I love a good sandwich, and I’ll admit I don’t eat them as often as I like. I’m a sucker for a Vietnamese banh mi, even a dagwood, but there is one that I think needs more attention. This Laotion sandwich is known as Khao…
Whenever I have Thai food on my mind, I personally always lean towards a couple of items; laap (larb) or som tam (papaya salad) and both with sticky rice of course. However I seem to always want to perfect pad thai, even though I am not really a big fan of it and it’s something I typically never order at a Thai restaurant. However, it is one of my wife’s go to dishes when ordering Thai food and so I often default of thinking what I can cook for her (and the kids) before cooking for myself. So as I had pad Thai on my mind, I always think about the sweet, sour, and spice of that dish (as much of Thai cooking). That sour always leads me to a couple of things in Thai cooking and that is tamarind and lime.
I love tamarind, and so I decided to really use a great Thai sauce known as Nam Jim Kai Yang, I believe. Nam Jim Jaew is similar with the addition of toasted rice powder green onions. Vietnamese cooking has something similar. See, I also had other things on my mind beyond pad thai, however I wanted to be able to use that same sauce in a pad thai and see how it would work. Honestly this sauce seems to be so versatile, and addicting that I believe you will find a handful of uses for it.
Let’s get started.
- 1/2 cup palm sugar, mashed (or light brown sugar)
- 3 tbsp tamarind paste/pulp
- 1/4 cup fish sauce (Red Boat or 3 Crabs brand)
- 1 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/2 tbsp Thai chili powder (more for spicier)
This is a simple throw together sauce so you should be ready in no time.
Start by getting a small sauce pot on medium-low heat. Add in the palm sugar, tamarind paste, fish sauce, and water. Whisk to break down the tamarind paste.
Please note, you may be asking yourself where the heck can I find this ‘palm sugar’ and ‘tamarind paste’? Don’t fret, you can find these at your local Asian or Mexican grocery store.
Cook the sauce for about 5 minutes, whisking along the way. You want that tamarind pulp to breakdown. It should be good after 5 minutes, but you can take it up to 10 minutes if necessary.
Pour the sauce into a serving container, add in the chili powder, stir, and let it cool.
As you can see I used mine as a dipping sauce for some crispy Vietnamese style chicken wings. Those were marinated in a ton of minced garlic and fish sauce, then grilled slowly until crisp. I like my wings on the ‘harder’ crisp side. The extra sauce was later used in my pad thai. It was a great addition as you get both the sour and spice.
This sauce is awesome. It’s a thinner sauce, and is not only great for dipping, but you could spoon this on rice, or heck I wouldn’t even dislike it if you said you drizzled it on a salad. I love it, and I bet you will too! Hope you enjoy.
- ½ cup palm sugar, mashed (or light brown sugar)
- 3 tbsp tamarind paste/pulp
- ¼ cup fish sauce (Red Boat or 3 Crabs brand)
- 1¼ cup warm water
- ½ tbsp Thai chili powder (more for spicier)
- Start by getting a small sauce pot on medium-low heat. Add in the palm sugar, tamarind paste, fish sauce, and water. Whisk to break down the tamarind paste.
- Cook the sauce for about 5 minutes, whisking along the way. You want that tamarind pulp to breakdown. It should be good after 5 minutes, but you can take it up to 10 minutes if necessary.
- Pour the sauce into a serving container, add in the chili powder, stir, and let it cool.
The blondie. It’s a treat that you do not see that often, but at first taste you most likely recognize. I made blondies about nine years ago, and my neighbor still talks about them to this day, and hence why I revisited the blondie style dessert bar, well that… and I wanted to twist up the classic blondie with some of these recent fall flavors. Yes, I will admit at this time that I am hooked on those fall dessert flavors, and to me that adds up to things like cinnamon, apples, brown sugar, and pumpkin spices. I decided I would take both the blondie, and those fall flavors and turn them those into a fall dessert bar, and girl was I happy I did. Welcome the caramel apple blondie.
A recent outing to do our annual picking at one of our favorite orchards, The Elegant Farmer brought much excited to my wife and daughter who would have their daily apple for lunch, but me? What about me? I immediately knew that I would be the one coming up with recipe ideas, and this one was sure gone quickly.
This is one of those great treats. You mix, slide it into a baking dish, bake, cool, and dig in. Get ready for some simple delight! Let’s get started.
- 2/3 cup of unsalted butter, melted
- 2 1/4 cups of light brown sugar, packed
- 3 whole eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups of all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cooking oats
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup of salted caramel chip morsels
- 2 cups diced apples, skins removed
- cooking spray
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 (or similar size) dish with the cooking spray and set aside.
Next, add the flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt to a bowl and mix well. To another mixing bowl (you can do this by hand if you want), add the sugar, and butter. Turn on your mixture and begin to cream the butter and sugar. While you are mixing add in the vanilla, and one egg, one at a time. Make sure you add the other two eggs and mix to make a nice and creamy mixture.
Now, slowly add in the flour mixture, and continue to mix. After a minute or so, stop mixing and scrape down the bowl. Continue to mix on low, then add in your apples, and caramel chips. Mix well, then add the entire mixture into the baking dish. Spread and gently form into the dish.
Bake for about 45 minutes, but check on them at about 40 minutes in.
I check the middle, as I would do cakes or brownies, and insert a knife in the middle. If it comes out ‘clean’ for the most part, you are good to go. Let this sucker cool to room temperature before slicing into bars.
The beauty about this recipe is not only the flavor and fix for your sweet tooth, but it’s a bit firm on the outer, and soft and yummy in the middle.
If you are looking to use up a couple of apples from your recent apple orchard picking adventure, or looking to get some fruit into your weekly dessert, then give this one a shot. I’ll admit, these lasted a little under one day. As much as that always leaves me scratching my head (as if how did this happen?) I knew they were good and a bit surprised they lasted that long! Hope you enjoy!