Notes from Joe’s Kitchen
The Great Khao Soi Search has been extended for another month. The final results will be posted in the March issue. Thanks to everyone who has suggested new restaurants to visit.
For the New Year, I was cleaning out my writing desk and found several ideas that I had squirreled away as possible column fodder. Unfortunately, as I thought about them, I realised that, while interesting, they weren’t worth an entire column, hence ‘The Jumble Sale’–interesting information without the legs to develop into a column.
The Wholesale Market:
This market begins at the Chedi round-about beside the American Consulate and spreads out from there in a rabbit’s warren of small shops in small soi. This is the place where many of the fruits and vegetables you buy at your local Thai market begin their journey to your table. Visiting this wholesale market can provide you with fresher products at a cheaper price. If you get carried away with your purchases, there are porters available who work for tips. Before you go, be warned that space for parking is very limited. Usually you can find a spot by the river, across from the consulate. Check it out.
Honey is one of the finest naturally occurring products in nature. It has a wonderful taste as well as health benefits. For example, in the distant past it was used to seal wounds and had the added benefit of being a mild antibiotic. On Sankampaeng Road (just before the Gems Gallery, on the right as you head toward Sankampaeng) is Thepprasit honey. They sell a generic honey as well as one made from sunflowers. While they position their product as health food rather than good food, the honey they sell is unprocessed comb honey and has a most excellent taste. Unfortunately, because of their ‘healthy food’ positioning, the honey is expensive. But if you are interested in good tasting, unadulterated honey, this is the place. Check it out.
This easily made taste bud bursting garnish probably originated as a final hit of flavour added to osso buco alla milanese. In the milanese version, it is made of chopped parsley, lemon zest and garlic. A dash of olive oil finishes the preparation. Over the years, its use has expanded significantly, and the variations on the basic idea are only limited by your imagination. Gremolata adds extra life and zest to long cooked foods. When making a stew such as lobscouse or cassoulet, make a gremolata by mixing bread crumbs, citrus zest, garlic, parsley and olive oil. Lightly toast the mixture and spread on top of the stew just before serving. It also adds a wonderful zing to roasted meats or fish. Give it a go.
Here is a link to a wonderful recipe that uses both honey and gremolata: ( http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2011/02/honey_marinated_pork_with_gremolata ).
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