Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cooking Fun with Mistress of Spices

One of the fun things about being in Bangkok is that you meet people who are as obsessed with food as you are. I've become friends with two food bloggers (the Mistress of Spices and Mango Ginger, host of the Hidden Kitchen) and through Instagram and Facebook posts, the Mistress and I discovered a shared fascination with Ottolenghi's cookbook. I love reading about cooking and talking about food and its great to have friends who feel the same way.

In the past 3 months, I have become obsessed with making Eggs Shakshouka. I made the Ottolenghi recipe and served it for brunch and was happy with it.
Made after following Ottolenghi Recipe
Then my other friend Kaya posted that her new husband, a sweet Israeli jeweler named Assaf, had made it for brunch. I knew that I would have to have some of his to discover what its really supposed to taste like. I invited them over for  Brunch and he prepared it for us. It was divine. So divine, I made it for dinner the next night and had it for breakfast the day after.

Assaf in the Kitchen
Better because sauce is more carmelized and eggs are runnier
So after talking about this and posting photos on Facebook, the Mistress and I decided to have a mid-week dinner party. Originally, the men were supposed to join us but as it was a "Men's  Night" in a local club in Bangkok (really??? I thought every night was a men's night in Bangkok), it became a girl's only dinner party.

My friend Rebecca (who I traveled to Cambodia with - more photos later) honored the party by making a nice pink drink that was an adaptation from the "Bee's Knees"  but colored with Dragon fruit so being a Game of Thrones geek, I renamed it the Daenyrs Stormborn "Mother of Dragons".  It was potent but delicious!

Mother of Dragons!
For the menu, the Mistress of Spices made a creamy yet light Cream of Tomato soup with a tiny crouton with goat cheese floating on top. I miss goat cheese so much in Bangkok!

I made two salads - one a simple cabbage "slaw" dressed with a sesame-ginger vinaigrette and roasted sesame seeds. Its something I make for myself at home a lot when I return from being overseas. The crunchy cabbage fulfills my need for vegetables and chewing and the sesame vinaigrette is so yummy that I want to eat it on everything. I didn't feel like peeling the carrots and spinach was looking too big and rangy so I just went with the simple cabbage. I also substituted mirin for the sugar in the recipe and doubled the ginger.

The other salad, a Quinoa/Broad Bean/ Radish salad was from Ottolenghi's Plenty cookbook. It was my first time making Quinoa. One of the challenges in Bangkok is that its hard to find some of the vegetables that depend on a temperate climate or you have to pay exorbitant prices to get them at the import store. Since I wasn't able to locate broad beans, I used edamame. Instead of fresh radishes, I used Daikon and I found some sweet pea shoots from New Zealand. I was also a bit reluctant to fuss a about de-membraning the lemons so I just squeezed the lemons whole. Next time I'll try it out the other way.

The main course was a very savory and rich Carmelized onion tart from the Mistress and Eggs Shakshuka. Unfortunately, I was a bit too involved in the cocktails and conversation and overcooked the eggs so no photos here... :) But the tart was delicious - deep flavors, a crispy crust, and quickly devoured.
Goat Cheese and Carmelized Onion Tart!
The dinner was fun and exciting on a Wednesday night and we had a great conversation about everything from dating in Bangkok to mathematical modeling of Hepatitis E to eating tarantulas in Cambodia.

Cheers ladies!

1 comment:

The Mistress of Spices said...

A lovely write-up of a lovely evening. Everything you made was delicious. We have to do it again soon!