Sunday, March 15, 2009

Thai One On: Reconnecting Over Thai Food

You know those people in your life that are friends always? Regardless of time or distance or intent to communicate? Last night, Randall and I shared our evening with some dear friends of just that sort, and enjoyed not only a rekindled friendship, but some damn good fare to remember as well! I'm thrilled that circumstance has finally closed the geographic divide and that more good times are forthcoming with Jeff and Shannon, especially considering that Jeff is an immensely good chef.... how self-serving is that?! And to top it off, he's the winemaker of an up-and-coming brand (see my earlier shameless wine plug for his ridiculously yummy Chariot)... again, self-serving! The following are two of Jeff's Thai-inspired recipes that he prepared last night. The company was delightful, the sake was free-flowing (Yae Gaki Nigori, if you must know - delicious), and the meal scrumptious. Enjoy his recipes - maybe even as you reconnect with old friends yourself!

Thai-Style Ceviche
Contributed by Jeff Hunsaker
  • 3/4 pound scallops
  • 3/4 pound shrimp, deveined
  • 1/2 pound halibut (or any other white fish would work as well: talapia, snapper, etc.)
  • The juice of 2 lemons
  • The juice of two limes
  • 1 blood orange, segmented and chopped into cubes
  • 1 tangerine, segmented and chopped into cubes
  • 1/3 of a red onion, diced fine
  • 1-2 jalepeno peppers (to desired heat), diced fine
  • 1 celery stalk, diced fine
  • 1 bunch mint, chopped fine
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, grated
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemongrass, minced fine
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced fine
Cut the fish in to 1/2-inch chunks and toss with the lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate for 1-1/2 hours. The lemon juice's acidity will go to work and "cook" the fish. Once removed from the refrigerator, drain excess liquid. Add all other ingredients and combine well; refrigerate for another hour to let flavors fully develop. Serve with fried wonton crisps (fry wonton skins in a wok or pan with oil over medium heat).

Thai-Style Chicken Coconut Soup
Contributed by Jeff Hunsaker
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup lemongrass, diced fine
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • cayenne pepper, to desired heat
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
  • 8-10 mushrooms of your choice (crimini, oyster, button)
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 6 1/4" slices (coins) of ginger
  • Cilantro, to taste as garnish
Start by cooking the chicken breasts with a bit of oil that have been cut into bite-sized chunks in a heavy pot or Dutch Oven. Once cooked, remove the chicken, but leave any drippings. To the drippings, add the curry paste, lemongrass, cayenne, grated ginger and coconut milk. Simmer for 2-5 minutes. Next, add the chicken breast back to the pot along with the remaining ingredients (except the cilantro). Simmer for 20 minutes. Add the cilantro right before service.

Varitions: Jeff urges creativity with this dish! The soup would also be excellent using shrimp, or adding other vegetables of your choosing. Suggestions include baby corn, bamboo shoots, tomatoes, etc.

1 comment:

  1. Jeff, as usual, does an impressive job. You're lucky to be friends with He and Shannon - Have fun!