Eat: Thai Xing
I got to check a restaurant off my bucket list!!!! For Tom’s 30th (!) birthday we headed to Thai Xing. Tom loves spicy Asian food, so I thought this would be the perfect place for us to celebrate. Thai Xing is a pretty authentic Thai restaurant here in DC. The restaurant is in a converted row home in the Shaw neighborhood. There is no menu to the place, once you sit down they start bringing you food. And more food. And more food.
You can tell you are eating good good food when you taste different things at different times. This was exactly what we had here. The flavors to all of these dishes were so complex. I learned in my cooking class, that Asian food is supposed to have 4 flavors, spicy, sweet, salty, and sour, with an equal balance of each flavor. These dishes were cooked to perfection and you could taste each piece on its own, yet it worked perfectly together. We started with a cucumber soup. The cucumber was stuffed with a delicious pork mixture in a broth with lemongrass. This was my favorite.
We then had a papaya salad.
Followed by an amazing assortment of dishes. I have no idea what most of these are except for the orange looking dish is pumpkin curry, not pork. All of this food was just for the 2 of us.
Finished off with coconut rice with sweetened mango.
If you are in DC and looking for a great dinner make some reservations (a must!) and head to Thai Xing.
PS This is not for the spicy faint of heart. I rated everything (except the mango rice) a 17. Tom gave it a 5. Those of you that know me would be proud of me for powering through and trying everything despite the spice!
Cook and Drink: Ginger Ale
So Lindsay is awesome. Every month, she challenges me. She pushes me to make something that I would never make on my own. Like croissants and macarons.
I really enjoy seeing what she chooses each month and how I execute it in my own kitchen.
I had the honor of meeting her at the amazing conference she co-organized, Food Blogger Forum. I went up, introduced myself, and when I told her how much I was enjoying her challenges she gave me a big ‘ol hug. She was super friendly and excited to learn I had been following her challenges. We snagged this picture at the fabulous closing party sponsored by Whole Foods (more on that to come later)!
Anyway back to ginger ale. This isn’t your Canada Dry. This is a homemade treat. And between you and me….not much of a challenge. Although after making croissants, I can make anything. Lindsay gave us a bunch of recipe suggestions, but I chose one by Alton Brown simply because it required me to grate the least amount of ginger. 1.5 ounces or 1 1/2 cups? I’ll take 1.5 ounces (probably about 1/4 cup). If you really like a good spicy ginger beer you will really want to up the ginger. This recipe produces a pretty mild and fresh tasting beverage.
Perfect on its own or mixed with your favorite alcoholic beverage.
I think some of the other recipes out there would make this more of a challenge, but I like how plain and simple this was. And boy was I excited when I made my own carbonation! Yay! Food blogger first!
- 1 1/2 ounces finely grated fresh ginger
- 6 ounces sugar
- 7 1/2 cups filtered water
- 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast (I don't have an 1/8 tsp measuring tool. I just eyeballed half of a 1/4 tsp and it was fine)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Place the ginger, sugar, and 1/2 cup of the water into a 2-quart saucepan and set over medium-high heat.
- Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
- Remove from the heat, cover and allow to steep for 1 hour.
- Pour the syrup through a fine mesh strainer lined with a paper towel, set over a bowl, pressing down to get all of the juice out of the mixture.
- Chill quickly by placing over and ice bath and stirring or set in the refrigerator, uncovered, until at least room temperature, 68 to 72 degrees F.
- Using a funnel, pour the syrup into a clean 2-liter plastic bottle and add the yeast, lemon juice and remaining 7 cups of water.
- Place the cap on the bottle, gently shake to combine and leave the bottle at room temperature for 48 hours.
- Open and check for desired amount of carbonation.
- Refrigerate the ginger ale.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, opening the bottle at least once a day to let out excess carbonation.
- Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/ginger-ale-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback