Recipe: Sweet and Sour Pineapple Shrimp

Sweet and Sour Shrimp

This dish is so mind blowingly simple, you may just laugh. At least I did when I ate this dish and asked for the recipe. I asked at least 3 times, "That's it!? You don't put anything else in the sauce? Are you sure!?"

What makes the sauce sweet and sour is the ketchup. Yes, just plain 'ol ketchup. The tomato concentrate combined with the corn syrup and vinegar makes this a ready to use sauce for Asian dishes. Of all the ketchups on the market, Heinz ketchup has the sweet and sour proportions just right. Other ketchups seem to be either too sweet or not enough.

Sweet and Sour Pineapple Shrimp
- 20 large shrimp, de-shelled but with the shell still on the tip of the tail
- 1 cup of pineapple, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/2 green pepper, cut into 1.5 inch pieces
- 1 large onion, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 6 Tablespoons of Heinz ketchup
- 2 tsp of corn starch
- Extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste

1. If you are using frozen shrimp, simply place the shrimp in a bowl of water for 15 minutes and then de-shell. Mix the shrimp and corn starch until evenly coated. Set aside.

2. Once the onion is sliced, separate each layer by hand so that they become curved strips. In an oiled pan, on high heat, cook the onions and garlic for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp, and stir fry until 3/4 of the way cooked (approximately 3 minutes).

3. Turn the heat down to medium heat. Add the ketchup, green pepper and pineapple, and stir fry until the shrimp is completely cooked (approximately 2 minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

If you dont mind the work when eating, you can keep the shell on the shrimp to hold in more flavor. For a saucier dish, simply add more ketchup.

Sweet and Sour Shrimp

Recipe: Garlic Edamame

Garlic Edamame

A great healthy snack and tad more exciting than the traditional edamame sprinkled with sea salt, this garlic edamame will get you licking every pod you place in your mouth. It's quick to make and a really flavorful way to get your protein and fiber.

Garlic Edamame
- 2 cups of frozen edamame
- 4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp oyster sauce
- salt and pepper
- extra virgin olive oil

1. On high heat, in an oiled pan, sautee the garlic for 1 minute. Add the frozen edamame red pepper flakes and a few dashes of salt and pepper. Cook on medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes, until the garlic is golden brown. Use a wooden spatula to stir the edamame around frequently.

2. Add the oyster sauce and toss until evenly coated, no more than 1 minute. Serve hot. Eat the beans only and discard the shell.

Thai Airways Airline Food - Paris to Bangkok

Beef with Oyster Sauce

Thai Airways airline meals from Paris to Bangkok in economy class.

Starter: Savoy ham and creole salad
Main: Stir-fried beef with oyster sauce, steamed Thai Hom Mali rice and bok choy
Dessert: Pecan Tartlet
Sides: Rivoli bread roll, crackers, cheese, butter, tea, coffee

Beef With Oyster Sauce

Starter: Fruit salad and yoghurt
Main: Emmenthal crepe, Spanish omelet, roasted tomato and green asparagus
Sides: Croissant, baby bread, jam, butter, tea, coffee

Spanish Omelet

Thai Airways Airline Food - Sydney to Bangkok

Noodles with Prawns and Black Bean Sauce

Because airline meals are so hard to come by these days, it is more the reason to post airline meals...JUUUUST in case they ever go obsolete. What's neat is how airline food differs so much between country to country, and airline to airline, depending on where you are going and who is operating the flight.

Here are the meals served on a Thai Airways Sydney to Bangkok flight in Economy class. Here, you can see a blend of Asian elements with Australian ones.

Chicken in Red Curry

Starter: Potato salad with mayonnaise, lettuce, shaved turkey and cherry tomato
Main: Chicken in red curry with bamboo shoot, steamed Thai Hom Mali rice, and stir fried vegetables
Dessert: Orange almond cake
Sides: bread roll, Arnott's crackers, Cracker Barrel cheese, butter, tea, coffee

The curry didn't look like much in the photo, but it was really flavorful! The Arnott's crackers were a nice touch.

