It seems after years of holding out and not buying cookbooks (instead, choosing to rely on printed recipes gleaned from the internet), the floodgates have opened. I mentioned buying Diners, Drive Ins and Dives a few weeks ago, and along with that, also ordered Trish Magwood’s James Beard Award-winning Dish Entertains. I especially like the book because of its beautiful pictures, which not only provide satiating shots of food, but also really great serving and presentation ideas.
I’d been eyeing the recipe for Vegetarian Pad Thai for some time (a Food Network version, similar, but not the same is here), and finally got around to purchasing the needed “Thai essentials”, as she calls them. Of course, not being able to live without some protein in the meal, I decided to add shrimp to the mix.
I put Mack in charge of making the sauce, while I washed and prepared the vegetables and began heating up the noodles. Our only missing ingredient was chili flakes, so we were forced to substitute chili powder. As expected, this impacted the desired flavour and resulted in more sweetness than heat in the final product.
When we finally poured the sauce into the wok, it looked like an overwhelming amount of liquid to be incorporating. Surprisingly, the noodles soaked up most of it, and we ended up with a dish that wasn’t too wet or dry. I made sure to be overly generous with the amount of chopped peanuts I included on my finished portion (as I find some restaurants tend to scrimp on them), and for the most part, our pad thai was satisfying. It didn’t pack enough heat for reasons mentioned above, and for Mack, was too sweet for him. Done again, we’d make sure to have chili flakes on hand, and reduce the amount of sugar added.
As this was our first try at a Thai dish (and one that looked remarkably easier than Chez Pim’s more authentic, but time consuming version), we were very happy with the result. I’m sure this is just the beginning of many happy returns to the pages of Dish Entertains.