Welcome to week 14 in my kitchen still lots of rain and sunshine…We have water pistols at the ready Songkram preparations are getting into full swing lots of colourful clothes are on sale and all the shop assistants are wearing their colourful Songkram shirts…
Much of this week has been spent trying hair colours…Blue seems to be the colour for the boys…Lily has opted for unicorn colours which are on their way so you can guess what nanny will be doing…This is where my long ago hairdressing training comes in…haha
Not much on the cooking front…Spag bol and chilli in bulk…It freezes well and ideal for the kids when they come in wet, hungry and happy…
Chilli Con Carne.
- 500 gm lean minced Beef
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 red or yellow pepper chopped
- 3/4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 2-inch piece of fresh ginger finely chopped
- 1-3 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or 1 level tbsp if you only have mild)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1 pint of fresh made beef or vegetable stock
- 400 gm fresh chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
- 1/2 tsp sugar…I sneak this in when no one is looking as it brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes.
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 410 gm can red kidney beans, drained or pre-soaked dried kidney beans.
Put the olive oil in a large pan and heat add the chopped onions, garlic, ginger, bay leaves and cumin seeds cook until onions are translucent about 5 minutes.
I like to add my cumin seeds with the onions as it brings out their full flavour and we love cumin.
Add the minced meat and cook, stirring until nicely browned.
Add the tomatoes, stock, peppers and tomato puree stirring in well and bring to a soft simmer.
Add the paprika, marjoram and sugar.
Cook for 20 minutes now this is where I taste and add more chilli and usually more cumin seeds and then add the drained kidney beans and cook for a further 30 minutes.
Serve with steamed rice and sour cream sprinkled with smoked paprika ( optional)
I kilo minced beef or pork sometimes I mix pork and beef…
1 large onion chopped
250 gm mushrooms sliced
3/4 cloves garlic
5/6 Fresh Basil.
2 bay leaves
8 large tomato coarsely blitzed or chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree.
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Worcester sauce
2-3 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp sage.
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a glug olive oil in a pan and saute onions and garlic.
Add the mince and cook until browned
Add tomatoes and cook for a few minutes then add tomato puree, mixed herbs, bay leaf, oregano, balsamic and Worcester sauce.
Cook on a slow simmer for 30 minutes and then add mushrooms, cook for another 10 minutes and stir in fresh basil…
This is where I taste and generally add more herbs as we like our Spaghetti Bolognese nice and herby.
Serve with freshly cooked pasta and some freshly grated or shaved parmesan cheese and some garlic bread.
These little shrimp cakes are quick to do and make a nice snack or starter for a meal…which would consist of other dishes maybe a curry, some stir-fried morning-glory or mixed vegetables, maybe a whole steamed fish with herbs or crispy garlic some som tam( Papaya Salad) and always a sweet chilli dip and sometimes as well a blow your head of chilli dip… Not all Thais like hot food as one would assume…
Thai Shrimp Cakes.
This makes about 20 small cakes/patties or 10 larger ones.
- 400 gm of fresh prawns deveined/peeled and finely chopped.
- 100 gm chicken meat( we used half a breast) finely chopped.
- 6/8 very finely sliced lime leaves.
- 2/3 tsp red curry paste.
- 2 tsp fish sauce.
- A tiny splash of coconut milk.
- 50 gm homemade breadcrumbs or you can crumble panko breadcrumbs.
- Coconut oil or oil of your choice to fry the cakes.
Mix all these ingredients together with your hands..yes it’s sticky and messy but how we do it…no mods cons here in a basic Thai house.
But of course, if you want to use your food processor then that’s fine, to be honest, I don’t get mine out if I am just making this amount…hands are easier to wash than all the food processor bits.
But if you have a food processor and want to do it that way then put all the ingredients in and blitz away until smooth.
Finally, form into cakes /patties then heat some oil in a pan and cook turning until browned both sides. Cook in batches.
Drain on some kitchen paper.
Serve as a snack or with your meal with sweet chilli sauce or with a spicy Thai dip although most restaurants here send them out with a sweet chilli dip.
Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce:
This recipe makes about half cup of sauce which is ideal for me because if I buy a bottle I end up throwing it away either because I have had it in the fridge or cupboard so long or I have read the label.
- 1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup white sugar plus 2 tbsp.
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp sherry if you don’t have sherry then this article gives you replacements for sherry in cooking
- 2 cloves of garlic grated/ minced or very finely chopped
- 1/2 -1 tbsp dried chilli crushed ( 1 tbsp is hot) or chilli pepper flakes.
- 1 plus 1/2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot dissolved in 3-4 tbsp water.
- Optional… Sometimes I Julienne a small piece of carrot or red pepper and add to the mixture during the reduction period of cooking.
Put all the ingredients into a saucepan except for the cornflour mix. Stir to combine and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to a slow rolling boil and cook for 10 minutes or until the mixture had reduced by half. Lower the heat and add the cornflour mix, stirring until the sauce has thickened. Taste and adjust the seasoning more sugar if not sweet enough for you and if not hot enough then more chilli.
This is so quick and easy to make and far superior to shop bought sauces and without the preservatives.
MANY RECIPES for Thai prawn/shrimp cakes do not use chicken as well, we do as it adds a bit of firmness to the cakes and the splash of coconut milk is our variation as well.
The Asian Pear recipe I promised is on the menu this weekend as it has been quick tried and tested recipes this week…xx
Thank you for joining me for this week in my kitchen xx
About Carol Taylor:
Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.
I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.
Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.
The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year
Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then I bid you welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!
Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS
Connect to Carol
MeWe is a new social media and one which many of us are turning to mainly migrating over to as FB has banned many of my friends and for what seems no good reason that we can see I hope you will join us there.
Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all having a great weekend xx