Tireless Cook

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Asian-Mex Mixed Plate

Today I had the pleasure of having my wonderful neighbor and friend over for dinner. After work, I rushed to the supermarket to get all the ingredients for dinner. Sounds easy enough, but the task got difficult as my sandal broke in the middle of the produce section. What to do now? Do I keep the other sandal on and continue on? Or do I go barefoot and risk being the subject of People of Wal-mart-like  humiliation? Anyway, to spare the details, I hurried up and got out.

For tonight's dinner - skin-on salmon filet pan-broiled in Aloha teriyaki sauce, broccoli sauteed in sesame-ginger sauce, baked potatoes, Mexican corn salsa, and brown rice. I went Rachel Ray on this and whipped it up in 30 minutes (minus time spent washing the veggies and thawing the salmon). I tell you, the only way, I believe,  Mrs. Ray managed to cook a 3-course meal in 30 minutes is by washing the veggies and meat before hand. Anyhow, she is great at what she does! My Thursday night dinner date, Mary, came right on time as she was told; but glad she didn't come starved. Dinner wasn't ready for another 15 minutes. We had a great laugh killing the time though.

Then came dinner. I tell you, a dish isn't complete without that one vegetable that the "   " has planted into our soil. Today I went for a small habanero. Oh boy, was it torturous! I remember back in the college days when my sister's roommates were munching on some hot chilis. The phone rang and one of the girls answered, "ssssssshhhsssssssssrrrsss..Yeah she's here. Let me get her..ssssshrl." The other girl got to the phone and said, "Hey..sssssshhrrrrssssssssshsss...what's.sssshhsrs up?" Yes, it burns, your ears ring, you sweat like a construction worker; but some of us like that. For tonight's dinner recipes, please tune in. They'll be up shortly.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

'Hot' Mexican is the 'Mild' Thai

I'm not sure what to write but there's a lot on my mind.  I'll just let my wine do the writing. I tell you, wine has various effects on different people. It either turns you mean, teary, chatty, or sleepy. Lucky for others (and hubby), wine doesn't bring out the tiger in me. However I can't say the same for vodka. You notice how women often get emotional after a few drinks, "I luv you!!!" to everyone at the bar? Yeah, I do that. Once I stepped on a stranger's foot with my 2-in heels on the dance floor. She turned around, put her hand softly on my shoulder, let out a bubbly laugh, and said, "It's OK!" Take the alcohol away from that experience and I'd be coming home with a black eye and all pieces of my hair extensions missing!

Anyway, I'm kinda warmed up now, but hope I finish this post before the tipsiness runs out. For lunch today I had beef fajitas from Fresh n' Easy. I sauteed it last night and threw it together with left-over brown rice from Sunday's left-over seafood dinner. I topped it off with quick, ingredient-lacking home-made pico de gallo. Man, it wasn't good. After work, I treated myself to Mr. Papaya Kitchen's papaya salad and spring rolls. I ordered 'spicy'. If you're not Thai and love the fiery, please remember one thing: order mild or medium when ordering Thai. I learned this the hard way as the hot papaya made its way down the wrong pipe. Good thing this happened in the comfort of my own home. But whateva, as long as my husband loves me, right? Remember, 'hot' Mexican is the 'mild' Thai (no pun intended).

I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoy this small and mighty hot Thai pepper. Never underestimate the power of little things! It all started when I was 3 years old, as I accompanied Mom at a food cart in our Ho Chi Minh City neighborhood. Eating with right hand, she held out a 1/3 bitten red pepper with her left. Thinking that she was feeding it to me and not having any clue to what it was, I took a bite. Mom took notice and tried her best to pry it out of my mouth. Much to her dismay, I swallowed the devil and never looked back.