Kow Piek Sen (ເຂົ້າ ປຽກ)

Kow Piek Sen (ເຂົ້າ ປຽກ)
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This is probably the most popular homemade soup in Laos, and this is a westernized version of. This is from my friend who is Lao, the only part to make it westernized is the use of macaroni instead of the rice noodles. This recipe to make it more available to those in the US, use macaroni unless you are familiar with making rice noodles, this recipe does not cover that. Servings, prep, cook times, and some quantities are approximate until I make this. Link to the shortcut is listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Kow Piek Sen (ເຂົ້າ ປຽກ)
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This is probably the most popular homemade soup in Laos, and this is a westernized version of. This is from my friend who is Lao, the only part to make it westernized is the use of macaroni instead of the rice noodles. This recipe to make it more available to those in the US, use macaroni unless you are familiar with making rice noodles, this recipe does not cover that. Servings, prep, cook times, and some quantities are approximate until I make this. Link to the shortcut is listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Ingredients
For Seasonings
For Garnish
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. You can go with a whole chicken (in Asia, remove the head and feet first), in the US, remove the giblet pack, save those for a snack later. Now you can boil the chicken whole, or you can cut it into the standard pieces or I will just go with two breasts and two quarters (separated), no need for the wings or back.
  2. In a large pot, add the water, onion, lemongrass, and salt and bring to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, carefully lower in the chicken, using pieces would be much easier than a whole chicken. Return to a gentle boil and cook the chicken through (you are making the broth).
  4. While the chicken is cooking, open and drain the drain the eggs if using canned, or hard boil them if using fresh, shortcut for hard boiled is Recipe Notes. Prep the pork balls by simply slicing each in half. And then measure out the dry macaroni.
  5. When the chicken is fully cooked, carefully remove the chicken and the lemongrass bundle from the pot. Then add the dry macaroni and let that cook.
  6. While the macaroni is cooking, use two forks and shred the chicken, removing skin, bones, and any gristle, good snack for your dog 😉
  7. When the macaroni is tender, add the chicken, eggs, and pork balls to the pot. reduce heat to a simmer and use the Seasonings as listed to taste. Let this cook to heat everything through.
  8. Ladle soup into bowls and use the Garnishes listed as you desire and to taste. Serve.
Recipe Notes

I will price this when I gather up all the ingredients. I will say Low cost for now.

Shortcut: Perfect Hard Boiled Quail Eggs.

Variants: 1. Use 1-2 Cornish game hens in place of chicken. 2. Omit the eggs or the pork balls, or both.

Recipe inspired by good friend, Khanthary Singnhoth, and her recipe is here.
United States.

Make Ahead Greek Pasta Salad

Make Ahead Greek Pasta Salad
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This is a make the day before you serve salad, or at a minimum, prepare in the morning for serving with the evening meal, the flavors need time to blend. I made this on 26 Dec 2017, tasted 6 hours later for dinner, outstanding, very well liked by my Thai wife as well.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Make Ahead Greek Pasta Salad
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This is a make the day before you serve salad, or at a minimum, prepare in the morning for serving with the evening meal, the flavors need time to blend. I made this on 26 Dec 2017, tasted 6 hours later for dinner, outstanding, very well liked by my Thai wife as well.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
For the Salad
For the Dressing
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Heat a pot of salted water to boiling, add the pasta and cook until tender, drain well.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, mix together the Dressing ingredients in a good sized mixing bowl.
  3. After the pasta is well drained and cooled a bit, add it to the dressing along with the rest of the Salad ingredients except the cheese. Toss well to coat everything.
  4. Now add the cheese and fold that, then cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  5. Serve as a side, or in my opinion, as a main dish as that is what I will probably do.
Recipe Notes

I cannot price pepperoni at this time, I used a 150 gram pack of smoked ham for 90 Baht. For the Feta, that is 150 Baht for 275 grams, use half the package (75 Baht), cut the block in half and crumble that for right about a cup. Based on the Feta and smoked ham, for 4 servings, this is about $1.22 per serving.

Variants: 1. In place of pepperoni, use thin sliced smoked ham. 2. Use what you have, like a whole bell pepper instead of cup, or a package of pepperoni or smoked ham, like a cup or so, etc.

Adapted from an internet recipe.

