Friday, December 24, 2010

Just Desserts: Cream Puffs

Cream puffs, my favorite dessert growing up... What's not to love? These bite size treats are light and airy yet rich and decadent, filled with whipped cream and dipped into chocolate. My Baba made these all the time for special occasions and, on request, when I needed to quench my sweet tooth. After eating countless cream puffs throughout my life, I figured it would be beneficial to learn the recipe from our family's master baker. So this Christmas Eve Baba and I had a baking class.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Quick Dill Pickle

I've been out of the country for the last 2 months, away from the kitchen and totally removed from the holiday frenzy. Just hours after I landed from a 14-hour flight, my sister, mom, and I are back together, in the kitchen, doing what we love to do best - cooking!
Christmas is about being with family enjoying their presence, sharing memories, and rejoicing in traditions from the past. For my family, this dill pickle is one of many Russian traditions. It's a flavor of my childhood that has been served at every holiday meal. Eat this pickle for a refreshing and crunchy bite that cleanses the palate and cuts the richness of the holiday meal.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Just Desserts: Light Biscotti

The holidays are here and that means cookies! For a variation on the typical Christmas cookie, try this great biscotti recipe. I got this recipe from my grandmother, but I changed a few things (adding vanilla, dried cherries, and the final chocolate dip). The result is a decadent, flavorful, but not overly fattening biscotti.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cooking in Chiang Mai: Pad Thai

Ahhhh...What is better than a plate of pad thai? A plate full of gooey rice noodles, rich scrambled egg, crunchy roasted peanuts, and fresh bean sprouts all seasoned with the sweet, salty, spicy, and sour flavors that are typical in Thai cooking. This is my perfect noodle dish. In Thailand pad thai is fast food, cheap food, and good food. The endless street vendors whip this dish up in minutes and serve it piping hot to drooling locals and tourists.

I took a cooking course at Asia Scenic in Chiang Mai, learned to make eight local Thai dishes, and chose to make pad thai as my third course, my noodle dish. I have made pad thai at home but my dish always fell far short of authentic. After cooking this dish in Thailand I understand my mistake - I have been over complicating the flavors and the technique, adding way too many and overworking all my ingredients. After cooking class I learned that less is definitely more when making this dish. This dish is aroi (delicious) so read below and learn how to make authentic pad thai in less than 15 minutes!