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Green papayas and flip flops

Finding a greenish papaya at Chedraui, I made this version of Som Tam, shredded green papaya salad. Since the papaya was not really unripe the salad missed the true tartness of Som Tam, it was still very good. The only substitute I made was using a smashed anchovy fillet instead of shrimp paste.The times that we’ve had this salad in Thai restaurants it’s been a much simpler salad, a mound of pale green shreds, this is more robust, I loved the crunch of the cucumber and bean sprouts, the bursts of peanut flavor and the mint really added to the Thai flavours. Husband had seconds. Our weekly craft group meets today, for my project I am going to  customize a pair of flip flops using these directions from Craft Stylish because I also found some jelly flipflops at Chedraui while I was there. All the supplies aren’t available here,  I am going to use a different glue but otherwise it ...

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Albóndigas de Tailandia

Husband’s birthday is in May. I have been racking my brain for gift ideas. Today, I hit on one. I am cooking Thai food every day for him this month.It’s his favorite cuisine. Starting today, I am making at least one Thai dish every day this month. I did warn Husband that I wasn’t promising a full Thai meal every day but I would do my best.  Which is why I made Panaeng Neua for lunch today. The recipe name translates into beef balls but it’s really meatballs in a peanut sauce not anything really exotic.I am calling them Albóndigas estilo Tailandia because it still sounds exotic but I know how to pronounce it.It was really tasty, easy to make (I already had coconut milk in the refrigerator) and quick to cook, what more can you ask for. Husband felt that they would be great appetizers if made a bit smaller, I agree.Lunch today was quinoa pilaf, steamed oriental vegetables ...

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Panaeng Neua (Thai Beef Balls in Peanut Sauce)

This recipe is from The Original Thai Coobook by Jennifer Brennan. 1 pound medium lean ground beef I just used carne molida de res 1/2 cup all purpose flour 2 tablespoons vegetable oil  I used coconut oil 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons red curry paste (Krung Gaeng Ped)  I bought it at Pacsadeli but I have a recipe if you need one 1 cup thick coconut milk coconut milk made from the first press NOT coconut cream 2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter or ground peanuts I used ground peanuts  1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar I used one pack of granulated Stevia 2 tablespoons fish sauce I bought it at Pacsadeli  1 teaspoon fresh mint or sweet basil leaves chopped I used fresh mint, I recommend it. Unless you have Thai basil.  Shape the beef into small firm balls about 1″ in diameter. Press and roll the balls in the flour, dusting off the excess. Heat the oil in ...

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This isn’t really flan either

Jonna wrote about How Not to Make Flan , on her blog. She came by the house and shared some with us.It tasted like flan but was dense and heavy.Not a bad first effort.I recently made this low carb ginger flan without the ginger. Husband says that I cannot call it a flan, he thinks it’s more like a mousse. Refrigerating it for 3 hours really does make a difference, but with one of the liquids being water, I shouldn’t have been surprised that it was a light weight rather than the heavy body of a good Cuban or Mexican flan.  I am going to try it again this time, I am using coconut milk instead of water. I bought a heavier crema 30% rather than the 20% most media cremas consist of. To humour Husband’s sensibilities, I am calling it coconut cream pudding. You can make coconut milk from fresh coconuts but I haven’t seen the coconut vendor on ...

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Look what turned up!

My very first homegrown turnip ever! I have never grown turnips, we rarely ate them growing up. I remember going to the grocery store with my mom as a kid. Whenever she came across an exotic new vegetable she would turn and ask a fellow shopper how to cook it, if no one was around to tell her, she’d buy it anyway. That’s how turnips made it into our diet. None of us were real enthused about them boiled and mashed.Looking them up in her cookbook she found out that they were good raw in salads like radishes. In those days it was hard to find  plantains, yucca and jicama in the supermarket and she has always been willing to try new things. I think of her when I am grocery shopping and encounter a new fruit or vegetable. The tops are going in a stir fry and the turnip itself is getting chopped up with a couple of tiny ...

