Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cooking Classes in Laos

Beerlao: the Wholehearted People's Beer!

Fresh Basil and chilis and pumpkins

Chilis and onions and garlic!

Banana Flowers and Banana Leaves and Bananas

Morning Market in Luang Prabang

Inside the Morning Market

Fresh Fish from the Mekong!

And some frogs!

Chili powders and dried mushrooms

Rice at the morning market

Pigs Heads and Pigs blood

Fish for sale

Chicken feet!

Dried squid

Gardens of the Tamarind Cooking Class

Tamarind Cooking Class

All the makings for Mok!

Cooking over charcoal

Giving the tomatos flavor

A chili dip with sticky rice

Cooking the Sticky Rice

The beginnings of Mok Pa

Mok Pa basics

Cooking Chicken in Lemongrass

The Buffalo Stew

Finished Chicken in Lemongrass

The feast!

Our teacher Joy!!!

Shrimp and Grits

Being from South Carolina, when I want to impress my lovers, I cook them this for brunch/breakfast. If it doesn't kill them, I hope it makes them fall more deeply in love with me. Ha ha! Enjoy courtesy of the late Representative Floyd Spence. 


1/2 pound raw shrimp, peeled
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons bacon grease
1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup bell pepper, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 to 3/4 cup hot water or stock* (chicken, vegetable, or shrimp)
Grits (serving for 2 - 4)

In a bowl, sprinkle the shrimp with lemon juice, salt, and cayenne pepper. Set aside. Heat the bacon grease in a skillet and saute the onion and pepper over medium heat until onions become transparent. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir constantly, until the flour begins to brown. Add the shrimp with a little of the juice and about 3/4 cup water or stock, stirring constantly and turning shrimp so they cook evenly. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the shrimp are done and the gravy is uniformly smooth, thinning with a little extra liquid if necessary.

Cook grits according to package directions. I recommend cooking the grits in any leftover broth and adding a small amount of heavy cream to them just before serving.