I loved the Thai House. I can remember going down to South Jackson to eat some of the most interesting and delicious dishes that I had ever tasted. The combination of flavors was amazing and something that I had never tasted before. I miss the old Thai House and I think about that restaurant every time I make chicken curry for dinner.
I love to serve food that people would not normally prepare for a dinner party. You can catch guests off guard and get them to try something new. At a recent dinner party, I decided to try my favorite Thai menu. It is very easy to prepare and you will be able to get most ingredients from any large grocery store or Asian grocery. Give it a try; it does not have to be spicy and you can adjust the heat level to the preferences of your guests.
Quick and Easy Green Curry Chicken
In a large saucepan simmer a can of regular (not lite) coconut milk, with 1 or 2 tablespoons Green Curry Paste (more or less depending on your heat level) over medium heat for about five minutes. Add 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces and simmer about one minute. Add 1-2 tablespoons fish sauce, ¼ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup bamboo shoots, ½ cup frozen peas, and ½ cup chicken broth. Simmer about 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
Serve over Jasmine or white rice.
Chicken and Coconut Milk Soup
You can easily make this soup vegetarian by simply omitting the chicken breast and substituting vegetable stock or water for the chicken stock.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tablespoons green onion, finely chopped
1 4-inch piece lemongrass (if available)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon red or green curry paste
The zest of one lime
The juice of one lime
1 -one inch piece of ginger, peeled and finally chopped
3 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, finely sliced
2 tablespoons cornstarch combined with 2 tablespoons water
1 1-14 ounce can of coconut milk, (not lite)
1 small can of bamboo shoots, drained
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup fish sauce (More or less to taste)
About 6 tablespoons fresh chopped coriander
In a medium size pot add the oil and stir in the garlic, green onion, lemon grass, pepper, curry paste, lime zest, and ginger for two minutes. Add the stock or water and bring to a boil. Add the chicken pieces and cook for about four minutes. Add coconut milk, bamboo shoots, fish sauce, and lime juice. If the soup is too thin, whisk in cornstarch and water mixture to thicken.
Serve soup warm and garnish with fresh coriander.
Cucumber Salad with Cashews
2 cups cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
1 red or sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
3 tablespoons white sugar
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or white vinegar
½ cup warm water
¼ cup toasted cashews, peanuts, sesame seeds or any other combination
In a bowl or serving platter, arrange cucumbers and onions in layers. Mix water, sugar, vinegar, and chili flakes in a small bowl until sugar has dissolved. Pour over cucumbers and allow to marinate for a few hours. Serve, topped with chopped salted peanuts.
Grilled Thai Beef Salad
1 pound top round, flank, or flat iron steak, about 1-1½ inch thickness
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons Soy sauce
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, minced or pressed
1 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
1 ¼ teaspoon chili garlic sauce
1 head romaine or other lettuce washed and torn into pieces
½ cup cilantro leaves, rinsed and slightly chopped
2 tomatoes cut into wedges
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
To make the marinade and dressing:
Combine: lime juice, soy sauce, oil, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and chili garlic sauce in a small bowl. Pour half the mixture over meat and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight. Keep remaining to dress the salad.
When ready to serve, preheat grill on high and grill steak until medium rare, about five minutes per side. Remove from heat and allow meat to rest for a few minutes until slicing across the grain of the meat.
Combine lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, onion and dressing. Top with sliced meat.
Smokey Turkey Pot Stickers
These may take a few minutes to assemble but it is worth the work. I used to get my kids to help seal the dumplings, so we could prepare a big batch in about 20 minutes.
1 pound. ground turkey meat
1 tablespoon, pureed chipotle chili paste
¼ cup heavy cream or milk
½ stick butter, cut into cubes
4 green onions, roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 package pot sticker wrappers or wonton wrappers
Combine all ingredients except wrappers in a food processor and pulse mixture about 15-20 times to blend and combine thoroughly.
To form pot stickers:
Place about ½ -1 teaspoon of the turkey mixture in the center of each wrapper. Dampen the edges of the wrapper with water and carefully bring up the sides of the wrapper to form a triangle or half-moon depending on the shape of the wrappers. Seal tightly by pressing the edges together and wet edges further if needed.
Tap the dumpling against the work surface to flatten it on the bottom and repeat with remaining wrappers. Store in refrigerator until ready to cook.
When all wrappers have been filled and you are ready to cook, add about 2 tablespoons oil to a large non-stick skillet with a tight fitting lid. Remove the lid and carefully put all the pot stickers in the pan one at a time making sure they do not touch one another. Cook for about three minutes until bottoms look a little crispy then very carefully add about 1/3 cup water to the pan and put on the lid so dumpling can steam. Once all the water has evaporated, remove the lid and allow the bottoms to crisp up again. Remove and continue to cook dumplings until all are cooked.
Serve with soy sauce or ponzu (a combination of equal parts rice wine vinegar and soy sauce.)
Spice Cake with Cardamom Cream
I have found that dessert for a Thai dinner can be complicated. I want something simple and for the flavors to compliment the meal. This is a super simple ending to a creative and delicious dinner.
Prepare a box spice cake mix according to the package directions. You can make a regular sheet cake, cupcakes or a bunt cake. If you have an old family favorite recipe for spice cake, feel free to use it as well.
To prepare Cardamom Cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon (or more if you would like) ground cardamom
In a chilled bowl of your mixer, combine cream, brown sugar, and cardamom. Whip until stiff peaks form. Store in refrigerator.
To serve: Arrange cake on individual serving plate and garnish with a dollop of cream and a mint leaf for garnish.