Isn't that a beautiful plate? You may be concerned about the lack of dark, leafy greens, but did you know that bell peppers are a fantastic source of vitamin C, thiamine, vitamin B6, beta carotene, folic acid, and phytochemicals (antioxidants) that may help fight certain types cancer. Additionally, red bell peppers are a good source of lycopene. You leafy green sticklers could also serve a spinach salad with this dish if you just have to have your leafy greens fix. The tangy citrus found in both recipes ties the entire dish together. You can substitute jasmine rice for the potato to change up the starch. Enjoy!
First of all, I have to thank Crystal over at Spoiled Much for posting this recipe a while back. She wasn't sure where it came from, so I'll have to thank whoever she got it from anonymously. I initially thought this looked rather intimidating, but after trying it out, it is actually quite simple. The best part is, you can freeze these pretzels and prepare them the same way you would a store-bought frozen pretzel. Although, once you taste them, you'll definitely want to eat them all. My pretzels turned out thicker and darker than Crystal's. I didn't roll them thin enough initially, and I didn't wait long enough for them to rise after boiling. Oh well, they were still delicious! I actually like them thick and dark, just like I like my... steaks. Gotcha.
Pad Thai is like the grilled cheese sandwich of Thailand. Everyone eats it, and there a lot of variations on the same theme, especially depending on which region of Thailand you visit. The Americanized version of Pad Thai is pretty much rice noodles, shrimp, small bits of pork or tofu, sometimes egg, and various flavors found in most Thai dishes like scallions, garlic, fish sauce and lime. We have two restaurants nearby that serve this dish. One is a bistro style joint where everything is prepared and plated as if it were for a food magazine cover photo. Our favorite Pad Thai, however, is at this all-you-can-eat seafood place that is run by a Thai family. They have a selection of Thai food on their menu, and whenever you order, you see the grandmother leave her drink station and disappear into the kitchen to prepare your food. That is how you know it's going to be good! It doesn't matter what culture you're from, if grandma's cooking, it's good eating. My wife says that the hole-in-the-wall version that is cooked by grandma is the closest to the real thing she has found here in the states. She was staying in Chiang Mai (in northern Thailand), so this recipe, also from the book Step by Step: Thai Cooking, shares some of the same qualities. Of course, without a Thai grandmother's loving touch, it's not quite perfect, but it works for when we feel like eating in.
Thailand is full of amazing street food. My wife spent six months there during college, and one of her favorite treats was Tod Man Pla or Thai Fish Cakes. They are spicy and savory with the aroma of curry and cilantro. This recipe comes from a cook book called Step by Step Thai Cooking. I usually end up using a little bit more flour then recommended because I also use two tablespoons of the fish sauce instead of just one. You want the patties to be semi-firm when you form them. That's how you know you have enough flour. Dip them in Thai chili sauce for a little extra sweet heat, and you have yourself the perfect appetizer or snack.
Sometimes, the stuff in the box is perfect and needs no tampering. That's how I feel about McCormick's white chicken chili seasoning and definitely Jiffy corn muffin mix. That stuff is PERFECT and should not be messed with! The honey drizzled cornbread makes a great sidekick to this easy-to-make white chicken chili that is packed with extra veggies and a kiss of cilantro and lime. I make my cornbread thick (double batch) in an 8"x8" pan. Muffins are for wimps.