Happy Valentine’s Day!
I’m working all day today, so Brian and I celebrated Valentine’s Day this past weekend. Instead of going out to eat, I requested to cook.
I decided on the theme of “Thai love you!” and tried my hand at making all Thai food…and because I’m a little cheesy. We both love Thai food but don’t eat it that often because it’s not all that healthy.
The menu included baked crab rangoon, massaman curry and Thai coconut and cocoa macaroons for dessert.
Baked crab rangoon:
- 6 oz of white crab meat, drained and flaked
- 2 oz neufchatel cheese, softened
- 2 oz fat-free cream cheese, softened
- 2 green onions finely chopped, reserve green tops
- 1/4 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 small clove of garlic, minced
- pinch of ground white pepper(black will work, too)
- 12 wonton wrappers
Heat oven to 350F. Mix all ingredients except wonton wrappers and green tops of onion in a bowl until combined.
Place one wonton per spot in muffin tin. Spoon crab mixture evenly between 12 wrappers.
Bake for 18-20 minutes until edges of wonton are light brown and crab mixture heated through. Sprinkle green tops of onions on top for decoration.
These aren’t your typical, loaded with cream cheese crab rangoons. They are very crab-heavy but I find that they are more delicious this way. Less filler, more meat. I forgot to pick up sweet and sour sauce for dipping, so Brian combined a little cayenne pepper, rice vinegar, water and honey in a bowl and it worked really well.
This recipe, adapted from allrecipes.com, was amazing. Brian loves massaman curry and exclaimed, “This is better than some of the massaman curry that I’ve had in restaurants.” I used lite coconut milk to cut a decent amount of fat from the recipe, but we couldn’t even tell because it was masked by the richness of the peanut butter. The recipe says that it makes four servings, but is easily six. This is a very filling dish.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons red curry paste
1 (3/4 inch thick) slice ginger, minced
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast meat – cubed
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce**
1/3 cup peanut butter
3 cups cubed potatoes
1 (13.5 ounce) can lite coconut milk
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
lime wedges, for serving
pinch of red pepper flakes, if you want it a little hotter
- Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in curry paste and minced ginger; cook and stir for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the cubed chicken, and cook until the pieces turn white on the outside, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in brown sugar, fish sauce, Worcestershire sauce, peanut butter, potatoes, red pepper flakes(optional) and coconut milk. Ingredients in waiting. Made with love.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender and the chicken pieces are no longer pink in the center, about 20 minutes. Add the lime juice and cook for an additional 5 minutes before serving.
- I was a total cheater when it came to making the jasmine rice for serving under the curry:
- Top with a lime wedge and a tablespoon of chopped peanuts.
**The original recipe called for 3 T of tamarind paste. I looked at three different grocery stores and could not find it. I did a quick google search for substitutions and found that you could use equal amounts of Worcestershire sauce in its place. We didn’t notice a difference.
We loved this and it will be in the regular cooking rotation. It’s easy and much healthier than ordering in Thai. A smashing success.
Thai coconut and cocoa macaroons:
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lime juice
7 oz package of flake coconut
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- Preheat an oven to 300F.
- Spread coconut out on baking sheet and toast until light brown in oven. Check on it every few minutes and shake or stir it around so that it doesn’t burn.
- Beat egg whites until foamy in a large glass or metal mixing bowl. Gradually add the sugar, continuing to beat until soft peaks form. Lift your beater or whisk straight up: the egg whites will form soft mounds rather than a sharp peak.
- It’s very helpful to have all the ingredients measured out and ready to add in. Add the salt and lime juice and continue beating until the egg whites form a sharp peak that holds its shape when you lift your beater or whisk.
- Gently folk the coconut and cocoa powder into the mixture.
- Drop mixture by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets.
Bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Cool on the pans on wire racks. Store in an airtight container.
These are more like a cross between a macaroon and a meringue. Very sweet but highly addictive. They were best when they were warm and straight out of the oven. They had the perfect hint of chocolate from the cocoa but not so much that it over powered the coconut. The recipe said that it would yield 8 cookies, but I made between 12-14 large cookies and could have easily made them smaller.
This was start to finish one of the tastiest meals that I have made. I was nervous about making Thai food for fear that it would turn out badly, but my fears were laid to rest when I first tasted the massaman curry sauce and knew that it was spot on. If I can make Thai, you can too!