Monday, 24 November 2014

How to make delicious Pad Thai Noodles

Pad Thai Noodles
One of my favourite cuisines to eat is Thai. It is my go too food when I need something flavoursome and filling. So I thought I would share one of my favourite Thai recipes 'Pad Thai', so that you too can make it at home. 

This is the second time I have done a cookery post so do let me know in the comments below if there is something specific that you would enjoy me cooking next. 

For this recipe you will need the following ingredients:

Pad Thai Noodles
Pad Thai Noodles
Pad Thai Recipe
It serves two as a main meal and takes about 30 minutes to make.

So let's crack on, taking two chicken breasts

Chicken dishes
1.Slice into chunks
Chicken
Chicken
2.Chop two Clove's of garlic.
Garlic
Garlic
3.Slice 1 red pepper
Pepper
Pepper
Red Pepper
 4.Dice the spring onions
Onions
Onion
5.Grate the carrots
Carrots
Carrots
6.Break two eggs into a bowl and whisk with a fork.
Eggs
Set all your ingredients aside.

In a large frying pan heat a teaspoon of oil on a medium heat and add the chicken. 

Chicken
Gentle fry for 5 minutes and add the garlic. 
Chicken
Add the spring onions and carrots to the frying pan.
Pad Thai Pad Thai
Whilst the chicken, onions, garlic and carrots are cooking make your Pad Thai sauce.

Gently heat a sauce pan, add 1/2 125ml of fish sauce.

Fish sauce
Fish Sauce

Add 1/2 cup 125 ml tamarind add to the pan stirring gently. 
Pad Thai
Pad Thai
Not sure what Tamarind is, it is a fruit with a sweet and sour taste and this is what it looks like in its raw state: 
Tamarind
Taking the shrimp paste add a dessert spoon to the mixture. As you would imagine this absolutely smells revolting. 
Pad Thai
Add a dessert spoon of crushed peanuts. 
Pad Thai
Pad Thai

Pad Thai

Pad Thai
Add in 1/3 cup 80ml of brown sugar (Palm sugar works best but this is always a challenge to find). 
Pad Thai
Pad Thai
Do not let the mixture boil. Add dessert spoon of Soy Sauce. 
Pad Thai
I like to also add chicken stock to mine but this is totally personal taste. You need to taste the sauce. You should have a sour and then sweet taste, remember that when added to the mixture it will be diluted so it will have a stronger taste here. Don't be afraid to add more sugar if it is needed. 

Now if you are short of time you can speed up the process by buying pre-made Pad Thai sauce. There is no shame or judgement here we are all pressured on time. I personally like Amoy.  
Amoy
Bringing it all together:

Add the eggs to the chicken, spring onion, carrots, garlic and pepper. 

Pad Thai noodles
Stirring whilst it cooks (if at any point it begins to stick add a few drops of water). Add the noodles until they soften and pull apart. 
Pad Thai
Pad Thai
Add the prawns cook for three minutes. 
Pad Thai
Add the Pad Thai Sauce you made earlier and stir until everything is well mixed and coated. This should take 3 minutes.

Pad Thai Pad Thai
Plate up and garnish with spring onions and peanuts. 
Pad Thai
Pad Thai
Adding a slice of lime to the side.
Pad Thai
Sit back relax and totally enjoy the wonderful food that you have made with your own fair hands. Nothing is quite as satisfying. 

What is your favourite meal to make? 

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Friday, 21 November 2014

Nigella Lawson on the Meaning of Food

Nigella Lawson
You know me well enough by now that I love my food, thinking about it, eating it and planning my next meal. Seriously I could spend a whole day dreaming about food. 

My next favourite pastime if not eating, is listening to someone else talking about food. So when The School of Life were planning a talk all about food and the guest presenters were Nigella in conversation with Alain de Botten, well let's just say the tickets were booked in a number of seconds. 

The stage was set...
The School of Life
Nigella Lawson
Whilst I sat waiting in the audience I was busily planning my dinner for when the talk had finished. There was logic in me not eating beforehand. You see if someone talks about food the very mention of it makes me hungry, even if I have just eaten. So the master plan was not to eat and build up the perfect appetite. It worked a treat. 

I hadn't previously heard Alain talk before but he was a warm and funny conversationalist. He had his work cut out with Nigella who used her dry wit to have the audience laughing. 
Alain De Botten
Alain De Botten
Nigella also spoke about how we are fixated on recipes. The tyranny of the recipe is wrong it stops people being creative with food, adding ingredient’s they love for fear that the recipe will be ruined. Reading from her own cookbooks Nigella has arguments with herself. Following process and someone telling her what to do is annoying, even more so when you realise that the she is herself. 

Nigella shared some interesting viewpoints and takes on food. 

Nigella Lawson
I had a really wonderful night but the highlight for me has to be having my first ever signed cookbook and better than that in my blogging name. 
Nigella Christmas
Nigella Lawson
I was right that all the talking of food did make me rather hungry, so afterwards we ventured to one of my favourite Italian restaurants in London, Gustoso Ristorante & Enoteca. 

Visiting this restaurant is like eating in Italy the atmosphere is always warm and friendly and well the food speaks for itself. 

As a lover of Italian food, the starters and daily special menu always have an array of foods that I would happily eat, but I am drawn to my favourite Parma ham and buffalo mozzerella (£8.90)
Gustoso Ristorante & Enoteca

Best Italians restaurants London

There are no pretensions here, and the freshness of the food speaks for itself. The scallops are presented beautifully with the roe still attached and cooked to perfection. The seared scallops are wonderfully moist and the creamy celeriac puree has a beautiful flavour. 


For my main I decided to opt for something I haven't previously tried. Roasted breast of chicken, garlic spinach and spicy “Diavola”sauce (£10)
The Diavola sauce has a nice kick of chilli without being too spicy and the spinach is a nice accompaniment to the moist chicken. 

Now one thing that I love Gustoso Ristorante and Roberto especially is that he is a true Italian gentleman. My other half always loves ordering slightly off piste. He opts for Homemade Tagliolini with crab meat, chili, garlic and cherry tomatoes (£13.50) but asks for the addition of mussles.  
Best Italian restaurants London
Changing and adding an item is no big problem, this restaurant works on what a foodie wants and as the food is cooked fresh they can cater for variances. 

The dessert menu (£4.50 – £9.00) has many Italian delights, homemade Tiramisu (£5.50), vanilla ice cream with espresso (£5.00), selection of Italian cheeses (£9), and Viasanto with “Gustoso” biscuits (£8.95). Picking desserts is always a challenge as many of them I would like to try. 

I love Crème Brule’ so I opt for this with mixed fresh berries (£5.50). 

Crème Brule

The restaurant also offers specials and my dinning companion chooses carrot cake with vanilla ice cream. 
Italian dessert

The cake was so good that I almost needed to wrestle the fork out of his mouth to get this picture. 

Gustoso offers a relaxed, unhurried dining experience, with high quality, tasty Italian food with friendly and attentive staff. It is my hidden gem in London and was the perfect way to complete a brilliant evening. 

Who is your favourite chef that you would like to spend an evening with?

www.ristorantegustoso.co.uk

www.theschooloflife.com

www.nigella.com



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