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Exploring Thailand

Thailand – Cooking class with Wandee – Pakinakka Cooking school

My husband and I were fortunate to visit Thailand in April.  We fell in love with the culture, the sceneries, the first-class service and most of all the food!

We were supposed to stay in Khao Lak for 2 nights but ended up there for 5 days.

Wandee, the owner of Pakinakka Cooking school made the stay in Khao Lak one to remember.  What an experience.  She picked us up from our Villa in Khao Lak and took us to the Local Market where all the hotels, restaurants and locals buy their fresh food from.

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You can find the most amazing fresh produce at the market, anything from seafood, meat, spices, and vegetables

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Freshly made curry pastes

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Early morning arrival; roundabout 4h00 from the fishermen

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A very interesting fact is that the brinjal is not a vegetable, it’s a berry and related to a tomato

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Thai Apple

After our market experience, we went to Wandee’s outdoor cooking school

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The view…

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We had a choice and decided to make our favourite dishes – Spring rolls, Prawn Pad Thai and Panang curry

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Everything was well prepared and beautifully displayed

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Prepping the spring rolls, Schalk was an absolute natural

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Jorina

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Above, some of the ingredients for Pad Thai

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Ingredients for the pad thai sauce:  palm sugar, fish sauce & tamarind paste

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Pad Thai Sauce

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Not to bad for a first try?

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Pad Thai is a stir-fried rice noodle dish commonly served as a street food, also a popular dish at local eateries in Thailand

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One of our absolute favourites!!!!  Panang curry

The word “Panang” derived from the ancient Khmer language that was adopted by the Thai, meaning “cross” mostly referring to leg position, like sitting cross-legged (on the floor). In the old-time, there was a way of cooking grilled chicken by crossing the chicken’s legs and setting the chicken upright instead of halving the chicken open and cooking it on the grill. The chicken that sat cross-legs up on the grill would be bathed with a curry paste that contained ground roasted peanuts, in the paste, then mixed with coconut cream. It would be brushed with the same mixture over the whole cooking time on the grill. This is a dish called “Gai Panang” or “Chicken Panang”, due to the position of the chicken on the grill.

Later on, the method had been simplified by cutting the chicken into big pieces and cooking them in the curry, in the pot over the stove instead of over the grill. This is the origin of Panang curry.

Source:  www.highheelgourmet.com

I will recommend this experience to everyone that loves Thai cooking.  If your travels take you through Khao Lak get in touch with Wandee:  https://www.pakinnakacookingschool.com/

Happy travels & crazy cooking!!!!

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boy’s night in

Boy’s Night In

Served with an ice cold beer, these flatbreads are perfect and simply delicious for your weekly boy’s night in.

Flatbreads are really easy to make with no ‘’nitty gritty’’ and can be made in advance and even frozen for your next rugby match.

Harissa can be bought from your supermarket or if you want to impress – follow the easy recipe below

For a twist:  Use flatbreads instead of bread the next time you make your famous ‘’braai broodjies’’.  Spread with basil pesto, thinly sliced tomato and mozzarella cheese and braai over medium heat.

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Harissa recipe:

2                                          red peppers, roasted

2  tablespoons                  fresh coriander

1 teaspoon                         cumin seeds

1                                           red onion

2                                           garlic cloves

1 teaspoon                         red chilies, chopped with seeds

Olive oil

Method:

Blend all ingredients together and add olive oil until you get the consistency you desire.  Add more chilies if you want an extra kick.

Add Harissa to chicken sosaties and marinate for a few hours before braai time.  Harissa is also great to add to mayo for chicken sarmies

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Flatbread recipe:

350g                    Self raising flour

1  teaspoon        Baking powder

350g                     Yogurt (any type, depending if you are on a diet or not )

Method:

Mix all ingredients together.  Leave to rest for 30 minutes and make into smaller balls.  Roll out with a rolling pin into thin pieces of bread.  Preheat chargrill pan, drizzle with oil and fry flatbreads for 5 minutes on each side.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add chopped garlic if you don’t mind the passion killer.

The yogurt gives it a lovely sour taste and adding lemon zest makes it even more zingy.

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Pulled Lamb Flatbread method:

Spread the flatbreads with harissa paste and top it with pulled lamb.  Mix yogurt with a dash of lemon juice and zest and drizzle over lamb.  Drain chickpeas and fry in a little bit of olive oil and finish your flatbread off with thinly sliced red onion and a big handful of the freshest coriander you can find!

Easy, simple and delicious.  What more do you want…except an ice cold beer

Boys night.  SORTED

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Heal the world….

