Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Supper

Cookbooks in my house mostly occupy numerous bookshelves. Bookshelves in my office, bookshelves in my bedroom and of course, bookshelves in my kitchen. The Favorites reside in the kitchen, within easy reach, old friends well thumbed, marked perhaps with wayward droplets of sauce or juice from a fat lime. However one cookbook has had the top spot as my coffee table cookbook for quite some years. Hot Sour Salty Sweet by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid.

Half travelogue, half cookbook, you can imagine the cover shot immediately hooked me through my envious photographer's eyes. Richard Jung took the studio shots and the authors took the location shots, all of which are beautiful and instantly evocative of the couple's time spent traveling up and down the Mekong River. It's a gorgeous, richly detailed book jammed with recipes. Since Southern Saturdays with Virginia took a little break this weekend, I thought Sunday Supper should get a little love and I'd try making Grilled Chicken with Hot and Sweet Dipping Sauce. I've linked the recipe from the Food Network since they've credited the authors and it's written just as it is in the cookbook.

thai chicken marinade

One of the reasons I picked this recipe to try, besides it's simplicity, was that I'm trying to develop a more spice heat accepting palate. When it comes to eating the spicier food of life, I usually pass. It's time to see what I've been missing. This recipe definitely covers those bases. The marinade is a black pepper, coriander (cilantro), and garlic paste that's incredibly fragrant. The chicken absorbs that wonderful flavor which is only enhanced by a quick grilling or broiling. However that's only two of the flavor profiles the title of this book hints at, we've still got hot and sweet to apply to our chicken.

Thai Chicken 3

That's where the Hot and Sweet dipping sauce comes in. Apple cider vinegar, sugar, more garlic and a healthy dose of dried red pepper flakes will put the puck in your pucker. Excellent practice for yours truly. Which is why I had plenty of jasmine rice and some steamed bok choy on hand to blunt the heat a little. If you like spice and heat and want a break from your routine buffalo wings, give this recipe a try. Don't forget to check out this book from your local library and linger over it a good long time, you won't be sorry.

10 comments:

froggy said...

Okay, within the next couple weeks when I can snag everyone in the same place.....

Your comments about the pictures reminded me of my brother, a professional photographer. A couple Thanksgivings ago he was making the meal, noticed all his ingredients, started arranging them and took a couple pictures and emailed them to me. I wrote up a little story for them based on the Give a Mouse a Cookie

If you give a photographer a mushroom, he'll ask you for a green pepper, if you give him a green pepper, he'll ask you for an onion... and then he'll take a picture.

MakingSpace said...

Froggy - love the children's book reference! Shamy, google that series of books, wonderful stuff.

Gorgeous and mouthwatering and may I say, right up my spicey alley.

Interesting, I have a friend backpacking along the Mekong right now and blogging her adventures. This food is a great complement to that reading...

Lovely.

Big Shamu said...

Awww, froggy, that's so sweet. I shall google and make everyone happy.

Wow, MS, that's quite the adventure. Love to do that trip.

MakingSpace said...

It's amazing. She has a backpack and something she calls a day bag. She'll be gone for six or seven months. She blogs every time she gets internet. It's awesome.

Dani said...

I love Sunday Supper!
Now off to the library website to see if they have your book.

Buzz Kill said...

I really like how crispy and brown the chicken looks. That also lloks like a lot of pepper flakes in the dipping sauce. My kind of hot.

Big Shamu said...

It is crispy and it is hot. Plus if you have a mortar and pestle you can work out some frustration grinding down those peppercorns.

Anonymous said...

Serious yum! Office lunch?

Susan said...

Canadians Eh ??
Jeffrey & Naomi - world travelin' Canadians and ALL their cookbooks are spectacular. Great post and I'm off now to check out les recipe xoxox Susan

Big Shamu said...

WHAT??? I did not know that or else you know I would have mentioned it just for you. So you've got these great travelers and chefs AND you've got some of the greatest places to live in the world. Not to mention some great artists tucked away in little towns and write amazing blogs. I loves me some Canada.