October 20, 2008

My new favorite drink and some recipes

Can you guess what this is??

This is called Thai Iced tea, er, well my version of it. I first heard about it here and was interested so I did some research on it. It's basically regular black tea steeped with spices- cinnamon, star anise and vanilla. Then you sweeten it, pour it on ice and top with half and half or sweetened condensed milk. (I also used milk and heavy cream)

What I did:

8 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1 t fennel seeds
4-5 allspice berries
3 regular sized tea bags
3/4 cup sugar-I used a natural one
vanilla extract

I heated the water to a boil in a large saucepan, then added the tea and spices. I put the seeds in a metal tea ball strainer thingie. I let it steep 30 minutes. Then I took the tea bags out and reheated the liquid so the sugar would dissolve. Then you're supposed to cool it, but I just pour it over the ice warm. Next you just drip-drop the milk/cream whatever on the top and let it swirl down. At first I wasn't sure about the taste, so I put everything back in the pot and let it steep longer and added more sweetener. (I only let it go 15 minutes the first time) Then it was GOOD! Seriously, I drank a quart of it in one afternoon. My dinner guests liked it as well.

Also, I served a simple yet delicious dinner to my guests. I had originally planned to make a spicy pumpkin soup, but since I didn't know them well or their tastes, I decided to something else. I made Porkchops Pizzaola with polenta, Caprese salad (tomato-basil-mozzarella), our guest brought garlic bread, I had loads of radishes to mess with and I made some sauteed ones, and panna cotta with black berries.

Ok, the pork chops. I'll start by saying I don't cook much pork anymore. There was a time where I couldn't eat it at all without getting sick-neither could dh. But as we've been eating lots of probiotics, coconut oil and doing bowel cleanses, we can tolerate it very well now. I bought the family pack of HUGE pork chops for around $10.

In a large pot heat some olive oil on medium-high heat. Season meat with salt and pepper and sear in the hot pan on both sides. (I did this in batches because mine were so big) After all the chops are done, put them in a large glass baking pan (9x13). In the same pan add 1 medium-large onion, sliced. When softened add 1 large can crushed tomatoes, 1 regular can of diced tomatoes, 1 T herb de provence, 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Cover and let simmer 10-15 minutes.

Then I poured the sauce all over the chops and covered the pan. I had the oven on 325 and stuck them in there for a few hours, however you could do it at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time- I was just making it ahead of time and allowing to sit in the oven till time to eat.

Polenta is basically just cooked cornmeal- three parts water to 1 part cornmeal. Then you stir it on low heat for awhile and add in the goodies. I usually do butter, cream and parmesan cheese. You can serve it creamy or spread it in a pan and let cool, then cut into shapes and fry it. I served the meat and sauce on top of the polenta.

I also wanted to include this one. My family loves my chicken noodle soup. It's very simple and easy, and nothing amazing, but since they like it so much I thought I would post it. I find that it's easier and tastier to use a leftover roasted chicken carcass with a little meat left on it than putting a whole raw chicken in a pot to make the broth. This is what I do:

Put the leftover chicken in a pot and cover with water. Simmer with the lid on for at least an hour. Then I take the chicken and bones out to cool. Next I add a bay leaf, some herbs and salt, and start adding chopped carrots, onion and celery. I use two medium size carrots and two large stalks of celery and half a medium sized onion. While the vegetables are cooking I start picking off the chicken meat and usually after I'm done with that, the veggies are getting soft and I add the chicken and noodles to the pot. When the noodles are cooked through I add about 1/2 cup of cream and taste for seasoning. Done. Saturday we ate this with saltine crackers and leftover tomato basil salad. My husband said I could bottle it and sell it :) I think the flavor from the roasted chicken and the cream is what makes it so yummy.

And it's cheap!


Mrs.KAOS said...

Yumm, I love Thia Iced tea, Thia coffee is god too. Its a small layer of sweetened condensed milk and french roast espresso (which is low in caffeine)

dayz in and dayz out... said...

Thai Ice tea is my very favorite! I can by it at our asian market and just add the milk. Yummmmmm!