Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pad Thai Time

As our Southern California weather finally turns cooler and a little rainy, I find myself spending more time in the kitchen and heating it up. My cool weather favorites are pasta dishes and soups since they are comfort foods and use the fewest pots! I love cooking, but not the cleaning.

This week we announced the registration for the Creative Cooking Classes and it reminded me of a dish brought to us by
Chef Dadi Revivo at last Spring's cooking class. Chef Dadi prepared a Thai meal consisting of Green Papaya Salad, Pad Thai ("Dadi Style") , Red Curry and Coconut Sticky Rice with Mango. All very delicious, but the Dadi's Pad Thai was my favorite and a big hit with the class. I consider his Pad Thai comfort food and perfect for our fall weather. So, with Dadi's permission we are sharing his recipe with you. This Pad Thai recipe is versatile and can be made vegetarian and enhanced by adding your favorite vegetables or proteins (see serving suggestions below). The presentation is beautiful and is perfect for family style eating and entertaining.


Pad Thai -"Dadi Style" (Pareve

1 Tablespoon oil
2 medium onions, sliced
6 garlic cloves, smashed
4 inch ginger, cut into thin slices
3 small red chili, sliced and seed removed (keep seed if you want super spicy)
2 cinnamon sticks
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound linguine or spaghetti
2 Tablespoons fish sauce*
1/4 cup tamarind paste**
2 large eggs, beaten


1 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
2 limes, cut into wedges

A handful of bean sprouts

Over medium-high heat, heat oil in a large, heavy bottom pan or a wok.

Add onions, garlic, ginger, chili and cinnamon sticks. Season with salt and pepper.

Mixing occasionally, cook until onions are soft and brown (do not burn the onions...)

While onion mixture is cooking, cook pasta to al dente and drain. Set aside.

At this point add your optional protein (except eggs, that comes later). Though not in the recipe, we added chicken during this class.

Once onion mixture is soft and brown, add the scallions and the pasta. If pasta is dry, rinse with water to bring back to life.

Cook over medium-high heat, stirring until pasta is well mixed with the onion mixture and the pasta is getting darker, about 2-4 minutes.

Add brown sugar and cook, mixing constantly. The sugar should be caramelized and not burnt.

We were introduced to tamarind paste, which is made from the fruit of the tamarind tree. Tamarind adds a sweetness to the dish. If tamarind is not readily available, Dadi suggests a substitution with prunes (see below).

Once the sugar is caramelized, add soy sauce, fish sauce and tamarind paste. Stir until liquid is absorbed and reduced.

Next, drizzle eggs over the pasta while mixing, until eggs are cooked, about 4 minutes.

Check for seasoning and add more salt if needed.

As we know, cooking is a lot of fun! Smacking peanuts with a rolling pin is sure more fun than chopping them!

Discard cinnamon sticks and transfer to a large platter and garnish with cilantro, roasted peanuts and lime wedges.

*To make this dish vegetarian use 2 more tablespoons of soy sauce instead of fish sauce and add your favorite vegetables to the onion mixture.

**Instead of tamarind, you could use prunes. Cut 5 prunes into halves and cook them with 3/4 cup of water until they are soft. Transfer to a blender and puree.

Serving suggestions:

For those who love peanut butter- mix 1/4 cup all-natural peanut butter, unsalted and smooth to the soy sauce before adding to the dish.

Add chicken (as pictured above), turkey, beef, tofu. Sear small pieces of selected protein to the pan after you add the pasta.

No comments:

Post a Comment