Friday, 24 April 2009
The Thai Take-in
Finally, our clapped out old electric oven is down to its last wretched hot plate element, and we're about to permanently switch over to wood for the Raeburn cooker that heats our hot water as well in winter. However, there are those moments when you just want to boil the kettle for a morning cuppa or whip up a stir fry and can't be f*cked firing the bugger up. Enter the G-Man, a $160 double hob wok burner from the local camping store, 3 x $10 bits of old stainless from the dodgy brothers demolition recycling yard and voila! Thai take-in corner.
Only thing we won't have anymore is a griller, but we only used that for toast, and there's bound to be a couple of jaffle irons stashed up in Joe's shed. I never went for the froggy au-gratin thing anyway. In summer when it's too hot to fire up the wood stove, I've got a BBQ not far from the kitchen door and a camp oven with which, with a little practice, it's possible to whip up anything from a roast to a batch of scones.
We need the ashes for the garden compost (we have dense clay soil here and it helps to de acidify it), but it takes a bit of preparation to get the coals happening for roasting. With the gas burners I can now decide to do a pot roast without having to fire up the chainsaw.
Today's Thai treat follows:
This used to cost me a fortune in Sydney - here in Thai take-in corner, I can do it for about five bucks a head. (If you count feeding the bird for a few months - but I can get another meal out of it and then a stash of stock, so really, I reckon it's $2 a head all up, and about 50c worth of fuel.
Cooking with gas!
Red Duck Curry with Lychees
500g of boneless duck breast (I intend to try this with guinea fowl breast - I'm sure it will be the same, the meat is the same colour and texture)
1 tea sp sesame oil
2 tea sp light soy sauce
fresh root ginger
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
half a teasp ground allspice
One and a half tabsp sunflower oil
1 quantity of red curry paste (20-50 g of commercially prepared Maeploy is pretty good, but the recipe for the paste follows if you want to get all purist about it)
200 ml can of coconuy milk
200 ml vegetable stock
2 tabsp fish sauce
One and a half tabsp palm or coconut sugar
250g can of lychees ( I will have fresh ones come Summer, since my tree has started bearing - heheheh)
a handful of cherry tomatoes
5 kaffir lie leaves torn
To garnish - thai basil leaves and a long red chilli deseeded and finely chopped
Remove the skin form teh meat and slice thinly and marinade it in sesame oil. soy, garlic, ginger and allspice - marinatde overnight.
Stirfry red curry paste in sunflower oil till is becomes fragrant.
Add meat, coconut milk and stock - cook for a couple of minutes, then add fish sauce, sugar, lychees and tomatoes and cook for another coupl of minutes. Add kaffir lime leaves, pour into a bowl and garnish.
Red Curry Paste - 1 quantity
3-4 dried long red chillies each about 5" long, or 8-10 small red chillies
1 lemon grass stalk (white part only), finely sliced
1" of fresh galangal peeled and finely chopped
5 kaffir lime leaves finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
2 shallots roughly chopped
5 coriander roots, finely chopped
2 teasp shrimp paste
1 teasp ground coriander
1 tabsp paprika
Remove stems and split the chillis lengthways, discard seeds and roughly chop the flesh. Soak in hot water for 2 min until soft and drain.
Use a pestle and mprter or a blender to gring chillis, mlemongrass, galangal and lime leaves to a paste.
Add garlic, shallots and corander and grind together.
Add shrimp paste, ground coriander and paprika and finish it off to a smooth paste.