Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Thai Cooking with Coconut Kitchen

I've been testing out our new range from the wonderful Coconut Kitchen. A selection of sauces based on those used in the Coconut Kitchen restaurant in Abersoch, North Wales.

I started with the Wok fried Pad Thai Noodles recipe from the Pad Thai Sauce bottle. I didn't have any chicken or prawns so used a lot of vegetables (carrots, mushrooms, peppers, sugar snap peas, and sprouted chick peas instead of bean sprouts). I'm pretty sure the flavours would be better if I'd used something to absorb more of the sauce, rather than the al dente vegetables. I did toast the peanuts in the pan before frying the onions, so they were ready to garnish. That is my only tip here! This is the coconut kitchen recipe:

Ingredients, Serves 2:
Rice stick noodles (partly cooked in hot water), vegetable oil, 2 garlic cloves (crushed), 1 chicken breast or 16 king prawns, ½ onion (sliced), 50g  beansprouts, any other vegetables of choice (carrots,
mushrooms, sugar snap peas, broccoli or peppers are good), spring onion, coriander, lime wedges and crushed peanuts to garnish.

To cook:
Fry the garlic and onion in the oil and add the chicken or prawns and vegetables, cook for 2 minutes, add the partly cooked rice noodles. Then add 1 bottle of Coconut Kitchen Pad Thai Sauce, stir fry the noodles in the sauce until fully cooked. Add the beansprouts, serve and garnish with the spring onion, coriander, peanuts and lime.

I made some simple sweetcorn fritters as a starter, mainly because I wanted to try out the dipping sauce!

To make the fritters boil 2 sweetcorn cobs and slice off the kernels. Put half of the kernels along with 1 egg, 1 spring onion, 1 de-seeded red chilli (or more if you like the heat), 30g plain flour (white or wholemeal), and half a teaspoon of baking powder into a blender and puree until fairly smooth. Small lumps are fine. Stir in the rest of the sweetcorn. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan and spoon in the batter. I use about 1 tablespoon per fritter. Fry until browned (about 1 minute), flip over and brown the other side. I served them with Coconut Kitchen Sweet Chilli & Garlic Sauce  and chopped avocado and was really pleased with them.

With the abundance of vegetables I used, we had a lot of Pad Thai left over, certainly enough for another two meals. I used the left overs as an accompaniment to baked salmon. The rice noodles didn't really survive the reheat, but the flavour from the Pad Thai was still delicious, possibly better than it had been the night before. Of course, I marinated the salmon in Coconut Kitchen Chilli & Garlic Sauce. And that was wonderful! The chilli sauce is divine. Just the same as you find in good Thai restaurants with the right level of sweetness, and other flavours complimenting the chilli - not just hot and sweet like some can be.

I've been sneaking it into a lot of things. Like the avocado salsa I made to go with some sweetcorn muffins (using up both the half avocado I had left from the weekend's starter and more of the glut of fresh sweetcorn).

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Last week I received a batch of brand new recipe booklets from Olive Branch. The little books contains nine inventive ways to use Olive Branch products (plus a few more ideas on the back cover). Things like Poached Chicken with Lentils and Dill using their olive oil and red wine vinegar. Or Baked Cod with Sundried Tomatoes using sundried tomato mix. There is even a recipe for Sweet Olive and Ice Cream!

On Thursday, just before heading home, and in need of a quick supper for one, I flicked through the booklet and found something perfect:  Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms.
All I needed was:

I had all of that in stock, so collect them up and headed for home.
Within half an hour, I had a delicious light supper ready. I even tweeted about it!
In fact, I liked it so much, that on Monday, in between working on paperwork at home, I made the same dish again for lunch. Still delicious!

Next time you're in Tastes pick up a free booklet from the display on the wall but the steps. You won't be disappointed.