I have been having fun with Thai recipes lately and have been quite surprised to find most of the ingredients in Williams Lake.
I could not find Kaffir Lime leaves or Galagnal, which is a member of the ginger family and has a similar taste.
The Thais use this in a lot of foods, particularly soup.
I was able to bring back some of the dried Thailand food items I needed for various recipes and am learning how strong the dried food spices are from that country.
I recently made a Thailand meal for friends and used a little too much of the dried galangal and, as a result, I added a little coconut cream to take away some of the strong flavour of the spice.
When you learn how different cultures use a variety of foods and spices in their cooking you then can create western type dishes using ‘other country’ flavours to create a unique taste.
That’s infusion cooking — taking one or more country styles of cooking and blending them together.
Here is a belated Irish recipe.
• One-and-one half pounds pork sausage, cut into one-inch pieces
• One-and-one half pounds smoked ham, diced into one-inch pieces
• One quart boiling water
• Two large yellow onions, peeled and thinly diced
• Two pounds potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
• Four tablespoons chopped parsley
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place the sausage and ham in the boiling water and boil for five minutes. Drain, but reserve the liquid. Put the meat into a large saucepan (or an oven-proof dish) with the onions, potatoes, and parsley. Add enough of the stock to not quite cover the contents.
Cover the pot and simmer gently for about one hour, or until the liquid is reduced by half and all the ingredients are cooked but not mushy.
You may need to remove the lid during the last half of the cooking process.
Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot with the vegetables on top and fresh bread and a glass of stout.
This recipe will serve eight hungry Irishmen or those of any other descent.
Bye for now and GOOOD COOKING.
Ken Wilson is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Weekend Advisor.