For some reason eating grasshoppers and larvae in Thailand does not gross me out nearly as much as eating baby squid in China. Maybe it’s the crunch factor.
One of the things I love about Thailand is that I enjoy so much of the food. It’s the best overall food I’ve had in my life from any country. I mean – I like Thai food like I like peanut butter sandwiches; and that’s A LOT.
At a local gathering for National Children’s Day in Thailand today we had an all day feast of food, ice cream and liquor. And around sundown came out the primo drinking snacks – cruncy grasshopper and chewy larvae. They weren’t disguised or covered in sauce, they were just staring at you. So the big question is: What does grasshopper taste like? Mmmm…..a bit like wild locust.
The secret to successfully scrambling eggs is slow cooking. A rubber spatula does a good job of moving the eggs. Don’t worry about melting the rubber – the heat is (or should be) too low to damage it.
Always remove scrambled eggs from the heat when they are almost set but still appear shiny and a bit underdone. If it is necessary to hold scrambled eggs for a short time before serving, it helps to avoid direct heat. Place a pan of hot water between the pan of eggs and the heat source.
Tip:Â After removing the pan with the scrambled eggs from the heat, add a teaspoon of cold light cream of milk for each four eggs and stir fast for a second. This is to stop the cooking, which would otherwise continue for a few minutes by the internal heat retained by the eggs. Without this last step, the eggs would be overcooked and dry.
Argghhh…splattered grease everywhere, a room full of smoke, and little curled up pieces of char that is supposed to be bacon. Here are some tips for cooking bacon.
Bacon Cooking Tips
Quick Tips: Turn often, remove rind, lower heat.
â€¢ Use a butter knife to separate the bacon.
â€¢ When frying bacon, it’s important to keep a close eye on it and turn it often. It can burn quickly.
â€¢ Pour or baste off the fat as it accumulates in the pan. Use medium to medium-low heat. Cook slowly, turning often, to render out the most fat and help reduce shrinkage. Pricking with a fork will help alleviate any curling problems.
â€¢ How can you reduce splattering problems? Part of the problem arises from today’s quick salt-brining method (known as pickle-curing) used by producers. The liquid naturally soaks into the meat, and you know what happens when liquid hits hot oil — snap, crackle, pop! Be sure the bacon slices are cold from the refrigerator and start with a cold pan. Use medium to medium-low heat and take your time cooking the slices, turning often. It’s preferable to thaw frozen bacon in the refrigerator to reduce moisture, but even then some of the moisture may naturally seep out. Towel off the slices before cooking to avoid excess splattering.
â€¢ Most slab bacon is sold with the rind attached. Remove the rind before using. Render the fat from the rind by frying and you have cracklings, a favorite Southern snack.
My friend Olivier came over the other night to show me how to make French crepes. He’s from France, speaks French (better than me) and knows how to say all those cool things like Bon Jour and Si Vouz Plais. Did I spell that right? Hey, how the heck do I know. That’s why he has to show me how to make French crepes the authentic way.
HEY GUYS! I’ve only been cooking for a week now and I was able to make these by myself tonight. It was pretty easy and they taste awesome. So here’s how to make “Olivier’s Super Duper French Crepes”. (Remind me to get a cut on the trademark).Â Olivier eats them and he’s pretty skinny – so eat as many as you want. I had about 10 crepes tonight. I will probably be as skinny as Olivier pretty soon now.
I played all Mozart on my Ipod while making the crepes. I think you should too. Crepes are regal and fun, just like Mozart. If you listen to any other kind of music your crepes will probably fall on the floor. Also notice that Olivier has one of those cool French style goatees. I think you should grow one of those too. I know it makes the process a little longer, but I think it will be worth it. Now on to the recipe…
OLIVIER’S SUPER DUPER FRENCH CREPESÂ
Rule #1 – We’re guys, we don’t need no stinkin’ measuring cups. Just throw stuff in.
“Measuring cups? We don’t need no stinkin’ measuring cups.”Â
1. Mix three eggs and some flour in a bowl. Maybe a cup of flour, maybe two – what do I know. Mix it till it’s thick like cake batter. The football game is almost on, just make it look like this picture:
2. Add milk until the consistency is like cream you’d use in your coffee. You might use about a half liter or more.
A picture of a bowl and spoon…. just move on…
Olivier here is demonstrating the consistency which is a little hard to see without video footage. To me it looked like cream you’d put in your coffee, which is why earlier I said you should mix in milk until “it looks like cream you’d put in your coffee”. Ok, maybe I could have made these directions shorter. Oh yeah, like you’re in a hurry. You’re looking up recipes on the internet from a guy who doesn’t know how to cook? Oh yeah, you got time…
3. Did I remember to tell you to add a double pinch of salt and a little butter? Or was it just salt? Just throw it in. You like butter don’t you? OK, just do it.
OPTIONAL: Let the batter sit for one to two hours.
4. Everything should be mixed, now put just enough in the pan to cover the bottom. Olivier turns the pan a bit as he puts in the crepe batter so it will spread around. Now I’m lazy and I just glop a bunch in the cover it easy, but my crepes come out more like pancakes. The trick to crepes is that they are thin – so just enough to cover the pan and rotate it to let gravity help you out.
5. You can turn the crepe over when the edges turn a bit brown. I like my crepes a little mushier (more like Swedish pancakes) so I turn them a little sooner.
