Jeanette - Off The Cuff

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Blogger at: and -- My name is Jeanette, and I was born in Sweden, but unlike the famous Muppet, I am not a professional Swedish Chef. I actually studied design and photography. I also was a freelance indie-rock critic for several magazines from 1998-2005, and had an in-house PR company for a while. Cooking is in my DNA--my dad's brother was a chef and their father was a pastry chef, my mom's mother was a caterer, who published a cookbook of traditional Finnish breads and pastries when she was 92. Everyone else in my family loves to cook, and we're not afraid to experiment. I have a yen for interior design and remodeling.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pad Thai

pad thai 006 I absolutely love Thai food, but I have really thus far only learned a few recipes. My mainstay is Pad Thai, which is delicious, and I've found that I've got a decent grasp of making my own sauce for the noodles, which is really half the battle of making a good Pad Thai.

I also incorporate bell peppers (because I love them and buy a bag of six of them every week at CostCo, and you can put them in Mexican Food, Italian Food, Asian food... you name it).

This recipe is sort of an amalgam of the directions on the back of the noodle-package, as well as some various pad-thai sauce recipes that I've fused together the last couple of years.

pad thai 002INGREDIENTS:

1/2 package Thai rice noodles -- prepare according to directions and set aside
1 lb of chicken meat, cubed** (See Short-Cut below)
2 eggs
1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly into strips
6-8 green onions, trim ends and tops off about half way, and slice lengthwise)
1 bag of fresh Asian bean sprouts (or 1 can, if pad thai 001fresh can't be found)
1-2 limes, washed & wedged
1/2 cup crushed peanuts
1 cup fresh chopped cilantro (rinse & drip-dry first)


4 tbsp Fish Sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp paprika
1-2 tbsp lime juice
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/4- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (more if you like super spicy!)

Mix sauce ingredients together in a small bowl, and set aside until last minute.

pad thai 003 pad thai 005 DIRECTIONS:

Heat a wok (or large, deep skillet) to medium high, and add 1 tbsp of sesame oil. When oil is hot, crack 2 raw eggs into it and IMMEDIATELY stir-fry the egg. It will get an interesting, bubbly texture from being fried in oil. Scoop it out and set it aside in a small bowl for now.

Add cubed chicken into wok, (or chicken tenders which can be cut up once cooked) and stir fry until nearly cooked through.

Add all ingredients in this order: Bell peppers and green onions, (stir fry for 3-5 minutes until softened),
the noodles, (stir fry 1-2 minutes to heat up the cold noodles.) Then add bean sprouts, the fried eggs, distribute sauce evenly by drizzling it over the wok as you keep turning the ingredients, and lastly top the whole thing with cilantro and stir it in. Top with crushed peanuts, lime wedges and serve it up piping hot.

(**My favorite short-cut is to just saute the "chicken tenders" and then use tongs and scissors to cut them into bite size pieces while they're still hot & cooked... less messy that way, since you're not handling raw poultry. )

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