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Khun Ocha's Cookbook

Update March 26, 2016

Building a BLT

Bacon Lettuce and Tomato sandwiches, known by the initials BLT are part of the Western world. Although the ingredients of the BLT have existed for many years, there is little evidence of BLT sandwich recipes prior to 1900. Wikipedia claims that in the 1903 Good Housekeeping Everyday Cook Book, a recipe for a club sandwich included bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and a slice of turkey sandwiched between two slices of bread. Whilst the 1929 book Seven Hundred Sandwiches does include a section on bacon sandwiches, the recipes often include pickles and none contain tomato.

Cooking method
In the frying pan, cook bacon until crispy, then drain on paper towels.
Toast the 8 slices of bread.
Spread 1 tablespoon mayo on each slice of toasted bread. (More or less, to taste).
Add 1 slice of lettuce to 4 pieces of toast spread with mayo.
Add 2 slices of tomato on top of lettuce.
Arrange 3 slices of bacon evenly on top of tomato. (Break bacon slices in half to fit, if needed.).
Add 1 slice of lettuce on top of bacon.
Put the remaining 4 pieces of mayo-spread toast on top to finish the sandwiches.

Ingredients Makes 4 sandwiches
Bacon 12 rashers
White bread 8 slices
Iceberg lettuce 8 leaves
Tomatoes 8 slices
Mayonnaise 8 tbspns


Update March 19, 2016

Pork Sate from Singapore

Singapore is another of the SE Asian countries that is well known for its food. Satays are just about available on every street corner, and this is one of the best recipes for this appetizer. You can of course substitute beef or chicken for the pork.

Cooking method
Take the pork and cut into thick strips (you can pound the pork a little flat, but not to the point of the meat starting to shred).
In the blender put the lemon zest, onions, garlic, soy sauce, oil, cumin, turmeric and salt and grind to a puree, then add the finely ground peanuts.
In a Ziploc bag place the pork and the puree and leave in the refrigerator for two hours, turning every half hour.
Soak the wooden sate sticks in water for 20 minutes and then spear the pork pieces, two or three to a stick.
BBQ over charcoal until cooked, and then serve hot.

Ingredients Serves 4-6
Pork loin 500 gm
Lemon zest 1 piece
Onions, medium, chopped 2
Garlic chopped 1 clove
Light soy sauce 1 tbspn
Peanut oil 2 tbspns
Cumin ground 1 tspn
Turmeric ground 1 tspn
Salt 1 tspn
Roasted peanuts finely ground 3 tbspns

Update March 12, 2016

Gazpacho the refreshing cold soup

I had a wonderful gazpacho in the Amari’s Tavern by the Sea, with avocado slices in the middle last weekend. Gazpacho is a famous Spanish soup which is served cold. The use of your blender makes this a very easy soup to make, but do not over blend. The soup should have a thick consistency. You can also substitute red and yellow bell peppers for green if you wish.

Cooking method
Using the blender: first chop up the garlic, then add the cucumber and bell peppers (capsicum), adding tomato juice as needed to liquefy. Finally add the tomatoes and the rest of the juice. If you want elegance, press through a sieve. If you’re going for heartiness, just leave it the way it is. Mix in the olive oil and vinegar. Now refrigerate overnight.
When ready to serve, pour into bowls and garnish with salad vegetables as you see fit: minced or notched and sliced cucumber; thin green bell pepper slices; chopped coriander; and croutons and finally a goodly sprinkle of pepper.

Ingredients Serves 4
Tomatoes canned 1 kg
(or 8 large fresh tomatoes, peeled)
Cucumber peeled and chopped 1
Green bell pepper cored and chopped 1
Onion chopped 1
Garlic 1 clove
Olive oil 2 tbspns
Vinegar white 4 tbspns
Ground black pepper garnish

Update March 5, 2016

Special Rabbit Stew

This recipe is one I bring out every couple of years or so, and it still makes me smile. It was given to me by David Levine, a chef who had been in Thailand for some time, so was au fait with the ingredients. The principal constituent is freely available in Thailand, and in fact, you would probably be in line for a City Administration grant if you took a couple from the streets any night. The rabbits are harder to find, but I believe you can get them on special order at supermarkets. It is not a quick stir-fry in the wok on the street behind the kitchen, but apparently is worth the effort.

Cooking Method
Cut elephant into bite sized pieces – preferably put aside around four months for this part. Cook over a kerosene fire for three months, or until tender. Now add onions, salt, pepper and flour and cook until done, generally around two days. If more people arrive than expected then add the rabbits at this final stage (do this only if necessary, as most people don’t like hares in their soup).

Ingredients Serves 3000
Elephant 1 large
Pepper ½ pail
Salt 2 pails
Onions 4 bushels
Water 93 gallons
Flour 6 pails
Rabbits (skinned) 2


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Building a BLT

Pork Sate from Singapore

Gazpacho the refreshing cold soup

Special Rabbit Stew