Shrimp Spaghetti Carbonara

Shrimp Spaghetti Carbonara
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I made this last night for dinner, 20 Dec 2017, but not worthy of a photo since the eggs did scramble. The flavor was excellent, just not a nice presentation so I will certainly be making this again, one to get the technique mastered to mix in the egg and cheese, and two, to get photos.
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Shrimp Spaghetti Carbonara
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I made this last night for dinner, 20 Dec 2017, but not worthy of a photo since the eggs did scramble. The flavor was excellent, just not a nice presentation so I will certainly be making this again, one to get the technique mastered to mix in the egg and cheese, and two, to get photos.
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil then cook the spaghetti until just tender. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, leave the spaghetti in the pot and set aside.
  2. While the water is getting hot for the spaghetti, in a mixing bowl mix together the cheese, eggs, and yolks with a fork or whisk. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Set this aside and finish up the spaghetti 😉
  3. Heat a large non stick skillet on medium heat and when hot, add the bacon and cook until crispy then remove to a bowl, leaving the fat in the pan. and add 1/4 cup of the pasta water you reserved.
  4. Add the shrimp to the pan and season with salt and pepper as desired. Cook until the shrimp are all pink, turn often.
  5. Now drain the pasta and add to the pan with the shrimp, use tongs to combine the shrimp and pasta. Once mixed well, toss the parsley into the pasta.
  6. Working quickly, now stir in the egg and cheese mixture and use tongs to quickly toss to coat the spaghetti, double fist two sets of tongs, work fast to prevent the egg from scrambling. Add additional pasta water as needed to make a creamy sauce. Just before serving, toss the bacon in.
  7. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with additional parsley, cheese, and pepper.
Recipe Notes

Large white shrimp from Tesco will cost about 150 Baht/500 grams. The cheese about 170 Baht. Bacon prices vary greatly, on average, figure about 150 Baht/250 grams. For 4 servings, this is about $3.46 per serving.

Adapted from an internet recipe.

______ & Gravy

______ & Gravy
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You fill in the blank with a meat of choice, can be leftovers or bought purposely for this recipe. I like simple dishes that come together quickly, and can be changed numerous ways. This is a base recipe that you can can tailor to make your own specialty. This can be a side dish over rice, or a main dish over pasta, mashed potatoes, or biscuits.
Servings
2-3 servings
Servings
2-3 servings
______ & Gravy
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You fill in the blank with a meat of choice, can be leftovers or bought purposely for this recipe. I like simple dishes that come together quickly, and can be changed numerous ways. This is a base recipe that you can can tailor to make your own specialty. This can be a side dish over rice, or a main dish over pasta, mashed potatoes, or biscuits.
Servings
2-3 servings
Servings
2-3 servings
Ingredients
For the Concept
  • 500-700 grams meat
  • 2 cups gravy OR make from a shortcut
  • 100-200 grams pasta rice or mashed potatoes or biscuits
For Seasoning
For Additional Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
For the Meats - Pick One
  1. Think simple items that are cooked or can be cooked up quick. Chicken Hearts, Chicken Livers, Chicken Gizzards, Sausage, leftover roast chicken, leftover beef pot roast, leftover pork loin.
  2. Cook fresh meats in a non stick skillet with a splash of olive oil along with a diced onion and several cloves of mined garlic and mushrooms if using those. Drain and set aside.
  3. For leftover meats, cube or shred, your preference. Saute a diced onion and several cloves of garlic in a non stick pan with a splash of olive oil. When the onion is translucent, add mushroom if using, then add the cubed or shredded leftover meat and saute until heated through. Drain and set aside.
  4. For sausage, bulk or sliced would work well with a milk gravy.
For the Gravy - Pick One
  1. Gravy can be from a homemade mix, from a gravy packet, or from the drippings in the pan when using fresh meats. I use packets or from a homemade mix. Your choice.
  2. Chicken giblets and leftovers obviously pair up with chicken gravy. Beef with beef gravy, and pork with pork or chicken gravy. Sausage would pair nicely with a milk gravy.
  3. For 2-3 servings, go with 2 cups of gravy, either 2 packets, 2 cups worth from a homemade mix, or you can make in the pan with the drippings.
  4. Once the gravy is made, add the cooked or heated up meat of choice.
For the Seasoning
  1. After the meat of choice is added to the gravy and mixed, taste and add salt and pepper as desired. For the chicken giblets, sage and celery seed works very well, for two cups of gravy I used 1/2 teaspoon of sage and 1/4 teaspoon of celery seed.
  2. White pepper can be used in place of black pepper. Any herbs of choice can be used, like rosemary, thyme, parsley, coriander. Totally up to your preference.
For Serving - Pick One
  1. Rice, small amount for a side dish or a large amount for a main dish.
  2. Pasta, can be spaghetti, egg noodles, fettuccine, macaroni, small shells, spirals, totally your preference.
  3. Potatoes, mashed would be my first choice, boiled and fried potatoes also work.
  4. Biscuits, think milk gravy with sausage. And additional option for this would be a fried egg or two on top.
Recipe Notes

Cost is dependent on if you are using fresh meats specifically for this dish or using leftovers.

