March 22, 2007

From Jamaica to Thailand

Last night I sampled some Jamaican fare and tonight I took a trip all the way to Thailand. This trip was made possible by Paula, The Cookbook Junkie who drew my name as the monthly winner of her cookbook draw and kindly sent me the Quick From Scratch Pasta Cookbook from Food & Wine magazine. I love getting real mail! It’s like my birthday or Christmas or a step back in time. Who really sends snail mail anymore? It doesn’t happen very often, so when it does, I’m happy. And when I get things in the mail it doesn’t just benefit me, it benefits the wonderful girl who works at the post office too. Lately I’ve taken to bringing her sweet treats every time she has a package from me. It’s like a reverse version of “don’t shoot the messenger.” She’s not the one sending me the package, but since she’s the one giving it to me, I feel like she’s partly responsible for my happiness. A couple days ago when I got the note from the post office telling me that my package from Paula had arrived, I had just finished making my Leftover Danish Cookies so I packed some up and brought them along with me. I was thrilled to receive my package and the post office girl was thrilled to give it to me as I handed her cookies in exchange. She also thanked me for the alfajores that I brought her last week when she had a book for me and went on to wonder aloud why she hadn’t married me for my baking. Now she’s onto something… That’s exactly what I need, someone to marry me for my baking! Preferably someone rich enough to take me to Thailand and Jamaica so that I can experience their food and then write you a real post about them. Until that happens, here’s a Thai inspired pasta dish, adapted from my new cookbook.

Spaghetti with Chicken, Broccoli and Thai Peanut Sauce (Adapted from Quick From Scratch Pasta Cookbook by Food & Wine Magazine)

3 T soy sauce

Zest and juice of 1 lime

1 T peanut oil

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 inch chunk of ginger, peeled and grated

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks

½ cup peanut butter and a handful of peanuts

1 cup chicken stock

1 tsp sugar

½ tsp red pepper flakes

3 scallions, chopped

1/3 cup chopped peanuts

3 stalks of broccoli, cut into florets and steamed


In a shallow dish, combine soy sauce, lime, oil, garlic and ginger. Add the chicken and marinate for 1 hr.

In a medium stainless steel saucepan, combine peanut butter, broth, sugar and pepper. Pour the marinade from the chicken into the sauce pan and bring the mixture to a boil.

Using a non-stick frying pan, cook the chicken, a few minutes on each side until fully cooked.

Cook spaghetti and steam broccoli.

Toss everything together and serve with chopped peanuts and scallions scattered over the top.

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Ellie said...

Awww, you're so good to your local posties! Perhaps I need to take on your tactics, as I've missed receiving some bills in the past few months and that's a bit worrying! I like this spaghetti, but then again, with peanut sauce how could I not adore it? Good work :P

Anuhea said...

Thai are very good at what you do! I don't think I'd ever attempt some recipe like that, I'd probably butcher it! Anyways, I meant to ask you about those delicious that pastry filling like a cream cheesey filling often found in danishes? They look so great and I love currants but I can't seem to find any here in Hawaii. :(

Lydia said...

I have three or four basic peanut sauces in my culinary arsenal -- some are spicy, some are salty -- and I use them with just about every possible combination of noodles and vegetables. Funny -- I don't eat peanuts or peanut butter any other way, but in peanut sauce I love them.

Lis said...

Looks yummy! And I love that platter.. it's so pretty =)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

That would seem to be one worker who won't go postal on us! Must make her get happy when she sees a package for you.
Jamaica to Thailand is a long jump but this dish looks very successful!
Cool on the new cookbook!

Gattina said...

Brilynn, the best way to start my day is to read your humurous posts and seeping a big mug of coffee, although my pc screen always ends up having coffee spit on (ask your funny jokes :D ). I had a terribly stressful days last week, now am catching up all wonderful posts from my favorite (you!) bloggers. I saw your danish, that's marvelous! Plus this around-the-world feast!!! I can't marry you babe, but I know anyone does is the luckiest guy in the world!

mickey said...

I love your new banner at the top. Your spaghetti with thai peanut sauce sounds divine.

valentinA said...

yummy yums!
I love your colourful plate as well, it makes the dish look even more authentic!

Alicia said...

Oh what I wouldn't give to work at your post office...
I <3 your pasta!

Cheryl said...

That is quite an amazing assortment of flavors.

Its looks so good.

Brilynn said...

Anuhea- I'm lucky enough to have currants from a friend's garden. The filling for the danishes is not the usual cream cheese, it's pastry cream, more like what you'd find in an eclair.

Jamaican Junkfood Junkie said...

Would love to hear more thoughts on the Jamaican recipes from The Cookbook Junkie... I'm always on the lookout for more authentic dishes from the island! Best wishes and happy cooking.