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Monday, June 27, 2011

Recipe Review from 6/20/11

Lots of adventures this weekend which I'll have to post about in the next day or so.  In the meantime, a couple of good recipes.  I had a third one from Vegetarian Times, but I'll have to type it out (Yo! VT! Post your darn recipes on-line!) so I'll review it next week. 

Pad Thai  (Fine Cooking, May, 2011)
I usually avoid making oriental type meals because of the ingredients.  Hard to find in my corner of the world, I don't use them enough to warrant buying a bottle of X, and they never turn out.  This recipe however, caught my eye because this...this was doable.

Fish sauce could be obtained in a smallish bottle, agave nectar I was going to use in a different recipe this week or next, rice noodles are inexpensive and the rest I've used before.  The question was - dried shrimp. Well, after checking two stores and coming up empty handed, I opted for the fresh version. 

I also got rid of both my woks (teflon coated) a while back - I hadn't used either in over 5 years - but I thought I could make do with my cast iron pan.  It worked...okay.  I should have done things in a different order:  tofu first, egg second, shrimp third.  My noodles also got glumpy - too much fish sauce liquid, either that or I shouldn't have soaked them for 20 minutes.  Ten minutes or less or not all.  Otherwise I should have cut back on the sauce part and made everything 1/4 cup instead of 1/3.

Result - it actually turned out pretty good!  I plan to make this again soon.  Like next week because I have leftover tofu.

This classic stir-fry of rice noodles, tofu, dried shrimp, and colorful garnishes is a street-food staple in Thailand, and surprisingly easy to make at home. If you can’t find tamarind, palm sugar, Thai basil, or Thai chiles, you can still make a delicious version of this dish with the substitutions listed below.

1/3 cup fish sauce

1/3 cup tamarind concentrate (or substitute fresh lime juice)
1/3 cup palm sugar (or substitute agave nectar)
5 Tbs. grapeseed or vegetable oil; more as needed
1 large clove garlic, minced
Pictures from
1/3 cup small dried shrimp, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes and drained
1 5-oz. cake pressed tofu, thinly sliced
4 large eggs

10 oz. medium (1/4-inch wide) rice sticks (pad thai noodles), soaked in warm water until pliable (at least 20 minutes) and drained

1-1/2 cups homemade or canned lower-salt chicken broth

1 cup mung bean sprouts, rinsed, root ends trimmed (if you like)
1/2 cup Thai basil or cilantro, freshly torn

1/4 cup chopped unsalted roasted peanuts

3 scallions (white and green parts), trimmed and thinly sliced diagonally
3 fresh red Thai chiles (or other small hot red chiles), seeded and thinly sliced, or Sriracha to taste
1 medium lime, cut into 6 to 8 wedges

In a medium bowl, whisk the fish sauce, tamarind concentrate, and palm sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside.

In a large wok, heat 2 Tbs. of the oil over high heat until shimmering hot. Add the garlic and stir-fry until golden, about 15 seconds. Add the dried shrimp and stir-fry for 15 seconds. Transfer to a medium bowl, leaving behind as much oil as possible, and set aside. Add the tofu to the wok and stirfry until heated through and golden in spots, about 1 minute. Transfer to the bowl of shrimp and set aside.

Return the wok to high heat and add 1 Tbs.of the oil. Crack the eggs into the wok and scramble gently to break the yolks, making sure not to overmix so as to retain some yellow and white parts; cook until just set, about 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. If any egg residue remains in the wok, wipe it clean.

Heat the remaining 2 Tbs. oil in the wok over high heat. Add the noodles, broth, and fish sauce mixture. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the noodles have completely absorbed the liquid and are sizzling, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the dried shrimp and tofu,toss a few times, and divide among plates or bowls. Garnish each serving with some scrambled egg, mung bean sprouts, basil, peanuts, scallions, and chiles. Serve hot with the lime wedges on the side for squeezing over the noodles

Substitute 36 small fresh peeled and deveined shrimp for the dried shrimp, stir-frying them until opaque, about 1 minute.

SummerSquash, Bacon, and Mozarella Quiche  (Ckng Lght July 2011)
Outstanding!  Loved the flavors! We did assembly in a couple of phases - I baked the bacon in the morning.  The husband did filling prep as I was going to be home late.  I got home, baked the crust; sauted the squash, and baked.  It only needed 30 minutes.  Anything more and it would have been waaayy over done.  I also had some leftover cheddar cheese that I tossed on top with the mozzarella.   I am looking forward to making this again when we start getting some squash from our garden. 
Pictures from

1 Pillsbury pie crust


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups (1/8-inch-thick) slices yellow squash
2 cups (1/8-inch-thick) slices zucchini
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 slices center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 large egg whites
3 large eggs
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1. Remove plastic wrap from dough and place in a 9" pie plate. Fold edges under, and flute. Pierce bottom and sides of dough with fork. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

2. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

3. To prepare the filling, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add squash, zucchini, shallots, and thyme; saute for 5 minutes or until squash and zucchini are tender, stirring frequently. Cool the squash mixture slightly.

4.. Combine 1 cup reduced-fat milk and the next 5 ingredients (through eggs) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Arrange squash mixture evenly over crust, and sprinkle with 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese. Pour the egg mixture over cheese. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes [30 minutes] or until filling is set. Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack.

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