Tuesday, February 25

Crispy chicken and noodles in green curry

We recently spent a weekend in Berlin and stumbled across a great Thai fusion restaurant called Transit. It's apparently a chain in Germany, but chain or no, we loved it. It can be hard for me to find restaurants to meet my dietary needs at times, but anything Thai usually fits the bill, what with the ample coconut milk, so I knew I was in a good place. This place was small dish style, so we ordered about 6 between us and one of them was a fried chicken in green curry. Anything that involves fried chicken skin is high on my list, so I was really looking forward to it. I was not disappointed. It arrived and I might have shed a few happy tears. Creamy coconut milk, spicy green curry, crispy chicken and noodles made of bamboo shoots! (how clever, right!?) I knew I would come home and try to recreate it! So, here it is! I started by making a homemade green curry paste. Back story, 2 years ago we went to Thailand and spent a day in a Thai cooking school, becoming Thai cooking experts. One of the recipes was green curry. So, we came home, bought all of the ingredients, put them in the freezer, and then really never made it. UNTIL NOW. See, money well spent on the cooking class!!
What you're going to need:
1 can of bamboo shoots
5 TBL of green curry paste- homemade or store bought
2 chicken thighs with skin
mixed veggies of your choice
1 can of coconut milk- full fat. Make sure the ingredients are JUST coconut milk and no other crap.
If making the green curry from scratch, you basically need (From Thai Table):
If you don't feel like pounding in a mortar and pestle, just use a good quality jarred paste. And if you want to stay keto or low carb, make sure there is no sugar!
First- throw your chicken thighs in the oven with some coconut oil and salt and pepper for about 30-40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is very crispy.
Next, get on with the curry.
Here are a few pics of the curry making. Christopher was my labor source and was going super fast, so I didn't capture every step!
Thai chilis, and yes, they are HOT:

Pound them well with the salt:
Add the lemon grass, shallot and apparently everything else because the next pic I have is the finished paste :-):

Finished green curry paste, looking somewhat brown:

Next take the bamboo shoots and cut them into thin strips. Think of it like vermicelli. It's an ingenious way to get that noodle feel into a dish. Also grab a couple, or 5, kaffir lime leaves. Seriously, kaffir lime leaves are the most amazing thing in the world. The flavor they impart is so distinctive and delicious.

Sautee some veggies, I used eggplant, cauliflower and zucchini in coconut oil and added my bamboo shoots at the end to warm them up.

Meanwhile, I put the green curry and the coconut cream (the hard part of the milk on top of the can) in a pan on high heat. Let the coconut milk melt and stir to incorporate all of the paste. Add the rest of the coconut milk and the veggies. Put your bamboo shoots in the bottom of a bowl and ladle some of the coconut broth over them. Then add your veggies and about a cup or 2 of the green curry with coconut milk. Finally slice your chicken and put it on top. There you go! Finished.
This here is a bowl of pure deliciousness! It's a perfect Keto meal!

Every bite is full of flavor and spice. The kind of spice that burns, but in a really pleasant way! So yummy!

 Try it and warm up your body and belly NOW!

Wednesday, February 19

Finally a homemade mayonnaise worth writing about! MCT mayo!

I have a love-hate relationship with homemade mayonnaise. I have known about the horrors of conventional mayo, (rancid soybean oil anyone?), not to mention the sugar and poor quality eggs used to make it. I knew I could do better than Hellman's.
Until I couldn't do better.
I love my Hellman's, (cue 'bring out the Hellman's and bring out the best!), and each time I made homemade mayo it just tasted bad in comparison. Smart me knew that what I had made was greatly superior to the store bought stuff, but man, it was not palatable. Mayo debacle after mayo debacle came in rapid succession. All olive oil? too bitter. Avocado oil? Nope. Too green and weird tasting. Bacon grease mixed with coconut oil? Really yummy, but the coconut oil made it hard, and that was just weird. I was wasting a lot of expensive ingredients. But then today I was driving home from work and I thought to myself 'I wonder if I can make mayo from MCT oil??'. So I googled it and I was not the first to have this grand idea! Never heard of MCT oil? It's like coconut oil on crack! Let me enlighten you!

From Hilgartner Health: MCT is a very healthy fat, which bypasses the normal process of digestion and fat break down. Instead it gets absorbed directly into your liver where it is metabolized and acts more like a carbohydrate, providing instant and sustained energy for your body."
MCT oil can help in losing weight and in maintaining your optimal weight by boosting your metabolism and helping to optimize the production of thyroid hormones. It has been shown to help treat seizures due to its ability to increase Ketone production. It is also beneficial in helping diabetics maintain blood sugar levels. Many athletes find that it is a great supplement to take prior to training or competitions since it seems to provide hours of sustained energy and helps maintain muscle strength and stamina.
MCT oil has also been shown to help people with digestive issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome, Chrones Disease, cystic fibrosis, and Alzheimer’s. People who are fighting fungal infections find that MCT oil accelerates their healing.

Sounds like a miracle oil, no?? So, in a nutshell, it's super good for you and has no flavor, so that means no weird taste in the final result. Let's whip this up!!
I based this mayonnaise on the recipe I found on the Intoxicated on Life blog. I halved the recipe, because I wanted to make sure I like it before I used so much of my MCT stock. She uses all MCT oil, but MCT is pricey here in Norway, so I used about 3/4 of a cup of MCT and 1/2 cup of olive oil. I also did not add the cayenne pepper or the stevia she calls for. One different thing about this mayo is that it uses mustard powder and white vinegar. The other recipes I have used so far use lemon juice and Dijon. Did it make a difference? Not sure, but the results were outstanding!
So, first, put all of your ingredients into a bowl except the oil. Beat everything until it's well incorporated and frothy:

Next, get your hand mixer, stand mixer or good ole whisk and start beating and slowly drizzling in  the oil drop by drop. You're going for an emulsion here, so be patient at the beginning. I can't take photos of the whole actual MAKING of the mayo process due to both of my hands being used, so just use your imagination. The whole process should take about 5 minutes and when it looks like this, you have awesome, healthy mayonnaise!!!
That's it! slap it into a container and get to dipping!
I'm dipping my eggplant 'French fries' in it and feeling quite proud! So good to finally find a mayonnaise I can replace the Hellman's with and also have all the benefits of MCT! Do you use MCT? If so, how?