According to the book, this recipe uses only fish sauce and soy sauce to flavour the meat and rice. My usual version normally include sesame oil, oyster sauce, ketchup and rice vinegar. But the simple version from the book actually yields a more authentic Thai flavour. The taste and smell of fish sauce is more distinct here, without the distractions from other sauces.
The original recipe called for cashew nuts, but I used peanuts, because that's what I have on hand. The marriage of crunchy nuts, soft tangy pineapple chunks, juicy prawn and chicken with rice make this Oriental Fried Rice a destined crowd pleaser.
The cold weather also make me crave for some warm fresh bread. As a result, I made half a recipe of Onion and Mustard Monkey Bread from Food and Wine magazine. It would be the perfect side dish with roast chicken or pot roast. But we were too engrossed with the fried rice and ended up not eating much of the bread. I kept 4/5 of the bread in a paper bag, hoping that it will not turning into an inedible rock the next day. It looked absolutely stunning when it first came out from the oven. From the little piece that I ate, I know that this is going to be a keeper. As for OCT? He prefers RICE over any other types of grains anytime. He will be very grumpy if he didn't get his RICE fix every few days.....
Onion Mustard Monkey Bread
adapted from Food and Wine Magazine
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 envelope dry active yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons snipped chives
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
In a saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Add the milk and sugar and heat just until warm. Transfer to a large bowl, stir in the yeast and let stand until foamy, 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt until a sticky dough forms. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, 5 minutes. Oil the bowl and return the dough to it. Cover with plastic and let stand in a draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Butter a 10-inch tube or Bundt pan. Punch down the dough and divide it into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a 12-inch log and cut each log in 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a skillet. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, 6 minutes. Stir in the mustard, chives and thyme. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter; stir until melted. Season lightly with salt and transfer to the large bowl to cool slightly. Add half of the dough balls and turn to coat with the onion mixture. Arrange the balls in the bottom of the pan. Repeat with the remaining dough balls. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand until risen to the top of the pan, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 425°. Bake the bread in the lower third of the oven for 25 minutes, or until golden. Cover the pan loosely with foil, reduce the oven temperature to 375° and bake for 30 minutes longer, or until risen. Let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Set an inverted plate on top and turn the bread out onto it. Set another plate on top and invert the bread so it’s right side up. Break into rolls or cut into slices.
MAKE AHEAD: The bread can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated overnight.
Note: I halved the recipe, and make it in a 9-inch loaf pan.
Thai Pineapple Fried Rice ( Khao Phad Suparod)
2.5 cups cooked rice
4 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast
8 large shrimps, shelled, deveined (5 oz/150g)
1/2 cup pineapple chunk
6 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp chopped garlic
3 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup roasted unsalted cashews
2 stems green onion, thinly chopped
strips of red pepper
fresh coriander leaves
slices of tomato and cucumber
Slice the chicken into 1/4inch/5-mm strips. Reserve along with the shrimps.
Heat oil in a wok (or a large frying pan) until it is just about to smoke. Add garlic and stirfry for 30 seconds. Add chicken and shrimps and stirfry for 1-1.5 minutes, until the meats have turned white, then decrease heat to medium high. Break the eggs directly into the wok. Fry the egg without breaking them up for 2 minutes, until they are partially set.
Push the eggs and meat to one side of the wok, and add the rice to the other side. Add soy sauce and fish sauce on the rice and then using a shoveling motion, combine the 2 sides of the wok, tossing- stirring for 2 minutes, mixing the rice with the eggs, chicken and shrimp, working from the bottom up so that all the rice has a chance to fry in the oil and everything is integrated.
Sprinkle black pepper on the rice and add cashews, green onion and the reserved pineapple chunks. Toss-stir for 1- 2 minutes, folding the new ingredients into the rice and then remove fom heat. Transfer to a serving dish and top with red pepper strips and fresh coriander leaves.
Garnish sides with slices of tomato and cucumber. Serve immediately.
Note: Use the ingredient list as a guideline and season the fried rice as you cook.