Sunday, December 7, 2008

Dinner tonight... Shrimp Pad Thai

One of the things I am most enjoying about feeding Mr. Fritz: at this point, I really feel like I can replicate a restaurant in my kitchen. One night, it's an American steak house, another night, an Italian trattoria, another night, a French bistro, etc. If we're craving it, I can (more or less) make it, and make it to order. So today, as I was planning this week's menu, I decided I'd give Pad Thai a try. I'd never made it before, but really like it. To my great delight, this recipe for Shrimp Pad Thai offered a very close approximation of what we'd get if we ordered it out.

Notable things: rice stick noodles, which look like my hair, were my hair translucent and white, can be hard to untangle. I only wanted to use half of the 8 oz package and ended up having to use scissors to cut off a slab of these dry, stiff, yet strangely pliable noodles in order to get the amount I needed. Also, this was my first time using fish sauce. I was hesitant, but figured that after all these years of avoiding it, it was probably time to just give in a buy a bottle. 2 Tbs of fish sauce is the equivalent to 2 Tbs of soy sauce and 1 Tb of anchovy paste. And, if you ever need to chop peanuts, try this method: put whole peanuts into a small ziplock bag, remove any excess air from the bag and seal it, then bang on it with a meat tenderizer. It works like a charm and is a lot easier (and safer) than triying to chop them with a knife. Finally, this recipe has a longer ingredient list than most of the ones I've used of late, but it really is worth it to gather everything, including the cilantro, fresh limes, scallions, and mung bean sprouts. Each ingredient really adds to the layered flavors and textures in the overall dish. Good stuff.

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