Tag Archives: spicy

Honeymoon in Phuket, Thailand Pt 1

As I mentioned, Sam and I recently got married…and then we went on the best honeymoon ever!

Having traveled extensively for work, I had a gazillion miles on my United account, which led to us purchasing tickets to Phuket, Thailand- paradise!

Since this is a food blog, I’ll start with the food aspect of the trip, I hope you all enjoy! (and get a chance to visit one day)

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Our first layover (I know, sounds crazy!) was in Narita Airport in Japan- since it was a bit of a wait, we opted for a mid-night snack of some veggie sushi.

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Our second layover was in Bangkok, Thailand.  We landed at 11:30pm there, and it was a 12 hour difference from DC.  So this delicious Spicy Beef Noodle Soup was either an early lunch, or an amazing midnight snack!  After that we got to spend a fun 4 hours on very hard benches- the joys of international travel?

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Part of our flight itinerary was on Thai Airways- which we loved!  This was breakfast- small and delicious (food even on a 1 hour flight- crazy!).  On the return flights we got to experience lunch and dinner, and we were given real silverware, so I guess not all airlines use plastic!

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Of course the first night we got to our hotel, I had to have Thai Curry.  It is my absolute favorite dish in any Thai restaurant- so I had to have the authentic version.  It was delicious!  The dish was light, but had all the flavors of curry, coconut and seared vegetables.

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One day we visited the city of Phuket, and wanted some lunch- we found this diner, and loved the food!  I ordered some curry tofu, fried spinach, rice and a fried egg.  It was simple, but light and tasty.

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Sam ordered Beef and Lettuce.  We thought it’d be more like lettuce wraps, but it was chopped lettuce, cabbage and carrots- with the beef on top.  Cilantro garnished this dish.

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This was actually the appetizer, but it got there at the end- veggie spring rolls!

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As we meandered the streets of Phuket, we came across a bar (this is a story in itself), and also tried a new beer which we had never seen sold in the US.  Thai beers are typically lagers- the oldest and most known is Singha, and recently Chang has become more well known.  A local beer was Phuket- it had a slight sweet honey flavor.

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There was a breakfast buffet in our hotel which we indulged in every morning.  One of our favorite ways to finish breakfast was with passion fruit.  We had first tried it on a trip to Dominican Republic about 2 years ago- there it was tart, the Thai version was slightly sweet.

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Walking distance from our hotel, there were some smaller huts which sold food.  Towards the end of our trip we wanted to remember the real Thai cooking: Spicy Vegetable and Shrimp (red Thai peppers, onion, green onions, shrimp, bok choy).

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I had to have one last curry dish (they were so great!).  This was a Yellow Curry with onions, green peppers and basil.

Thailand 8    We spent one day biking in the villages of Thailand, but when we stopped for lunch we had this amazing Shrimp Laksa.  Our bike tour guide told us how this is definitely a favorite with the locals, especially when it’s extra spicy!

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And this is us- happy married, flying back to the U.S. via Bangkok.  Although at this point we only made it 6 out of the 24 hours of travel time, we had an amazing stay in Phuket!

I’d love to tell you all more about our trip, what would you like to hear?  I will have a post about the Thai Market we visited, and our scuba diving adventures!  Anything else?

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Thai Curry

Do you have Thanksgiving turkey leftovers?  If so, this is the perfect recipe to make a delicious meal this weekend.  I actually made this recipe a week ago, using chicken- but it will taste equally delicious using the turkey leftovers many of you have in the fridge!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving- a wonderful evening with family and friends!  Sam and I, along with his brother enjoyed our dinner at Hill Country BBQ- we had a relaxing, football-watching afternoon!

Are any of you venturing out for Black Friday sales?  I have never done it, and will probably never start my shopping that early.  I prefer to start of my post-Thanksgiving Day with a nice run- especially with the beautiful DC weather today.

Chicken Thai Curry
Adapted from: Cooking Light (Nov 2011)

If you’re not a spicy eater, definitely skip the chili’s (or use less).  Although I used chicken in this recipe, feel free to swap for leftovers turkey or tofu, or skip meat all together.  More veggies are always delicious- so don’t hesitate to add extra’s if you have them in the fridge!

1 cup of basmati rice
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
5 Thai chilies (or less/more)
rind from 1 lime
15 cilantro sprigs
5 garlic cloves
1 inch of ginger, grated
1 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp olive oil
5 carrots, peeled & grated
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
2 zucchini, coarsely chopped
2-3 cups cooked chicken or turkey (optional)

Cook 1 cup of rice per package instructions.

Combine coriander, cumin, Thai chilies, lime rind, cilantro sprigs, garlic and ginger into a food processor.  Process until all ingredients are finely chopped.  Then add the coconut milk, process until smooth.

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot.  Add in the carrots and onions, cook and stir occasionally  for 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent.  Then add in the coconut mixture, the salt and pepper.  Stirring frequently, increase the heat to high, and cook for 5 minutes, or until the mixture reduces and begins to brown.  Reduce the heat to medium, add in the broth.  Bring to a boil, then stir in the half of the zucchini.  Then simmer for 45 minutes, when the zucchini is tender.

After the zucchini is well cooked, add in the rest of the zucchini and the chicken, cook for about 5 minutes until the meat is thoroughly heated.  Add in the rice, then divide and serve.

