Wednesday 23 October 2013

Steph's Thai Wraps

So a season of the Great British Bake Off has come to an end.  I did want Kimberley to win, but at least it was clear that Frances earned her title.  I just wish I could watch Mel and Sue year round.  Are there box sets of the GBBO I could just play on repeat?  

But on to matters in my kitchen...

Yesterday's cabbage rolls were popular with my husband and me, but not with the wee ones.  One of my children, after dutifully working at his meal for a while, tried to make me promise to make something he likes for dinner the following evening.  "Something like Thai wraps!" he begged.

Well, I did have the rest of the cabbage to use up, so I thought I'd give it a go.  I don't have any old family recipes for savoury meals, but I do have this: 

A worn and battered copy of a recipe from college.  When we college kids wanted to experience something other than ramen noodles, we used to gather in a friend's kitchen and work together to prepare this meal.  It was an amazing treat, a true culinary delight for us, and was occasionally washed down with boxed wine (this was of course back when there was only one brand of boxed wine really on the market).  So whenever I make these, I get to feel all nostalgic for my student days at a certain liberal arts college.

Then, we used the most basic of equipment and shredded everything by hand.  Up until last December, that's what I did as well, but I have moved up in the world and now possess a food processor.  I didn't think I would love it as much as I do, but we use the Magimix every day now and it brings out the materialist in me.  Without doubt, it has earned a permanent place on the kitchen work surface.

So I gathered the ingredients for my son's request.  I find this recipe is a great way to get my kids to eat veggies, cabbage in particular.  My daughter doesn't eat loads of it, but when she helps me prep stuff she "steals" peeled carrot from me.

I didn't have as many carrots as I'd hoped, so I thought I'd throw in a bit of local kale to bulk it out.  And I was annoyingly out of fresh ginger, so powdered ginger would just have to do.  Oh, and no chicken.  Frugal times, remember?

First I made the sauce.  Everything went in at once and was heated until thickened.

The sauce doesn't normally separate like this, but it might be due to my new type of peanut butter (I've noticed it always separates in the jar).  Or maybe I overheated it.  Or measured wrong (my daughter was helping).  Still tastes good.

Weird.  I poured some liquid out, and set it aside to cool in a bowl.  It was thicker than I'd liked, but that's better than too runny.

Then I peeled and chopped veg and put them through the large grater attachment on my food processor.  

They were all put in a glass bowl and set aside.

Then after I rinsed out the Magimix, in went the dough blade for the tortillas.  No, as students we did not make our own tortillas, but they are really quite good when you make them yourself and a lot cheaper to produce.  Just bread flour, salt, water and a bit of oil went into the mix.

And a quick spin until it became this.

Which I divided into 12 pieces.

Then I covered to let them rest while I did the school run.

Catherine just might have over-floured hers.

So I managed to prep most of it with my daughter (with my baby son sleeping on my back even with the noise of the Magimix engine) before the mayhem of the afternoon pick-up and the squabbling that goes from 3pm onwards.  My daughter was really excited to help me with the tortillas, since she gets a wad of dough to roll out.  When dinnertime was approaching we put on the rice to cook and started on the tortillas.

I simply rolled them out one by one.  No tortilla press, and no one caring if they actually round or not.  I think the flour mix was about 2/5 wholegrain, 3/5 white bread flour.

Then they went into a hot, dry pan.

Once blisters appeared to be growing, I flipped them until they were also browned slightly on the other side.

Then I stacked them and continued cooking them one by one until all were done.  My husband likes to cook them on a baking stone in the oven, but I prefer the stove-top method.

I then quickly fluffed the rice.

And threw the vegetables in to cook all at once.  They don't need to cook for long, just long enough for everything to heat through.

And, er, don't worry if you don't have the lid that fits your pan either.

We tend to stick everything on the table then for people to make and roll up their own wraps.

How much you want to let your children make a mess of a table and the ingredients is up to you, of course.

Mmm...still as tasty now as when we were in our early twenties...the kale worked really well and made it more colourful too.

Steph's Thai Wraps


1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp water
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 Tbsp ginger

1 red onion
1 cup cabbage or kale 
1 cup carrots
4 green onions (optional)
1 Tbsp ginger
2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup uncooked (jasmine or basmati preferably)

Chicken (optional)
1/2 - 1 breast per person

420 grams bread flour (use whatever blend you like)
9 oz water
1 tsp salt
1-2 Tbsp vegetable oil


Put sauce ingredients together in a small saucepan.  Heat and stir constantly until even consistency.  Remove from heat and pour into bowl to cool and thicken.

Grate all filling ingredients in a food processor or by hand.  Set aside.

Put flour and salt into a food processor with the dough blade and quickly pulse to mix together.  Add water and oil and pulse until all has come together into one ball.  On lightly floured surface, cut into 12 pieces and cover to rest for at least a half hour or as long as you like.

Cook the rice.  If you don't know how, read the packet.  

Heat a frying pan up to a medium high heat.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the tortillas one by one until they are vaguely circular...or oblong...or shaped like Australia...then put them in the pan.  Cook on one side until blisters start to appear then flip and cook for 30 seconds or so more.  Remove onto cooking rack and stack until done.

Clean the pan out without burning yourself and put a bit of oil in.  If using chicken, cook in the oil then add veggies once the chicken is cooked through.  If not, just put all the veggies in once the oil is hot and cook until heated through but not completely limp.  

Serve everything together.  Franzia and Dirty Dancing viewing optional.  

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