“There Are Ways
To Get There
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Little Space
Make A Better Place…”

Michael Jackson

The song was released in 1991 on Michael Jackson’s album, Dangerous.  Out of all his hit singles, this was the song he valued most and was the proudest writing in his life time.  This may come as a cliché, and surely Michael did not come without controversy, but still one of the greatest songs of all time delivered by one of the greatest and unique artists in history.

Clara Hanekom, which this special edition of Lens & Ladle is featuring, was diagnosed with blood cancer on the 12th of April 2016.

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Anja & Liza Mostert, was set to make a difference, with lots of fun!  They took up the kitchen to bake a radical cake for Clara.  The little ones from Cape Town were really amped, and wanted to get down & dirty without wasting time! … and a really special thought is that they have never met 3yr old Clara … wow!

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Anja

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The earliest archaeological evidence for wheat seeds crushed between simple millstones to make flour dates to 6000 BC.

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Liza

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Research at Nihon University, Japan in 1990 revealed a number of different issues were important to Japanese housewives when deciding which eggs to buy; however, color was a distinct factor, with most Japanese housewives preferring the white color.

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Several mixtures of cacao are described in ancient texts, for ceremonial or medicinal, as well as culinary, purposes.

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A special thanks to Gert & Wilma Mostert for your inspiring help to make this edition so fantastic.

 

Facts about Clara …

Born:                                3 October 2012

Parents:                            Nikki & Olivea Hanekom

Hobbies:                           Love telling & reading stories, painting, baking mud cakes, colouring books

 

Medical update: Clara is free of cancer cells and in remission at the moment, but she still needs to continue her program.  She is in phase 3 and needs to go through 1 more phase, then two year on a maintenance phase where blood samples and chemo therapy will still be a reality.  In 5 years from now, with lots of prayers, she will have a normal life, just like her friends.

Updates: http://www.facebook.com/Gebedsgroep-vir-Clara-Hanekom-1141869089177473/

 

Olivea, co-creator of Lens & Ladle, together with her husband, Nikki, still needs every prayer, not just for Clara, but for all her sick friends all over the world.

 

Don’t Skip A Beat

Love

knows

no age

or beauty

Love

knows

no  rich

or  poor

Love

knows

no religion

or race

Love

knows

no straight

or gay

Love

knows

no boundary

or reason

Love

knows

no distance

or time

Love

knows only

the rapid beating

of a giving heart sublime

Copyright © Charmaine Chircop

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A cut above a dancing coal

‘You know that it would be untrue

You know that I would be a liar

If I was to say to you

Girl, we couldn’t get much higher

Come on baby, light my fire’

The Doors

 

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There is something about a fire, and the atmosphere it gives to a party…with braai day around the corner and the Springboks ready for the field…it is time to get the fire started.

One can talk for hours about how to build the perfect fire, how to choose the perfect wood, what the perfect temperature is to ‘’braai’’, on and and and…

For me it comes down to choosing a fun crowd, good food and don’t forget the ice!  It takes about 2 hours for a tray of ice to freeze – SO BE PREPARED!!

The days of putting out an oily packet of chips in a plastic container are gone.  It’s time to try something new and wow your guests.  Bruschetta with fried tomatoes, basil and feta or anchovies, olives and origanum.  Make your own dips or make a nice flavoured salt for roasted cashew or almond nuts. Even the old famous ‘’braai broodjie’’ can be made into a gourmet explosion.  Use a whole ciabatta loaf and top with onion marmalade, tomato and mature cheddar cheese.

Always remember:  don’t interfere with captain ‘’braaier’’.  He (sometimes she) knows that you are hungry and that you don’t want a well cooked steak.  Keep calm and have another cold beverage.

Like legendary Koos Kombuis says:  ‘’die hele lewe is ‘n bring en braai’’

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Glass is 100% recyclable and can be used again and again.

Passionfruit Lemonade

This is refreshing when served iced cold and can be a great ‘’ice breaker’’ to start a braai.  I don’t like carbonated drinks – so I prefer lemonade made with still water.  You can add mint or fresh raspberries if you want to be fancy, or gin in the summer if you want to add an extra kick.  Sugar is a very sensitive topic of discussion these days – listen to your palate and adjust your sugar crave accordingly.

Ingredients:

1 cup                    White sugar

1 cup                    Water

1 cup                    Lemon juice (freshly squeezed)

4 cups                  Water to dilute

40g                       Passionfruit

 

Method:

Bring white sugar and water to the boil until all sugar is dissolved and add lemon juice, water to dilute and passionfruit.  Cool down and serve ice cold.

