The Cooking Chronicles: Thai Chicken Curry

After getting a positive result from the Pad Thai recipe in Trish Magwood’s Dish Entertains, my next marked page to try was the Thai Chicken Curry. I like that Magwood’s recipes are straightforward – Westernized, yes, but almost in a way that provide training wheels to facilitate eventually tackling a more authentic version.

This particular recipe called for six chicken breasts, which was way too much meat for the two of us even if both Mack and I intended on having the dish for lunch the next day. I cut down the quantity of chicken to four, and it worked out perfectly. I loved the smell of the simmering curry and coconut milk mixture; I’m sure coconut rice would have been a great pairing instead of the plain basmati that we had.

In the end, the teaspoon and a bit of curry paste wasn’t enough heat, and we could have done with a bit more onions, but those were our only complaints. This is a great one pot meal that is both quick and easy!

Thai Chicken Curry

The Cooking Chronicles: Pad Thai

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.

Pad Thai

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.