Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Devil Made Me Do It

The little  solar powered devil with the forks in his hand was something my only brother always had in the window.  After a debilitating motorcycle accident some 10+ years ago that had him in and out of the hospital for a year, trying to fix a crushed leg, he gained 70 pound and developed type 2 diabetes. With stubbornness and willpower he lost most of the weight, but we always laughed at the little devil as the sunlight makes him raise his little arms (with the forks) up and down as he bobs his head.- tempting us to have something fattening in the kitchen. Silly - but it makes me smile remembering my brother.

I thought it had disappeared after he died suddenly, figuring his daughter took it as a keepsake, but I found it at Dad's tucked away in a cupboard and it's now on MY kitchen windowsill.

After cinnamon rolls for breakfast I wanted to make something light for supper.  I LOVE Thai food, which I actually never tried until I was in my 30's (Thai in a small Scandinavian logging, mill area wasn't popular).
There's an excellent tiny Thai place within short driving distance, but you never now how much sugar and oil is used, and dinner for two with a drink is usually $30 though it is where we go for monthly "date night" as it's such a small elegant little place.

So I'm working on making my own, adding the spices and sauces to my cabinets a bit of the time and keeping both sugar and oil to low levels..  Tonight  I made Thai Ginger Chicken (Gai Pad Khing) and it was incredible and also very filling for a small portion with the protein from the chicken..  I also loved  it with the" buy one get one free" chicken tenders and some garden veggies and bulk rice the whole meal was about $3 and there is enough leftovers for several more servings.
I made a run to our local small "ma and pa grocery" which has some pretty good deals for being locally owned (most of us prefer to avoid the little hell on earth that is Jewel Osco on a Saturday Morning after driving further into the city).

It was easy - mixing up the 4 ingredient sauce and chopping up some veggies and fresh grated ginger, then cutting some chicken tenders into bite sized pieces.  Don't turn up your noise at "fish sauce" and "oyster sauce"  I HATE oysters and am not a fan of fish (unless sufficiently battered and deep fried and served with beer) and this doesn't taste "fishy" just rich and complex.
I got the rice started.  This Oster steamer gets used a LOT at my house - There's a second layer to it and when it's hot  and you don't want to turn on the oven I've cooked an entire meal (including tenderloin in here). Plus, rice cooked in here is always perfect, unlike my cooking rice on the stove which is like playing "grain lottery".
Gai Pad Khing

Serves 4

2 Tablespoons  plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce (use Red Boat brand, available on Amazon, trust me on this).
1 Tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon oyster sauce (available in most oriental sections at the grocers).
2 teaspoons sugar or honey
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 Tablespoons high heat oil (not olive).
1 and 1/2 pounds chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces (or tofu or vegetarian substitute)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 large sweet onion thinly closed.
2  heaping Tablespoons FRESH ginger, pealed and cut into matchstick size pieces (available in the veggie section, it looks like a small light colored gnarled root).

Mix sauces sugar/honey and crushed pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
Heat a wok or large skillet on high heat until hot.  Add oil and swirl around the pan.  Add garlic and lightly soften until fragrant and golden.  Add the chicken or veggie substitute a bit at a time, cooking in batches until it's about 90% cooked through.  Drain off most of the extra liquid and add a teaspoon of oil to the pan.  Add chicken and the veggies and stir fry until the veggies are tender crisp.  Turn off heat and add sauce (you can thicken with a bit of corn starch but I like mine liquidy to pour over the rice).

Serve with rice or salad.

1 comment:

  1. Hari OM
    I LOOVVEEE Thai food... for folks like me who need to avoid the associations with 'flesh foods', the substitutions for fish sauce and oyster sauce are light soy and hoisin, respectively. Another substitute for the chicken can be paneer, the Indian 'cottage' cheese..... gotta stop, am drooling here!!! Meanwhile, am envious of your steamer. Need to go search the big A...YAM xx


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