 

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 “ Gee daai bek jam’’

 

Chicken wings with Yuzu and Apricot glaze

Yuzu is a citrus fruit from east Asia.  It is sour and salty in one!  You can get it from any Chinese groceries shop.  I don’t like to marinade the chicken wings in the sauce – but rather brush it over while it is cooking on the fire.  This ensures a great colour and no bitter burnt taste.

Ingredients:

100ml                   Yuzu

4 tbsp                   Apricot Jam

1 tbsp                   Lemon juice

1 tbsp                   Soya sauce

1 tsp                     White sugar

 

Method:

Heat all the ingredients together in a pot until apricot jam is melted. If the glaze is too thick – add a little more lemon juice or yuzu.  ‘’Braai’’ the chicken wings and brush with Yuzu and Apricot glaze.  Season with salt and pepper – not too much as the yuzu is already salty.

 

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Koekelekooo

 

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Chimichurri

Chimichurri  is lovely to serve with fish, chicken and lamb.  If it was up to my husband, Nikki, he will eat this every day – on anything from sliced bread to baked potato…even in his porridge.

Ingredients:

1 bunch               Parsley with stalks

2 cloves               Garlic

½ teaspoon        Salt

1 teaspoon           Black pepper

½ cup                  Red wine vinegar

1 tbsp                   Wholegrain mustards

¾ cup                  Good quality Olive oil

½                         Red chili

 

Method:

Blitz all the ingredients together  – easy as 1,2,3,…

 

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’Swartpot’’ Balsamic onions

IF there is any leftovers…slice it up and serve it with mature cheddar cheese on a toasted sandwich.

Ingredients:

45ml                     Oil

500g                     Baby onions – cut the top off and peel, but leave one layer of skin on.  This will prevent the whole story of falling apart

5                            Thyme stalks

Sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp                   White sugar

20ml                     Balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp                   Butter

 

Method:

Heat oil in ‘’swartpot’’ and add onions – flat side down.  Brown the onion for about 5 minutes and then reduce the heat to very very low and put the lid on the pot.  After 30 minutes the onion should be half-cooked.  Add the thyme, salt, pepper, white sugar and balsamic vinegar and cook for another 30-40 minutes over very low heat, with the lid on.  When the onion is soft – add the butter and serve.

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Use sunglasses when peeling a onion or put onions in freezer 15 minutes before you use it to prevent those tears from running down your cheeks.  If this does not do the trick – breathe through your mouth and stick your tongue out!!

Nectarine, Fennel & Goats cheese salad

Ingredients:

1 packet               Micro leaves/ Rocket

1 log                     Goats cheese, broken into big chunks

Fennel bulb, thinly sliced

Nectarines, sliced into thin wedges

 

Method:

Layer your salad – starting with the micro leaves or rocket.  Top with goats cheese chunks, fennel and nectarines.  Repeat layers 3 times.  This salad does not need a very potent dressing – drizzle with olive oil.  I have some of the passionfruit left over from making the lemonade and I mixed that with a bit of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of black onion seeds.  Plain, simple and delicious.

 

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Sweet potato with sesame & ginger salt

Ingredients:

8                            Whole sweet potatoes, wrapped in tinfoil

2 tbsp                   Salt

2 tbsp                   White and black sesame seeds

1 tbsp                   Finely chopped fresh ginger

1 sprig                  Rosemary, chopped fine

1 tbsp                   Black pepper

2 tbsp                   Butter

 

Method:

Place the tinfoil wrapped sweet potato into the fire and leave to cook – this will take about 40 minutes. When you are ready to eat:  Open the tinfoil, make a cut in the sweet potato and put a dollop of butter on top and sprinkle with sesame & ginger salt.

 

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Good quality sea salt contains many essential minerals for the body. The best type of sea salt should be slightly wet… from it’s original source.   Did you know you can use tinfoil to polish your silver? Line a pan with tinfoil, fill it with cold water and add two teaspoons of salt.  Drop your silverware into solution and let it sit for 3 minutes.  Rinse off and dry.

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Doughnut Marshmallow S’mores

This is heaven!!

Ingredients:

10                          Ready made frosted doughnuts ( I got mine from woolies) – cut in half

1                            Wholenut chocolate slab

20g                       Almonds and pistachio’s, chopped fine

20g                       Dried figs, chopped fine

5                            Marshmallow’s – braaied over the coles

 

Method:

Mix almonds, pistachio and dried figs together. Melt wholenut slab and dip half of doughnut into chocolate and roll into nut mix.  Set aside.  Braai the marshmallows and stick it inbetween chocolate coated and frosted doughnut.  You will want s……more

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‘We didn’t start the fire. It was always burning since the world’s been turning. We didn’t start the fire. No we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it’ – Billy Joel

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