Red Curry Paste

I could not believe the flavor of this curry paste!! I’ve never made my own curry paste before and could not believe the flavor. ┬áJust be sure to not put your nose to close to the food processor when you open it – whew – it blows you away, and may make you cry ­čÖé


This recipe is also adapted from my Thai cooking class at the Sydney Fish Market.

Makes about 1 cup.

  • 24 long dried red chilies
  • 10 white peppercorns, crushed
  • 2 stalks lemongrass (lower 1/3), cleaned and sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons peeled and chopped galangal root
  • 1 cilantro root, soaked to clean
  • 1 teaspoon Thai shrimp paste, heated in microwave for 30 seconds
  • 1/2 cup shallots
  • 1/2 cup garlic
  1. Remove membranes and seed from chilies (you may want to wear gloves, and┬ádefinitely┬ádon’t touch your eyes!)
  2. Soak chilies in warm water for 15-30 minutes. Drain and dry.
  3. Place peppercorns, lemongrass, galangal root and cilantro root into food processor and blend for 5 minutes.
  4. Add remaining and process until it forms a paste.
Posted in Main, Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup

Here is the amazing soup I learned from the Sydney Fish Market class on Thai cooking. It is great, my 10 year old son was even able to equate it to the Thai version of miso soup with a little kick!


Serves 6.

  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 stalks lemon grass
  • 3 slices galangal root
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, torn
  • 2 cilantro roots, soaked
  • 4 Thai chilies, bruised
  • 12 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails on
  • 1 cup oyster mushrooms, halved
  • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons palm sugar, shaved
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  1. Place first 5 ingredients in saucepan, bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 15 minutes.
  3. Add chilies, shrimp and mushrooms and simmer covered, for 2 minutes.
  4. Add fish sauce, lime juice and palm sugar, then remove from heat.
  5. Taste – should be salty, sour and slightly hot.
  6. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
Posted in Appetizer, Seafood | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken with Carrots and Potatoes – and GRAVY!

I LOVE my pressure cooker. ┬áIt is an electric pressure cooker which makes all the difference. ┬áI use it all the time for rice, beans and quick curries. So you can imagine my sadness when I blew-up my pressure cooker last week by not plugging it into the correct outlet ­čÖü ┬á We brought all of our appliances with plugs to Australia with the thought that if we blow it, we’ll just get a new one. ┬áBut not the pressure cooker, my baby…but as luck would have it, here in Oz they sell the same one!!! Whew…

IMG_8036This recipe just delicious – so moist and with the gravy – yum! ┬áRecipe adapted from The Easy Pressure Cooker Cookbook.

Serves 4-5.

  • 1 3-4 pound chicken
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 leeks (white and tender green parts), cleaned and chopped
  • 4 medium potatoes, quartered
  • 4 carrots, cut in 2-inch pieces
  • 2 springs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock or water
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  1. Sprinkle chicken inside and out with salt and pepper.
  2. Place 2 Tablespoons of oil in cooker and brown chicken well on all sides.
  3. Remove chicken and place leeks on the bottom of cooker followed by chicken, potatoes and carrots.
  4. Pour in liquids and spices.
  5. Cover and set cooker for 20 minutes, then allow cooker to release the pressure naturally for 10 minutes.
  6. Remover chicken and veggies from cooker and cover with foil.
  7. Strain remaining liquid into a pot and boil rapidly for 5 minutes.
  8. Make roux with butter and flour, then add to strained liquid. Boil and whisk until thick.
  9. Carve chicken and serve.
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Chrissy Dessert – Pavlova

Well here in Australia the most popular dessert to have on Chrissy (the Aussies shorten everything!) is Pavlova. ┬áTruth be told, this is a picture of my second attempt. ┬áI learned very quickly to use the correct type of sugar and not to open the oven until the pavlova had fully cooled in the oven (it will fall dramatically otherwise – take my word for it!)IMG_1716

There are many recipes out there, and they all are very similar, the main difference is the addition of vanilla, and I am a HUGE fan of vanilla so I added it.  My favorite recipe is from Donna Hay.

Serves 6-8.

  • 4 eggwhites
  • 1 cup (220 grams) castor sugar
  • 3 teaspoons corn flour (corn starch)
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • fresh fruit to serve
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Beat eggwhites until soft peaks form.
  3. Gradually add sugar and beat for about 10 minutes until the mixture is stiff and shiny.
  4. Mix in cornflour, vinegar and vanilla until just combined.
  5. Spoon onto sheet pan lined with parchment and form an 18cm diameter circle.
  6. Place in oven and reduce heat to 250 degrees for one hour.
  7. Turn oven off and allow pavlova to cool in oven.
  8. Whip cream to soft peaks.
  9. Top pavlova with whipped cream and fruit.
Posted in Dessert, Fruit, Holiday, Kids Dig It | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Spicy Shrimp

The spice on the shrimp is amazing.  Definitely my favorite shrimp appetizer!

spicy shrimp

This recipe is a slight variation from Food52.

  • 1-2 pounds shrimp
  • 1/3 cup Sriracha (a Thai hot sauce)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  1. Place mix all ingredients and marinate the shrimp for 2-4 hours.
  2. Place on grill hot plate (or skewer to cook on grates) and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.
  3. Serve hot or cold with toothpicks.
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Smoked Salmon Pasta

Smoked Salmon Pasta

I like making this when I purchase smoked salmon for Eggs Benedict with Salmon and am not sure what to do with the leftover salmon. It takes the same amount of time to make this as it does a package of mac & cheese and the kids love it just as much!! Inspired from The Peach Tree Inn in Fredricksburg, Texas.

  • 3/4 pound smoked salmon
  • 1 ┬ápound pasta
  • 2 ┬ácups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 t salt
  • parmesan cheese
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Cut salmon into 1-inch cubes.
  3. Pour cream into large skillet and heat until boiling until it is reduced by 1/3.
  4. Add pasta, peas and salt to the reduced cream then add in the salmon.
  5. Sprinkle with freshly grated parm and serve!
Posted in Appetizer, Kids Dig It, Main, Pasta, Seafood | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment