Monday, 10 October 2011

Doorbells, and sleighbells and schnitzel with noodles (ish): Worldfoods Challenge no 2 - Pad Thai

I'm now happily singing My favourite things while I type this out, sadly I'm not in my nighty, nor am I surrounded by many small children harmonising beautifully with me. Still, you take what you can get.

Last week I was visited by my friend Louise, this week it's Lauren's turn, and last night I made us the second of my Worldfood fusion taste team challenge meals. Pad Thai. I was slightly concerned again as to the sweetness of the sauce, and the inauthenticity (it's a word) of my recipe, but without blowing my own trumpet it was fab. And made whilst exhausted, so doubly impressive when you think about it.

I should add a disclaimer here. I love Pad Thai. A lot. It's my favourite thing to order in Thai restaurants, and I never make it because I just think it won't live up to my expectations. Plus the ingredient list to make it from scratch is more offputting than sugar syrup ever was.

I really didn't want to have to shop specially for this, but have to recommend Waitrose's Thai section. Bearing in mind that the Whetstone Waitrose is tiny, I managed to pick up rice noodles, dried galangal, fish sauce and palm sugar. I then failed to use any of them save for the rice noodles. Fail. But I was pleased I picked those up, as the need for beansprouts, limes and peanuts escaped my tiny brain entirely, so as you will notice this recipe is utterly without them.

Pantry Pad Thai

2 cloves garlic
1 red chilli chopped
4 spring onions, whites finely chopped, greens sliced up like you would green beans
1 red pepper sliced
1 sweetcorn
300g mushrooms sliced
3 chicken thighs thinly sliced
flat leaf parsley
1 head brocolli
1 bottle Worldfood Pad Thai sauce
Juice of 1 lime
2 eggs, beaten
200g rice noodles cooked as per pack instructions

Stir fry the garlic, chilli, and spring onion whites in a flavourless oil until you can start to smell them
Add the chicken to the pan and cook until browned
Add the vegetables and cook lightly, stirring all the while
Shift the contents of your pan to one side and pour the eggs in and cook, then stir through
Add the cooked noodles, and stir through
Add the sauce, parsley and lime and serve. I kept the fish sauce and palm sugar on the side meaning to add them if I felt it needed a bit extra but it really didn't, the sauce had enough tang from the tamarind to mean that I didn't need to adjust the seasoning.

Quick and easy, and as I used the end of my veg box as well as some chicken in the freezer, a really well priced meal. What I made served three of us generously with a large tupperware of leftovers for Mark's lunch today. Perfect.

Despite loving this (and I actually hesitated to offer Mark the leftovers as I would have quite happily demolished them) I would like to try it again with prawns, coriander, beansprouts and peanuts as it was so tasty that I think the additions would really set it off. It's rare you'll see me say this, but I would happily go out and buy this again purely to the ends of adding Pad Thai this way to my simple suppers, as even with a bought sauce it's cheaper and healthier than my local Thai takeaway.

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