In the midst of a fully-loaded week, I decided to open up the two remaining â€˜balikbayanâ€™ boxes that I have been keeping in storage since I arrived in
Amongst the volumes of books was an unopened (intact in its original plastic packaging) cookbook from one of my favourite Asian brands, Jim Thompson. The book, aptly titled At the Table Of Jim Thompson was one of the FEW items Iâ€™ve hoarded from the Thai silk giant Jim Thompson since it opened its first â€˜Lifestyle Storeâ€™ (above) at The Empire Hotel & Country Club in Brunei in 2004. Can you imagine having a Jim Thompson store next door to your office?
refaced by William (Bill) Warren â€“ a friend and biographer of the legendary Thai silk king Jim Thompson, At the Table of Jim Thompson is a unique introduction to the house of Jim Thompson and the cuisine served at the three Jim Thompson restaurants in Bangkok: CafÃ© 9 located in the main silk shop, Saladaeng CafÃ© â€“ an old two-storey house on Saladaeng Road and Thompson in a Thai-style building adjacent to the Jim Thompson house, the last being the most elaborate. The three restaurants with their relaxed, tasteful surrounding, and the book, aim to preserve the atmosphere: the sparkle and effervescent spirit that prevailed at the memorable dinner parties hosted by Jim Thompson during his time at his house by the klong (canal).
The hardcover book with over 80 recipes featured is filled with Bill Warrenâ€™s recollections of the good times he spent with illustrious guests who sat at Jim Thompsonâ€™s table.
The stylish photography of Luca Invernizzi Tettoni lavishly illustrates and highlights the attractive texture and colour of the dishes. The book is divided into nine sections with traditional Thai recipes of savoury curries and rice dishes taking their prominent place. In keeping with the pioneering spirit that marked all of Jim Thompsonâ€™s endeavours, novel fusion dishes with unique Western twists have also been given space.
Across the sections, one can either use or adapt individual recipes and turn them into delightful light meals or snacks, or even create a total experience of delectable full-course meals complete with appetizers and desserts along with the stylish look that Jim Thompson has been known for.
So should you be in
Since weâ€™ve been experimenting on different dishes lately, I decided to give a couple of recipes in the book a try for one of our weekend painting sessions. Yes, weâ€™re into painting these days! And I do have a pending post about this madness that has overcome us . . .
Hereâ€™s the first recipe . . .
Spicy Beef Curry | Gaeng Panaeng Neua
Ingredients: 5 Â¼ oz (150 g) beef sirloin cubes . 1 Â½ cups (375 ml) coconut milk . 1 cup (250 ml) coconut cream . 1 tbsp thai curry paste . 2 tbsp palm sugar . 1 tbsp fish sauce . long red chilies, deseeded and sliced lengthwise . 1 kaffir lime leaf, torn . handful of Thai basil leaves . pinch of salt
Method: Blanch the beef to soften it, then rinse and set aside. In a hot wok, bring the coconut milk to boil, add the beef, then braise over low to medium heat for 2 hours.
In a separate pot or wok, simmer the coconut cream over medium heat for 5 minutes. Increase the heat and add the red curry paste, frying for another 10 minutes. Season with salt, palm sugar and fish sauce.
Reduce the heat and add the beef and coconut milk to the mixture. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes, then add chilies, basil and kaffir lime leaves. Serve hot.
And this is how my curry came out . . . Aroi mak!