East meets west with Carol Taylor
I hope you are well on this Wednesday morning …Thank you for joining me @ Sally’s Blog Magazine…We are well and truly into our wet season now and everything is lush and green and yesterday I had a lovely walk in the rain…No I am not totally mad…Well I think that depends on whom you ask…ha-ha…
I am really trying hard…harder I should say to make my recipes equally tasty but healthier where I can…Although Pork is my favorite meat and is eaten a lot here as lamb is really not popular and beef is very expensive which means chicken, pork and fish are the favoured proteins here…I am trying use more chicken in my cooking than I normally do and pack it with flavor…
These chicken meatballs are packed with flavor with parmesan cheese and capers in the sauce…I have use milk instead of cream which in all honesty still makes a lovely sauce I have also bitten the bullet and now buy a piece of parmesan as I really am not sure about the grated parmesan any more…Some doesn’t even look like parmesan in colour and states parmesan type cheese and that word always rings alarm bells with me…
Chicken and parmesan meatballs with a creamy lime and caper sauce…
• 500 gm ground chicken
• 1 egg
• 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
• 3 garlic cloves finely chopped /minced
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
• 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
• Salt and pepper
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 3 tbsp butter
• 1 tbsp all purpose flour
• 1 cup fresh chicken broth
• 1 cup heavy cream/milk
• 1/4 – 1/3 cup lemon/lime juice adjust to taste
• 1/4 cup capers drained
• Salt and pepper
Put all the meatball ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine either use a wooden spoon or your hands I use hands as I find it mixes the ingredients together more thoroughly.
N.B…I always find chicken mince wetter than pork mince and I opted not to use the egg as the meatballs shaped well and held together with the egg.
Using wet hands scoop about a tbsp of the chicken mix and shape into balls as pictured below.
Heat the oil in a non stick pan and cook the meat balls I cooked in batches so as they brown nicely and don’t simmer in the juice…
As the meatballs are browned but not cooked completely through transfer to a plate and cook the remaining balls.
Once this is done wipe the pan with a paper towel and put over medium heat…Add the butter and when melted add the flour mix and add chicken stock, milk(cream) and lime/lemon juice…At this point don’t add all your juice.
Bring the sauce to a simmer add the meatballs and cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens and the meatballs are cooked through. Then taste …Season with salt and pepper. Add the capers and adjust and add more lemon/lime juice if required.
To serve sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Then serve with noodles and a selection of vegetables of your choice…Initially I thought there was not going to be enough sauce for our taste… but it coated the pasta nicely and those ( the men folk) who love their sauces did not complain and say it was too dry…
These meatballs would also go well with mashed or boiled potatoes and even rice.
Going from pasta and meatballs to pasta using rice noodles an iconic dish here in Thailand called Pad Thai…
Pad Thai is the ultimate “street food” The best cooks have cooked the same dish day-after-day, year-after-year and have achieved near perfection.
A great Pad Thai is dry and light bodied, with a fresh, complex, balanced flavour. It should be reddish, brownish in colour.
Pad Thai is another perfect vegetarian dish, just omit shrimp and substitute soy sauce for fish sauce. Add tofu if you like and viola perfect for a vegetarian.
• 1/2 pack Thai rice noodles
• 1-1/3 cup bean sprouts.
• 1-1/2 cup Chinese chives.
• 2 tablespoon cooking oil
• 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
• 2 tablespoon sugar ( I use palm Sugar)
• 1 minced or finely chopped shallots
• 1/2 lime
• 2 tablespoons peanuts ( Optional )
• 1/2-1/4 lb shrimp.
• ground pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon ground dried chilli pepper
• 3 cloves minced garlic
• 1tbsp Soy sauce
• 4 teaspoons fish sauce
• 1 egg
The trickiest part is the soaked noodles. Noodles should be somewhat flexible and solid, not completely expanded and soft. When in any doubt, under-soak. You can always add more water in the pan, but you can’t take it out.
In this recipe, pre-ground pepper, particularly pre-ground white pepper is better than fresh ground pepper.
For kids, omit the ground dried chilli pepper.
Tamarind adds some flavour and acidity, but you can substitute white vinegar.
Now to cook……
Start with soaking the dry noodles in lukewarm or room temperature water while preparing the other ingredients. When you are ready to put ingredients in the pan, the noodles should be flexible but not mushy.
Cut the Chinese chives into 1 inch long pieces. Set aside a few fresh chives for a garnish.
Rinse the bean sprouts and save half for serving fresh. Mince or finely chop shallot and garlic together.
Heat wok on high heat and pour oil in the wok. Fry the peanuts until toasted and remove them from the wok. The peanuts can be toasted in the pan without oil as well. Add shallot and garlic; stir them until they start to brown.
Drain the noodles and add to the wok. Stir quickly to keep things from sticking. Add tamarind, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce and chilli pepper. Stir. The heat should remain high. If your wok is not hot enough, you will see a lot of juice in the wok at this point. Turn up the heat, if it is the case.
Make room for the egg by pushing all noodles to the side of the wok. Crack the egg onto the wok and scramble it until it is almost all cooked. Fold the egg into the noodles. The noodles should soft and chewy. Pull a strand out and taste. If the noodles are too hard (not cooked), add a little bit of water. When you get the right taste, add shrimp and stir. Sprinkle white pepper around. Add bean sprouts and chives. Stir a few more times. The noodles should be soft, dry and very tangled.
Pour onto the serving plate and sprinkle with ground pepper and peanuts. (I serve peanuts) on the side as do many restaurants now.
Serve hot with a wedge of lime on the side, raw Chinese chives and raw bean sprouts on top.
I do hope you have enjoyed these two very different noodle/pasta dishes today…East meets west…Thank you for reading xxx
My thanks to Carol for more delicious recipes. Since Carol began her column, I have begun incorporating her Thai recommendations into western dishes and I eat a lot of stir fries that now taste a great deal more interesting… old dogs can learn new tricks…♥
©Carol Taylor 2019
About Carol Taylor
Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.
I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.
Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.
Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!
Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS
You can find out more about Carol and catch up with her Food and Cookery Column HERE
Connect to Carol via her blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
My thanks to Carol for all her efforts to bring great cookery and healthy options into our diets and I know she would love your feedback. thanks Sally