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About Fishinnards

  • Birthday 12/12/1967

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    Alexandria, VA

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  1. You are correct, Paella is a result of Asian (and middle eastern) influence on European cooking, not the other way around. The biggest influence the Portuguese had on South Asian cuisine is introducing chilli peppers.
  2. There is a wonderful website from the Chiang Mai University Library that catalogs recipes from Northern Thailand in English with photos, Lanna Food. I decided to make Uk kai (aka Ook Gai) a Northern Thai chicken curry this weekend using the recipe from this website. It's related to Chin Hum (aka Jin Hoom, a recipe for which is in Andy Ricker's Pok Pok cookbook). It helps to know some Thai when using this website. For instance, the Thai work for Parsley (pak chee farang) is the same as the Thai word for culantro. Pak chee is the Thai word for cilantro, pak chee farang means foreign cilantro. Parsley is not used in Thai cooking, but culantro is very popular especially upcountry (North and Northeast), so when the recipe calls for parsley it means culantro. Incidentally, the Thai word for dill is pak chee Lao. I also substituted fermented black soybeans for shrimp paste (kapi), so as not to kill my wife (shellfish allergy). It's not too "inauthentic", because before fermented shrimp paste, a coastal product, was readily available in Northern Thailand, people used (and still use) a fermented soy product called tua nao which is somewhat similar, in that it is also fermented salty and funky. It's sold in CD sized discs with a hole in the center. I used to have some. The Shan people of Burma use it and I used to have some given to me by some Shan Burmese people. There is even a recipe to make your own in Naomi Duguid's Burma cookbook. Black beans are easier to find and work pretty well, though. Anyway, this dish came out really well and was easy to do. Curry paste of dry red chillies, galanga, kaffir lime peel, fresh turmeric, lemongrass, toasted coriander seeds, garlic, shallots, and fermented soybeans, Paste is fried in oil, chopped chicken (on the bone, Ayershire) is added along with some kaffir lime leaves, galanga slices and lemongrass, covered and simmered for about 45 minutes. Chopped green onion, cilantro and culantro sprinkled on top. Eaten with rice, vegetables, omelet, and dried fish on Saturday. Sunday I added a green mango salad and stir fried green beans with chopped chicken, chilles and garlic.
  3. There is most certainly an historical connection between paella and biryani. Zora posted this article on Facebook awhile back, The Mexican Kitchen's Islamic Connections, a fascinating read about the connections between Mexican and Indian food. Here are some quotes relevant to the discussion; "The high cuisine of medieval Islam, one of the most sophisticated the world had seen, flourished from the eighth century on. It originated in Baghdad, where cooks had the advantage of being able to adapt a Persian cuisine that had developed over the past thousand years, and it was quickly adopted in the other cities of Islam. With the diffusion of Islam, the cuisine was transplanted to new territories. One of the most important was the Iberian Peninsula, whose southern two-thirds came under Arab rule in the eighth century. Watered by five rivers and greener than either their arid homelands or the other lands they had conquered, al-Andalus, as Muslim Spain was called, held out to the Arab and Berber settlers the promise of being a culinary paradise on earth. In the valleys, farmers grew wheat, grapes and olives. In the hills, shepherds tended the sheep and goats that the Arabs favored for meat dishes." "The Muslims also introduced rice for fine pilafs, sugar for drinks and sweets, saffron to add aroma and color to their dishes and a wide variety of their favorite fruits and vegetables, including apricots, oranges, limes, artichokes, carrots, spinach and eggplant. They grew coriander, mint, thyme, fennel, cumin and caraway; the spices and aromatics that they could not grow"”such as black pepper, cinnamon, spikenard, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, galingale, musk and camphor"”they imported." "In the court kitchens of Cí³rdoba and Granada, cooks could now produce the dishes of high Islamic cuisine. There were the pilaus, made by frying rice or thin wheat noodles and then simmering them in an aromatic liquid until it was fully absorbed. Another family of dishes consisted of delicate dumplings (albondigas) of meats pounded with seasonings. And there were the most characteristic meat dishes: meltingly tender spicy stews. Flavored with a variety of herbs and spices, these stews were cooked in earthenware pots nestled in circular holes in charcoal-heated masonry bench stoves. Some were green with spinach and coriander. Others were golden with saffron. And the most complex were flavored with cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, almonds and raisins and thickened with eggs or breadcrumbs." "It is small wonder that Spanish Christians eyed the cuisine of the Muslims with envy. Over the centuries, they adopted their rice and noodle pilaus, their albondigas, their aromatic stews of lamb, kid and chicken, and their sharbats, jams, fruit pastes, alfenique and marzipan. The modifications that they introduced, such as adding pork to the list of meats, baking raised breads instead of flat breads and distilling wine and molasses instead of flower petals, did not change the basic structure of the cuisine. By the late Middle Ages, this Christian version of the cuisine of al-Andalus was famous as the finest in Europe. In 1611, Francisco Martí­nez Montií±o, the head cook of King Philip III, recorded it in the 500 densely packed pages of his Arte de Cocina, Pasteleria, Vizcocheria, y Conserveria (Art of Cooking, Cake Making, Biscuit Making and Conserving)."
