Saturday, January 10, 2009

Day 10 Cooking in the Woods (updated)


So here it is Saturday, a day off from class...However, I decided that the best thing to do was to go to another school.   So I spent the day attending the Wok Cooking School at their facility out in the country.  Now how good is this, you make your food,  and then you eat it.   So it was kind of like attending a very slow moving meal service.   We started at 10 and finished at 4 and made 6 different dishes during the day.   Now I know why there are so many different kinds of curry in Thailand.  Since they have a curry with every meal, it is better to have a variety of curries so people don't get bored...kind of like having the same kind of potatoes at every meal.
So I made and can make the following
Penang Curry with Pork...All curries are a derivation of this curry in Thailand.  You take items away to make it yellow curry, add more red peppers to make it Red Curry and if you want to really ramp it up add green young peppers and it is Green Curry.   As the instructor says  just like people the younger the pepper is the hotter they are.  
Chiangmai curry with chicken...used for special occasions like weddings, holidays as it was originally made for the Thai royal family and is highly regarded
Fried fish with chili and Basil...this one was brilliant.   
Sweet and sour vegetables.   I will be ditching my current recipe and  replace with this one
Spicy glass noodle salad...White noodles that when cook turn clear,  not one of my favorite dishes
Black sticky rice pudding...Rice that is native to Thailand and is really jet black.  Sitky means it is kind of gooey...looks and tastes better than it sounds impressive dish

So a little about curry and how it is made.   In Asia curry is a paste that is used to enhance food. Kind of like "Hamburger Helper"  It is created by a variety of ingredients.  So for example let me tell you what Paneang Curry is made with
Coriander seeds   we also know this as Cilantro
Cumin seeds native to Asia
Mace native to Asia widely available worldwide
Green peppers  
Cardomon pods native to Asia available worldwide
Dried chili
Ginza similiar to ginger but slightly different taste
lemongrass....native to is in everything they cook...I now smell like lemongrass
kaffir lime peel   native to this region and a very very small lime
corriander root...just the bottom part of cilantro
shrimp paste
Then you sit down with a huge mortal and pestle and grind it till it is paste.    Hard work BUT the outcome is wonderful...The curry pork dish was DELICIOUS.  
Then I went to Starbucks...shared table space with a backpacker from Stuggart, Germany who is studying computer science and political science.   We spent the 3 hours talking about US and German politics.   Needless to say, Mr. Bush as always with me took a major hammering.   Sorry Chad, you were not here to defend him.  
Then walked the 2 miles back to my apartment and am doing the blogg.  
Oh yea...the dogs are barking tonight....they are making me nuts.  


  1. So, now your cooking has gotten even better??(Do I ever complain or say that something you prepare is lousy? NO) How brilliant -- we'll have some new additions to the menu... want to hear more about the sweet and sour vegetables...

    (also maybe you might be able -- when you get a minute -- as I know that the language institute is keeping you real busy -- to give some further explanations for Kathy's class -- what are glass noodles, what is Black Sticky rice pudding like? Is it sweet? is it a dessert or used a part of main meal? Presume that you did the decoration on "your creation" -- will I be getting that when you serve dinner to me at home? What type of fish was it?

    Can you give some further details on the different types of curries-- I know that Thai Curries are different from Indian ones -- but what makes them different?

    Also are they used differently in the meal preparation?

    Why is Changmai Curry with Chicken only used for special occasions?

  2. Hey David, Gosh time goes quick can't believe it's already day 10...the cooking experience sounds great. My news Mike & I received our appointment for the Ukraine Feb 18... we leave on Feb four week adventure starts as yours will be ending:) not so tropical needless to say we are both very excited :)

  3. Wow that is so so so great...I am really happy for you both...I know this is the dream of your lifetime....I know you will both make AWESOME parents. If they don't speak English I know someone who is learning to be an instructor of ESL. I am getting better at it....This is tough work, spent all day today working on lesson plans for this week coming up.
    We maybe in Terminal 7 at JFK the crossover