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Pok Pok Party

27 Jan

Last weekend, my friend Moriah invited us over to her house for a Thai cooking party. She was inspired to throw this party after her roommate received the new Pok Pok cookbook for Christmas.  A surprising twist?  Alex bought me the exact same gift!

I first became interested in Chef Andy Ricker after watching Anthony Bourdain devour his famous fish sauce chicken wings on the final episode of “No Reservations”.  Bourdain raved about the food at Pok Pok NY, claiming that it was the best and most authentic Thai food available outside of Thailand.

I’d like to fancy myself as a Thai cook.  I mean, I grew up eating Thai food and my mother owns a Thai restaurant!  I should pretty much be an expert in the cuisine.  But I have to admit that when I first glanced through Ricker’s cookbook at a local bookstore I realized that I still had much to learn.  Sure I knew how to make Som Tum, Larb, and Phat Si Ew….but I had never even attempted to make half of the recipes that Ricker (a white guy) had mastered.

The cookbook itself is pretty awesome. Its filled with authentic recipes that are not at all simplified to make cooking easier. In fact, I would even venture to say that they are so authentic that some of the ingredients he mentions are items I’ve never boughten before in my life (sad). To read more about the Pok Pok cookbook, check out this article in Food and Wine: How to Make Real-Deal Thai Food at Home.

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Chunky Game Day Guac

8 Sep

I have the amazing ability to pick out THE WORST avocados ever.  I am always second guessing myself at the store.  I stand there picking up dozens of avocados and looking for color and firmness.  In reality, I have no idea what I am supposed to look for.  Are they supposed to be bright green? Slightly brown? Firm to the touch? Soft?  Do they smell like anything? Whenever I want to make a taco salad, my avocados are complete mush.  Whenever I want to make guacamole, my avocados are hard as apples.  I can never win…until now!

I decided at the last minute today to make guacamole to enjoy during the Steelers game.  I had all of the ingredients for it except for the dreaded avocados.  So I quickly ran out to the store and just picked up the first two avocados I saw.  No special selection process, just grab and go.  I came back home to find that they were PERFECT.  I was elated so I felt that this Chunky Game Day Guacamole deserved a blog post to celebrate this momentous occasion.

Chunky Game Day GuacamoleDSC_2908
2 servings

2 avocados,cubed
6 grape tomatos, cut into quarters
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
3 jalapeno or serrano peppers, finely chopped
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt


Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. That’s it! No need to pull out that mortar and pestle. This is the lazy man’s guac.

Serve with chips and beer.


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