'Weeping tiger' steak

The ONLY hard part about this lovely easy dish is finding fresh green peppercorns - I get them from my local Thai supermarket but I haven't seen them in the usual supermarkets.

This is a shame and a reason I haven't posted this recipe before because I really try to ensure you don't need any specialist ingredients to make my recipes.

This one, I'm afraid you do ... HOWEVER, they do seem to be pretty much readily available to buy online (at least here in the UK).

Although, to be honest, if you can't get them - then just make it without them! Yes it's going to have a bit of a different flavour, but I've made it a few times and it's still a good dish in its own right.

I made this just with one steak, for myself, for lunch.

I've made it before though using an incredible piece of beef fillet for a friend's party - with pro-rata'd up marinade of course.

Don't worry too much about the exact quantities of ingredients - to be honest it all tastes good!

But what I did today, for my lunch was to take (in addition to a steak - your choice of cut and size):

1 clove garlic, squashed with the flat of a knife

Some of the stalks chopped off near the bottom of a bunch of coriander, plus a few coriander leaves (plus another handful to garnish before serving)

A couple of sprigs - maybe 2 teaspoons-worth - of fresh green peppercorns

2 teaspoons fish sauce

2 teaspoons light soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

Oh, and I made a sauce to spoon over the cooked steak too and THAT was simply made with:

The juice of one lime

1 teaspoon sugar (or 1/2 teaspoon sugar + 1 teaspoon sweet chilli sauce)

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes

So first, put the garlic clove plus the chopped coriander stalks and a few leaves into a mortar and pound to a sort of paste/gloop with the pestle.

Stir in the peppercorns, fish sauce and soy sauce and then keep stirring in the sugar so it dissolves.

Rub the mixture over the steak and leave to marinade for half an hour or so.

Rachel Redlaw weeping tiger steak
Rachel Redlaw weeping tiger steak
Rachel Redlaw weeping tiger steak
Rachel Redlaw weeping tiger steak

Make the sauce by combining the lime juice, sugar, fish sauce and chilli flakes and stir to dissolve the sugar. If I'd had some sweet chilli sauce (must make some!) I'd have added a teaspoon of that too but only used 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.

Rachel Redlaw weeping tiger steak

If you're going to have it with rice, make the rice now so it's ready to go.

I wanted a lighter lunch so just prepped some vegetables which I quickly stir-fried after the steak and cooked and while it was resting.

When the steak's finished marinating cook it to your liking on a grill or griddle then rest it for a few minutes. I scooped up all the green peppercorns that had fallen down into the dips in the griddle and added to the steak (of course!).

Slice and serve with rice or vegetables and spoon over some of the sauce.

Sprinkle some coriander leaves over it all to garnish.

Rachel Redlaw weeping tiger steak
Rachel Redlaw weeping tiger steak


Moroccan salad (with griddled chicken)

I was in Marrakech recently (again - one of my very favourite places and yes I really am going to write a quick post about it soon).

It was the most beautiful weekend away with my co-conspirator-traveller-niece. We shopped in the souks, sunbathed on the roof terrace of our riad, and ate a LOT of tomato + cucumber Moroccan salad.

We had it in the riad, we had it for lunch at the Henna Art Cafe and we had it every time we ate in the main square too. 

We had it with bread, with grilled smoky aubergines, with a chilli dip, and with skewers of grilled meats (well, I did; Mia's vegetarian). 

It's so simple too, I don't know why I haven't made it before now ... but now I have, it's going to be a regular thing at Tiniest Thai HQ! 

What makes it special, what makes if Moroccan is the addition of ground cumin - I'd brought some back with me too (along with Ras Al Hanout, that spice blend for stews and for tagines - will be using it next and making a tagine).

You can have the salad with whatever you like, but I did some simple griddled chicken for a light lunch for me and a friend yesterday. (I made the salad, she brought the Prosecco). 

So, first the salad (serves two).

Dice some tomatoes (take the tough cores out if need be). I used a mixture of two large tomatoes and then quartered a few cherry tomatoes too. Peel and de-seed some cucumber and dice that too. 

Rachel Redlaw Moroccan tomato salad
Rachel Redlaw Moroccan tomato salad

Chop half an onion very finely, and add it all to a big bowl with a handful of chopped parsley and a pinch of salt - and stir to mix well.

Then make the dressing. I used one and half lemons squeezed into a bowl (just squeeze them over your open hand so you catch the pips easily), 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1 tsp ground cumin and a shake of white pepper.

You could use a little olive oil too, but I prefer the taste of the lemon to really shine through.

Stir to combine and dissolve the sugar, then tip over the salad and mix.

Rachel Redlaw Moroccan tomato and cucumber salad

And for the simplest griddled chicken, I just opened out a chicken breast (actually it was one and a half chicken breasts) so they are thin and quite flat and will cook quickly.

