Fast and Flavorful, that's the name of the class we attended at the Sac. Food Co-op on Thursday night. The class was taught by Mai Pham, celebrity chef and cook book author and owner of Lemon Grass restaurant.
Sue, and I plus several other students were lucky enough to help prep for the class. Mai showed us how prepare the Papaya Salad(my favorite) that was one of the dishes she was teaching during class. Mai is very personable easy to talk to and work with and a great teacher. I was so thrilled to be able to work with her.
To start the class Mai showed part of a video she did for Food TV about her return trip to Viet Nam her family and all the great food of the country. She went over different ingredients and how slicing vegetables and meat in a certain way contributes to the flavor of a dish. All these dishes were made with her new cooking sauces that the Co-op is now carrying. I have to say, they are really really good and make preparing her dishes really fast and easy. She has three right now, Lemon Grass Ginger, Yellow Curry, and Green Curry.
First recipe up was the Green Papaya Salad. Shredded green papaya, green beans, cherry tomatoes, peanuts and cabbage and of course the wonderful sauce which is prepared with a mortar and pestle.
The next dish was the Lemongrass Tofu with Shitake Mushrooms
Next was Shrimp Curry with Butternut Squash and Basil
The last was Spicy Roasted Chicken and Rice.
All of the dishes were so flavorful and only took a few minutes to prepare.
After class we had to opportunity to buy her sauces and of course the cookbooks and have them signed by Mai. It was a fun class and I hope she comes back to teach more.
Here is the recipe for one of the dishes she prepared in class
Spicy Roasted Chicken and Rice:
2lbs bone-in chicken thighs (breasts can be used)
1/2C Yellow Curry Sauce(Lemon Grass Kitchen brand) or to taste
2 small yellow onions cut into thin wedges
2 Roma tomatoes cut into 4 wedges
3 red potatoes quartered and blanched
2Tbs vegetable oil
11/2 C basmati or jasmine rice
2-3 Tbsp Yellow Curry Sauce (Lemon Grass Kitchen brand)
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
2 cinnamon sticks broken
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
For chicken: combine chicken and Yellow Curry Sauce in a large bowl and stir to evenly coat the chicken. Marinate in the refrigerator for an hour. (or longer)
For rice: wash rice 3 times and drain completely. Combine with the remaining ingredients and transfer to a rice cooker or pot and cook until done, about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add oil to chicken and toss several times. Transfer to a roasting pan along with the onions, tomatoes and potatoes. Make sure the chicken and vegetables are in a single layer. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake on the top shelf of the oven for 15 minutes. Change the setting to broil and broil the chicken uncovered is done and the edges are nicely brown, about another 5 minutes.
Serve chicken over rice.