February 25, 2012

Thai Take-In

Okay, so, I took some fantastically gorgeous pictures of this dinner!  Lots of them!  ...Without a memory card in my camera.  Ooops.  I promise I'll take some more (WITH the memory card) when I'm eating leftovers next week.  Unless I forget because I'm busy with the new job (had I mentioned that yet?  I'm employed again!), in which case I'll just have to make this whole thing over again and eat even more Thai and you know, that sounds like an amazing idea really!


Rewind four months.  I was just coming back from the Grand Canyon Adventure with Adventure and Cooking Buddy Stacey.  Traditionally, we make our first meal after a backpacking trip a special one.  In Alaska, it was always Moose Tooth.  This time we tried the steak house at the Canyon, but the food was not up to our ridiculous foodie standards.  I thought Stacey was going to cry when her dessert came out covered in cool whip.  So we needed another, better post-Canyon celebration dinner.  Well, plans changed and Stacey came back to Vegas with me before returning home, and she declared that we should feast at Lotus of Siam.  This was a place that had been recommended to me by several people but I just hadn't made it there yet (something which I now regret).  So, off to Lotus we went.

Oh.  My.  God.

We ordered drunken noodles with crispy duck and khao soi with braised short ribs.  I was in heaven.  Absolute heaven.  Unfortunately, we only had a few more weeks left in Vegas at that point.  I set about going to Lotus every chance I got.

Back to the present:  I have been Lotus-less for four months now.  I swear I have actually been dreaming about that khao soi.  I had to have some.  So, I had to make some.  I spent a few days looking at various recipes on the internet, then set about winging it with my own recollection of the dishes from Lotus.  I was very pleased with how the Khao Soi turned out.  The Drunken Noodles weren't perfect, but The Husband loved them anyway.

Khao Soi Braised Short Ribs


6 beef short ribs
salt and pepper
1 T evoo
2 T vegetable oil
1 T minced garlic
1 T red curry paste
1 c red wine
6 c water

1 package thin rice or egg noodles
1 T evoo

2 T vegetable oil
1 T minced garlic
2 T red curry paste
1 can (2 c) coconut milk
2 c braising liquid or beef stock
1 1/2 t turmeric
1 T soy
1 T sugar
1 t salt

1 diced serrano chili
pickled veggies*

Place dutch oven** on lowest rack.  Preheat oven to 350.  In a large skillet, heat the evoo.  Rub the ribs with salt and pepper, then brown on each side.  Set aside.  In a sauce pan, heat up the vegetable oil until it is sizzling.  Add the garlic and the red curry, stirring well.  Add the wine and simmer for three minutes.  Add the water and return to a simmer.  Carefully pour liquids into dutch oven.  Add ribs and cover.  Cook for 2-2.5 hours or until meat is falling off the bones.

When the ribs are almost done, make the curry sauce.  Heat the vegetable oil, then add the garlic and red curry, stirring well.  While stirring, add the coconut milk, then the braising liquid.  Simmer for three minutes.  Stir in the turmeric, soy, sugar and salt (for a spicier dish, add the diced chili).  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Cook for 10 minutes.

While the curry is cooking, cook the noodles according to the package instructions.  Drain.  Heat the evoo in a skillet and toss the noodles in, stirring constantly until noodles are slightly toasted.

Serve curry and short ribs over noodles, topping with pickled veggies.

*I tried pickling my own but I wasn't happy with the result.  I will try again.
**If you have a flat bottomed dutch oven, no need to preheat, just use it instead of the saucepan in the following steps.

Drunken Noodles with Veggies


2 T vegetable oil
3 cups diced veggies - baby corn, bell peppers, green beans
2 T minced garlic
3 serrano chiles, diced

1/2 bag of wide egg noodles

4 T soy
1 1/2 T oyster sauce
1 T rice vinegar
3 T brown sugar
lime juice from 1 lime

dash white pepper

Heat the oil in a large wok.  Add the veggies, garlic, and chiles, stirring well.  Cook until vegetables are tender, stirring frequently.  While vegetables are cooking, boil noodles according to package directions and drain.

Once the vegetables are tender, add the noodles and continue to fry for 3 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, mix together the soy, oyster sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and lime juice.  Pour over the noodles and veggies, stirring well.  Cook until the sauce has reduced, stirring constantly.  Top with a dash of white pepper and serve.

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