  4. Night before last we had leftover Thai food (massaman curry etc. see above) along with a pineapple salad (ยำสับปะรด) made with the bottom half of the not quite ripe pineapple used in the curry, thinly sliced and mixed with sliced shallots, mint leaves, sliced Thai chillies, halved cherry tomatoes, roasted coconut, roasted peanuts, julienned kaffir lime leaves, and only needed a little lime juice and a few splashes of fish sauce (I've been using Megachef for salads) as the pineapple was already nice and sweet and sour, but still firm and I didn't need to add palm sugar. I'll make this again. Last night was rice and dhal. Moong dhal (boiled with turmeric and ginger) with a tadka of panch poran (mustard seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds and cumin seeds) and jimbu in mustard oil with sliced onions, chopped garlic and ginger, chilli powder, salt, tomatoes, lime juice, palm sugar and Chinese broccoli. I made what my wife calls "fancy" rice, with whole cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, turmeric and salt.
  5. I got some from Bangkok 54. Older, thicker stalks, maybe at little ratty looking on the outside, but nice and purple on the inside. They worked well and have some fragrance. Freshworld in Springfield usually has good lemongrass, but I haven't been there yet this month.
  6. Sorry I've been neglecting this thread lately. I cooked some Thai food this weekend. Saturday: Jasmine and red rice with vegetables, Salmon salad (พล่าปลาà¹à¸‹à¸¥à¸¡à¸­à¸™ Phla pla salmon), chicken with chillies and green beans (ไà¸à¹ˆà¸œà¸±à¸”พริà¸à¹„ส้ถั่วà¸à¸±à¸à¸¢à¸²à¸§ gai pad prik sai tua fak yao), omelet (ไข่เจียว Khai jiew), panang curry with beef and pumpkin (à¹à¸žà¸™à¸‡à¹€à¸™à¸·à¹‰à¸­à¹„ส้ผัà¸à¸—อง panang nuea sai fak tong), Sly Fox Incubus. Sunday: à¹à¸à¸‡à¸¡à¸±à¸ªà¸¡à¸±à¹ˆà¸™ Gaeng Massaman, Massaman Curry with lamb Curry paste of dry red chillies, coriander, cumin, cloves, nutmeg, mace, fennel, cardamom seeds, shallots, and garlic all roasted and then pounded with galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime peel, cilantro root, shrimp paste, white pepper and salt. Lamb ("Osso Bucco" from Fields of Athenry) braised in coconut milk with lemongrass, roasted star anise, roasted bay leaves, roasted cinnamon stick, and roasted cardamom pods. Curry paste fried in reduced coconut cream, added to lamb with boiled potato cubes, under-ripe pineapple cubes, pearl onions, and peanuts. Seasoned with fish sauce, palm sugar and tamarind. Served with Jasmine and red rice and omlette (ไข่เจียว khai jiew) apple salad (ยำà¹à¸­à¸šà¹€à¸›à¸´à¹‰à¸¥ yum apple), fried dried fish and vegetables. Yesterday, more of the same.
