1 March 2011

Cooking the Books - David Thompson's Thai Street Food.

Cooking the Books was started by a group of food bloggers on twitter.  It's a lunch where a cookbook is chosen and everyone brings along a dish that they made from that cookbook.  This is actually the third cooking the books lunch.  I missed out on the first one because I was sick and the second one because I was holidaying at Lindeman Island with my family.

This time round the cookbook chosen was Thai Street Food by David Thompson.

I was happy to host the lunch at my house.  I was more than happy to open my house and kitchen to what I knew was going to be a feast.

I decided to make Madtarbark with beef with cucumber relish.  I chose this recipe because the ingredient list wasn't as long as most of the dishes in the book and it looked delicious.  I made the dough the night before and left it overnight to steep in the oil. I was quite nervous that the dough would not turn out.  The recipe calls for the dough to be stretched out by fingers and being flung out onto an oiled surface, but for the less dexterous a rolling pin can be used.  Needless to say, I used a rolling pin.  I also tweaked the recipe a little.  I added a little more beef and also added holy basil because I love the smell and taste of the herb.

It was a great lunch.  Below is what everyone else brought along.

Kat from Urban Cook's Journal made Pat Thai
Kat from Urban Cook's Journal also made Green Papaya Salad (Som dtam malakor)
Thanh from I eat therefore I am made Deep fried cured pork ribs (Naem sii krong muu tort)
Kat from Spatula, Spoon and Saturday made Grilled pork skewers (Muu Bing)
Agnes from Off My Spork made Chiang Mai curried noodles and chicken (Kao soi gai)
Michele from Iron Chef Shellie made Wonton and barbeque pork soup (Gioo nahm muu daeng)
April from My food trail made braised pork hock with star anise (Khaa muu parlow)

April's hubby and I digging into the bone marrow from April's dish.  YUM!
The Thai Fest
For dessert, Shellie also made an Orange chiffon cake
I made a Filipino chiffon cake with cheese (Quezo chiffon mini cupcakes)
(to be posted soon)

Matarbark Recipe

Dough Recipe
1/4 tsp salt
125g self raising flour
1/2 egg (about 30g), lightly beaten
15g butter, broken into small pieces
1/2 cup oil

2 tbs chopped red shallots
good pinch of salt
1 tbs chopped garlic
1 tbs chopped ginger
1 heaped tbs curry powder (recipe below)
100g  minced beef (I used 140g)
2 tbs fish sauce, to taste (I used 1 tbs of Filipino fish sauce)
pinch of white sugar
1 smal white onion, quite finely sliced
3 tbs chopped spring onions
2 tbs chopped coriander
1 handful of holy basil.
1 egg beaten

Curry powder (makes about 1/2 cup.  You can store in the fridge)
5 long dried chillies
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 1/2 tbs coriander seeds
1 tbs cumin seeds
1 tbs cloves
1 tsp fennel seeds
4 green cardamom pods
2 tbs turmeric powder
1 1/2 tbs ground ginger

1.  To make the curry powder, place the whole spices in a ginder or mortar and pestle and grind to a powder.  Add the tumeric and ginger then pass the powder through a sieve.

2.  Make the dough.  Mix the salt into 1/4 cup of water.  Sieve the flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre.  Add the egg, stirring to form a crumbly dough, then gradually work in the salted water.  Knead for about 15 minutes until the dough is smooth and soft.  Transfer to a bowl that has been rubbed with a little of the butter and leave to rest for about an hour.
3.  Roll the dough between cupped hands and then divide into 3 equal sized balls and roll a little to smooth their surface.  Return them to the bowl and cover in the oil and dot with the butter pieces.  Cover and leave for at least 3 hours or overnight.
4.  Meanwhile, make the filling, using a pestle and mortar, pound the shallots with the salt then add the garlic and ginger.  Pound to a fine paste.  Stir in the curry powder.

5.  Fry the paste in a frying pan with 2 tablespoons of the oil.  Fry until fragrant then add the minced beef and cook for 4 minutes, stirring to prevent it from clumping.  Season with the fish sauce and sugar.  Allow to cool, then stir in both the onions, coriander and egg. 

6.  Oil the bench and hands well with some of the oil.  Take out on of the dough balls and press against the bench with two or three fingers, spreading the dough to make a disk about 15cm in diameter.  Now, cast the dough by holding one edge of the disk and, using a throwing motion, stretch it until it is really thin and transparent.  If you want, you can also use a rolling pin (like me)
7.  Heat a large frying pan ad melt a smear of the oil in it, then carefully lay the pastry in the pan.  Let it cook for a moment then place a third of the filling in the center, pressing down to flatten and spread it.  Fold opposite sides of the pastry into the center, then repeat with the other two sides.  Make sure the each flap overlaps to secure the filling inside.  Continue to cook until the both sides are golden brown.
8.  Allow to cool slightly, then cut into squares.  Serve warm with cucumber relish.

Cucumber Relish
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 small cucumber. quartered and sliced
3 red shallots, coarsely sliced
1/2 long red chilli, chopped
1 tbs chopped coriander

1.  Simmer the vinegar, sugar and salt with a few tablespoons of water until the sugar has dissolved.
2.  Take off the heat and allow to cool.  (This syrup can be made in advanced and be kept in the fridge indefinitely)
3.  Just before serving, stir in the cucumber, shallots, chilli and chopped coriander.

A the end of the lunch, much food was eaten, much wine was consumed and best of all, much laughter was had.  Everyone left for home with full tummies and eagerly looking forward to our next Cooking The Books lunch.

Bon Appetitie,


/* */ Iron Chef Shellie said...

Great post Cherrie! mmmm what a delicious feast we had!

/* */ Caroline said...

WOW an awessome meetup & post. You made your dish so easy to make. Also, can't wait to see your next post (chiffon w/ cheeses, yum!)

/* */ penny aka jeroxie said...

REading everyone's post makes me hungry. I love the chiffon with cheese idea... and it looks so pretty.

/* */ Joy said...

Everything looks great.

/* */ Hannah said...

My mum would've been right with you scooping out the bone marrow! Me, I can't wait for the cheese chiffon cake recipe! :D

/* */ April @ My Food Trail said...

Thanks again for opening up your house!

Your dish was delicious (and evidenced by the number of times I went back for a piece!!) and I'm glad I tried the cheese chiffon cake... it definitely tasted a lot better than I thought!

/* */ thanh7580 said...

Thanks for hosting Cherrie.

Looking at all that yummy food is making me so hungry near lunch time.

Can't wait for that cheese cupcake recipe, so yum.

/* */ Kat (Spatula, Spoon and Saturday) said...

Your murtabak was my favourite. And cheese cupcake. Too awesome. Hanging on for the recipe :)

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