Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Thai Feast - Cook book Challenge - Week 21

Let me start by saying I love Thai food so I was very excited about choosing the menu for this weeks Cook Book Challenge theme.  Originally I planned on making some type of Thai curry then changed my mind as I thought that might be a bit boring, not boring to eat, just something I have done many times before & am quite comfortable with.  I ended up going with 3 recipes, a home made sweet chilli sauce & Gai Yang: Thai barbecued chicken, both from Ben O'Donoghue's Ben's Barbecue & on the side a Thai cucumber salad from Stephanie Alexander's the Cooks Companion.

The sweet chilli sauce was sensational, so much nicer than from a jar & pretty simple too, I halved the chilli quantity & it still had quite a bit of kick to it so very happy with that decision.  The chicken was really, really good too, I think basting the chicken in the leftover marinade mixed with coconut cream was the final touch that made this dish so delicious.  Note, I used chicken thigh fillets, my all time favourite chicken cut rather than jointing a whole chicken, basically I have no idea how to do it & am too lazy, would rather just slap the thighs in the marinade & I always find them so tender too.   The cucumber salad on the side was a nice refreshing touch, I left out the chilli as I was pretty sure between the chicken & the sauce we had enough & I was spot on, I also used cashews instead of peanuts as I have a no peanut house, cashews I find to tbe the best substitute & love them.  I wonder if you could make a satay sauce with cashews, I love a good satay & miss it o so much, anyone tried it with anything other than peanuts?

Overall, loved Thai week & found some recipes I will definitely use again

Sweet Chilli Sauce - Ben O'Donoghue - Ben's Barbecue

500g caster sugar
500ml white wine vinegar
500ml water
4 lemongrass stems, peeled & finely sliced
10 garlic cloves, peeled
15 long red chillies, chopped (feel free to halve this amount!!!) 
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine the sugar, vinegar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil.  Place the lemongrass, garlic, chillies and salt in a food processor & pulse to a fine texture.  Add the paste to the saucepan, then simmer and reduce by half.  Skim off any floating bits or any foam that forms.

Once thick, set aside to cool.  Will keep for up to 2 months in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Gai Yang: Thai Barbecued Chicken - Ben O'Donoghue - Ben's Barbecue

Serves 4.

1 x 1.5kg chicken, cut into 8 joints, trimmed of fat and excess skin (or sub with skinless chicken thigh fillets as I did)
1/4 cup coconut cream


5 coriander roots, washed & chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled
5 Thai pink shallots, peeled
1 birdseye chilli
1 tblspn minced turmeric or turmeric powder
2 tblspns freshly ground white pepper
3-4 tblspns fish sauce to taste
2-3 tblspns palm sugar to taste

For the marinade, use a heavy mortar and pestle or food processor, and puree the coriander roots, garlic, shallots, chilli and turmeric.  Add the pepper, fish sauce and sugar to taste, and mix well.  Rub the marinade into and under the skin of the chicken and leave it to marinate in the fridge for 2-3 hours.

Remove from the fridge & allow to come to room temperature.

Cook the chicken in a frypan or griddle pan over high heat, turning & basting frequently with the leftover marinade mixed with the coconut cream, until cooked through.

Thai cucumber salad - Stephanie Alexander - The Cooks Companion

Serves 4

4 shallots, very finely sliced
1 tblspn vegetable oil
2 long cucumbers, peeled and seeded
1 tblspn brown sugar
2 tblspns rice or white wine vinegar
1 fresh chilli, seeded & finely chopped (optional)
50g peanuts, roasted & chopped (substitute with cashews)
2 tblsons freshly chopped coriander leaves & stems
fish sauce

Saute shallots gently and slowly in oil until brown but not burnt.  Drain on kitchen paper.  Cut cucumber into 1 cm cubes.  Dissolve sugar in vinegar.  Toss vinegar mixture through cucumber, then add all other ingredients, seasoning to taste with fish sauce.


neil said...

After a chile pig out yesterday, 15 in the chile sauce doesn't seem all that bad, but I know I'm going to pay. Love cooking with chicken thighs too, seems to give a better result especially when cooked longer. Like the look of everything you've done.

Rizka said...

what a delicious dishes! I love Thai food so much too, reading this post making me hungry!

I never tried making satay sauce with Cashew, so I am not quite sure how it would turn out. Some of my friends made the satay sauce with Peanut butter instead when they dont have jar of peanuts on their pantry. but I will ask my mother in law and let u know if she has the answer ;)

Megan said...

Thanks for sharing this recipe. I tried out the Thai BBQ Chicken. It came out great. I kinda put too much chili but it's okay, I love chili. Still turned out great. Thanks so much.

Ange said...

Thanks guys & yeah despite the photo not looking so appealing, the memory of how nice this whole meal was lingers, will be back to it soon no doubt

April @ My Food Trail said...

Yummo, what a great sounding meal. Good on you for making your own sweet chilli sauce too!

I love chicken thigh over any other form of chicken - it's just perfect for marinades!

chitchatchomp@yahoo.com.au said...

Well done on pulling off 3 successful dishes - i'm very impressed! They all sound delicious, especially the sauce. I often make Bill Grangers one - and it freezes really well.

bri said...

Ooh, homemade sweet chilli sauce. I might have to give this a go sometime!