Thai Inspired “Surf and Fowl” Dinner

2011-02-09

Thai cooking is often believed to originate from Thailand (yes…I know, hence the name); however, in reality the cooking is from the Region and includes other “golden triangle countries” like Laos, Cambodia and Burma.  When I think of “Thai” I essentially think of a combination of these regional cuisines.  Tonight’s dinner is inspired from this region and the menu includes:

Starter

Spicy Lobster Soup with Coconut Essence, Lime and Toasted Local Corn (from the Ocean Wise Cookbook)

Main Course

Thai Peanut Chicken with a Thai Salad


Before I go any further, I will preface this blog by saying that the “author” is not the chef.  The chef is my other half who has contributed to other creations on the site.  And for those of you that may have read those blogs, it may also mean that this scrumptious sounding dinner may in fact become tomorrow’s brunch!

So, lets begin… Spicy Lobster Soup.  This recipe comes from the Ocean Wise Cookbook (and yes, she says she will write a review of the cookbook, but not before trying at least 5 recipes) with, as before, some substitutions and modifications.  One thing she often does with a recipe is to moderate the amount of oil and fat that is suggested…without, hopefully changing the essence of the recipe.

Before we go further…read through the blog first because while the blog starts with the Soup, there is some prep required with the chicken beforehand, so to avoid doing the “Homer” …Doh! make sure you get the sequence correct.

Spicy Lobster Soup: (serves 4)

4 tbs Olive Oil

3 med Shallots, minced

2 tbs Garlic, minced

2 tbs Ginger, minced

2 tbs Ground Cumin

1 tbs Ground Coriander

3 Fresh Green Chilies (seeded, minced)

1 tbs Lime zest

1 Stalk lemongrass, minced (she could not find fresh lemongrass so she used a rehydrated a lemongrass stalk)

1 tbs Red Curry Paste

5 c Chicken Stock

1 c Light Coconut Milk

1 tbs Fresh Lime Juice

3 tbs Brown Sugar

1/4 c Basil Leaves (torn)

1/2 c Cilantro (chopped)

1/4c Green Onion (chopped)

1/2c Cooked and Chopped Lobster  meat

1/2c Corn Kernels

2 to 3 dashes Fish Sauce

Cilantro Leaves to Garnish

Stage 1: Making the Broth: Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed stockpot over a medium heat.  Add the shallots, ginger and garlic and saute for 2 mins.  Add the cumin, coriander, green chilies, lime zest, lemongrass and curry paste and continue to cook for 3 mins.  Add the chicken stock and simmer the broth for 30 mins.  Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve. (this is the base broth recipe)

Stage 2: Finishing the Soup: Return the broth to the same pot and bring it back to a simmer over a medium heat.  Add the coconut milk, lime juice, brown sugar, basil, cilantro, green onion, lobster meat and corn and simmer the soup for 1 minute.  Add a few dashes of fish sauce.  (a note here, the soup separated somewhat and we are not sure but it may be because she used coconut milk rather than cream…but the taste is the same).

Thai Peanut Chicken with a Thai Salad

This recipe is inspired by one of her favorite Thai restaurants in London England called the “Blue Elephant”.  The base of the recipe is a Chicken Satay; however, she has modified it so the chicken bakes in the marinade.  Before the soup, she makes the marinade for the chicken.

Chicken Marinade:

1/2 c President’s Choice “Memories of Szechwan” – Spicy Peanut Satay Sauce

2 tsp Garlic (minced)

4 tbs Fresh Coriander (chopped)

1 tsp Curry Powder

2 tsp Ground Turmeric

1 tsp Sugar

1/2 tsp Salt

3/4 c Light Coconut Milk

1/2 tsp Finely Ground Black Pepper

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (cubed)

To make the marinade, combine all ingredients (less the chicken) in a large oven proof bowl.  Once combined, add the chicken and place in the fridge for 3-4 hours.  Ok, so now that the chicken is marinading, she turns her attention to the soup broth (see above).

With the broth slowly simmering, the prep for the salad begins…

Thai Salad

3 oz Dry Rice Vermicelli Noodles (soaked until soft) – once rehydrated it measures about 1 c

2 c Baby Spinach

1 can (227ml) Water Chestnuts (sliced)

1 can (227ml) Bamboo Shoots (sliced)

1/4 c Cilantro (torn)

1/4 c Basil (torn)

Dressing:

2 tbs Soy Sauce (low sodium)

1 tbs Malt Vinegar

1 tbs White Vinegar

1 tbs Olive Oil

1 tsp Lemon Juice

1 tsp (“a wee bit”, for those technical chefs) Corn Starch

1 tbs Toasted Sesame Seeds – add when they are still hot

Combine all the ingredients into a bowl.  Once mixed, pour over the spinach, water chestnuts and bamboo shoot and let sit in the fridge (spinach will partially wilt) until ready to serve (at least 20 mins).

Ok, where are we? We have the broth of the soup  is made and simmering and the salad is in the fridge.  At this point, remove from the fridge and place into a 350 degree oven for 1 hour.

Now it is time we return to the second stage of the soup (see above).

Before we sign off and enjoy the meal… I raise the question… Cilantro and Coriander… the same thing or not? A quick “google” gives me the website www.wisegeek.com, which tells me…

Cilantro, coriander and Chinese parsley are all exactly the same thing, which means that the simple answer to this question is that there is no difference between cilantro and coriander. These different terms are used in different regions of the world; in Latin America, for example, many people say “cilantro,” while in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, people say “coriander.” Incidentally, while most people think specifically of the leaves of cilantro as a seasoning, the root, seeds, and stalks can also be used.

With than now resolved, we return to the final preparations.

Soup: Serve piping hot and sprinkle with cilantro leaves.

Main: Chicken is removed from the oven and plated.  The Salad is removed from the refrigerator and plated with the chicken.  The final touch is to garnish Salad with Somersaults (crunchy nuggets with sunflower and toasted grains) and Sahale Snacks (Ksar – Pistachios).

Hope you enjoy!

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Comment (1)

  1. posted by C1tr4 on February 10, 2011

    What a scrumptious post! I like them all as I have asian taste …hmm.. I wish I can make them all.. ^_^
    Thx for dropping by my blog.. nice to know U. Happy cookin’

     

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