Thursday, 30 August 2012

The Spice of Life

Sometimes I just want to cook meals that I used to cook. Although there is nothing to stop me from cooking things just for the adults or getting a take away (and at times we do do either) I like to try to make things a bit different for the kids. My re-imaginings of some of these dishes are probably a mere shadow of their original form, but they add a bit of variety and variety is the spice of life and since we can't have real spice we may as well have a bit of variety.

I was looking at the bean shoots at the grocers the other day. These instantly bring two meals to mind - phô and pad thai. I've had a few attempts at the phô and haven't quite got it good enough to publish, but the pad thai I made the other night did the job for me.

Pad Thai
  • 4 Tbsp failsafe oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 chicken breast fillets, cut into small cubes
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Gin
  • 2 Tbsp Golden syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp pear Ketchup
  • 2 lightly beaten eggs
  • 200g wide rice noodles, prepared to packet instructions
  • 3 cups (about) Mung bean sprouts
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced (include some of the green too)
  • 2 Tbsp raw cashews, roughly chopped (you could lightly toast them if you tolerate it)
  • Citric 'lemon' juice to taste 
  1. Heat oil in a large wok and fry the garlic until golden
  2. Add the chicken and stir fry until partially cooked.
  3. Combine the sugar, syrup, gin, ketchup and salt and add to wok.
  4. Add the beaten eggs, let them set slightly, then stir to scramble.
  5. Add the noodles and toss and stir them for about 2 mins.
  6. Reserve about 1 cup of the sprouts and add the rest to the wok. Stir until the sprouts are barely cooked.
  7. Serve into bowls and garnish with the remaining sprouts, shallots and cashews. Lightly sprinkle with the citric lemon to taste.

Salicylates - Also garnish with chopped coriander and dried chilli.
Soy - Use cubed firm tofu instead of chicken.

The boy declared this dinner "Awesome!"

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