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Sunday, 1 January 2017

Two hungry men and a pregnant lady - NYE 2017

Bangkok is a bit of a weird place to celebrate New Year at the moment. After the passing of the King and the uncertainty of how the police and military would react to large parties and celebrations, the importance of starting the New Year without King Bhumibol was no more apparent than when reading the report in the Bangkok Post from the new King, appealing for maintained unity within the country.

Many Thai’s celebrated by holding candlelit vigils and seeing the New Year in with a more somber celebration at Central World, with a free show by Thailand’s Philharmonic Orchestra. We decided to have a quiet one at home, cooking for a good friend, who quite frankly lives off Heineken and burgers, so a good meal will do him good and set him up for the New Year.

Here is my NYE menu and recipe guide for a pregnant lady and two hungry men in Bangkok. I’ve focused on things the boys will enjoy, but also on things that are preggers friendly.


Sloane’s Pork Rillettes
Homemade Sardine Pate (Asian style)
Homemade Tuna Pate
Served with think slices of French bread

Served with a Sparkling Shiraz from Barossa Valley Schild Estate 2010 (sourced through a friend)

Main Course

Sloane’s Cranberry Stuffed Porchetta
Carrot, Beetroot and Orange warm salad
Sautéed potatoes

Served with a Bordeaux from Chateau Frontenac 2014 (sourced at The Water Library (Chamchuri Square)


Sloane’s Mince Pies
Cheese and crackers

We were given a pot of Sloane’s Pork Rillettes for Christmas, it's delicious, but whilst I try to be nonchalant about food, and not be over dramatic about some of the risks, this is on the list of foods that one should avoid (for a good guide on how you can still get some French treats I like My French Rituals blog). So whilst the boys tucked into pork rillettes I have made myself a couple of fish pate’s which are always a quick go-to starter to make (I know I shouldn’t have too much tuna, so I mostly tucked into the sardine pate and will make the tuna one last a few days, although one tine of tuna makes a large pot of pate so apart from the massive block of butter that also goes into the recipe I could have tucked in guilt free according to the NHS website).

For the main course we are lucky enough to receive a meat hamper from a client every Christmas. It’s a very generous tradition that the company does for its expat clients and this year they used Sloane's as their supplier. It was a feast of sausages, back bacon, smoky bacon, black pudding and a 2.66kg cranberry stuffed porchetta, my husband is like a small child when he opens the lid of the white polystyrene box every year, meat, meat and more meat.

Sloane’s specializes in pork; Thailand is famous for pork but its production is dominated by two companies - Charoen Pokphand and Betagro, with almost 50% of the production being attributed to them (1) - whereas Sloane’s use products sourced from producers using ethical farming practices.

You can get a lot of Sloane’s products at VillaBangkok Farmers' Market and Passion Delivery, or you can find Joe’s flagship store between Sukhumvit Soi 34 and Soi 36 (map)

Anyway, back to the cooking. The acidity of the oranges in the warm salad really helps to cut through the fattiness of the porchetta joint, and the crispiness of the sautéed potatoes compliments the softness of the vegetables in the salad.

For cheese, we always have a large quantity of Somerset cheddar in the fridge (which we bring back from the UK in freezer bags tightly packed with ice blocks and newspaper, it travels amazingly well), and my husband found a pasteurized blue brie at Tops. Tops is one of the best places to buy cheese in Bangkok (if you are lucky when you go to Tops at Central Chitlom you will find the discount cheese lady, normally early on weekends, and you can pick up some great bargains by literally following her around the counter with her discount labels, my husband has made good acquaintance with her). Back in the UK I would have put out a cheese board to die for, but its a little more expensive here so we focus on a couple of cheeses that we know everyone will love, or if we have a bigger party we ask people to bring a cheese with them; it makes for a fun selection and normally some joker brings burger slices, but we end up with the lion share left over in the fridge, so don't complain.

The perfect thing about the menu on NYE was that I didn’t want to slave over an oven all day and night, I wanted to serve up a delicious, nutritious, meal and sit down and have a giggle with the boys. I also didn’t want any last minute pressures, so the menu was designed to allow me to potter throughout the day, putting my feet up as often as possible.

Here’s how my day panned out:
 9.30am - Sam Yan market to get the vegetables
11.30am - Central Silom Tops to get the tinned fish, cheese and French stick
Midday - lunch at Wine Connection
2.30pm - made the pates
3.30pm - put the porchetta into the oven
4.30pm - prepared the carrots, beetroot and oranges
5.30pm - prepared the potatoes
6.00pm - cracked open a tin of non-alcoholic beer (Central Chitlom Tops has a good supply)
6.30pm - took the porchetta out of the oven and put the vegetables into the oven
7.00pm - took the pates out of the fridge
7.30pm - sitting at the table having a laugh and eating with the boys
10.30pm - done in, so went to bed to cuddle the cats
Midnight - hubby came in to wish me, bump and the cats a Happy New Year
2.00am - hubby came to bed (after doing most of the tidying up for me)

I could get all sentimental about the journey we have been on in 2016, moving condo, the two miscarriages this year, the upsetting failure to hold on to dear friends coping with infertility, the first trip to Bangkok for my mum and dad, the first trip to Bangkok for hubby's sister and family,  leaving my job and beginning my journey into pregnancy, motherhood and being a housewife. But before I start blubbing I will finish on the note of motherhood and housewifery and will leave you with my recipes for last nights meal.

