Yesterday, since it was my birthday, I’ve prepared something special. Since 3 or 4 years ago I started to have a theme and plan a menu accordingly every time any event comes up. Last year it was Southern comfort food, this time it’s Thai! It’s a family affair plus one very special guest Shem who gave me three dark pink roses) so the meal had to be fast easy and simple. For dinner, I made moo grob (crispy pork), yellow curry with turkey, thai inspired mango and coconut cream tart and pomelo and papaya salad.
The tart and salad was something I made for the first time but it was a success, they loved it, so I didn’t mind the blackout as much.
We have been experiencing rotating blackouts since a couple of weeks ago and I had to reschedule my baking time (I’m using an electric oven) and it caused a few bumps and misses. No, my tart and chocolate cake (an extra treat!) was baked perfectly. I just had to work twice as fast because there were three (yes, three) 1 hour each blackout yesterday, at random. I thank God for making sure my tart and cake are okay. Really it was the only thing I was worried about.
Here’s a few of what I prepared yesterday, with notes and observations.
Pomelo and Papaya Salad
You will need:
1 pomelo (approx. 1 kilo)**
1 papaya, small (green or in the first stage of ripening)
A bunch of Thai basil
1 cup raw peanuts
1 thumb ginger, sliced thinly
1 red onion, sliced thinly
(adapted from http://www.casaveneracion.com Crispy catfish and green mango salad (yum pla dook foo))
For the dressing:
3 – 6 tbsps of fish sauce
6 – 8 tbsps of rice vinegar
4 – 6 tbsps of brown sugar
2 green chilis, finely sliced
1 red chili, finely sliced
Make the dressing ahead of time to allow the flavours to blend well.
Carefully peel the pomelo using a small serated knife, making sure you don’t slice the pink flesh. Then once only the white part remains, use the pointed end of the knife to slowly prick or pull the white part out and peel by hand. This will ensure that you do not accidentally cut or slice the flesh. Pull each segment by hand, and then carefully peel the remaining white part. Divide each segment into bite size pieces.
Peel the papaya and wash, scrubbing gently. Cut in half then cut each half into half again. Then Using a peeler or a young coconut scraper, scrape papaya into strips and set aside in a separate bowl. Sprinkle a liberal amount of salt and gently squeeze the papaya strips into the salt to remove the bitter juice and the sticky bits off. Wash and set aside.
Roast a cup of peanuts. Dump the nuts in a towel, cover the nuts with the towel completely and rub to peel the nuts. Select the peeled nuts and crack.
Assemble the salad. Arrange the pomelo and papaya in a bowl. Add the ginger and onion. Pour the dressing. Toss gently. Add the Thai basil and nuts just before serving.
**I’ll be boasting. The pomelo we harvest in our farm is magnificent. It’s big, plump, juicy and sweet. If it were summer I could also have used the mangoes harvested from the same farm but well, the ones I bought, though not golden enough was sweet and firm. With the salad I combined yum Pla dook foo (crispy catfish and green mango salad), Yum som-o (shrimp and pomelo salad), and Som Tam (green papaya salad).
***This is from my ever trusted site http://www.casaveneracion.com. Her recipes never fails, ever.
Mango and Coconut Cream Tart
You will need:
Pastry Crust Ingredients:
1 and 1/2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
1/4 cup sugar (I used light brown sugar)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Coconut Cream Ingredients:
1 and 1/4 cups coconut milk (first extraction)
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar ( I used light brown sugar)
2 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
What to do:
To Make Pastry Crust:
1. Cream the butter and sugar together until they are light and fluffy.
2. Add the beaten egg and mix until just incorporated.
3. Add the flour and salt and mix until a soft dough is formed.
4. Form the dough into a ball and place in saran wrap in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
5. Once chilled, press the dough into your tart pan and place in freezer for another 10-15 minutes.
6. Use a fork to prick the bottom of the crust and place into a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.
To Make Coconut Cream:**
7. Whisk the sugar and egg yolks together in a heat-proof bowl.
8. Then add the flour and cornstarch, whisk again and blend well.
9. In a separate saucepan, heat the coconut milk to a gentle boil. Its ready when the sides start to bubble gently. Remove from heat and pour slowly into the egg yolk mixture while whisking constantly to ensure even mixing and the yolks are heated evenly as well.
10. Pour everything back into the saucepan. Heat again over low heat until it reaches a gentle boil. Continue stirring for until it becomes thick, it took me probably 2-4 minutes (less if you see that it has reached a thick consistency). Remove from heat and cool completely.
