Now that I am a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu-Dusit it is time to start using those skills to make one of my favorites: pizza!
Two Types of Thai Pizza and a Wing Bean Salad with Green Beans
After a day in the sun, a nice cold brew and pizza was the theme. Taking off on a Jamie Oliver episode where he made a Quad Roman style pizza, I went for a double (because that is the shape of my griddle for the BBQ). One was made with a tomato sauce base, sautéed mushroom, homemade Northern Thai Sausages (Sai Ooa), mozzarella cheese and topped with fresh basil.
The other had a basil pesto base, shredded roasted chicken, caramelized onions, mozzarella cheese, roasted tomatoes and was topped lightly with a rocket salad. We intended to make a wing bean salad, but unfortunately the store was out of wing beans, so we substituted green beans (not a bad substitution). A nice cold Black Wych Porter rounded out the meal.
Thai Wing Bean Salad
- 2 cups wing beans (or green beans), about 2/3 lb.
- 1 cup minced pork, about 1/2 lb.
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 Tablespoons dried shrimp, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons shallots, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2-3 medium, dried chilies, seeded and chopped
- 2 Tablespoons roasted peanuts, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- 1 1/4 teaspoon palm sugar or brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- Canola or vegetable oil, frying
- Rinse your beans and chop off both ends. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Set a pot of water to boil.
- While waiting, heat enough oil in a medium frying pan to cover the shallots and stir often until they’re golden, but not too brown. Remove shallots. Add dried shrimp to the pan and fry them until crispy. Remove and set aside.
- Add garlic and chilies and brown them. Remove from pan and cool.
- Once cool, pound half of your shallots, garlic and chilies into a semi-smooth paste.
- When your water is salted and boiling, blanch your winged beans for 20-30 seconds. Remove them and place them immediately in ice water to stop them from cooking. Reserve the water.
- Add your finely-minced pork to the water and cook for 5-7 minutes.
- In a saucepan, boil the coconut milk, take off heat and add sugar, chili/shallot paste, lime juice, fish sauce and peanuts. Mix well.
- Add dressing to winged beans and minced pork, toss and serve. Garnish with crispy dried shrimp and shallots.
Never heard of a winged bean salad? They are quite common in Thailand and we often see them served as a salad on local restaurant menus. Along with a fresh pomelo salad a spicy winged bean salad is one of our favorite Thai dishes!
Ready to BBQ
The dough and sauce were easy Jamie Oliver recipes; the rest was what we already had on hand!
Jamie Oliver Dough
- 1 kg white bread flour or Tipo ’00’ flour, or 800g strong white bread flour or Tipo ’00’ flour, plus 200g finely ground semolina flour
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 x 7 g dried yeast sachets
- 1 Tablespoon golden caster sugar
- 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 650 ml lukewarm water
- Sift the flour/s and salt on to a clean work surface and make a well in the middle. In a jug, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into the water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well. Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it into the liquid. Keep mixing, drawing larger amounts of flour in, and when it all starts to come together, work the rest of the flour in with your clean, flour-dusted hands. Knead until you have a smooth, springy dough.
- Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm room for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.
- Now remove the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead it around a bit to push the air out with your hands – this is called knocking back the dough. You can either use it immediately, or keep it, wrapped in cling film, in the fridge (or freezer) until required. If using straight away, divide the dough up into as many little balls as you want to make pizzas – this amount of dough is enough to make about six to eight medium pizzas.
- Timing-wise, it’s a good idea to roll the pizzas out about 15 to 20 minutes before you want to cook them. Don’t roll them out and leave them hanging around for a few hours, though – if you are working in advance like this it’s better to leave your dough, covered with cling film, in the fridge. However, if you want to get them rolled out so there’s one less thing to do when your guests are round, simply roll the dough out into rough circles, about 0.5cm thick, and place them on slightly larger pieces of olive-oil-rubbed and flour-dusted tinfoil. You can then stack the pizzas, cover them with cling film, and pop them into the fridge.
Jamie Oliver’s Tomato Sauce
- olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
- 1 bunch fresh basil, leaves picked and torn
- 3 x 400 g good-quality tinned plum tomatoes
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Place a large non-stick frying pan on the heat and pour in 4 generous lugs of olive oil. Add the garlic, shake the pan around a bit and, once the garlic begins to color lightly, add the basil and the tomatoes. Using the back of a wooden spoon, mush and squash the tomatoes as much as you can.
- Season the sauce with salt and pepper. As soon as it comes to the boil, remove the pan from the heat. Strain the sauce through a coarse sieve into a bowl, using your wooden spoon to push any larger bits of tomato through. Discard the basil and garlic that will be left in the sieve, but make sure you scrape any of the tomato-y goodness off the back of the sieve into the bowl.
- Pour the sauce back into the pan, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes to concentrate the flavors. It will be ready when it’s the perfect consistency for spreading on your pizza.
Store the sauce in a clean jar in the fridge – it’ll keep for a week or so. Also great to freeze in batches or even in an ice cube tray, so you can defrost exactly the amount you need. But to be honest, it’s so quick to make, you might as well make it on the day you need it.
A meal of pizza, salad and beer is the perfect thing to top off a fun day in the sun. Come back next week for even more delicious Thai recipes!
Mary Hathaway, owner of Dinner Diva, has been a personal chef since 2002. She cooks regularly for clients who have special dietary needs, value healthy cooking by using organic products where possible and those who want healthy family meals but have no time to cook. Whether it’s a dinner for 4, a holiday party for 20, or a set of meals for the week, all of the recipes are customized to her client’s needs or lifestyle. Go to Dinner-Diva.com for more info.