30 Mins Home Cooked Dinner Challenge

The abundance of good street food in Thailand has helped many Mothers buy in quick dinners at affordable costs.  Noodles, Rice, Congee and other local delights are available in every suburb and neighborhood. 10 Hour working days are more than enough to make any work and homebody cringe.  I accepted a challenge to create a quick dinner within 3o mins as a replacement for the usual street eats that we buy in.

I thawed my frozen pork chops in the fridge before i left for work, these i marinated in a bit of mirrin, salt and pepper the week before.  Please cook with thawed chops cooking from frozen makes it hard to ensure even cooking inside the pork chops.  Place them a 2-3 mins on each side to get a nice sear, add in 1/3 cup of water and close lid.

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High Heat for Nice Sear

I placed a pork chop on a toasted thick toast (Crispy on outside and pillowy soft inside) and place a in a warm oven to wait for other ingredients.  Good for allowing the juices to return to the pork chop.

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Thick English Toast

Tam leung or aka ivy gourd is a hand picked vegetable sold in local markets in Thailand and other neighboring SE Asia.  The taste and texture is similar to a mild spinach,a good training for kids who are vary of spinach.  For those who do not have XO sauce – a died scallop (conpoy), dried shrimp garlic and chilli sauce popular with Hongkong Cuisine just use the tomato puree, salt,pepper and garlic..  I had some in my fridge which i briefly stir fried with some tomato puree. Top on pork chop and return to warm oven.

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Tam Lueng Water Veggie aka Ivy Gourd

Top with a free range organic fried egg with runny insides and cheese if preferred.  I sprinkled  a mix of mozzarella and gouda when the it was resting in the oven which melted when i finished my fried egg.

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Comfort Food at it’s best!

There you have it a quick home cooked dinner which was quite enjoyed by everyone in the family.

Homey French Birthday Dinner at JP French Restaurant (Bangkok)

Specialties of the Day!
Specialties of the Day!

Reservations at Gaggans proved to be a difficult task since they were completely full, maybe due to the fact they ranked 3rd place in the Top 50 resetaurants of Asia.  Which to my prior experience there, Chef Gaggan Anand deserves every accolade there is, but without any regret I had the chance to suggest a French Bistro in its stead.  JP French was talked about by many groups of people being homey comfort food at acceptable pricing.  I felt it came along the lines of Chez Pape (one of my favorites located in Soi 11) simple ingredients cooked well.  Ok this is what we ate;

  1. Complimentary Amuse Bouche, one with parma ham and one with a pate.  I liked both, the pate was very dense and intense flavoured but not over powering.  Good Job!

    Duo of Amuse Bouche
    Duo of Amuse Bouche
  2. Lobster Bisque – A bit flat but tastes were fine, i preferred a creamier or a heavier bisque.  Mushroom soup is as is, mushroom.  Cream and a intense intense mushroom taste, very earthy and a great comfort food.

    Not a bad bisque
    Not a bad bisque
  3. Frogs Legs – Dad ordered it, too adventurous for me actually but they said it was just like in France.

    Looked really yummy and well presented.  Smelt lovely btw....
    Looked really yummy and well presented. Smelt lovely btw….
  4. Escargots – Over baked, it came out dried and chewy.  Sad, i usually have a thing for snails.  The buttery herby topping was under seasoned and the poor snail was well not good. A sad miss.

    Wish it was better...
    Wish it was better…
  5. The JP Chef Salad comes packed with a poached egg, slices of smoked duck breast, parma ham, duck confit and some foi gras pate on toast and of course the salad.  Personally I’m not a fan of the salad dressing, it was a clear but doesn’t really taste French to me (my preference is towards a more mustardy taste), ill admit however with hot baguettes you can turn this into a heavy lunch or a light dinner.

    Well packed with many great ingredients.  Foi Gras... Yum!
    Well packed with many great ingredients. Foi Gras… Yum!
  6. Hot Goats cheese Salad – Same salad but topped with generous goats cheese, again the goats cheese wasn’t as expected, it turned out dry.  Usually it should have been a crispy topping and a melty oozy character, this was dry and brittle.
    A sad miss...
    A sad miss…

    As seen there were a few hits and misses but so far I would rate this dinner going at a strong 6, and a 10 for service and hospitality now on to the main courses:

    1. Duck Confit – Crispy, meaty, moist.  Definite 10 10 10 10 10

      Delish!
      Delish!
    2. Steak Tartar – A hit more mustard, tabasco, salt and less gerkins this dish was also a star.  The meat was of great flavor nd quality you could taste the meat.  It has a presence even over so many of the other ingredients in the dish, alas too much capers and gerkins, i had to pick them out.

      My favorite dish of all time!
      My favorite dish of all time!
    3. Spaghetti with seafood and tomato sauce.  Not bad, but not exactly a dish to reorder.  Too tomatoey and dry.  It’s hard to explain but pasta lovers will understand exactly what i’m saying.  You couldn’t taste the seafood and the pasta was overcooked.

      A tough dish to master... really...
      A tough dish to master… really…
    4. Beef Tenderloin – As you can see in the picture it was a big hunk of meat, nicely seared and perfectly cooked.  A 2 thumbs up.  The beef here is of great quality!

      The tenderloin was huge! Compare it to the gravy boat!
      The tenderloin was huge! Compare it to the gravy boat!

    As mentioned earlier, we said the hospitality was great and it was true!  We had a complimentary creme brulee with candle compliments of the owner, very nice!  The creme brulee was excellent by the way which was why i didn’t eat the other desserts except for a spoonful of the apple tart.  Yum!

    Complimentary Birthday Creme Brulee.. Happy Birthday mommy!
    Complimentary Birthday Creme Brulee.. Happy Birthday mommy!
    Nice desserts!
    Nice desserts!

    All in all it was a more than decent restaurant, stick to the traditional dishes and you wont be disappointed.  Great pricing, great service and some above average dishes!  We will be back!

    My lovely family!!!
    My lovely family!!! (Except me..) I took the picture!