Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Sunday Roast: Cheating

When I lived in the north of Paris, there was this excellent Thai restaurant right down the road. I didn't go there too often. Not since the time the Frog and I went there for a little romantic tête a tête. At the end of the meal we asked for the bill and the Frog made some innocent comment about how they were doing a good trade and the next thing we knew the waitress had sunk into an empty seat at the opposite table, her head in her hands and she was bemoaning that fact. "What's the point of making all this money?" she asked. "When all we do is work, work, work." The Frog and I exchanged uncomfortable glances and after that we always got take out.

We also moved south, where a new Japanese opens every month, but there is a dearth of Thai restaurants. So, when I and some fellow mums had the chance to take a Thai cooking course I jumped at the chance. There was only one problem, or four. Babies and cooking courses do not mix. We made Thai green curry paste from scratch. Don't ask me how, I can't remember. We also made Pad Thai and I can vaguely remember what went into it, but I cannot recall if I had any part in making it. At one point all four babies were screaming at the same time and we were simultaneously trying to shove them into baby carriers and fold napkins (don't ask). Anyway, the point is that I still have no knowledge of Thai cooking, but the course was fun and if you don't take your three month old along I'm sure you'd learn something.

Which still left me with the problem of loving Thai food and having no restaurant or take out place close enough. And that's right, you got it, enter stage left BBC Good Food. Now as you may know by now I worship this site, but their Thai dishes, or at least the dishes that take less than 30 minutes to cook, all use curry paste. And I think that paste is cheating. So is curry sauce. My mum always made curries from a mixture of spices. Hell, I used to make curry by mixing my spices. But back then I wasn't so hungry and had longer than 30 minutes to cook a meal, so now I use paste and sauces. But, there is a but. When you cheat you lose out. Curries (be it Thai or Indian) need time. They always taste better the next day because the food has steeped in the spices. And Thai curry paste (unlike its Indian cousins) on its own is not enough. There needs to be a little something else. So although I cook the Easy Thai Prawn curry frequently, the Prawn Massaman Curry is far superior.

copyright, BBC Good Food
And one of these days I may have a crack at the Pad Thai again.


Wanderlust Scarlett said...


Experiment. Research online and keep playing in the kitchen.

Best way to do it... ;D

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

verilion said...

The online recipes are great. I guess this is one forum where I could easily give up the books for an electronic version! I hadn't thought of that before, but really I do really, really love books.


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