To Assemble Tart:***
11. Spread the cooled coconut cream into the pastry crust.
12. Slice each side of a ripe mango. With the flat side down, make thin ( or in my case slightly thicker) diagonal slices.
13. Arrange the thin mango slices on top of the coconut cream tart in a circular pattern, working from the outside in. I chilled the tart prior to serving but you may opt to enjoy it immediately.
Recipe from Rachel Cooks Thai
**I didn’t like how it smelled like well- cooked coconut cream but it tastes good. Perhaps I’ll find something, like vanilla maybe to add in it next time.
***The tart recipe was divine!
Nigella’s Devil’s Food Cake
Recipe by Nigella Lawson (no alterations were made to her recipe; please go to TLC’s website for details.)
You Will Need:
For the cake
• 50 gram(s) cocoa powder (sifted)
• 100 gram(s) dark muscovado sugar
• 250 ml water (boiling)
• 125 gram(s) unsalted butter (soft – (plus some for greasing))
• 150 gram(s) caster sugar
• 225 gram(s) plain flour
• ½ teaspoon(s) baking powder
• ½ teaspoon(s) bicarbonate of soda
• 2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
• 2 medium eggs
For the frosting
• 125 ml water
• 30 gram(s) dark muscovado sugar
• 175 gram(s) unsalted butter (cubed)
• 300 gram(s) dark chocolate (finely chopped)
What To Do:
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
2. Line the bottoms of both sandwich tins with baking parchment and butter the sides.
3. Put the cocoa and 100g dark muscovado sugar into a bowl with a bit of space to spare, and pour in the boiling water. Whisk to mix, then set aside.
4. Cream the butter and caster sugar together, beating well until pale and fluffy using a hand mixer or freestanding mixer, if you have that.
5. Stir the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together in another bowl, and set aside for a moment.
6. Dribble the vanilla extract into the creamed butter and sugar – mixing all the while – then drop in 1 egg, quickly followed by a scoopful of flour mixture, then the second egg.
7. Keep mixing and incorporate the rest of the dried ingredients for the cake, then finally mix and fold in the cocoa mixture, scraping its bowl well with a spatula.
8. Divide this batter between the 2 prepared tins and put in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
9. Take the tins out and leave them on a wire rack for 5–10 minutes, before turning the cakes out to cool.
10. As soon as the cakes are in the oven, get started on your frosting: put the water, 30g muscovado sugar and 175g butter in a pan over a low heat to melt.
11. When this mixture begins to bubble, take the pan off the heat and add the chopped chocolate, swirling the pan so that all the chocolate is hit with heat, then leave for a minute to melt before whisking till smooth and glossy.
12. Leave for about 1 hour, whisking now and again.
13. Set one of the cooled cakes, with its top side down, on a cake stand or plate, and spread with about a third of the frosting, then top that with the second cake, regular way up, and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides, swirling away with your spatula.
I had a bit of hard time making this because I had to convert her measurements to cups and tablespoons otherwise it was all good. I didn’t have to chop the dark chocolate for the frosting because I was able to find chocolate chips in the supermarket and when I watched the episode where she featured this it was one of her suggestions to makes our lives easier.
So anyways, I didn’t find the time to take a selca (hehe, taken from Korean entertainment’s pop culture reference to “self-capture”). To be honest, the day itself wasn’t anything at all. Personally there was nothing eventful about it. Really. All I was concerned about was the food I’m making. All I wanted was to make sure they all turned out all right. That’s it. I’m satisfied.
Oh yeah, before I forget I didn’t buy myself an electric sewing machine as planned, the portable kind. I was able to get myself the latest Lenovo (in our tech market anyways) Idealpad, a Samsung galaxy pocket and an oven but let the sewing machine go. I was contemplating but as soon as I touched the sewing machine for the second time I knew there would be another, even better, sewing machine somewhere so I went ahead and bought a phone. After (more or less) five years of being cellphone-free I bought one solely because of instagram. Yes, instagram. I’ve installed it in the phone (including those damned angry birds of course) but I have yet to sign up. About the netbook, you see I thought of buying the thin, black Asus that was available in the store couple of weeks back but when I came back and saw the Lenovo S110, I was like, “But this is so pretty!” I gave in, eventually.
That’s it for now, try the recipes, enjoy and thanks for all those who became a part of this blog!