Thailand adventures continue! It is so great here, I don’t want it to end in two weeks! time is flying by so quickly and I feel like it has only been a couple of days since I got here.
The resort is fantastic, the people I’m hanging out with from the course are so nice and sweet and I’m learning so many new things. What really makes it a great experience though is that I’m truly doing what I love doing: working in a kitchen and learning about food, about vegan food. The teachers are really great, and we’ve all been hanging out together and organizing things to do and places to see.
I’ve been visiting several markets early in the morning or in the afternoon/evening. Street Food markets are so popular here in Thailand; the Thai relay on them so much, they mostly eat food prepared from the markets stalls and don’t seem to follow a meal schedule, every time of the day you’ll find someone eating: a warm soup out of a plastic bag, a barbecued fish or meat stick, sweet sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves, lots of fruit and lots of spicy food in general. Thai people seem to like very spicy or very sweet food.
I wanted to share some more pics taken at a local market; the different vegetables are so interesting and I’ve noticed that some of them are very big in size in comparison to the typical size from home, like carrots, cucumbers, even ginger. I don’t know if it’s just a variety or if they are using lots of pesticides or gmo products, I hope the first. Many coconuts are sold, and the flesh and oil is used in many products, so yummy. The food in general is very greasy and most of it is fried, so it is nice that I eat at the resort most of the time, either what we create in class or our packed dinners from the amazing breakfast buffet.
So this week we’ve learned how to make ice-creams: the amount of liquid, the core, the flavorings. One assignment was to pair up with another student and create our own ice cream recipe and toppings that would then be tasted by everyone and some of the resort’s staff too. It was very fun to be free in the kitchen and be able to use the ingredients from the pantry freely.
My partner and I decided to make two flavor ice creams to go together: a spiced orange and a cilantro ice cream. We then dehydrated some orange slices and peels to make a dried orange powder to sprinkle on top, and a honey-vanilla syrup to go with it. The mix together was great, I don’t recommend having the cilantro ice cream on its self, but the spiced orange one was really good just as it is too.
At the academy we used a PACO machine to make our ice cream, it’s a quite expensive machine ranging around 3-4 thousand dollars, but it’s a great tool to have in a professional kitchen, you can make many things with it. the ice cream feature is great because you can decide how many servings to soften in advance. But otherwise you can use a normal ice cream machine, or if you don’t have it just make your ice cream in a blender, then pour the mixture into a tray, put in your freezer and every hour mix it with a spoon, this way you’ll achieve the same ice cream consistency that you would with a machine.
Ingredients for the spiced orange ice cream:
-1 1/2 cup coconut meat (that’s the inside of a coconut, the flesh)
-1 cup water
-1/4 cup orange juice, fresh
-zest of 1 orange
-1/4 cup of agave or other sweetener
-1/4 cup coconut oil
-1 tbls vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp each of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger powder.
-1/4 tsp salt
Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. Depending on the machine you have follow instructions to make the ice cream. We made it the day before serving.
Ingredients for the cilantro ice cream:
-1/2 cup cashews, soaked overnight
-1 cup coconut meat
-1 cup coconut water
-2 tbls lemon juice
-2 tbls of cilantro-spinach juice (we made it earlier for another recipe, it adds color)
-1/4 cup agave or other sweetener
-1 tbls coconut oil
-1/4 cup cilantro leaves
-1/4 tsp salt
Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. Depending on the machine you have follow instructions to make the ice cream.
To make dried orange powder:
– 2 oranges
-2 tsp coconut sugar powder, or other type of sugar powder
Use one orange to get a few very thin slices, use your knife or a mandolin.
Use the second orange to have orange peels: use a peeler or a knife, but I recommend the peeler, you will have less white parts.
Lay everything on a dehydrator sheet and sprinkle the slices with a little bit of sugar. Dehydrate on the highest temperature for 36 hours. Using a spice grinder, blend everything into a powder, keeping a few of the slices aside for garnish.
To make the Honey syrup:
Mix some honey (or maple syrup) with some vanilla extract.
We served the ice creams in a big bowl: drizzle some honey sirup on the bottom, then add one ice cream scoop of each, sprinkle some orange powder on top, garnish with a slice of dried orange and some edible flowers (optional). The combination is very good.
Here are some of the dishes we made this week: