Week 64. Laos. Kalee Ped

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For anyone who reads this occasionally or even regularly, you might have noticed I haven’t posted for 8 or so weeks. Life has prevented me  – but for lovely reasons. I am now a father of not just a crazy 3 year old boy, but now a little squirmy girl (Olive). She was born on the 8th of May and for the past few weeks rather than chilling out in the kitchen we have been concentrating on making her grow.

Everyone we spoke to who have two or more children explained in detail how it would be intense – and they were right. I could fit both of my children in a very small box, but between them they eat up all of our time. Last weekend the theory was that I could do a post, but then we had FOUR children’s parties to go to. Between breakfast on Saturday and breakfast on Monday morning all I ate was food I picked off Henry’s plates at each of his parties. I felt disgusting.

Slowly, slowly, we are getting our heads around managing time and me cooking a dish from Laos is a good step forward.

This is how the Lonely Planet describes the country:

“After years of war and isolation, Southeast Asia’s most pristine environment, intact cultures and quite possibly the most chilled-out people on earth mean destination Laos is fast earning cult status among travellers. It is developing quickly but still has much of the tradition that has sadly disappeared elsewhere in the region. Village life is refreshingly simple and even in Vientiane it’s hard to believe this sort of languid riverfront life exists in a national capital. Then, of course, there is the historic royal city of Luang Prabang, where watching as hundreds of saffron-robed monks move silently among centuries-old monasteries is as romantic a scene as you’ll experience anywhere in Asia.

Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/laos#ixzz200lxTGv1

My wife travelled there on her whistle-stop dash across the world from New Zealand to meeting me and filling that box full of children. She rated it incredibly highly.

Cuisine wise it is not too dissimilar to that of Thailand and I chose to make a spicy red duck curry. Duck is an ingredient that I would often order when at a Thai restaurant, but very rarely think to use it at home. After making this dish I will do much more often.

There are two ways to make this dish. One is the complicated way where you make your own red curry paste and the other is to buy a good quality paste and then supplementing the flavour. I made my own using this  bit.ly/cQaG8H – but it’s up to you.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 Tbsp Red Curry Paste
  • 350g Coconut Milk
  • 500g Duck
  • 2 Lemongrass Sticks
  • 1 Large Bunch Coriander
  • 2 Birds Eye Chillies
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • Tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 Large Onion or 3 Shallots
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Puree

Fry the diced onion and garlic in some oil in a large pan or wok for 3 minutes. Don’t burn it.

Add in 1 lemongrass stick and both chillies.

After a few minutes add in half the coriander, the fish sauce, the red curry paste, the puree and the coconut milk.

Let it all slowly bubble away for 15 minutes and then add the duck. Poach it for 10 minutes and finally add in the coriander and the lemongrass

Serve with rice.

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