Thai Green Curry Paste

Ingredients
1 tbsp lemongrass (white parts)
1 bunch fresh coriander (or 1 tbsp powder)
2-3 slices of fresh galangal (or 1 tbsp)
1 tbsp shallots
1 tbsp garlic
10 fresh green peppercorns (1 tbsp)
1 Thai chili
1/2 tbsp kaffir lime zest
1 slice fresh turmeric (1 pinch of powder)
1 tbsp shrimp paste
Pinch of fine table or sea salt

Step 1: Cut up the lemongrass, coriander, and galangal into small pieces, and add to a stone mortar.

Step 2: Then add the shallots, garlic, peppercorn, and Thai chili. You can add them in whole, or roughly cut the shallot/garlic.

Step 3: Add kaffir lime zest, salt, and turmeric. For the kaffir lime zest: slice small parts of the skin off rather than grate it. For the salt: be sure to use finely ground salt, as it is used to help make the paste, not for any flavor.

Step 4: Firmly smash all of the ingredients in an up and down motion. Do not grind, or it will make the paste watery. Continue until it becomes a paste. It doesn’t have to be completely smooth, as long as there are no large pieces of ingredients. It should take roughly 5-10 min.

Step 5: Add shrimp paste. Keep smashing, but a little more gently, so that everything mixes well. You may also use a spoon to scoop & smash.

Scones

Source: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/79470/simple-scones/

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
8 tbsp unsalted butter (cultured is best!), frozen
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg
Blackberries & raspberries (optional)
Honey (optional)

Directions

Step 1) Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2) In a medium or large bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use your fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal)

Step 3) In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth.

Step 4) Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. (The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together.)

Step 5) Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7- to 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp. of sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart. Add fresh fruit on top & sprinkle with honey. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.

Ma Po Tofu, 麻婆豆腐

Cody and I were over at his sister’s for dinner the other day, and the moment he saw that his sister’s husband had cooked up ma po tofu, he immediately pointed at it and said, “Ma po tofu! You have got to make that next.” Ma po tofu is a spicy dish made with tofu and ground pork – its intense flavors burst out in your first bite, and you can’t help but keep eating it! Traditionally, this dish is as hot as you can make it, but since I can only take a moderate spice level, I adjusted the recipe to fit my palette.

Ma Po Tofu… 

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Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup, 紅燒牛肉麵

Taiwanese beef noodle soup, or, 紅燒牛肉麵 (hong shao niu rou mian), is a staple that you will find in many Taiwanese restaurants. It’s peppery, spicy, savory, slightly sweet.. a perfect blend of spices. My boyfriend was born in Taiwan, and he’s been telling me how much he loves his dad’s 牛肉麵 – perfect opportunity for me to learn a new dish! After multiple tries (and tastings by my boyfriend), here’s a recipe I’ve put together, with consultation from his dad.

Hong Shao Niu Rou Mian… 

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Braised Pork Over Rice (滷肉飯 – Lu Rou Fan)

滷 Lu = Braised  |  肉 Rou = Meat  |  飯 Fan = Rice

Lu Rou Fan is a staple in many a Taiwanese diet, and you’re sure to find it in the menu of any Taiwanese restaurant. There is something so endearing about this dish – so simple to understand, yet so full in flavor.

Lu Rou FanThe key to Lu Rou Fan is the mix of spices and sauces. The amount doesn’t quite matter – I tend to eyeball measure my ingredients, and while it tastes different everytime, it’s still always good. Experiment with what works best for you!

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