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EATING OUT & KHUN OCHA'S COOKBOOK
 

“Next door” is worth the trip around the corner!

By Shana Kongmun

A friend’s eagle eye spotted a new spot on Nimmanhaemin Soi 11 just around the corner from the excellent tapas restaurant Su Casa so off we went to try someplace new, always exciting and often with a bit of (unwarranted in this case) trepidation.

The Next Door Grill and Bar is (I believe) affiliated with Su Casa, and if this is the case, it shows. The food was quite good with a nice and colorful atmosphere. The service was quite good as our waiter had no difficulty in understanding that we wanted to share our dishes and brought us three plates and brought each plate when we had finished the first.

First up, the healthiest eater of us all voted for the excellent spinach salad, with Roquefort cheese, slices of parmesan, walnuts and other tasty items. The dressing was delicious without overwhelming the flavors in the salad.

Next up we had a very nice Spanish style pizza with chorizo and ham. I must add I am rather picky about my pizzas, preferring a thin crust pizza that is firm and crispy without being crunchy all the way through. This medium sized pizza fit the bill. It was cheesy enough to satisfy but not so cheesy as to overwhelm everything else. The chorizo tasty with a slight bite.

Finally we had the roast chicken with large fries and mushroom gravy, as one friend said, (here comes the trepidation part!) “It’s hard to mess up mushroom gravy”. Well, we need not fear. The fries were amazing “Best fries I’ve had in a long time” was the pronouncement from my friend. I confess to not being a huge fan of chicken but this was quite tasty, nicely cooked without being dry as so much chicken can be. And yes, the mushroom gravy was good, as my friend had thought.

We forgo dessert as we were all quite full at this point, the portions, while not massive are certainly filling. One friend tried their unique margarita, with a chili as a garnish, tasty and most likely rather lethal as it didn’t taste that strong! We stuck to beer as the beer was quite reasonably priced. Our bill, including alcohol, came to less than 1000 Baht and we all agreed, we would come back.

Open only in the evenings, its easily found on Nimmanhaemin Soi 11 around the corner from Su Casa.


 

Chicken and Prawn Curry

This is a very quick and easy to cook dish, but relies on the curry paste you make from the powdered spices, so make sure you have them before you begin!  But much simpler, buy a packet of Malaysian curry powder.  Nobody will know, and I won’t tell!

Ingredients                  Serves 2-4
Curry paste                 1 tbspn
Salt, pepper, to taste
Oil                               20 ml
Chicken (cut into pieces) 1 kg
Prawns (shelled and deveined) 250 grams
Large onion, sliced       1
Tomatoes chopped       2
Bay leaves                   2
Chopped coriander leaves ½ small bunch

Cooking Method

Mix the curry paste with water.  This is your curry base.

Season chicken with salt and pepper and fry in oil till light brown.  Remove and set aside.

Fry prawns quickly (do not overcook), seasoned with salt and pepper in the same oil.  Drain and set aside.

In three tablespoons of the same oil, fry onion till it becomes transparent.  Add curry paste and stir fry quickly.  Put in the crushed tomatoes and Bay leaves.  Mix well and cook till gravy thickens.

Add chicken and prawns with half a cup of water (enough to keep the gravy in a slightly watery consistency).  Mix well, cover and simmer till chicken is tender.

Remove from heat and sprinkle with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot with steamed rice.


 

Death by Chocolate?

Are there any children out there who don’t like chocolate?  How many adult chocaholics are there out there?  Lots!  This week’s recipe is for you.  All kids love it - guaranteed.  And the adults too.  There are very few tricks with this recipe, other than using a low heat to melt the chocolate.  It is a case of doing it slowly and carefully.  It is possible to burn chocolate if you have the temperature too high.  Many cooks will use two pans for this purpose, with the inner pan sitting in the hot water being heated by the outer pan, but just a little care will get you through.

Ingredients                         Makes 4

Plain (cooking) chocolate     100 gm
Egg yolks                            4
Egg whites                          4
Water                                 1 tbspn
Cream                                300 ml
Vanilla Essence                  ½ tspn
 

Cooking Method

Melt the dark cooking chocolate slowly with the water, over a low heat.  Now remove from the heat and gradually add the egg yolks.  In another pan whisk the egg whites with the vanilla and then add the cream.  Now fold this mixture into the chocolate, then chill and serve in individual dishes.  Garnish with glace cherries or “hundreds and thousands” (aka sprinkles, aka jimmies).


 

Death by Chocolate?

Are there any children out there who don’t like chocolate?  How many adult chocaholics are there out there?  Lots!  This week’s recipe is for you.  All kids love it - guaranteed.  And the adults too.  There are very few tricks with this recipe, other than using a low heat to melt the chocolate.  It is a case of doing it slowly and carefully.  It is possible to burn chocolate if you have the temperature too high.  Many cooks will use two pans for this purpose, with the inner pan sitting in the hot water being heated by the outer pan, but just a little care will get you through.

Ingredients                         Makes 4

Plain (cooking) chocolate     100 gm
Egg yolks                            4
Egg whites                          4
Water                                 1 tbspn
Cream                                300 ml
Vanilla Essence                  ½ tspn
 

Cooking Method

Melt the dark cooking chocolate slowly with the water, over a low heat.  Now remove from the heat and gradually add the egg yolks.  In another pan whisk the egg whites with the vanilla and then add the cream.  Now fold this mixture into the chocolate, then chill and serve in individual dishes.  Garnish with glace cherries or “hundreds and thousands” (aka sprinkles, aka jimmies).


 

Crab Stuffed Tomatoes

There will always be a time where you need an appetizer for your guests while you get on with the main job of cooking.  Stuffed cherry tomatoes, served warm, make for a delightful appetizer, and one that will have your guests really looking forward to what else you can cook.

Ingredients                         Serves 6
Cherry tomatoes                   24
Cream cheese, softened        ½ cup
Garlic, chopped and sautéed 2 cloves
Butter                                  1 tspn
Shallot, chopped and sautéed 1
Fresh chives, finely chopped 2 tbspns
Canned crab, well drained     6 oz
Cheddar cheese, shredded   ½ cup
Salt and pepper,                  to taste

Cooking Method

Cut the tops off the tomatoes and hollow out.  Allow to drain on a paper towel with the cut side down.  Quickly sauté the garlic and shallot in butter and add the sautéed garlic and shallot to the cream cheese.  Now add the chives, salt and pepper, and mix.  After that, add the crab and set aside.

Stuff the individual tomatoes with crab filling and place on a pie plate or baking dish.  Top with the cheddar cheese and bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 375 F until the tomatoes are hot, but still hold their shape.  Serve warm with dessert forks.


 
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

EATING OUT

KHUN OCHA'S COOKBOOK