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Bogracs Gulyás

 Soup by Coralie Castle is a cookbook that I have had for over almost 40 years.Browsing through it, in the chapter titled “Other Ports of Call” was this recipe for Bograc Gulyás. A Hungarian soup. It has caraway seed, who puts caraway seed in soup? Apparently, the Magyars do and now, so do I. As usual, I changed the original recipe a little bit since I didn’t have some of the ingredients on hand. I had a large New York cut steak so I used it for the beef. You can substitute something more economical of course. The original recipe also called for bacon and bacon fat, but I used olive oil because I didn’t want to go to the store for just 4 strips of bacon. I didn’t miss the bacon at all. I added the dash of cayenne since I didn’t have any hot Hungarian paprika.It’s just as good or even better the next day! Bogracs Gulyás makes 6 ...

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The bread fails to rise

More research needs to be done, the gluten free bread didn’t rise. It had a texture like biscotti. I’m sure the problem is that I used guar gum instead of zanthan gum. The taste was excellent though. This why I am more of a cook than a baker. Baking is a science requiring exact measuring and temperature control. Cooking is an art, it can be improvisational. Take the stir fry we ate yesterday.  I found a recipe titled “Stir fried peppers and squash” in the Vegetarian Times cook book. It was a measure of how distracted I’ve been that while I read the recipe through before beginning, I didn’t notice until I was prepping ingredients that the recipe yielded only one serving! Normally I find myself cutting recipes in half or making things that are good as left overs. The recipe really became a starting point because by the time I served, the only ingredients from the original were bell ...

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Things Improve

My  blog titles recently sound like chapter headings from a Victorian novel or a silent film. Mr Dog seems much improved, his glands are still swollen but he seems less confused and a bit more coordinated. I changed his food formula to cooked beef liver,  raw carrots, ground flax seed, ground sesame seed, ground sunflower seed and chia seed. I found chia seed at the Comer downstairs in Gran Plaza for $100 pesos a kilo in the bulk bins. I am hoping all the omega 3 and vitamin E will help his recovery. I wish I had a way to confirm my ideas. Also we’ve been grinding up a quarter of a Centrum Silver Vitamin (actually the Kirkland equivalent) and sprinkling it on his morning food  as a suplement, I got that idea from a breeder’s website. This is just a temporary measure, eventually I’ll go back to 1/3 meat, 1/3 veggies and the final 1/3 rice. We’re thinking of ...

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Hail Caesar!

According to my copy of Fannie Farmer’s Cookbook the Caesar Salad was invented in Tijuana in 1924. I love chicken Caesar salad, but don’t love the price tag that comes with it at restaurants.Then there is the egg issue,  real Caesar dressing has raw egg in it. I have an aversion to eggs. It’s the smell, I don’t even like runny eggs. I blame our doctor when we were kids, he prescribed a raw egg a day for me. I was borderline anemic. So my mom would crack the top off an egg, add a little salt, mix it up and give it to me to down, raw. I am still borderline anemic, I’ll take iron pills, eat spinach and liver, but even the idea of raw eggs makes me gag.I do eat omelets and dry scrambled eggs. Unfortunately,dry scrambled eggs won’t do for this dressing. So I’ve never made it at home. I am suspicious of  bottled dressings, too ...

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Wandering off the path

Husband likes mole, me not so much. However, I do like to do things for Husband, so I bought a jar of mole.No where on the jar could I find instructions or a recipe. Hoping for the best,I dumped the entire jar over a package of boneless,skinless chicken breasts in the slow cooker. It looked more like nutella than sauce. Reasoning that the sauce melted or combined with the moisture from the meat, I set the pot on low and went about my business. Not feeling totally confident, after an hour, I checked on it, and decided that maybe some hot water would help. My friend and I had made a commitment to go to Santa Elena, so off we went. Husband had chicken mole pending, white rice already prepared all he needed to do was assemble a salad. Apparently, that is not the way to make mole. My after the fact internet search reveals that the correct proportion is ...

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