Chu Chee Seafood Curry- Southern Thai Goodness

This is one of my favorite Thai curries. I first had it in the south of Thailand in Surat Thani at the bus station on my way to Phuket. It had every kind of seafood imaginable. Some of the seafood had been grilled, so it was epic. 

My version is much simpler, and although it sounds a bit involved, it really isn’t. Just have everything ready to go and you will be rewarded with a wonderful meal which is bursting with flavors. 
Feel free to add whatever seafood you like and if you are allergic to shellfish, it is just perfect with fish. Or, if you want to make it vegetarian, just add deep fried tofu or broccoli.
Ingredients

1 lb Fish, cut into 3 inch squares. I use cod. 
6 Large Shrimp, shelled. 
6 large Scallops, scored. 
1 4oz can Chu Chee Curry Paste, easily found in Thai or Most Chinese markets. 
1 13.5 oz can Coconut Milk
3 Tbsp Oil
4 Thai Chilies, whole or chopped, if you like it very spicy.
2 Tsp Sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp Fish Sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp Lime Juice
Fresh Kaffir Lime Leaves, lovely if you can find them. 
Prepare your fish and other seafood and heat the oil in a large sauté pan which has a lid. 
Once the oil is hot, add your curry paste and keep stirring. After it is fragrant, add your fish and lightly sear each side. Maybe 1 minute per side. Remove to a plate and add your Thai chilies. Stir for maybe one minute. Then add your coconut milk and sugar and cook on a medium simmer for 5 minutes. 
Add in your fish, shrimp and scallops and make sure they are well coated with the sauce. Reduce the heat to a soft simmer. Put on the lid and cook for 6-7 minutes.
Turn off the heat, add the fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves and lime juice, mix well and serve over steamed Jasmine rice. 

KFC Fried Chicken with 11 Herbs and Spices

Here’s the back story. The Chicago Tribune was interviewing Harland Sander’s nephew, and in a scrapbook he showed the reporter a hand written recipe for the original KFC. 
“The recipe came to us (Chicago Tribune) by way of Colonel Harland Sander’s nephew, Joe Ledington of Kentucky. He says he found it in a scrapbook belonging to his late Aunt Claudia, Sanders’ second wife. Ledington, 67, says he used to blend the spices that went into his uncle’s world-famous fried chicken, and the recipe in question is the real deal.”
So, here you go:
Ingredients 
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 Tbsp Salt
1/2 Tbsp dried Thyme
1/2 Tbsp dried Basil
1/3 Tbsp dried Oregano
1 Tbsp Celery Salt
1 Tbsp ground Black Pepper
1 Tbsp dried Mustard
4 Tbsp Paprika
2 Tbsp Garlic Salt
1 Tbsp ground Ginger
3 Tbsp ground White Pepper
1 cup Buttermilk
1 Egg, beaten
1 Chicken, cut up, the breast pieces cut in half for more even frying
Expeller-pressed canola oil
1) Mix the flour in a bowl with all the herbs and spices; set aside.
2) Mix the buttermilk and egg together in a separate bowl until combined. Soak the chicken in the buttermilk mixture at room temperature, 20-30 minutes.
3) Remove chicken from the buttermilk, allowing excess to drip off. Dip the chicken pieces in the herb-spice-flour mixture to coat all sides, shaking off excess. Allow to sit on a rack over a baking sheet, 20 minutes.
4) Meanwhile, heat about 3 inches of the oil in a large Dutch oven (or similar heavy pot with high sides) over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. (Use a deep-frying thermometer to check the temperature.) 
When temperature is reached, lower the heat to medium to maintain it at 350. Fry 3 or 4 pieces at a time, being careful not to crowd the pot. Fry until medium golden brown, turning once, 15-18 minutes. 
Transfer chicken pieces to a baking sheet covered with paper towels. Allow the oil to return to temperature before adding more chicken. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Note: This would be very good with Portobello mushrooms.
A note on MSG: A number of readers have asked how much MSG to use in the recipe above. Although KFC has confirmed that its present-day recipe uses MSG, that ingredient was not part of the list of herbs and spices we received from the Colonel’s nephew, so we didn’t include MSG in the published recipe. But we did taste the fried chicken with a sprinkle of MSG. If you want to try the chicken with MSG, we suggest doing as we did: Sprinkle a little on the finished chicken pieces right before eating.

Coconut Rice – Pure Comfort Food

I’m not sure if this is more of an southern Indian dish, a Southeast Asian, or Carribean dish, as I have had it in many countries with slight variations, but either way, it is a fantastic side dish which is the perfect foil for so many main dishes. Its easy to prepare and very good indeed.

I will include the variations at the end of the recipe, as there are so many options, but here is my basic recipe and you can let your creativity flow from there.

Ingredients

2 cups of high quality Jasmine Rice, such as Hom Mali.
1 14 oz can of Coconut Milk
1 1/2 cups of water
1 tsp Sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup of toasted Coconut, sweetened or unsweetened.

Begin by rinsing the rice well in cold water. Then drain and add in all ingredients except the toasted coconut.

Bring to a boil and then cover with a tight fitting lid and reduce heat and allow to cook for 15 minutes. While the rice is cooking, toast the coconut in a 375F oven on a baking sheet and then remove and set aside. 

Remove rice from the heat, stir gently with a fork and replace lid and allow to set for 10 minutes. Remove lid, fold in the toasted coconut and serve.

Optional Toppings:
Green Onions
Cashews 
Fried Shallots
Cilantro

Vegan Fish Tacos – No Guilt!

These are very good, good for you and will fool most anyone into thinking they are having authentic fish tacos right on the beach in Baja California Norte. 
This is not just a dish for vegans, but also for anyone who is allergic to seafood or fish.
If you don’t yet have access to Gardein products, use another suitable vegan fish filet. You may also prepare these grilled style, rather than a fried style. 
Note: Many Chinese markets have a good selection of vegan meat substitutes in their frozen case. Additionally, if you are unable to find soft corn tortillas, you can substitute the hard tortilla shells, but wrap them in a warm flour tortilla to hold it all together. 
Ingredients
 
8 soft Corn Tortillas
4 Gardein Vegan Fish Fillets, cooked and cut in half
1/2 cup Shredded Cabbage
1/4 cup Cilantro, coarsely chopped. 
Lime wedges, to serve on side
Slice of Avocado, optional
Sauce:
4 Tbsp Vegan Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp Green Onion, finely chopped 
1 tsp Mustard, yellow or Dijon
1 1/2 Tbsp Ketchup
1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1/8 tsp Black Pepper, freshly ground. 
Serves 4, makes 8 tacos
Begin by preheating your oven to prepare the fish filets. While oven is heating, prepare your sauce. 
Begin with your vegan mayo and add each ingredient one by one, gently folding them together. Set into the fridge. 
Put your fish filets into the oven and cook as directed. Wrap your soft tortillas in aluminum foil and put into the oven for the last 3 minutes of cooking. Remove tortillas from oven and remove the fish filets. 
Cut the filets in half and assemble your tacos. A soft tortilla, a small amount of sauce, then 1/2 fish filet, cabbage and more sauce. Finish with cilantro and fold in half. Serve with lime wedges on the side. 
Hot sauce on the table is a must.