Pad Thai

Here’s the deal. Whenever we go out, or order Thai carry-out, there is always a dish my wife orders; pad thai. The other part of the deal is that when I know my wife loves something that much, I try to recreate it and make it better. 🙂

Here is my take on pad thai. For this recipe I used chicken because it was all I had at the time, otherwise, I normally throw in a about 7-8 medium to large shrimp for the meal. This dish is easy and takes about 30 minutes to prep/cook, depending on your chop and multitasking in the kitchen.

Ingredients:

  • Green onion
  • pho rice noodles
  • chopped garlic
  • Chicken or Shrimp, or both
  • Pad Thai Sauce (I’ve made my own as well), however store bought is easier
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Chopped shallot
  • 2 Eggs

I like to prep all the vegetables and meats ahead of time as this is similar to a stir fry. First I boil my chicken until cooked through, roughly 20 minutes. Let cool, and shred. Set aside. During this process, wash the vegetables and prep. Chop the garlic, shallots, and green onion.

I soak the noodles in hot water for nearly 15 minutes to soften them up. Careful not to overcook the noodles as they might get too soft and the texture will not be right.

Heat a pan or wok with few tablespoons of oil. I use olive oil, however you could use canola, or vegetable oil. Once heated (get ready) toss in the garlic and shallot, and cook for a couple of minutes. Enjoy the aroma! Add the chicken, then crack the eggs into the mixture and quickly scramble. Add the noodles and begin to toss everything in the pan. Add one jar of pad thai sauce, roughly 20 ounces, I believe. Heat through. Garnish with bean sprouts and green onion. Add chopped peanuts if you desire. Simple, tasty, and fun.

Roasted Corn

If there is one thing about Summer time, it is about grilling and corn on the cob. You know how it works. In the early stages of the corn season it goes 4 ears for $2.00 then progress to 10 ears for $1.00. Well, it is that time of year. Festivals have corn roasts and the smell and taste is something of the amazing. While living in Dallas, Texas, there would be corn stands, typically outside of a supermercado, that would sell an ear for $1.00. The beauty about spending that dollar on one ear was the fact that they dipped in warm butter and topped it with your liking (I always got Parmesan cheese). Other condiments included chili, and mayonnaise.

In the past, I typically removed the husk from the corn, and boiled in water for 20 minutes or so. I always thought this was great, until last week when I approached a new method of cooking corn, on the grill.

There isn’t much of a trick here (well, I guess you could burn the corn), however there is one important step that you should never forget. If you want corn that is intense in flavor, tender, and absolutely delicious, then try this one out.

Ingredients: (could not be easier)

  • Ears of Corn
  • Water
  • Grill

Clip the loose ends of the corn husks off as they will burn pretty easily on the grill. Submerge the ears of corn in a deep pan of water for 30-60 minutes. Heat the grill to medium. Once the grill is ready in temperature, place the ears of corn on the grill (husks in tact), and begin cooking. Cook for nearly 30 minutes, rotating each ear, every 5 minutes. You know the corn is ready when the husks begin to turn a very dark brown. Remove them from the grill and let cool.

The best thing here is simply pulling down the husks and using that as your handle. Lather in butter, salt, pepper, etc. This last batch I made a butter with lime zest and course salt. It rocked in flavor. Try different combinations in your butter using chipolte peppers, Parmesan cheese, or any other flavors you are looking for in a good piece of corn.

Deep Dish Pizza

This dish is my wife’s favorite. I have made several attempts to master the pie since my wife would like to call an order into Pizzeria Uno’s, nearly 30 minutes away. My ingredients (store bought, and garden) cost under $7 and made one large and one small pie. This is also served great as left overs. 🙂

Great Deep Dish Pizza Recipe

Dough:

  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 2 Cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of fine ground yellow cornmeal
  • 5-6 cups of flour

Add the water into a mixing bowl with the yeast and let it begin to bubble for nearly 8 minutes. Then add the oils, cornmeal, and begin to mix in the flour slowly. Mix and scrape down the sides for nearly another 8 minutes until the dough comes together.

Take the dough out (I flour my hands to prevent any stickiness) and punch the dough down. Oil (1-2 Tablespoons) the bottom of a large bowl, add the dough, add a bit more olive oil to the top, and cover with a dampened warm towl. The trick to this dough is a double rise. After an hour, check the dough. If it has risen, punch it down, and let it rise again. This will then double to triple in size.

Once you are ready to make the pie, you will need some deep cake tins. We so happened to have these from my wife’s grandmother’s house and they have came in handy for the deep dish pizza. Lightly oil the bottom of the pan(s). I split have of the dough and begin to mold it into the bottom of the pans, then working it up the sides. Once you have molded the dough, begin my adding your ingredients.

Pie Ingredients:

Sauce, I made homemade (roma tomatoes, garlic, basil, onion)

  • Fresh garlic
  • Fresh, chopped basil
  • Mozzarella Cheese (I buy the squares and layer them in the bottom)
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Italian Sausage or Pepperoni
    (You can add whatever you like in the pizza)

Here is how I made mine, and highly recommend it:

The trick is to add the mozzarella cheese on the bottom. Then add the cooked sausage or pepperoni (or whatever you want), chopped basil and garlic, then the sauce. Sprinkle generously with the parmesan cheese and cook in a preheated 475 degree oven for 40 minutes. Let cool, slice, and enjoy.

Sticky Rice with Spicy Thai Dipping Sauce

If you like something that is truly spicy, tangy, and packed with flavor, you must try this sauce. It is so easy to make and is compatible with barbecue and rice. This recipe takes very little time to make, so lets get started.

Ingredients:

1-2 cups Thai Sticky Rice
1-6 Thai Peppers (depends on how hot you want it)
4 TB Sugar
1 Lime
3 cloves of garlic
3-6 TB Fish Sauce
Soak the rice overnight in a bowl of water. This softens the rice and shortens the time to steam. When the rice is ready, rinse the rice and place in a bamboo steamer. The steamer can be found at your local asian market for under eight dollars. Cover and let steam for nearly 10-15 minutes per side. I say side because you will want to remove the bamboo steamer and knock it against the counter as to loosen the rice. Then you can toss it so it flips over. Sounds difficult, it is not. Continue steaming the other side for ten minutes.

During the time the rice is cooking, chop your other ingredients and place in a serving bowl and mix well. Feel free to taste as you go along. If it is too salty, add more sugar or lime juice.

When the rice is ready. Take the ball out and place it on a cutting board as you will want to flatten it out a bit and begin to fan it, as to cool the rice. I purchased a bamboo container that I can cover the rice for four dollars.

Keep in mind that the rice should be served warm and cannot be saved for leftovers. 🙁

Our kids love rolling the rice into little balls, (we do not let them eat the sauce), making shapes, and then eating.

Enjoy.