Happy New Year and here's to a thrilling 2017!

Sardine Pate
Sardines – 1 tin which ever flavor you fancy – I am using black bean sauce this time 
Butter - 50-70g soft (start with 50g and add more if the mixture is too soft after blending) 
Lime - squeeze of 
Parsley – 1-2 tbsp. chopped 
Sea Salt – to taste

  1. Whizz all of the ingredients with a handheld blender
  2. Put into a serving dish and chill for a few hours (2 should be fine)
  3. Bring out of the fridge to soften about 15 mins before you want to eat (that’s 15 mins in Bangkok air con conditions)

Tuna Pate 
Tuna – 1 tin 
Butter – 225g soft 
Paprika – generous pinch to taste 
Lime – juice of 2 small ones 
Capers – ¾ small jar drained 
Smoked Sea Salt – to taste 
Pepper – cracked to taste

  1. Whizz all of the ingredients with a handheld blender
  2. Put into a serving dish and chill for a few hours (2 should be fine)
  3. Bring out of the fridge to soften about 15 mins before you want to eat (that’s 15 mins in Bangkok air con conditions)
Sloane’s Cranberry Stuffed Porchetta (2.66kg) 
Olive Oil – generous glug 
Black Pepper – 1 tbsp. cracked 
Sea salt – 2 tbsp. (maybe more) 
Carrots – 3 large – peeled and halved 
Red wine – 1 glass 
Water – 1 glass

  1. Preheat oven to as hot as it can go (225c+ if you can)
  2. Massage the skin of the porchetta with a generous glug of olive oil and cracked black pepper
  3. Use a very generous amount of sea salt over all of the skin
  4. Lay the carrots down the middle of a large roasting tin
  5. Place the porchetta on the carrots (using them as a trivet)
  6. Pour 1 glass of red wine and 1 glass of water into the pan
  7. Put meat into the oven and turn the temperature down to 180c  fan assisted (200c for conventional)
  8. Check the meat after 1 ½ hours, if it is getting too dark at this stage turn the temperature down a little (170c fan oven, 185c conventional)
  9. After 3 hours, check that the crackling is crispy, ours was delightful, and the temperature inside the meat was about 72c.
  10. Rest the meat, with a loose covering of tin foil. You can rest the meat for 1 hour without worrying

Carrot, Beetroot and Orange Salad 
Carrots – 3 small carrots per person, peeled and halved 
Beetroots – half a large beetroot per person – scrubbed and cut into wedges 
Oranges – 2 large – zest and segments 
Sesame Seeds – 1 tbsp. – mix of white and black is good 
Coriander – fresh handful – chopped roughly 
Olive oil – generous glug 
Sea Salt – to taste 
Black Pepper – cracked to taste

  1. Par boil the carrots for 5 mins – retain the water – this can be done in advance
  2. Par boil the beetroot wedges in the carrot water for 5 mins – this can be done in advance
  3. Toast sesame seeds in a dry frying pan – this can be done in advance
  4. Place carrots and beetroot in a roasting tin, add a generous glug of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste
  5. When the porchetta comes out of the oven to rest, place the vegetables in the oven for 40 mins.
  6. Once cooked remove from oven and allow to cool
  7. Just before serving combine the carrots, beetroot, orange zest, segments, sesame seeds and coriander, plus a glug of olive oil, season to taste.
Sautéed Potatoes 
Potatoes – 1 large potato per person - peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces 
Rosemary – 1 tsp. – because I had this in the cupboard, but not essential or can be replaced by any hard herb 
Olive oil – generous glug 
Sea Salt – ½ tbsp. 
Black Pepper – cracked to taste

  1. Par boil the potatoes for 10 mins, until just cooked and slightly fluffy
  2. Drain potatoes and place in a roasting tin, add a generous glug of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste
  3. When the porchetta comes out of the oven to rest, place the potatoes in the oven (at the same time as the carrots and beetroot)
  4. When the Carrots and Beetroot come out of the oven toss the potatoes and leave for another 10-15 mins to crisp up

1 comment:

  1. Wow...this is fancy stuff! I'm so jealous =) I'm sending all I can for a 2017 you are hoping for! =) xo