Today two dishes were produced in the kitchen. A couple of friends came over so more food was necessary. The extra hands were certainly a great help. I decided to remake the jungle curry from the other week. I pounded all of the necessary pastes and handed it off to my first mate. The recipe explains that you cook the paste until you being to sneeze. We sneezed, we coughed, we cried and then we opened up all the windows. We knew it was almost ready.
It turned out wonderful again and was greatly helped by the addition of the sawtooth seen on top.
This has thus far been my favorite dish of the month. It's rich, salty, and spicy. Afterwards you don't feel overfull as I sometimes do with coconut cream or milk based recipes.
My friends brought a nice pomelo with them so it was a pretty simple decision to make a pomelo salad.
Here's what I did based on David Thompson's recipe in his excellent book Thai Food. Have I recommended it to you enough yet?
Put five birds eye chilies into the mortar and pestle along with a clove or two of garlic and a pinch of salt. Once they are paste, add a tablespoon of dried shrimp and pound but only until mixed together. The original recipe calls for crab paste, but I just used a quarter teaspoon gapi or shrimp paste. Mix again. Chop one stalk of lemongrass and slice two or three apple eggplants. Lightly mash together.
Next add the whole pomelo*. Add two teaspoons palm sugar, a tablespoon each of lime juice and fish sauce.
*the original recipe calls for mush less than this, but I had a whole prepped pomelo in front of me... Also, adjust based on the size of your fruit.
The original recipe calls for a few fresh prawns as well, and this would be a great addition. Today I felt it unnecessary as I had already bought so much fish for the curry. The choice is yours.
Do I need you to convince you that it's beautiful? It's sweet, salty, spicy and the kind of thing I could see myself eating quite often. Oh wait, I used to do exactly that.
All of this was fine and good, but I was maybe more excited about dessert. While I've been making Thai food every day this January, my friend is making a different pie each and every day. He brought us a delicious banana cream pie.
It won't live to see tomorrow.