I know that some of you sweet souls had your fingers crossed as I slaved away in the kitchen for my beau. I’ll be honest, I was nervous!! I consider myself to be a good cook, but we all have our off days ( I definitely have some stories to tell haha). Thankfully, Valentine’s Day 2014 was not an off day. I accepted the challenge and the food was not only delicious but beautiful. Most importantly, he was happy and well-fed.
Pad Woon Sen
The most difficult part of creating Pad Woon Sen (also referred to as yum woon sen) is mastering the sauce. I started experimenting with the sauces two weeks prior to our vday dinner. Taking the time to perfect the sauce is important because the recipes will differ based on your palate and where you originally had the dish in the first place. My goal was to create the dish similar to how it was prepared at our local Thai restaurant, which is very different than how it is traditionally prepared in Thailand (based on my limited research).
I used a modified version of this recipe strictly for the sauce:
This is what I actually used, per serving:
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of chili oil
2 tablespoons warm water
1 tablespoon lime juice
The vegetables that I used were celery, bell pepper, carrots, onion, and mushroom. I was recently introduced to this really cool concept of “blanching.” I boiled a pot of water and added the vegetables for 1-2 minutes then sat the vegetables in cold water (to stop the cooking process). This helped the vegetables maintain their color and have a softer texture once they were ready to be added to the stir-fry.
The noodles are mung bean noodles, which are extremely easy to cook. They can be found at an Oriental Market. They soak in water for 15 minutes, are drained, then stir fried with the vegetables, egg, and meat.
The other interesting part of my cooking adventure was stir frying the chicken. I am vegetarian/pescetarian, he is not. I had to Youtube how to stir fry chicken! I’m so happy that I did that. Did you know you should actually chop the chicken differently for stir fry meals to allow for more even cooking and better absorption of the sauce?
Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lb7jOCVEUec
Hmmmm….the chocolate covered strawberries and the heart-shaped brownies were delicious. Very easy to prepare as well. If you want the recipes for either of those leave a comment and I’ll get it to ya.
Oh! The wine! Okay….so a friend suggested chocolate wine. She did not warn me but I will warn you, that wine is strong! He and I both ended up opting for milk. Apparently, chocolate wine should be served on ice…you live and you learn.
About Last Night
I realized that I can’t say too much because “About Last Night” is still in theaters and I don’t want to be “that person” that spoils the movie. What I can say is that the movie is a good date movie filled with tons of opportunities for laughter. I enjoyed the cast, there were a few times when I noticed that Micheal Ealy wasn’t the only person on screen. Why is he so beautiful? The best part of the movie for me was how the emotions that some guys experience during relationships was captured through Micheal Ealy’s character.
Many of my Facebook friends characterized the movie as a “Must See.” I don’t agree with that. It is definitely a funny date movie, but if you didn’t see it you wouldn’t be missing out on a classic or anything like that. What’s missing? I can’t quite put my finger on it… I think that given that the movie was released on Vday, I believe that they were intentionally trying to keep the story light. There was a particular scene with Joy Bryant’s character and Micheal Ealy’s character where I thought some complexity was going to be added to the plot and I was wrong, flat out wrong.
As a love story I’d rate it a 3 out of 5. As a comedy I’d rate it a 5 out of 5. Overall rating a 4 out of 5. Hey, those are just my thoughts! What did you think about the movie?