  7. I also made Laap, but with chicken. I actually make laap about once a week. It's one of my "quick and easy" dishes. Last night Laap Gai ลาบไà¸à¹ˆ (minced chicken salad), panang fak tong à¹à¸žà¸™à¸‡à¸œà¸±à¸à¸—อง (panang curry with pumpkin), Kai Jiew ไข่เจียว (Thai "omelet") with Siracha ศรีราชา sauce (Grand Mountain Brand, my new favorite), vegetables, Jasmine rice. Victory Golden Monkey. ]
  8. Leela at Shesmmers.com just made a quick post about Thai geography, specifically pointing out that the North and the Northeast of Thailand "are separate and distinct in terms of food, dialect, culture, and geography". I've been seeing them conflated in many places on the web recently (including this thread, Khao Soi is still not an Issan dish). Take a look at the post. It's short, but it has a map.
  9. It's on the menu. PING: Kaw Moo. Kaw moo is Thai/Lao for pork (moo) neck (kaw) even though the English says pork shoulder. Ping is Lao for grilled.
  10. Transitioned from chapatis to rice. Same moong dal, carrots (from the garden) with fenugreek (methi) greens, raita with cherry tomatoes and radish, hari chutney, pickles and a Gujarati potato dish Batata Nu Shaak, simple but a long list of ingredients (coconut oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dried chillies, bay leaves, asafoetida, curry leaves, salt, hot chilli powder, turmeric, ginger, fresh green chillies, potatoes, tomatoes, coriander greens, ground coriander seeds, jaggery, and tamarind). Haven't made this in awhile. It was really good. Phone photo:
  11. Chapatis (ata [whole wheat flour] water), hari chutney (cilantro, mint, ginger, garlic, roasted cumin, black salt, chillies, lime juice, salt), raita (cucumber, yogurt, roasted cumin, salt, pepper), moong dal (garlic, ginger, turmeric, chillies, ghee, onions, panch phoran [bengali 5 spice], asafoetida, lime juice, jaggery), gobi aloo (cauliflower, potatoes, peanut oil, ginger, cumin seeds, chillies, coriander seed powder, turmeric, garam masala, salt), hot mango pickle, gongura chutney Andhra style (made and smuggled back from India by a friend's aunt).
  12. This is something I got from Mission Street Food by Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz. The recipe itself is a take on Peking Duck. I make this whenever I have chicken skin, which is frequently because I'm always breaking down chickens into parts for various dishes. The technique is simple. Put the skin on a cookie sheet layered with parchment paper. Add another layer of parchment on top and to with another cookie sheet so the skin lays flat. Bake at 300 for 45 minutes. When it's done you can pour the fat off and use it for something great and you get golden crispy chicken skins which you can sprinkle with a little salt and eat while drinking a cold beer. I usually eat them all while I finish cooking. FYI If you use regular grocery store chickens like Perdue (which I do not), you will get a tremendous amount of fat, so you need to watch for spillover. Non-factory farm chickens are much leaner (and tastier). In my youth I was deprived of poultry skin. My parents followed the prevailing nutritional wisdom of the time, which meant lipophobia. Chicken was always skinned (even fried chicken!), butter was margarine, lard was crisco etc. The Thanksgiving turkey's crispy skin was removed and discarded, at least until I was in my twenties and realized the best part of the meal was going in the trash. After that my uncle and I would rescue the skin and split it between us. It was kinda weird that the belief in the evils of animal fat overrode my father's frugality and what was otherwise an inability to waste any food. My parents still don't eat chicken skin.
  13. ลาบไà¸à¹ˆ Laap Gai (chopped chicken salad), ไà¸à¹ˆà¸œà¸±à¸”ใบà¸à¸°à¹€à¸žà¸£à¸² Gai Pad Bai Grapao (chicken stir fried with holy basil), ไข่เจียว Khai Jiew (Thai omelet) with ซ้อสศรีราชา Sauce Siracha (Sriracha sauce), หมูà¹à¸”ดเดียว Mu Daet Diao (Pork Jerky from Bangkok 54) and chicken skin with à¹à¸ˆà¹ˆà¸§ Jaew (dried chili dipping sauce), vegetables and jasmine rice.
  14. Mole verde con pollo (chicken in green sauce with tomatillos and jalapenos from the garden, pumpkin seeds and spices), arroz al la Mexicana (rice), frijoles negros de la olla (black beans), rajas de chile poblano with poblanos from the Four Mile Run Farmer's Market, (which turned out to be very spicy, hooray!), and tortillas.
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