This dish is somewhat elaborate but definitely worth the effort. Creamy, rich and spicy at the same time, it’s no wonder that it is among the most popular dishes served at Sanamluang. The only unusual ingredient is galangal, which is a kind of Thai ginger with a pine-like flavor.
These Vietnamese rolls resemble Chinese egg rolls, but use rice paper instead of won ton wrappers, which produces a much more delicate product. Handling rice paper for the wrapping is easy if you use only a couple of sheets at a time and keep the rest covered with a damp towel to keep them moist. These rolls can be prepared in advance: reheat in a 350 degree oven until crisp, about 20 minutes.
"The second item I prepared was classic Thai street food: Crying Tiger Beef. But instead of cooking a whole piece of marinated skirt steak (the traditional method), I bias-sliced a partially frozen steak and marinated the sliced beef. When the block was screaming hot, I quickly seared the steak strips to medium-rare, about two to three minutes per side. (The longer food stays on the block and the higher the food’s moisture content the more salt it will pick up from the block.) To accompany the steak, I grilled marinated asparagus on the salt block until crisp-tender and served it with Jasmine rice."
Read the entire article on salt block cooking by Mike Stines here.
This is the sweet heat dessert that perfectly finished the shrimp dish at Cuvée. Chef Dean says that you can use lemon, lime, or grapefruit, juice, or a combination. I’ll bet you could use orange juice if you wished.
The idea of shitake mushrooms and piñons may sound a little strange, but it's amazing what wonderful things you can come up with when you are willing to work with what's in the cupboard! However, it does have a bit of a kick, so don't serve it to friends who are faint of heart!
The use of peanuts, also called groundnuts, in soups and stews is common over all of Africa but is especially popular in the west. "Chop" is African slang meaning food or a meal. The vegetables in this stew can be varied to suit your tastes; if you do, however, eliminate the okra it will alter the consistency of the sauce. The important step to remember in preparing this soup or stew is to mix some of the broth with the peanut butter before adding to the soup to keep it from curdling and breaking apart.