Okay, so its my 2nd weekend without my cooking cohorts, and I decided that I wanted to try a pizza recipe that had been sitting in a recipe box for over a year now. I had found a Thai Chicken Pizza recipe that had so many flavors that I loved - peanut sauce, cilantro, cucumber... how could this go wrong? So I fashioned up a menu that focused around Asian flavors.
Final determination - quite like our last attempt at Thai - I need to just wave the white flag and stick to the restaurants.
Cocktail - Thai Coco Cocktail
This cocktail was divine, but did require a little changing up to suit my tastes. I followed the initial recipe exactly at first, using Bacardi Rock Coconut Rum. (I couldn't bring myself to buy Malibu at the liquor store. It brings back too many memories of my youth.) The lemongrass simple syrup was easy to make and smelled amazing. However, the measurements on the recipe were off to me - way too sweet. So... I halved the simple syrup that was written and topped with some lemon seltzer water and it was perfection!
Appetizer - Thai Cucumber Salad
Perfect blend of flavors! The rice wine vinegar and sugar give a tangy but sweet taste, and the cilantro gives a nice bite accompanied by the spicy jalapeno. I have made this recipe many times before, it's always a hit, and for me - the perfect cucumber salad that doesn't include any mayo in it.
Entree - Thai Chicken Pizza
Conceptually, this could work. The flavors are all there however the flavors just didn't harmonize well to me. In fact, I think the thing that really screwed this recipe up for me was the plum sauce. I made the pizza, ate the first piece and rather enjoyed it. By piece two, I realized how sweet the underlying sauce was, and was completely turned off. Perhaps instead of plum sauce, a light layer of sesame ginger salad dressing? Or put a light layer of jarred peanut sauce instead of using peanut sauce on the chicken? I'm sure this recipe can be fixed, but I'm just not going to take the time to try it again. Thai food - you've beaten me! I give up! I will stick to take out only from now on.
Dessert - I am an epic failure
I know I promised last week... but alas, the holiday weekend was calling and I completely failed on coming up with a dessert to test. I promise I will dedicate an entire week to just desserts in the near future.
Wine - None
I know we always include a wine and I apologize to our fellow oenophiles out there. However, it's a holiday weekend, 80+ degrees and humid, and I had a fridge stocked with cold beer and no work the next day. So I had a couple more cocktails than I normally would have and then switched to beer.
For shame, I know.
Bonus Recipe - Sesame Chicken Pasta Salad
My office had a pot luck this week, and I had brought this pasta salad. I've been making this dish for years, mostly because its a great thing to pack for lunch - especially for anyone who doesn't have a microwave to heat up meals. Just throw some ice packs around it in a cooler, and you'll be good to go! The flavor is amazing, the ingredients are simple, and it can be left as is or doctored up to your choosing. I've added sweet chili sauce, sriracha sauce, orange juice, fresh ginger, teriyaki sauce - you name it! (Just cut the vegetable oil to 1/3 cup.) If you're still rather new to cooking, or rather nervous - this is a great starter recipe. You will not go wrong... trust me!
Programming Note: I'm gone next weekend. I'll be in New Orleans enjoying the food, the booze, the jazz, and the debauchery of one of my favorite cities. John and Jenn will be back from the French Riviera (still hating them), and they'll be cooking up a Culinary Sunday meal without me. I'll post their meal when I return on Wednesday. Thanks for hanging in there with me while I was flying solo!
Next Week - TBD