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.
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 area of Madras has one of the hottest cuisines in India, which is known for spicy food. In fact it is one of the biggest exporters of Indian spices. This very simple dish is a favorite there in the south where the use of coconut milk in curries is popular. The sweetness of the milk compliments the pungency of their curries. Egg curry is served at any time and is a great spicy addition to brunch or for a light supper. Serve Mottai Kolambu with white rice and an Indian relish or salad.
I like the way the cooks at Ruen Pair prepare their Khii Mao or "drunkard’s noodles." It is less elaborate than some, but I prefer its simplicity. This is a typical bar food dish in Thailand, intended to be washed down with buckets of Singha beer. Don’t be afraid to make it as spicy as you can stand—it will certainly be true to the original. Stir-frying noodles isn’t hard, but it does require a lot of oil. To minimize the amount of oil used, add a little at a time as you cook the noodles.
The marinade in this recipe also doubles as the dressing for the salad. We like to serve this salad with the shrimp hot off the grill, but it can be prepared ahead and served chilled. This is a meal in itself, but why not treat yourself to a chilled gazpacho and a dry white wine?
This curry dish is adapted from a recipe by "The King of Curry" in his recommended book, Pat Chapman’s Noodle Book. In it he says that "green curry is probably Thailand’s most popular dish, both inside and outside the country. Cooked correctly it is a delicate bland of fragrance and flavor, of subtle color laced together with creamy coconut milk. In fact the sauce is not and should not be green; it, and the chicken, is a buff-white color. It is the accompanying herbs -- basil and cilantro-- and, traditionally, pea aubergines, and huge numbers of tiny green Thai chiles that give the dish its greenness." Since pea aubergines (tiny eggplants) are somewhat bitter and difficult to find, they have been eliminated in this recipe.
Chickens grilled in this manner are very popular throughout Thailand, where they’re sold in bus depots in villages, portable food stations, at the beach—everywhere. The Thais would use bamboo skewers, but metal ones work fine. The skewers keep the chicken flat as it cooks on the grill. You will notice that the chicken is doubly spiced, like American barbecue, but much hotter. Those Thais like their food very pungent! The chiles traditionally used are prik chee fa, with medium-hot, cayenne-like, bright red pods. Serve with sticky rice with mangoes and Thai iced tea.
The attitude comes from the green chiles--they definitely add the spice and heat for this otherwise ordinary dish. I like to stuff a small wedge of jalapeño Monterey jack cheese into the center of the pepper just before it’s finished cooking. That adds even more "attitude"!