Food Matters Project # 22: Fresh Corn Salsa

Apologies for a delayed Food Matters Project post!  I was traveling yesterday, and just lost track of time!  But don’t worry, I did have enough time over the weekend to try out the new recipe.

This weeks host as Jenn, from Vanilla Lemon.  She recently has moved from Italy back to the US, and had a gorgeous daughter!  Jenn chose the Corn-Avocado Salad with A Little Something Seared on Top from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook.  Also, check out what other Food Matters Project member did here.

So I will say that I did not have anything seared on top of my salad.  I was hosting a book club in our condo building, and since one of our members is moving to Mexico, I thought it’d be nice to have a little Mexican theme.  So there was chips and salsa, Mexican brownies, chili bites and a bean dip.  I’ll definitely try to be more creative next time, but the salsa with the fresh corn was perfect!

Fresh Corn Salsa
Adapted from: Food Matters Cookbook (pg 184)

4 fresh corn, kernels stripped
2 small onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 jalapeño, minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 tsp chile powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
juice of 1/2 orange
chips

Mix all of the ingredients together.  Keep in the fridge at least for an hour before serving.  Serve with chips!

Mushroom Thai Spicy Soup

So I had actually been waiting to make this recipe before I tell everyone something really exciting!  There is a theme behind this, which is why it took some time.

Remember when we told you that we got engaged, and are planning our wedding?  Well, we finally booked our tickets for our honeymoon!  And if you look up at the blog post title:

Thai food…so if you guessed Thailand, you got it right!

Although the trip is still months away, we are very excited and cannot wait for the wonderful adventure, the beaches, the diving and the food!

So in honor of our trip, I decided on a mushroom thai soup, with a lot of spice in it.  Although, the heat can be taken out, and the soup will be just as delicious.  The original recipe called for chicken, but I wanted to make it vegetarian and opted for tofu instead.  But if you prefer beef or no protein at all- go for it!

Mushroom Thai Spicy Soup
Inspired by: Cooking Light (Jan/Feb 2012 issue)
Servings: 4

2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 cup portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
6 serrano peppers, chopped (optional)
2 stalks of lemongrass, chopped finely
3 cups vegetable broth
15 oz light coconut milk
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp sriracha sauce (optional)
1 package of tofu, pressed, chopped into small cubes
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp green onion, chopped

Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat.  Once the oil is warm, add the onion, mushrooms, red bell peppers, ginger, garlic, serrano peppers and lemongrass.  Allow the vegetables to cook for about 3-5 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft.  Then add the vegetable broth, coconut milk, fish sauce and sriracha.  Mix all of the ingredients together, until the sriracha has mixed into the liquid.  Bring the soup to a boil.  Then simmer for about 10 minutes.

Finally, add the tofu.  Cook for another 5 minutes.  Ladle into bowls, garnish with cilantro and green onions.

Food Matters Project #2: Seasoned Popcorn

This is the 2nd week of The Food Matters Project, and the recipe is seasoned popcorn.  Check out everyone’s recipes here (under the comments are links to the various takes).

Kate has chosen this weeks recipe Seasoned Popcorn.

Also, today is the last day to qualify to win Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook.  Leave a comment on why food matters to you or a favorite healthy meal- here.  The giveaway ends tonight!

Popcorn always makes me think of movie theaters and new movies.  There is the packaged popcorn, but I really have never bought it, mainly because I could never finish a bag in one sitting!  So my popcorn consumption has always been at the movies- but as prices are getting higher and higher, and Reese’s Pieces being so much tastier (and cheaper)- I rarely eat any.

I will admit, I don’t think I have ever made popcorn from scratch at home on my own.  So when this project challenge was added, I was excited to try something new.  Sam was the expert on this one and took charge immediately.

Since we had some popcorn, why not watch a movie, right?  We enjoyed The King’s Speech last night (I know, a bit behind on our movies)- if you haven’t seen it yet, definitely add this one to your list.

When it comes to popcorn, our tastes are a bit different.  So we decided to make our popcorn two ways- each to our own liking!

There are a million flavors of popcorn- the choices are infinite!  Needs some more ideas?  Mark Bittman suggests: garlic popcorn, fresh herb, Old Bay seasoning, toasted sesame seeds, brown sugar, or ground nuts and coconut.

In the March issue of Vegetarian Times, there was a list of favorite popcorn flavors from the readers, some of them were:

* butter, curry and paprika
* sugar, salt, turmeric and cayenne
* maple syrup and cinnamon
* truffle oil and Parmesan cheese (I want to try this next time!)
* sea salt, cracked pepper with chocolate chips

Seasoned Popcorn
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (pg. 38)

2 tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup popping corn

Pour the canola oil in a deep pot.  Turn on the heat to medium heat, and allow the oil to heat up a bit (1 minute).  Then add the corn kernels, cover the pot.

When the kernels stop popping (no more than 5 minutes), remove the lid and pour out the popcorn on a paper towel lined plate.

Then pour your popcorn into a container with a lid or a brown paper lunch bag.  Add in your seasonings, close the container or bag, and shake the popcorn with the seasoning.  The trick is to have a bit of seasoning on each popcorn kernel.

Pour it into a bowl, turn on a movie and enjoy!

Spicy Popcorn Seasoning
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp chili powder

Cheesy and Salty Popcorn Seasoning
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp salt