02 March 2014

Cookbook Club - Pok Pok

January's meeting was fun and crazy but more about what happened before the gathering. Megan was hosting and she decided she wanted to cook Thai food.  It was around that same time that Pok Pok was named one of the best cookbooks of 2013.  She had been to the restaurant in Portland and I had been to the one in Brooklyn so I was excited this was what she wanted to do.

A lot of us looked at the recipes with at least some trepidation as they required visits to Asian markets and a few tools that may not already be in our kitchens.  Originally 7 folks were supposed to come but due to sickness, a death in the family and other engagements, it was only the 4 of us.  It was still one of my favorite nights.

May and I visited H Mart in the suburbs of VA separately but both had similar reactions of trying to find the ingredients without any real help.  May tried to ask at the Help Desk but it was finally a customer who took her around to find certain ingredients.  I now have very very large bottles of black soy sauce and thin soy sauce in my cupboard wondering how it will be possible to ever finish them.

I walked into Megan's house and my eyes started tearing up.  She had roasted the Thai chili peppers earlier in the day and chopped them up in a food processor.  When she opened the food processor, the red pepper wafted through the entire house and actually gave Megan a bloody nose.  As May's husband said - she had essentially pepper sprayed herself.  We were all still feeling the affect hours later.  But the Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings were so good.  She did such a great job.  But if you do not like spicy, do not even try to eat them.  Here's the recipe online.

She served veggies on the side to counteract some of the heat.

Julia brought the Yam Tuna which is a tuna salad.  It was a very nice mix of flavors and I was surprised how much I like canned tuna. I feel like I developed a bias against it when the dolphins were being killed but I believe that is no longer the case.

I made the Phad Si Ew - or stir fried rice noodles with pork and Chinese broccoli.  I love this dish and ate it almost daily during my time in Thailand.  I was excited to make it but the first batch was a horrible failure.  The book doesn't really explain itself very well when you're dealing with non-fresh noodles.  This was the second batch which was fine.  But it was the third batch that I made the next day which was so so very good.  We all agreed that it is much easier to buy Thai food as it is really difficult to make and it can take a long time to prepare.  It's just really difficult to find good fast Thai in DC which makes me sad.

May was the super star and made a few dishes.

She made Som Tum or papaya salad with sweet pork.  I could eat this every day and it tasted like true Thai style.  Recipe found here but follow the links there for all of the recipes to this one dish.

She also made the Sticky Rice with mango and salty-sweet coconut cream.  Again, I could eat this daily and she did such a great job. And the recipe can be found here.

We had such a great time chatting for hours with Megan and her husband.  We all agreed that this cookbook is not for beginners but it was all delicious food.

No comments:

Post a Comment