Friday, 24 July 2009

A taste of Thai for a rainy night

Monsoon rains and all this soggy dampness make me long for something zingy and refreshing to cheer up my tastebuds. Thai really fits the bill when this hits and I think tamarind and lime has to rate as one of my favourite flavour combinations of all time.
First catch your plate - it has to be large. I had some pork mince hanging around (or rather, it was the only thing I could see in the freezer, most other things obscured by a massive side of smoked salmon and 2 frozen lobsters - a haul from Costco courtesy of lobster-lover and bargain-hunter MCD - don't ask). I added some chopped spring onions and lime zest, salt and pepper and fashioned it into small patties, like flattened meatballs.
I made a dressing from Thai fish sauce, lime juice, more chopped spring onions, sugar and chilli - it's hard to be accurate about quantities as it's down to personal taste, but start off with a tsp of each and work from there.
I peeled courgette ribbons and dropped them on a plate with some chopped mint, torn basil and a few halved cherry tomatoes. Then blanched some green beans (this wasn't at all using up veggies from the garden...). I carefully separated some lettuce leaves, keeping the whole and added them to the plate. The patties were seared until golden brown on each side and cooked through then I squeezed over a little lime juice and some salt.
Each patty was then wrapped in a lettuce leaf with some of the herby vegetable mixture, using the lettuce like a tortilla. I spooned some of the dressing over the patty and devoured. Hot pork, crunchy cool vegetables and a spicy, sour, salty dressing. The beans benefited from a little of the dressing too, or you could keep them plain or not have them at all, depending on whether you're relying on someone to pick them at more regular intervals...

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