Here's what was on the menu for the evening.
We started at the bottom of the menu and worked our way up. First, we made the salad rolls. We started by making a peanut sauce that couldn't have been simpler. It's made using one part creamy peanut butter...ours was just good old Jif from the grocery store.
To that, add one part hot water.
Mix it into a paste.
Then add one part Hoisin sauce. Finally, add some Sriracha sauce according to your preferred level of spiciness and then mix it up. Done!
Next, we learned how to chop up the vegetables. Here she's demonstrating how to julienne some carrots.
And notice that green device beside her? It's a spiralizer. What a cool tool! You put a carrot into it, turn the crank, and it cranks out ribbons of carrot in whatever size you prefer. There are three different sizes of blades. I must have one of these for my own kitchen.
Here are the veggies we used in our salad rolls. From right to left are romaine lettuce leaves, julienned jicama, carrot ribbons, bean sprouts, and mint and cardamom leaves.
Also, in our salad rolls, we added beef that had been sliced thin, boiled, and marinated. You can use any kind of meat you want to in these, or you can use tofu. Or nothing at all...just veggies...whatever you have in your fridge.
Then we turned our attention to the rice papers. She informed us that the best rice papers will have tapioca as one of the ingredients since this makes them easier to work with. She also showed us some good tricks for working with them.
First of all, dip them in warm water. If you hold them with both hands, bend them so that you can get maximum "dippage" and then dip them three times, turning, until you have dipped and moistened the entire sheet. Mae will demonstrate.
Next, lay the moist rice paper on your plate, but extend the end of it over the edge of the plate closest to you. This way, you can grab the end to roll it without having the edge stick to the plate. Also, do not overstuff them. Start with just a little bit of the meat.
Then add your veggies.
And then just roll it up burrito style. Here's one that I made.
Here, Mae will demonstrate once again.
She's a natural, don't you think?
Erik will demonstrate eating them. Dip, dip, dip in the peanut sauce. Chomp. We all agreed that the salad roll was an excellent vehicle for the peanut sauce, which was good enough to eat with a spoon.
Then we all moved up to the counter and watched while she made the soup. That was an interesting process, and we learned a lot about the ingredients that went into it. She started with just some boiling water and let us taste the broth as she added the layers of seasoning. Very interesting. It contained Flying Lion brand fish sauce, which is made from anchovies, instant soup base, and tamarind soup base. The soup base made it spicy, the fish sauce made it salty, and the tamarind soup base made it sour. Also, it contained kaffir lime leaves commonly used in Thai cooking. Then she added shrimp and vegetables...again, you can use whatever meat and veggies you have on hand.
Once the soup was made, she asked for folks to come up in two teams of two to make the Pad Thai. That turned out to be more of a process than I would want to get involved in at home, mainly because of the special sauce she used. The Pad Thai wasn't difficult to make, but the sauce was an hours long process on the order of making pasta sauce from scratch from tomatoes you've grown yourself. They also had the sauce for sale at their restaurant, which is the way I would go if I wanted to try this at home. (As for the soup and salad rolls...I can't WAIT to try them at home!)
In any case, Erik and Mae are game for anything as I said before, and so they stepped right up.
Here, Mae is frying up the eggs and some of the veggies.
And there's the rest of our meal! Yum!
We had so much fun and really enjoyed ourselves. Now, we're all on the look out for the next Groupon deal...maybe a different cuisine.
This morning I picked Matthew up bright and early from the airport. We had breakfast and then came home and both took naps to make up for the sleep we both lost from our early rise. Matthew had an appointment to look at a house he was hoping to get for his move back to Portland. Alas, he was standing in the yard of the home when he received a call that the owner had just then taken an application from someone who got there first. Darn. Now he's not sure what he's going to do. This house was very close to our public transportation and also to his new workplace. Bummer. All he can do is keep looking. He may end up staying with us until the right place comes along, but it's too early to give up on finding his own place just yet.
After that I did some Thanksgiving cooking. I made my cranberries and my sweet potatoes. Also, I made up a double batch of frozen breakfast burritos so I won't have to make breakfast for anybody for the next few days. And then I sat down right here!
So I've been going back and forth about this, but I'm going to take the next couple of days off from blogging. That means Fun Fact Friday Freebie will be on vacation this week, as will Foto Finish. Look for us to be back the following week. I'm planning to spend the next several days enjoying my family.
You are all so special to me. Have a wonderful, delicious, and safe Thanksgiving holiday. See you very soon.