds
6 red maraschino cherries, chopped
6 green maraschino cherries, chopped
1/4 cup slivered almonds
4 maraschino cherries, halved for garnish
Allrecipes (Almond Tortoni)
Allrecipes (Biscuit Tortoni)


Friday, January 1, 2010

Channa Masala - Chick Pea Curry and Naan Bread

Anyone who has been to India will know how much Channa Masala is a dietary staple of the people. Delicious to both Vegetarians and meat Eaters alike, this vegetarian dish is so tasty that you won't miss the absence of meat at all. With a wonderful nutty taste and texture, Channa Masala will become one of your favourite indian food recipes. Its is most scrumptious when accompanied by Indian Naan bread, or even Paratha and Popadom, in addition to fine jasmine scented Basmati rice, watered by the mountain streams of the Himalayas.

Watch Video - How to Make Channa Masala;


  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Combine the tomatoes, about half the onion, the ginger, and rice flour in a blender; blend into a paste.
  2. Heat the oil and cumin seeds in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the cumin swells and turns golden brown. Cook the remaining onion in the hot oil for about 3 minutes. Stir the blended tomato mixture, garbanzo beans, curry powder, and salt into the onions; cover and cook until hot, about 5 minutes. Garnish with the cilantro to serve.

How to make Naan Bread

Naan is one of the most common types of bread in India, and it is popular in north India. Discover how to make naan from start to finish, and learn about the ingredients that go into making naan with helpful tips in these two videos on Indian food and recipes.

If you are too lazy to write down what you see in the vdeo, here is the preparation method and ingredients list for Naan bread;

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)
1/4 cup butter, melted


1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.

2. Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

3. During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat.

4. At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the Naan has been prepared.

Channa Masala is one of the commonly served ingredients of the famous Indian Thali.

Thali is a Hindi word meaning "Plate", and is a meal with contents varying from one regional cuisine to another. A thali is a selection of different dishes, usually served in small bowls on a round tray. The round tray is generally made with steel with multiple compartments. In North America people sometimes use plastic thalis because they are disposable. Typical dishes include rice, dhal, vegetables, chapati, papad, curd (yoghurt), small amounts of chutney or pickle, and a sweet dish to top it. Restaurants typically offer a choice of vegetarian or meat-based thalis. Kerala way of Thali is known as Sadya, with Rice as staple food and other specialities.

Depending on the restaurant or the region you are in, the thali consists of delicacies native to that region. Thali starts out with puris, chapatis (rotis), different vegetarian specialities(curries).

In some restaurants, a thali may include "bottom-less" refills on all components of food; the idea is that one eats until fully satisfied. Such thalis are referred to as 'unlimited' thalis. In some places the term means that everything in the plate excepting a few items like the sweet preparation or dahi wada is open to unlimited helpings.

Thalis sometimes go even by the regional characteristic of the items they have. For example one may encounter Rajasthani thali or Gujarati thali. In Maharashtra the term 'rice plate' was (and still occasionally is) used for the concept of thali. At many places in India, the bread and the rice preparation are not served together in the thali. Typically, one finds the Indian bread being offered first and the waiter serves the rice subsequent to the consumption of bread, often in a separate bowl or dish.

Also there are arrangements especially in Northern and Northwestern India (in fact, even Pakistan and Afghanistan) where one is offered bread exclusively as a part of a meal. One encounters such arrangements especially at a dhaba.


Baccala with Black Olives and Tomatoes

Salted Codfish casserole with Tomatoe and Black Olive sauce.

Mary Cooks again; This time it's Baccala (codfish) with black olives and tomatoes. Baccala is a dried salted codfish traditonally eaten as a Christmas speciality. It has wonderful salty taste which compliments the tomatoe and black olive sauce. I love to eat this with boiled short grain rice, which goes so well with the thick sauce.
You can either follow Mary's instructions in the video, or alternatively follow the method written below. Both methods will bring perfect results, if only slightly different consistency to the sauce. After all, no two people make things the same. Perhaps you can try both and see which method suits your taste. I prefer Mary's style to the below method.

Saute garlic, onions, and celery (or fennel if you prefer)in the oil for about 8 or 10 minutes. Then add the tomatoes and other seasonings to mixture. Let simmer for 20 minutes. Add baccala and cook another 20 minutes, then add pitted and drained olives. Serve and enjoy!

2 to 3 lbs. Baccala (fish), totally submerge in fresh cold water for 3 days, changing water morning and night
1/4 c. oil
2 cans whole tomatoes, chopped or you can use stewed tomatoes
6 med. onions, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. parsley
2 tsp. sweet basil
1 can pitted black olives
Cut up baccala

Watch Video;


Pasta al Aglio e Olio

Nigel Reblochon cookery Video; Pasta al  Aglio e Olio

"After nearly 14 years in obscurity, legendary foodstylist, free-thinker and abrasive iconoclast Nigel Reblochon returns to show all the young TV-cooking show blokes what cooking is really all about".
In this video Nigel Reblochon shows us how to cook Pasta al Aglio i Olio (Pasta with Garlic and Olive Oil). He uses a little chilli, fresh French Garlic and Greek Olive Oil in this recipe. I personally find it funny how he comments on the fact that he doesn't like the word pasta, and adds that if you are speaking English then it's called "Noodles" or "Spaghetti

Watch Cookery Video; Pasta al Aglio e Olio

Spaghetti all' aglio, olio e peperoncinoImage via Wikipedia
  • 350 grams of Spaghetti (thick spaghetti or vermicelli is better)
  • 10 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled and smashed a little with the side of the knife
  •  hot chilli pepper (if desired)
  • fresh parsely
  • salt
Although Pasta al aglio e olio is an extremely simple and fast dish to make, it is simply delicious and great to serve as a first dish at parties - i suggest a little italian salad with radicchio and lollo rosso, some blue cheese/goats cheese and green grapes (or apple) to balance out the oiliness and give fibre to help the digestion. As alternative methods, you could try adding tomatoes and black olives, or some shrimps. Another way of making this dish really fine tasting is to add Porcini mushrooms and capers, with a dash of white wine, and sprinkle some black pepper on the top. Serve with a sprig of fresh basil.

  • Brown the garlic and hot pepper in olive oil, add salt.
  • wash and mince the parsely and keep it aside
  • cook the spaghetti in hot salted water, drain them and add them to the oil and garlic mixture
  • saute'
  • add the minced parsely and serve hot!

Abd here is a video of how to make Pasta al aglio e olio froma real Italian Mamma (Mary) - this is a really easy to understand video as well as an authentic method in true Italo-American style. Mary uses angel hair pasta ( an extremely thin noodle). I give this video five stars