I can only eat so much turkey. Perhaps some of you have special ways to prepare it, but it will always be fairly bland to me — and after a Thanksgiving dinner and perhaps a once over with leftovers, I need to spice things up a bit.
Of course you may be entertaining family (or being entertained by them) throughout the weekend. But if wherever you’re staying has access to an Asian grocer, or even a Whole Foods, Harris Teeter, or the equivalent of either, you could bring a little bit of flavor and spice back into your meals.
Six years ago I blogged some Thai recipes that I picked up while staying at the Le Meridien Khao Lak outisde of Phuket, Thailand.
In December 2006 the hotel had mistakenly loaded rates (attached to the pay two, get one free rate plan) in Ugandan Schillings (UGX) instead of US Dollars (USD). They didn’t actually honor the rate — which would have been ~ 60 cents per night. Instead they offered a compromise of $50 per night, still allowing third night free (so $33.33 per night) and inclusive of tax and breakfast.
I stayed six nights in what was then called their Presidential Oceanfront Villa, two bedrooms and 2.5 baths with a private pool right on the beach.
And I took a cooking class, where I really brought what I learned back with me and still do make to this day two of the items from that class.
Tom Yam Goong (Traditional Thai sour and spicy prawn soup)
- Medium to large prawns
- Straw mushrooms
- Cherry tomatoes
- Small chilis
- Kaffir lime leaves
- Roasted chili paste
- Lemon juice
- Fish sauce
- Chicken stock
Based on my own preferences I replace lemon juice with a squeezed lime and use brown sugar as my choice of sugar. I often make this with coconut milk (Tom Kha goong).
- Boil chicken stock
- Add lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, roasted chili paste, sugar, mushrooms, chilis, mushrooms (if they aren’t pre-cooked)
- Add mushrooms (if pre-cooked), shrimp, cherry tomatoes
- Add lime juice and fish sauce
- Garnish with cilantro
My preference is that the cherry tomatoes are sliced. Heat of the soup can be increased by slicing the chilis in half so the seats are exposed to the soup. It’s delicious!
Gai Phad Med Mamuang (Sauteed Chicken with Cashew Nuts & Dry Chili)
- Veggie oil
- Garlic, chopped
- Roasted cashew nut
- Dry chili thin slice
- Onion slice
- Spring onion
- Soya sauce
- Dark soya sauce
- Chicken stock
- Oyster sauce
- Cilantro (garnish)
- Toast cashews (if untoasted)
- Heat oil, add garlic
- Add chicken
- Add cashews, onion, dry chili, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, chicken stock, oyster sauce
- Garnish with green onion, red chili and cilantro
Once the chicken is fully cooked, everything goes rather quickly. After adding all the ingredients and chicken stock I have a tendency to let the dish reduce too long on the stove (which can make it too salty).
Of course, if you’re looking to continue the theme of comfort foods throughout the weekend, and perhaps modify slightly to make breakfast or brunch, then consider the amazing lemon poppyseed pancakes from the Andaz 5th Avenue whose recipe I shared last year!