It’s beginning to look a lot more like Christmas around here!
But luckily, week #30 finds us with unusually warm weather for the weekend and not chance of snow in our immediate future. Baking, shopping and lots of holiday music have been filling our free times. Parties and festivities are gearing up too! Also, moving and packing, which never seems to come at a convenient time here in Brovskyland– but certainly is demanding that the Brovsky’s be buried alive in packing peanuts and boxes. It’s always an adventure around here!
THE DINNER: This week we took a culinary vacation to Thailand this weekend, and it was delightful. When picking recipes it was important to us, as previous stated in other posts, that we tried our best to steer away from typical and cliche cuisine and really try to get an authentic and general picture of food for the country. It seems that, particularly in Asia and Europe that this is tricky as so very much of their food has been Americanized and mainstreamed for mass consumption. So, as you guessed it: Pad Thai was not going to grace our weekend menu.
We decided on a chopped Thai salad with Sesame Garlic dressing paired with a traditional chicken dish Gai Yahng. The Gai Yahng is basically a marinaded and grilled chicken with a really incredible sweet chili sauce that was beyond words. The Gai marinade was basically garlic and cilantro and vinegar and then there was this Yahng portion that was the chili sauce. That was wonderful. It was basically sugar and vinegar and red peppers all reduced down to a jelly/sauce that was the consistency of honey. Delightful. Spicy but also sweet and lovely. Both the chopped salad and the Gai Yahng paired great together. We remarked that it was light and satisfying meal.
Gai Yahng Recipe:http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Gai-Yahng-Thai-Grilled-Chicken-with-Sweet-Chile-Sauce
Thai Chopped Salad with Sesame Garlic Dressing Recipe: http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Gai-Yahng-Thai-Grilled-Chicken-with-Sweet-Chile-Sauce
OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:
Ease of prep and cooking: ONE STAR out of five for this Dinner.
This meal was incredibly simple. I think start to finish we maybe spent an hour on all of this, and it included the grilling time. Nothing was particularly hard to come by, we were able to get the meat and veggies all at our normal super market in fact. So sad we didn’t get to visit the P.O.M for this Asian adventure though! It was good to have a classically clean meal– though exotic in many ways: grilled chicken and salad is one of Brovskyland’s most loved meals, so it was a hit. I will call attention to the fact that mom literally eighth-ed a whole freaking bird… so if you’re nervous to do that there’s lots of youtube videos on chicken landmarks and how to half and quarter a whole chicken. My mom learned from her grandma who live on a farm with live chickens. So there’s always that option to. As well as purchasing the already cut meat– but take it as a piece of chicken advice, as a cook, this is an adventure. Do something that makes you nervous. Cut the bird. #Lifeskill
Best dish of all time scale: FIVE and out of five for the Dinner.
As mentioned above, it was a hit in our house. The chicken marinade was more garlic and cilantro based (which tasting the chicken by itself without the sauce, made it more savory and not as “Asian” inspired as a teriyaki glaze or sesame glaze usually is). The dipping sauce, which was a cinch to make btws, turned out to be the consistency of honey and was sweet but also tangy. Mom and I anticipated wanting to kick up the heat on this recipe with extra Thai sauces (Like Garlic Spice and/or Sriracha) but in the end, the tangy after kick of the paired sauce for the Gai Yahng was perfect. It didn’t overpower, but sustained the need for heat. The salad was a piece of cake. It was lovely to boot. The dressing was surprisingly complex but not hard to make— absolutely more ingredients than I usually have in a dressing. It all played so well though with the kale and veggies. We used ginger instead of lemongrass as was an appropriate substitute by our recipe, and it turned out well.
BOTTOM LINE: We loved this one. In fact, as I sat at my work desk munching on the remains of the chopped salad, I’m already plotting to make the dressing in bulk.
Where to next week in our journey around the world? Well, in honor of my Mom’s birthday next weekend, she got to pick the destination! And we are VERYYYYY happy to report that Italy will be our country to cook Sunday! Also as a slight departure from our typical regime, my mom will be pulling the recipe this week. Not to mention, there might be a surprise addition to the usual cooking… think: “The most important meal of the day”.
(We are incredibly excited as Italy is our Brovsky spirit animal. We make Italian food for our comfort food around here, so this one is very close to our hearts! ❤ We cannot wait!)
Till next week, Ciao Bella!!
– L & K