I absolutely love me some Thai food. However, it is a recent love discovered over the last couple of years. Growing up with Puerto Rican and Hungarian food influences didn’t exactly lend itself to making Pad Thai on Wednesday nights. That was black beans and rice night.
Over the last few months, I have spent some time making dishes with Thai influences. I’ve stocked up on the tamarind paste, the fish sauce, the coconut milk, etc. So in honor of how delicious Thai food can be, and my freshly stocked Thai inspired pantry, this week is Thai food week.
I have cravings for Pad Thai on an almost weekly basis, but I never realized how capable I was of creating this dish successfully (without using any pre-packaged sauces, flavor mixes, etc.)
The recipe I used was a mix of about 5 different recipes I found to be “authentic” (hah, not like I would actually know). I’ve only made this dish twice, so I’m going to play around with it some more before I post a recipe.
I found the recipe from the Food Network, so it doesn’t exactly scream authentic, nor was it tricky to make. I ignored the specifications of the recipe, just using the ingredients as a guide. The takeaway from the dish is definitely the peanut lime dressing. So good! See full recipe.
This was delicious! I tried to track down the recipe I used, but being incredibly organized, I have lost it. It was almost identical to this, if you want to give this dessert a try.
This was surprisingly my favorite dish of the week’s cooking events. I expected it to be a nice way to use some leftover chicken, but this blew me away! True to it’s name it is the perfect comfort food, but the blend of flavors, the coriander and coconut standing out in my mind, makes this far superior to the noodles in chicken broth I eat when I’m sick. Here’s the recipe I roughly followed.
Another successful meal! The noodles I just threw together for an interesting side. I like to use bean sprout noodles, because they soak up flavor nicely, cook almost instantly and are better for you than a bunch of white flour.
The BBQ Chicken is all about the marinade. I can’t believe I’m just now realizing how amazing lemon grass is.
Well, that wraps this week’s long winded cooking challenge. What types of foods or specific recipes should I try next? I definitely need some inspiration!
Beyond making homemade pasta, I upped the anie and decided to go for a full romantic Italian dinner. Admittedly, I did not do this challenge this week. I didn’t do much cooking this week, but this is a meal I’ve been wanting to share. Without throwing too many unwanted details out there, my boyfriend and I do the long distance deal. So, when we get to see each other we try to make the most of our time together. Often that includes cooking with and/or for each other.
(Please forgive the poor photo quality. They are from my phone as I did a camera fail and left it at home).
Pasta e Fagioli, recipe from Giada De Laurentiis
Tartra (A Savory Flan), recipe from the The Taste of Italy
Casoncelli Camuni, recipe from The Taste of Italy
Ricotta and Rum Cake Trifle, a mixture I threw together that was inspired from The Taste of Italy
The Pasta e Fagioli was a straight forward hearty soup that we both enjoyed. It was balanced but flavored nicely from the fresh herbs and pancetta. I would recommend this recipe, and will definitely be making it again.
The tartra was a little lackluster, but being that I decided on a whim to make one more thing due to left over ingredients, I wasn’t too disappointed. I won’t post the recipe to this, unless someone requests it.
Now, we get down to business. This the main event, making pasta from scratch for the first time. My boyfriend didn’t have a rolling pin, so me and a cylindrical vase had to work it out. After working out a system with the vase, I was able to create a nice smooth sheet of dough, spoon the tasty filling out and create somewhat presentable ravioli type pockets. It certainly isn’t the most beautiful thing I’ve ever made, but it was delicious! The success absolutely lies with the recipe, because I’m sure I made several attempts to sabotage it. I will post this recipe shortly.
I also made a tasty trifle that I enhanced with rum, but I forgot to take pictures of it since we didn’t eat it until hours after this massive meal.
All in all, making a from scratch Italian meal was fun and we definitely enjoyed the end product. The thing I found the most stressful was the time management and overlapping demanded of making 4 items at once. Hopefully I will continue to improve in that area to avoid stressing out.
- Becca Bites
This wasn’t a challenge to stretch my cooking skills by any means, but more one of discovery. My goal was to find a fantastic baked french toast recipe that wasn’t soggy and that didn’t taste like typical french toast. Mission accomplished! I bring you Orange Pecan French Toast (So yummy!) by SR on All Recipes.
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 12 (3/4 inch thick) slices French bread
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/2 cup 2% milk
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 egg whites
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar for dusting
In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, melted butter and corn syrup.
Pour into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish, and spread evenly.
Sprinkle pecans over the sugar mixture. Arrange the bread slices in the bottom of the dish so they are in a snug single layer.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, egg whites, and eggs. Pour this mixture over the bread, pressing on the bread slices to help absorb the liquid. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, or overnight. (I definitely recommend overnight).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C ). Remove the cover from the baking dish, and let stand for 20 minutes at room temperature.
Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving
- Becca Bites