Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Prawn Pad Di

I had 300g of prawns in the freezer when I fancied some Pad Thai. I didn't have the proper fat noodles so I improvised with Rice Vermicelli. I walked about the garden and gathered a stick of lemon grass and lots of herbs to go with some brocolli, a few carrots and some bok choy leaves (still bolting even in the middle of winter!).
I dug out my small grinder attachment for my Stick Mixer and
1. Roughly chopped a handful of unsalted roasted peants, put aside
2. Finely minced the lemon grass, 4 cloves garlic and thumb-sized knob of ginger all chopped roughly first. Meanwhile:
3. Soak the noodles in Boiling water till just flexible (5-10 mins). Cut up into manageable lengths
4. Make a sauce with 1 tlbs hot chilli sauce, 2 tlbs sweet chilli sauce, 1 tbls tamarind puree, 1 tlbs fish sauce and 1 tsp brown sugar
5. Stirfry Prawns, brocolli and carrot with 2/3 of the garlic/ginger/lemongrass mixture until nearly done.
Add drained noodles, roughly chopped bok choy and all the sauce. Toss about well for a few minutes and
6: The last 1/3 of garlic mix and about a cup of herbs - I used corriander, mint and garlic chives. Toss in all through till nice and hot. Serve into a deep bowl and top with the reserved chopped peanuts.
This was delicous and made all the easier as Glen stirfried while I chopped and poured the wine.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mr G Caterpillar

I was not really suprised by my new visitors, Mr Green Caterpillar and his many green friends. They seem to appear where ever brassicas thrive. Can you see him there (on the top right) with his many dark green prodigy(eggs below left)? Unparalleled satisfaction is to be had by squishing these fellas between your fingers. I've read of some squeemish gardeners who baulk at this practice, so you can always drop them onto the ground and well, ground them to mush.
Trick is to get onto them quickly before they are in plague proportions, which seems to happen almost overnight. Check them each day if you can, as they are very good at hidding and the babies are hard to spot. Dipel is the only organic, safe spray I know of for this pest. It's expensive and I can't help but wonder if it harms Mrs Brown Earthworm.
My patch is quite a managable size for manual removal so I persevere with this method. I have picked a few large brocolli heads but want the plants to remain healthy for the side shoots that are already starting to appear.

Also picking beautifully now are these baby carrots...