My grocery shopping delivery that morning had included lemon thyme in replacement for lime leaves which they hadn't had in stock (yep, strange replacement, can only assume someone just saw the words 'lime' and 'lemon' and thought, 'that'll do'!), so I thought I'd use it with the chicken.

The chicken was sprinkled with cumin, some lemon/thyme salt I found in the cupboard (or just use salt) and the leaves and some sprigs of lemon thyme. You could use another herb, or just leave this out if you don't have any. 

And I added 2 teaspoons of oil and rubbed it all together to coat the chicken pieces.

Rachel Redlaw Moroccan tomato and cucumber salad / chicken
Rachel Redlaw Moroccan tomato and cucumber salad / chicken

I heated the griddle until very hot (you could just use a frying pan or grill the chicken if you don't have a griddle) and added the pieces of chicken, which started sizzling (LOVE that sound!).

They took around three minutes each side ... but do slice into them to check they're properly cooked through.

Rachel Redlaw Moroccan tomato and cucumber salad / chicken
Rachel Redlaw Moroccan tomato and cucumber salad / chicken

Serve with the chicken on top of the salad and with another little pinch of ground cumin over the top of it all.

Rachel Redlaw Moroccan tomato and cucumber salad
Rachel Redlaw Moroccan tomato and cucumber salad

Simple, light and fresh tasting. So good! 


Friday night fakeaway: chicken jalfrezi

Cooking just for myself is such a treat.

I can have ANYTHING I want and no-one else to consider ... and what I want is a curry.

But I'm being more conscious about what I eat at the moment so I'm certainly not ordering a takeaway - besides, I like cooking too much to do that.  

So I'm returning to what is now a favourite recipe - a really easy, delicious and spicy chicken jalfrezi using the Hairy Bikers  'fakeaway' recipe from their excellent cookbook, The Hairy Dieters.

Note: I didn't scale down exactly pro rata so it's my spicy version ... 

This genuinely has all the taste - and more - of a standard recipe, but with far fewer calories.

I'm not calorie counting on my Tiniest Thai diet, but this recipe fits in with all the principles of TTT and I love it!

Here's how I made my spicy curry for one (and if you make it for more, no one would EVER know it was 'diet' food!).

You'll need:

3  long green chillies

1 skinless chicken breast

cooking oil 

I garlic clove, finely chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

2 scant/level tsp ground cumin 

2 scant/leveltsp garam masala

1/2 tsp turmeric (I found I'd run out so just left it out)

1 tsp caster or white sugar

1/2 tsp sea salt 

a couple of sloshes of cold water (maybe 100-150 ml)

1 tbspn natural yogurt

1/4 onion, cut into a few wedges

about 1/3 green pepper, cut into chunks

1 tomato, cut into quarters or eighths

1 tsp cornflour

a little water, maybe 1/2-1 tbspn 

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder chicken jalfrezi

And here's how you make it.  

Finely chop 2 of the chillies, and then with the third, cut off the stalk and make a slit down the whole chilli from stalk to tip without opening or removing the seeds.

I then add the garlic, tomatoes and spices to the chopped chillies so it's all ready to throw in the pan.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder chicken jalfrezi

 Cut the chicken breast into bite-sized chunks.

Heat about a tbspn of oil in a pan over a high heat.

Add the garlic, chopped chillies, chopped tomatoes, cumin, garam masala, turmeric, sugar and salt, then stir-fry for 3–4 minutes until the vegetables soften.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder chicken jalfrezi

Don’t let the garlic or spices burn or they will add a bitter flavour to the sauce. Add a splash of water if you need to - it doesn't make any difference overall!

Next, add the chicken pieces and whole chilli and cook for 3 minutes, turning the chicken regularly.

Pour over the water, stir in the yoghurt and reduce the heat only slightly – you want the sauce to simmer.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder chicken jalfrezi

Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until the chicken is tender and cooked through and the sauce has reduced by about a third. (The yoghurt may separate to begin with but will disappear into the sauce.)

While the chicken is cooking, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a clean pan and stir-fry the onion and pepper over a high heat for 3–4 minutes until lightly browned.

Add the tomato and fry for 2–3 minutes more, stirring until the vegetables are just tender.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder chicken jalfrezi

Mix the cornflour with the tablespoon of water to form a smooth paste.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder chicken jalfrezi

When the chicken is cooked, stir in the cornflour mixture and simmer for a few seconds until the sauce thickens, stirring constantly.

Remove from the heat, add the hot stir-fried vegetables and toss together - then serve with rice and maybe a carrot salad.

Rachel Redlaw chicken jalfrezi

And then the Hairy Bikers say: 'Just in case you were wondering – don’t eat the whole chillies!'.

I have to disagree.

Eat the whole chilli and be happy, that's what I say!