6. Crepe isÂ now turned over – Now you can put whatever you want on the top. Remember that you’re going to roll this all up like a little burrito anyway. Here are some things I did with my crepes that were super yummy:
A. Nothing – but added pure maple syrup when finished. B. One Egg with Salt – crack the egg right on top of the half cooked crepe and mix it around the top. Yes, it will cook fine and continue cooking once rolled up. Add some salt! That’s what Olivier does. C. Cheese – I also tried the egg with chicken, cheese and sour cream. It was great, but I did get the feeling I was not making Mexican food instead of French. D. Crepes Suzette! – Squeeze half a lemon over the back and add some sugar. E. Jam! – The best! Make a line of jam right down the center. I thought this was very close to Swedish pancakes with Lingonberries (my favorite all time food, but no one ever makes it. Now I can!)
Viola! The finished crepe.
Now I’m going to warn you about the dark side of making crepes. While making them I noticed that the time it took to cook the first side of the crepe was the exact amount of time it takes me to eat the last crepe I just made. So I went on a crepe making binge and now I have a tummy ache. Maybe you should invite people over so you don’t eat them all yourself.
Another tip – Olivier prefers butter over margarine. I tried both and I’d have to say he’s right – use real butter.
Extra Secret Bonus Tip – Olivier had authentic Canadian maple syrup, and I just used regular pancake syrup. BIG difference – get the top shelf syrup if you’re going to eat them that way.
EXTRA EXTRA BONUS TIP – If you’re going to do a crepe binge like me, start with the salty ones first (chicken, egg, etc.) and then move on to the sweeter ones. A progressive crepe bonanza.
Chicken Stir Fry. More easy recipes that even Norwegian guys can be smart enough to make. Takes under ten minutes and super yummy.
1. Prepare rice. Put equal parts water and rice in a pan with a little butter and salt. Once water begins to boil remove from heat and cover. Let it sit while you make the rest.
2. Cut vegetables. Any vegetables you like. I used beans in the pod, green peppers, a couple clovers of garlic and diced carrots.
3. Warm pan with oil or butter and start cooking your diced chicken. When you flip the chicken pieces over, then start adding your vegetables. Add soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
4. Take your finished rice and put it on the place. Finish mixing the vegetables and chicken and put on top of the rice. Top with soy sauce and nuts of choice. I used peanuts and it was AWESOME.
This meal was so good I couldn’t believe it was healthy. Maybe I’ll find out it wasn’t, but itÂ LOOKED healthy and tasted as good as any junk food. Guaranteed to make guys happy, even dense Scandinavians who don’t know how to cook.
I know I’m starting slow on this cooking stuff but cut me some slack. I cannot believe how much fun this is! There are a lot of fancy ways I found to make corn, but I’m not fancy so here’s the ultimate bachelor recipe for cooking corn
DIRECTIONS TO BOIL CORN
1) Put corn in kettle of water and boil 1-10 minutes. The longer you boil, the softer it is. I boiled my corn for two minutes and then let it sit. Put butter on it and it tasted good to me. What guy doesn’t love that simple recipe?
That’s it. Chow down. Or read on for a more exquisite approach.
Now I also found that people added milk to the water when boiling corn. From what I read, once you try this you’ll never go back to just water again. So here’s a fancier recipe for the more adventurous type:
6-8 ears corn , husks and silk removed
1 cup milk
1/4 cup whipping cream , unwhipped (or use 1-1/4 cups milk, the cream is better to use)
3 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
6 tablespoons sugar (can use more sugar)
1/4 cup butter (you can use up to 1/2 cup butter)
1. Fill a large stock pot (about an 8-quart) half full with water.
2. Add in the milk, cream, salt, sugar and butter
3. Bring to a boil, then add in the corn cobs
4. Reduce heat to a simmer and allow corn to cook for 8-12 minutes or until tender, depending on size of corn try not to over cook the corn as it will become tough.
Hey, don’t laugh – I’m just starting to learn all this stuff. Yes, I actually had to ask how to boil an egg. So here’s three approaches to boiling an egg.
Recipe One from Mom
To cook an egg. Put several eggs in a pan of cold water. Have the water at least 1/2 inch above the eggs. Turn heat on high. As it gets near boiling turn the heat down to medium high (don’t want a too rapid boil). When the water starts boiling turn to medium heat for a nice simmer. After 1 1/2 minutes take out the eggs you want to be soft boiled. Run them under cold water and enjoy. To get hard boiled eggs – when the water is boiling put the lid on and turn off heat for 12 minutes. Then run cold water on the eggs to cool them rapidly – now your have boiled eggs.
Recipe Two from Sis
Put eggs in a pan with cold water. Bring the water to boil in the pan. Turn it off and let the eggs sit covered in the pan for 25 minutes. Rinse the eggs with cold water. The perfect boiled egg!
How to Boil A Perfect Egg – From Victoria
I once knew a man who thought that the longer you boiled an egg the better it would be. So he boiled it for an hour and a half….and was astounded at the result. He obviously had no experience in a kitchen. His wife was a wonderful cook.
I’ve seen involved recipes – too complicated to be able to follow through. I finally worked out the plan that I now use. I think you have to consider what your ultimate goal is. For me — it’s having an egg that is tasty. If, when I begin to crack the egg, I see that it is going to be too runny, I quickly close the still-hot shell and let the heat of the shell do a little more cooking. If the egg is too hard when I eat it — I think oh well, next time I’ll do it a little different. Bottom line — just remember — you’re a good egg.
For a soft egg — put eggs into cold water on a cold burner. Turn the heat to medium high and bring the water to a boil. Cover the pan and turn the burner off. Let sit for 4 minutes.
For a medium egg — do the same – but let sit for 6 minutes.
For a hard egg — same procedure — but let sit for 9 minutes.
I take my eggs right from the frig and never seem to have any problems with them cracking if I don’t have the heat too high. It doesn’t matter if they crack anyway, unless you’re coloring them for Easter. The membrane inside the shell keeps the egg safe.