Friday, October 10, 2008

Pad Thai and Spring Racing Carnival

Spring is here in Oz, and I am very excited about it. I hate the cold, and even worse, I hate the grey, overcast days that often accompany it. Along with spring comes the
Spring Racing Carnival. I am not a huge fan of racing itself, but I love all the froth and bubble that goes along with it - it's a time when women and men dress up in gorgeous fashions that they never wear at any other time, and I love watching the rich and famous on the race telecasts, decked out in their finest. Many shops blossom like exotic flowers, filled with brightly coloured dresses, hats and fascinators, like The Best Dressed Hat, a new shop in Toorak Road, South Yarra:

I purchased a gorgeous headband by Millunacy (created by Doreen Torkomyan of Toorak), consisting of navy ribbon folded in such a way that from one angle, it looks like a 1940s hat, and topped with a diamante clip. It is incredibly elegant - I love it!!

With spring here, I am also hunting around for lighter meals to match the season, full of fresh produce. When I saw a recipe for my favourite Thai dish, Pad Thai, in the October 2008 edition of BBC Australian Good Food, I knew that I had found the perfect spring meal. I love the wonderful colour and texture of this dish, and it contains 5 different veggies, so that I get my recommended daily dose of veggies in one hit!

To make this delicious Pad Thai, you will need:

200g dried rice stick noodles
1 teaspoon oil
1 sliced onion
300g chicken breast strips
4 finely chopped garlic cloves
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 cup grated carrot (~1 large carrot)
1 head of broccoli, sliced into florets
2 sliced capsicum
150g halved baby corn
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
1/4 cup water
1 tabelspoon brown sugar
160g alfalfa sprouts
4 sliced shallots
1 cup chopped coriander leaves
50g toasted peanuts

Soak the noodles on hot water for 20 minutes until softened, then drain and reserve.

Heat the oil in a large wok, and cook the onion until soft. Add the chicken, and cook until the chicken has browned, followed by the garlic and ginger, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the carrot, broccoli, capsicum and baby corn and stir fry until the vegetables are just softened.

Add the fish sauce, sweet chilli sauce, brown sugar, water and noodles to the wok, and toss with the other ingredients to combine. Add the alfalfa sprouts, shallots and coriander and cook for approximately 1 minute, until heated through.

Remove the wok from the heat and divide the dish between 4 plates. Top with the toasted peanuts and extra chopped coriander. Enjoy!


Ivy said...

I envy you that you are enjoying Spring right now. Is this Racing Carnival something like the Ascot Races in England?
The recipe you made sounds healthy and delicious.

Cakelaw said...

Hi Ivy, the Spring Racing Carnival, and especially the big racing days like Derby Day and the Melbourne Cup, are like Ascot. Our equivalent of the Royal Enclosure is The Birdcage (with celebrities and socialites instead of royals!).

giz said...

What a great custom - and all the pomp and ceremony. Pad Thai - ahhh how I love it (in very small doses)

Anonymous said...

Mmmm you've got my craving Pad Thai for lunch now! This headband sounds gorgeous (I love hats)-would love to see a picture of it! :)

Cakelaw said...

Hi Giz, it's all the pomp and ceremony that I love - an escape from reality!

Emily said...

That hat sounds cool. I want to see what it looks like.
This is why you need to take some pictures with it on and put them on Facebook.

Dee said...

Love pad thai! Never even occured to me to cook it. Duh! Thanks :)

Cakelaw said...

Hi Em, I will - I am at the races in early November.

Hi Dee, I haven't made it before either - but it was good!