"How We Spent Our Summer Vacation."
|Alka and her sister at a cooking class |
in Bangkok, Thailand
|Roompa and Guru at a kafeehaus in Baden Baden, Germany|
|Homemade pretzel and obatzda cheese dip|
Second Course: Only in America
We didn't only travel abroad this summer. Guru and Roompa spent some time in Austin and Houston, Texas, visiting his sister, and Alka spent time in California visiting hers. So what do Texas, California, and New York have in common (other than being great places to visit or live)? We sampled one of the newest American fusion foods in all three places: Korean tacos. We have a feeling that this is one delicious culinary trend that's here to stay, and we just had to bring it to the Foodist Colony.
|Plating up the Korean tacos!|
|Guru puts on the finishing touches|
Next we added some homemade kimchi, a staple of Korean cuisine. Ours featured Napa cabbage and romaine lettuce seasoned with salt, garlic, chili flakes, and other spices and then fermented for several days. We also spooned in a relish made of sliced onions, Asian pears, scallions, and carrots tossed in a sesame vinaigrette. Our taco was topped with a Korean-inspired salsa roja — made with roasted tomatoes and tomatilloes, gochujang, onions, garlic, ginger, and red chiles — and a sprinkle of chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds.
|Our guests enjoying the meal|
Third Course: The Big MangoThe Big Mango is an affectionate nickname for Bangkok, Thailand. The third course in our global lunch took our guests across the Pacific to this amazing city for some authentic Thai flavors.
Alka spent about three weeks in Thailand over the summer and took cooking classes in both Bangkok and Chiang Mai. For those of you who find yourselves in Bangkok and would like to try a cooking class, or just try some amazing Thai vegetarian food, she highly recommends May Kaidee's. She not only visited May's some six times while in Thailand, but also (fortunately for the Foodist Colony) took a class and bought the cookbook.
|Massaman curry, papaya salad, and steamed rice|
|Tom yum vodka cocktail|
There are as many different ways to make Thai curry as there are cooks to make it. For our third course, we blended what Alka learned at Thai cooking schools with some of our own twists to create a spicy massaman curry and som tam (papaya salad).
Our massaman curry featured South Asian influences along with traditional Thai flavors: cumin, cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon, and star anise in the traditional red curry paste. We added fresh eggplant, bell peppers, tomatoes, and marinated tofu for a vibrant veggie version of the dish. The papaya salad, or som tam, is sometimes called Thailand's national dish, for good reason. The spicy, sweet, and sour mixture of grated green papaya, lime juice, tomato, soy sauce, and chiles is amazingly addictive — and a great fresh side dish with the curry.
|Harish, Lisa, Thao, and Shilpa toasting with Thai cocktails|
|Traditional Thai accompaniments: sour, salty, sweet, and spicy|
We also served a Thai cocktail, reminiscent of one Alka sampled during her travels. Our tom yum cocktail mimicked the flavors of tom yum soup, blending coconut water with vodka infused with lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and chiles.
Dessert: Portuguese Pleasures
For our final course, we visited Portugal. Guru, Roompa, and Alka all had the pleasure of attending a beautiful wedding this summer in Sintra, Portugal, and also spent some time exploring Lisbon and the gorgeous Algarve coast. We wanted to pay homage to our wonderful time there (and our equally wonderful Portuguese friends!) with an Iberian-influenced dessert.
|Harish, Lisa, and Thao enjoy cookies and ice cream|
Finally, as no Foodist Colony event is complete without a little surprise, we presented our guests with a European-style treat of sliced fresh figs, stilton cheese, and ruby-red port wine — a genuine "porto," a designation reserved for only those port wines made in Portugal.
|A perfect ending to the meal|