Welcome to my food blog! I am your average home cook and I want to share my love of food with the world. I'll divulge my recipes as often as possible. Feel free to comment or to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! Don' forget to come by often for new posts... I love having you visit me!
This past Saturday I visited a restaurant I have never eaten at before, Thai Villa. I had never really eaten Thai cuisine before the last couple of years, because I had heard how spicy the food can be and I have a medium spice tolerance level. However, in my quest to broaden my culinary horizons I've been more adventurous, and have given cuisines that have previously scared me a try. In doing so, I have discovered that not all Thai food is mouth-numbingly spicy.
Thai Villa is located in Winter Park, off of Aloma Ave. Here is a link to their City Search page, where you can find their location and a few reviews: http://orlando.citysearch.com/profile/36468287/winter_park_fl/thai_villa_restaurant.html
I've discovered that most restaurants in this area have really good lunch specials, and Thai Villa was no exception. Even on a Saturday (where a lot of restaurants don't always offer specials) they had box lunches that included soup, a salad, dumplings, 3 little fried things that included a veggie spring roll, crispy shrimp, and crab rangoon plus the meal of your choice and white rice. There were a few meals to choose from in each protein category of fish, chicken, beef, and pork.
For my meal I chose the Pepper Steak, which is one of my favorite Asian dishes. If you read my PF Changs post you may remember that. Despite it's name, Pepper Steak is not usually spicy, just a flavorful meal that includes beef, onions, and bell peppers.
My companion for this meal ordered the Double Delight, which is chicken with chili jam, cashew, and a variety of vegetables. He really enjoyed his chicken, it was a spicier meal than my own.
The soup was interesting, it was labeled as Tofu & Vegetable. The broth tasted like chicken broth and had a hint of spice that neither one of us could quite identify. It did contain tofu, and had veggies like carrots, zucchini, and green onion. Both of us were not a fan of the veggie dumplings, they had a strange flavor to them. The spring roll, shrimp, and crab rangoon were all good, but nothing too different than you can get at most Asian restaurants.
All in all it was a reasonably priced restaurant, with good service, and was a decent place to go for lunch on a Saturday afternoon. I think I would try more Thai restaurants in the area before returning however. I was looking for something more exciting, and the food itself seemed mostly standard.
I've been a fan of getting sirloin steaks, slicing them very thin, and marinating them in various flavors. Usually I do Asian flavors, but I was craving something different. I found a recipe using Worcestershire and decided to tweak it to my liking. Besides the steak, I wanted mashed potatoes but not plain mashed potatoes. I remembered a friend had given me the idea to incorporate horseradish into my mashed potatoes. So my menu came out to be a Tangy Worcestershire Marinated Steak Strips with Horseradish Cream Potatoes.
For The Steak:
1 lb sirloin steak, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup plus
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
dash of cayenne
salt and pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
4 tbs mayonnaise
3 tbs prepared horseradish
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper
dash of smoked paprika
4 small russet potatoes
1 stick of butter
2 tbs sour cream
salt and pepper
Marinate the steak first (at least 1 hour, up to 4 hours). Mix all ingredients for marinade together, toss steak in marinade well, cover and refrigerate. Remove steak from refrigerator and let come to room temperature before cooking (at least 30 minutes).
Make horseradish cream sauce. Stir all ingredients together well. Refrigerate before and after use.
Peel and cut potatoes in to quarters. Cover with at least 1 inch of water, bring to boiling, reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain. Return to warm pan and mash with butter and sour cream. Stir in 1/2 of horseradish cream sauce. Season with additional salt and pepper.
Cook steak. Remove steak from marinade, pat dry. Heat pan over high, add small amount of oil. Cook steak pieces on one side for one minute, turn pieces and cook for an additional minute.
Serve steak with remaining horseradish cream sauce. ***optional, slice a medium onion thinly and saute in butter until onions are carmelized
I realized recently that I hadn't done any Asian food lately. I wanted to make a dish that wasn't too complicated, was comforting, and filled with flavor. So I came up with an idea to stir fry marinated chicken AND beef, some Asian style veggies, and fry up some rice.
Chicken and Beef Stir Fry
Marinade for Meats
(Marinate chicken in a separate container from the beef - mix up marinade then divide in to 2 containers)
2 heaping tablespoons chili paste (sambal oelek)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
4 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon fish sauce
***marinate meats for 1-6 hours
10 ounces sirloin, sliced paper thin
1 lb boneless. skinless chicken breasts, cubed
16 ounces stir fry veggies (I just use an Asian blend from Birds Eye)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 cups cooked white rice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Start by sauteing the stir fry veggies in a tablespoon of vegetable oil over high heat (I use a wok). After 3 minutes, add in oyster sauce and stir well to combine. Remove veggies. Next, stir fry chicken in vegetable oil over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes (or until cooked through). Remove chicken and set aside in a bowl with the finished veggies. Stir fry beef next, for 1 minute over high heat in vegetable oil. After one minute, add in marinade and cook 1 minute longer. Mix finished beef in with chicken and veggies. Finally, add rice to pan. Mix in sesame oil and soy sauce. Press flat against wok (or pan), cook for 2 minutes, then turn rice over and cook on the other side for 2 more minutes. Mix in with meat and vegetables.