Monday, July 16, 2007

Thai Deep Fried Egg Salad - Yum Kai Dow

I first had this dish at a picnic cum potluck a few years back, where a Thai friend of mine, Noi, proudly presented this dish to the crowd. I was shocked at how delicious this dish was, considering the few very simple ingredients and steps involved in its preparation. Unfortunately I never got around to asking her for the recipe.

Just last week, we had invited another Thai friend of ours, Pang, over for dinner. This time, I was madly craving for Yum Kai Dao and decided that I HAD to make her show me how to prepare it. I've eaten Pang's Thai cooking before, and I can seriously vouch for its goodness; I guess I could rely on her to recreate Yum Kai Dao for me. So she did. And it was lip smacking!

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Yum Kai Dao - Deep Fried Egg Salad

4 large eggs
1 brown/white onion, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, wedged
a bunch of lettuce/salad greens
a bunch of coriander

1 tsp finely grated raw garlic
4 tbsps fish sauce
4 tbsps fresh lime juice
4 tbsps palm sugar
chopped fresh chilli, quantity as desired

Crack eggs into very, very hot oil and deep fry till fluffy and crispy, and yolks are cooked through. The hotter the oil, the fluffier and crispier your eggs will be. Let cool slightly, then cut into rough chunks and toss with vegetables. Combine salad dressing ingredients in a bowl and further adjust the taste as necessary to suit your liking (I like mine quite sour and hot, so I tend to give a few more bits of lime and chilli). Dress the salad and tuck in!

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Inside of a Meat Pie from Absynthe Bakery

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Hi folks, just to further expound on one of my previous posts regarding meat pies, I made a special journey down to Circle on Cavill, Surfers Paradise just to test out the acclaimed meat pies at Absynthe Bakery. There were only 2 types of pies left by the time I arrived, a beef and red wine pie, and a lamb and mushroom version. I got to sample both, and they were fantastic. Just to prove my point, I took a picture of the inside of the lamb pie, showing the sheer amount of filling that they pack into their pie pastries. I know it's a bit of a nasty shot, the pie being chewed up and all, but just look at the quantity of meat in that baby! For pies of that size and meat density, they certaintly make for a full meal all on their own. And boy, was I stuffed!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Baked Italian Sausages, Beans and Eggs

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Here's another dish to warm up your chilly winter. Preparing and cooking the beans takes a bit of time, if you are using dried beans that is. However, if you don't mind the idea of using canned beans, please be my guest; it will save you heaps of time to be frank. But for the sake of those purists out there, I will talk you through the steps right from the top, using dried beans to begin with.

Beans in Tomato Sauce with Italian Sausages and Eggs

300 gms dried borlotti/cannellini beans, soaked overnight in water
2 litres water
half an onion
half a tomato
2 bay leaves

1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 anchovy fillet (optional)
pinch of dried chilli (optional)
1 stalk of rosemary
3 stalks of thyme
1 litre of passata, or equal volume of tinned tomatoes

6-8 Italian pork sausages
a few eggs
extra virgin olive oil
crusty bread, to serve

Drain the beans from their soaking water. Add them to a pot with all remaining ingredients and simmer for half an hour to 45 minutes, or until beans are just tender, and not mushy. It is crucial to add the tomato half as it helps to soften the skins of the beans. Also, do not salt the beans at this point as salt causes their skins to toughen. Once done, drain and set aside. (If using tinned beans, simply omit this step and begin from below:)

In a saucepan, sweat onions, garlic, anchovy and chilli with a good amount of olive oil. Once translucent and fragrant, add in the entire bunches of herbs together with the passata/tinned tomatoes. Return beans to the pan and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.

Place bean mixture in a baking dish. Randomly distribute over the sausages, pricking with a fork to prevent them from 'exploding'. Drizzle sausages with olive oil and place dish in a preheated 200 degree celcius oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes till sausages are nice and brown. Using a spoon, make a few wells in between the sausages and crack an egg into each well. Bake for a further 5 minutes till the eggs are just set. Serve bubbling at the table with crusty bread to mop up the beans and runny egg yolks. Lovely.

Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Coleslaw

Sorry guys, we know it's been a while since our last post. Bev and I have been pretty tied up with work and all for the last few weeks. Anyway, we're back again, and here is the first of a few backlogged entries to come.

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This is a recipe for buffalo wings from Bev's stack of recipe cuttings. I matched these wings with a recipe for blue cheese cloeslaw that I chanced upon at, one of my favourite foodie sites. And as funky as it sounds (blue cheese coleslaw), it actually makes perfect sense, seeing that buffalo wings are typically served with crunchy vegetables and a blue cheese sauce!

Just keep in mind, if you were to use the Italian Gorgonzola for the blue cheese, be sure to use Gorgonzola Picante (a sharp gorgonzola) instead of Gorgonzola Dolce (a milder, sweeter gorgonzola), as there will be huge variances in the results. Also, instead of undertaking the labour intensive task of shaving my own vegetables for the slaw, I simply popped open a bag of ready shaved coleslaw vegetables from the supermarket. Ah, the conveniences of modern day grocery shopping!

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Buffalo Wings

1/2 dozen chicken wings
2 tbsps melted butter
4 tbsps tabasco sauce
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsps salt
1/2 tsps cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

Toss wings with all of the specified ingredients. Marinate for at least one hour. Grill in a hot oven, at 210 degrees celcius, for 10 minutes on each side, basting frequently with the left over marinade.

Blue Cheese Coleslaw

recipe at