Sunday, 2 August 2009

Go east with Rick

I've been loving Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey on BBC2, and at the end of last week I got hold of the book. Looking for something tasty that I could make without schlepping over to ThaiSmile in Hammersmith for provisions, I landed on gado gado. I've eaten this before but never made it. The key is the spicy peanut sauce, and I knew I had peanuts, palm sugar and shrimp paste in the larder, so it was out with the pans.
The sauce kicks off with an allotment onion, kashmiri and red chillis, shrimp paste. Then it's in with the sugar, coconut milk, a couple of peeled toms and the blitzed peanuts.
Time to add lime juice. The only ingredient I didn't have was kecap manis - a very sweet and sticky soy sauce. So I substituted ordinary soy and an extra bit of sugar. The sauce is lovely - nutty, salty, sweet and sour from the lime.
Rick recommends that the salad be a mixture of textures: soft and crunchy. For part of the 'soft', I used hard boiled quails eggs. I was delighted to find that Clarence Court do free range quails eggs, and I got hold of some in Waitrose. They are so pretty!
Part of the 'crunch' is my first and wonderfully mis-shapen garden mini cucumber. Home grown is so much better than shop bought with these watery veg.
Another home-grown addition is the first of my potatoes grown in bags - I love the jewel colours of these beauties.
Finally the whole dish came together, with lettuce, a peach left over from the Coronation Chicken, sprouted rocket and coriander from the herb garden. Very tasty indeed. Thanks, Rick!

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