Trying something new! Thai Food!

I was home alone last night because P2 (That is our best way decipher each other when telling stories. For this blog I will be P1 and the love of my life Paul will be P2) was in Long Island working. As you know I made myself some amazing eggplant. When I was done I was on the couch chillin' with the dogs. My friend Anthony started an iChat with me, and of course we discussed food!
He described to me an amazing dish that I really wanted to try! It was a Thai rice dish with shrimp. He made it for his girlfriend Kristen, and she loved it. It sounded perfect for my next blog! I've never cooked Thai before so I thought it could be fun to figure it out and, after reviewing the recipe, I knew it would be perfect!!! Not only would I get practice Thai cooking, but Nicole was coming over for dinner and she LOVES Thai!

This recipe he sent me was perfect because it was really about technique, and not so much about paying attention to exactly what it said. Even when discussing it with Anthony he told me that he needed to adjust the recipe, because it was not exactly right!

So I am going to show you the recipe that he sent me from the book, and do two things. I am going to show you how it was not accurate and how you can take a recipe and make it your own!

Here is the original recipe:
1 cup dried Chinese mushrooms
1 tbsp vegetable oil or peanut oil
6 scallion, chopped
scant 1/2 cup dry unsweetened coconut
1 fresh green chili, seeded and chopped
generous 1 cup jasmine rice
2/3 cup fish stock
1 3/4 cups coconut milk
12 oz/350 g cooked shelled shrimp
6 sprigs fresh Thai basil

Place the mushrooms in a small bowl, cover with hot water, and set aside to soak for 30 min. Drain, then cut off and discard the stalks and slice the caps.
Heat the oil in a wok and stir-fry the scallion, coconut, and chili for 2-3 min, until lightly browned. Add the mushrooms and stir-Fry 3-4 min.
Add the rice and stir-fry for 2-3 min, then add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and add the coconut milk. Let simmer for 10-15 min until the rice is tender.
Stir in the shrimp and basil, heat through and serve.

Now here is where I come in....

Sorry... Not going to happen! (unless it is instant)
So that was the first thing I needed to do. When planning the meal I knew from cooking rice in the past, it takes a good 45 minutes! That changes the way you will need to plan time to cook the meal!. Prep time!

So, here is my no recipe, recipe to what I am going to call "Coconut Risotto with Shrimp and Green Beans"
You might have noticed right off the bat that I chose to say Risotto in replacement of Rice. It's because I let the rice go long enough to get soft, not al-dente. And the coconut milk leaves a creaminess reminiscent of what cheese will do in a risotto. I am also going to add green beans, shiitake mushrooms instead of dried Chinese mushrooms, fresh raw peeled shrimp instead of pre-cooked, and I am cooking the shrimp separate from he rice. I have also replaced the Thai Basil with mInt and parsley, and decided to add garlic.

In one large deep skillet I sautéed one clove of minced garlic, 3 of the scallions, a handful of sliced shiitake mushrooms, and one sliced serrano pepper. Once those got nice and hot I added the 1/2 cup coconut recommended above and let it get brown. Then I added the Jasmine rice, and let it fry for a few minutes.
I then added the fish stock and coconut milk all at once. I set it on low and covered it. Plan on the rice taking 45 min.

All the smells were amazing and it got me very excited.
Once the rice cooked for about 15 minutes I dropped in a few pinched of minced mint and a few pinches of minced flat leaf parsley.

When the rice was done I got a second pan SCREAMING hot and dropped my raw shrimp, 3 other diced scallions, another sliced serrano pepper, one sliced clove of garlic, and a handful of pre - blanched green string beans.

They will cook really quick so keep the pan moving around or continuously mix with a wooden spoon.

Along the way salt and pepper to taste, and if you need more stock for the rice or coconut milk don't be afraid to add it! Remember the texture is going to closer to that of a risotto, so it doesn't need to be the most perfect rice you've ever done!

And that's it!! I thought it went well. Garnish a plate with a dusting of minced parsley and mint. Plate it up and serve with chili sauce and a fresh slice of lime.

Your friends will love it! It was cheaper than 3 take out dinners, and much healthier! NIcole loved it, P2 loved it, and you will love it too!!!



Unknown said…
You are awesome!!! That's the way to cook, read a recipe and then make it your own. You Mama lives!!!!!

Ti amo
Roxiest said…
Oh I miss you so much Paul..seeing you in the pic makes me miss u so much!

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