Shortcut: Gravy Mix.

Based on making Chicken Hearts & Gravy, Lee Thayer.
Thailand.

Chicken Hearts & Gravy

Chicken Hearts & Gravy
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I like chicken hearts, and this is a simple and easy meal to put together. I made this on 12 Dec 2017 as a way to use up some chicken hearts I had in the freezer, and this gives me an idea for a base recipe for leftovers as well. Link to the shortcut is listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Chicken Hearts & Gravy
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Rating: 5
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I like chicken hearts, and this is a simple and easy meal to put together. I made this on 12 Dec 2017 as a way to use up some chicken hearts I had in the freezer, and this gives me an idea for a base recipe for leftovers as well. Link to the shortcut is listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. In a large non stick pan, heat the oil and add the chicken hearts and saute for a few minutes, they release a lot of fat was well (additional flavor), add the onion and garlic, and saute until the onion is translucent and hearts cooked through. Drain the hearts.
  2. While the hearts are cooking. In a small sauce pan prepare the chicken gravy according to the packet instructions, this is normally 2 packets to make 2 cups. Once the gravy is made, add the drained hearts and stir in, season with the sage, celery seed, and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. In another small sauce pan, cook the pasta in boiling water until tender, then drain.
  4. Place some noodles on a plate and ladle on the gravy, enjoy.
Recipe Notes

Figure about 50 Baht for the chicken hearts. For 2 servings, this is about 74 cents per serving.

Shortcut: Gravy Mix.

I just winged this and it turned out great, Lee Thayer.
Thailand.

Pizza Pasta

Pizza Pasta
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This sounds really good, and is an original recipe from a friend, I look forward to making this. Links to the shortcuts are listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25-30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25-30 minutes
Pizza Pasta
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This sounds really good, and is an original recipe from a friend, I look forward to making this. Links to the shortcuts are listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25-30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25-30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 220 C (425 F).
  2. Heat a pot of salted water to a boil, then add the pasta and cook that until just tender, drain well (let cool for a few minutes before adding to a Pyrex dish) pour into a 9x13 baking dish.
  3. While the water is heating for the pasta, heat a large non stick pan and add the sausage and break it with a spatula as you cook it, add some chopped up pepperoni slice if want and add to the pan as well, as much as you like. When cooked through, do not drain, just pour into the baking dish and mix with the pasta until "all the pasta is coated with the yummy meatiness." (Author's words, very cool!)
  4. Add the pasta sauce and mix together, now add the pizza cheese blend and mix that in. Once mixed, smooth out the top evenly, top with Mozzarella, then a layer of pepperoni slices.
  5. Bake until bubbly, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove and let rest for a few minutes, you have a bubbly dish of cheese lava, you are just cooling it a bit before serving.
  6. Serve. Garlic bread would be a great side dish.
Recipe Notes

The sausage if you make yourself, about 45 Baht. The cheeses will cost about 175 Baht for the pizza cheese blend, and 140 Baht for the Mozzarella. For 6 servings, this is about $1.77 per serving.

Shortcuts: Italian Sausage, Pasta Sauce.

Variants: 1. Easy, anything you like on a pizza. The author, Amy, says diced green bell pepper and sliced mushrooms is a very good addition. 2. To make this leaner, use chicken sausage.

Original recipe and photo, provided by good friend, Amy Weckerly Shanks, and the original recipe is here.

Cajun Chicken & Sausage Pasta

Cajun Chicken & Sausage Pasta
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This is from a good friend and sounds absolutely delicious. On my to cook list for sure.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Cajun Chicken & Sausage Pasta
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This is from a good friend and sounds absolutely delicious. On my to cook list for sure.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
For the Chicken Seasoning
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Slice the Andouille sausage in half lengthwise and slice half moons 1/4 inch thick. For regular pork or beef sausage, just slice 1/4 inch thick. Set aside.
  2. In a large non stick pan, heat a splash of olive oil, when hot, add the cubed chicken and season with the Chicken Seasoning spices to taste, just a bit of each spice will do. Lightly brown the chicken, no need to cook through, over cooked chicken = tough chicken. When lightly browned, remove from the pan to a large bowl and set aside. If there is water in the pan, pour that off.
  3. Same pan, add the sausage and brown that up, remove from the pan and add to the bowl with the chicken and set aside.
  4. Same pan, add the bell peppers, saute for about 5 minutes then add the garlic and shallots. Saute for about 15 minutes or until the bell peppers are just softened yet still crunchy. If using the the optional mushrooms, add those now and saute to just soften them. Remove from heat and set aside. Now follow either Method 1 or Method 2 for the final preparation.
Method 1
  1. In a large pot, add the stock, cream, chicken and sausage, bell peppers from the pan, and the pasta. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 to 30 minutes uncovered, to reduce the liquid amount, stirring often.
  2. Stir in the spring onion and Parmesan, simmer for 5 more minutes. Serve and enjoy.
Method 2
  1. In a pot heat the stock to boiling and cook the pasta until tender. Drain.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, add the sausage and chicken to the pan with the bell peppers, use low heat and just heat everything through.
  3. Add the drained pasta to the pan and mix together well, then add the cream and just simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy.
Recipe Notes

