Tag cooking

Journey To The Other Side of The World: Authentic Thai Recipe

Fun. Simple. Delicious. These are the only descriptors needed to grab my attention on the cover of a brochure for Amita Thai Cooking Class. For the most authentic Thai cooking class, why not go straight to the source? Parties That Cook founder and CEO, Bibby Gignilliat, did just that early this month when she embarked on a journey that would take her to Southern Asia.

Bibby was lucky enough to partake in an Amita cooking class, held in Bangkok, Thailand. Before the cooking begins, the instructors present a quick cooking demonstration (sound familiar?), and students get to pick fresh ingredients to be used in the day’s recipes from a nursery herb garden. After the class, students get to keep the recipes of the day, printed on the back of a colorful postcard of the finished meal! One of the favorites of the day was the sweet yet tangy Tom Kha Gai, or Chicken in Coconut Soup.

Tom Kha Gai
For more recipes with exotic flavors, check out our Ethnic Recipes Section!

100 grams sliced chicken breasts
¾ cup chicken stock
½ cup coconut milk
1 Tablespoon fish sauce
1 Tablespoon lime juice
5 thin sliced young galangal (blue ginger)
2 stalks lemongrass cut 1 inch length, crushed.
3 fresh kaffir lime leaves torn in half
3 red and green chilies, crushed for seasoning and garnish
Coriander leaves clipped for garnish

Soup: Boil chicken stock with galangal and lemon grass for aroma. Bring out galangal. Add chicken, slicked young galangal, coconut milk, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves. Cover and simmer on low heat until chicken is cooked.
Season: Remove from heat. Season with fish sauce and lime juice, and add a pinch of salt for taste.
Garnish: with coriander leaves and red and green chilies before serving.
Makes 1 serving.

Bibby was eager to immerse herself in the culture and traditions of Thailand, though her ultimate destination was the tiny land of Bhutan. About half the size of Indiana, this landlocked country has been said to be “The happiest country in Asia” – take that Disneyland!

Tired of those delivery boxes piling up? Make your own pizza at home!

When I was a kid, Friday night pizza parties were the highlight of the week. We’d order pizza from our favorite delivery place, carefully crafting the perfect pie from the list of standard toppings. Now that I’m older, I’ve realized that a real pizza party can be so much more.

Take your childhood memories and kick them up a notch with our recipe for Cornmeal Pizza Dough. Forget the standard marinara sauce and pepperoni slices – the sky is the limit when you make your own pizza at home. Try an Indian curry sauce for an ethnic twist on the Italian classic, or get in touch with your sweet side with a dessert pizza. Host a pizza party with family and friends and have everyone make their own mini pizza!

Need ideas? Check out these great recipes for Pizza with Spicy Lamb, Tomatoes and Cilantro or Smoked Eggplant Pizza with Roasted Red Bell Pepper Pesto and Goat Cheese.

Cornmeal Pizza Dough


1 Tablespoon granulated sugar or honey

1 cup warm water (110º to 115ºF—warm to the touch like bathwater, but not hot)

1/4 ounce (2 teaspoons) active dry yeast

2 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

3/4 cup fine cornmeal

1/4 cup coarse cornmeal (polenta)

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Flour (unbleached, all-purpose) for dusting/kneading dough

Polenta or semolina flour for dusting pizza peel

Olive oil for the rising dough and for brushing the rolled-out dough

Cook’s note: Be sure to use liquid measuring cups for liquid and solid measuring cups for the solids.  For measuring solids, apply the scoop and sweep method.


Proof the Yeast: In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar into the warm water.  (Use an instant-read thermometer for temperature accuracy.) Sprinkle the yeast over the water/sugar mixture and stir gently until it dissolves, about 1 minute.  Let the mixture sit in a warm spot until a thin layer of foam covers the surface, about 5 minutes, indicating that the yeast is effective.  (If the bubbles have not formed within 5 minutes, discard the mixture and start over.)

Make Dough: Make the dough: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, 2 types of cornmeal and salt.  Make a well in the center of the flour and pour the yeast/water mix and the oil into the well.   Using a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the well a little at a time, until the flour is incorporated and the dough just begins to hold together. (If using a standing mixer, transfer the dough to a mixing bowl and insert the dough hook.  For kneading the dough in a mixer, follow the instructions listed in bold below).

Knead/Rise: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough gently as follows: press down on the dough with the heels of your hands and push it away from you, then partially fold it back over itself.  Shift it in a quarter turn and repeat the procedure.  Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic, 9-10 minutes. (If using and mixer, turn the machine on setting number 3 and let the mixer knead the dough for only 5 minutes).  Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl, turning to coat it completely on all sides with oil. (This prevents a hard crust from forming that would inhibit rising.)  Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap to prevent moisture loss.  Set the dough to rise in a warm, draft-free place (75º – 85ºF), until doubled in volume, about 1- 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven: Place a pizza stone in the bottom of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 500ºF at least an hour before cooking the pizza. The oven should be VERY hot.

Roll It Out: Once the dough has doubled in bulk, remove the dough from the bowl and cut in half.  Do not work the dough at this point, as it will make it too elastic when you try to roll it out.  Instead, generously dust the dough with flour and begin to roll out.  If the dough is too elastic, let it rest, covered for 15 minutes then try rolling again.  Do this until the dough is rolled to your desired thickness.

Add Topping: Transfer the dough to a pizza peel that has been dusted generously with polenta or semolina flour. Brush the crust with olive oil.  Form a rim around the edge and fill with your favorite ingredients.

Cook Pizza: Transfer to the pizza stone and bake until golden, about 10-15 minutes.

Bon Appetit!