The chicken will cost between 30 and 60 Baht, 500 grams/1 kilo, and the sausage, going with Cumberland, 750 grams is about 267 Baht. For 6 servings, this is about $1.60 per serving.

Recipe and photo provided courtesy of good friend, Anthony Ramirez.
United States.

Pasta with Tuna, Lemon & Dill

Pasta with Tuna, Lemon & Dill
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Sounds easy and tasty. On my to cook list. Feel free to use canned or fresh tuna you have cooked. Link to the shortcut is listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Pasta with Tuna, Lemon & Dill
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Sounds easy and tasty. On my to cook list. Feel free to use canned or fresh tuna you have cooked. Link to the shortcut is listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, cook the pasta until tender.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, mix the remaining ingredients together in a large serving bowl, season with salt and pepper as desired.
  3. When the pasta is tender, drain and add to the mixture in the serving bowl, toss to combine, serve.
Recipe Notes

Low cost.

Shortcut: Tuna.

Adapted from an internet recipe.

Slow Cooker Pork & Noodles II

Slow Cooker Pork & Noodles II
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Five ingredient recipe, and this sounds good, and easy! This is a slow cooker and stove top recipe.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
4-8 hours
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
4-8 hours
Slow Cooker Pork & Noodles II
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Five ingredient recipe, and this sounds good, and easy! This is a slow cooker and stove top recipe.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
4-8 hours
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
4-8 hours
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Rub or mist your slow cooker with olive oil to make clean up easier.
  2. Sprinkle the loin well with salt and pepper, be generous. Place the loin in the slow cooker, add 1/4 cup of water and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours, or High setting for 3 to 4 hours. Check tenderness at 6 and 3 hours respectively, if the pork shreds easily with a fork, it is done. When done, remove from the slow cooker and shred with a fork, nothing to fine, just good bite sized pieces.
  3. 20 minutes before you want to serve, place a pot on the stove and add the broth and heat to just near boiling then add the noodles and cook until just tender. The stock should be mostly absorbed. If there is still liquid, go ahead and drain that off.
  4. Add the shredded pork to the noodles and stir in to combine well with the noodles. If the pork is not hot enough, heat the pot on very low heat for a few minutes, add a tablespoon or so of water to prevent sticking, this is not a soupy dish. Taste and season as needed with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve with a salad for a complete meal.
Recipe Notes

Going with 1 kilo of pork loin, cost would be 115 Baht, for 6 servings, this is about 56 cents per serving.

Adapted from an internet recipe.

Pantry Pasta

Pantry Pasta
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Sounds good and easy. I am looking forward to testing out the trick with the egg yolks. On my to cook list.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-30 minutes
Pantry Pasta
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Sounds good and easy. I am looking forward to testing out the trick with the egg yolks. On my to cook list.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Heat your oven to 180 C. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Cut the bread into 1/3 to 1/2 inch cubes. Toss the cubes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes but keep an eye on them. Remove from the oven and set aside. There, you just made croutons which will be used for a topping at the end.
  2. Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non stick pan, when hot, add the onion, garlic, salt, and red pepper, cook until the onion is golden brown.
  3. Remove the pan from heat and mix in the parsley, capers, and 1 to 2 teaspoons of lemon or lime juice. Set aside.
  4. Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until tender. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the pasta water and drain the rest.
  5. In a medium bowl, add the egg yolks, slowly whisk in the reserved pasta water, then whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  6. Place the pan back on low heat and add the well drained pasta to the pan, pour the egg mixture over the pasta and toss to combine the pasta with the egg mixture and the contents in the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes to warm everything through.
  7. Divide among 4 bowls and top with the croutons you made and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
Recipe Notes

Low cost. When I make this, I will also cook up some Italian sausage to go with this.

Adapted from an internet recipe.