Noodles in Black Bean Sauce

Starter: Fresh fruit salad
Main: Stir fried prawn with black bean sauce, rice noodles, choy sum
Dessert: Wattle seed cookies

The noodles were not soggy and the prawns were huge. This dish was really good and the sliced chile peppers on top gave the dish an extra kick.

Fried Chicken is Good, But Spicy Fried Chicken is Better! Hattie B's, Nashville

Damn Hot Fried Chicken
Damn Hot White Chicken with Fries

This might not look like alot, but this piece of hot fried chicken is ONE MILLION Scolville units!! Made with ghost pepper extracts, the Damn Hot Chicken at Hattie B's is not for the faint-hearted.

In the South, fried chicken is a staple. However, in Nashville, hot fried chicken is the thing. Hattie B's, owned by the Bishops and named after Nick Jr's great-grand mother, is one of the newer kids on the block.

Their most popular chicken order is hot, followed by medium, and then damn hot. The medium and hot are fairly similar in heat, with the difference being that the hot has a dry spice on top of the wet.

If spicy is not your thing, they also offer traditional Southern fried chicken.

As for sides, the pimento mac n cheese is a must order!

Are you thinking that even the Damn Hot might not be enough heat? Well...I've got a secret. They have an off-the-menu item called "Shut The Cluck Up" that is 3 Million Scolville Units! Come on, I dare you.

Hot Fried Chicken
Hot Dark Chicken with Pimento Mac n Cheese and Southern Greens

Hattie B's, Nashville

Hattie B's
112 19th Avenue S
Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Telephone: 615-678-4794

Hattie B's Hot Chicken on Urbanspoon

An American Chocolate Road Trip with Wild Ophelia, Beef Jerky Chocolate

Beef Jerky Chocolate

Just when you think you've seen it all, they come out with Beef Jerky Chocolate! Now, this is one chocolate combination you don't come across often.

Wild Ophelia, sister company to the very popular Vosges Chocolates, is an all natural American brand that combines chocolate with ingredients sourced from small American farmers and food artisans.

With a very Southern flair, Wild Ophelia offers flavors such as Beef Jerky, Southern Hibiscus Peach, New Orleans Chili, Sweet Cherry Pecan, Smokehouse BBQ Potato Chips and Peanut Butter and Banana.

In true Katrina Markoff style, everything has a story. And here is the one of "Wild Ophelia". On a small ranch house in Leipers Fork, tennessee, Wild Ophelia was nicknamed such because of the smart plans she hatched while a kid. Instead of making pocket money serving lemonade, she would serve her experimental creations such as chocolate dipped beef jerky and fresh peaches with hibiscus, hence the inspirations for the Wild Ophelia chocolate line up.

Also similar to Vosges Chocolate, the Wild Ophelia bars have tasting tips. Here is the one for the beef jerky bar: "Close your eyes, breathe. Let the plains of Wyoming roll on your tongue as you snap the chocolate in your mouth. Beef jerky, smoked paprika and deep milk chocolate deliver the power of the magical cacao bean".

The beef jerky chocolate was really good. The beef jerky bits were small enough to blend with the chocolate creating a very nice uniform flavor that wasn't overpowering.

The artwork inside the chocolate box is adds a nice design touch too.

Wild Ophelia Box

Air New Zealand Lounge, Sydney

Air New Zealand Lounge

Of all the airport lounges we've set foot in, one of the most memorable is Air New Zealand's lounge in Sydney. The overall lounge had a very nice clean design and they really made an effort to serve more than the traditional sandwiches, soup, salads and snacks that you see in the lounges.

The food in Air New Zealand's lounge stands out among the rest, and this is comparing it to North American lounges, European lounges and Asian ones as well. Their presentation was nice and they put an effort into serving warm dishes over and above the typical sandwiches, soup and easy to serve items.

There were two things that stood out - the presentation of the food and the hot meals served. In addition to the typical food you would find at an airline lounge, they also had two hot meals served in little chinese lunch take-out boxes. They had a beef bourguignon with garlic mash, and a tuna and vegetable pasta bake the day I was there. Both were really good.

Roast Beef Sandwich
Roast Beef Sandwich, Chocolate Mousse, Mini Blueberry Muffins

Fresh Fruit Salad
Fresh Fruit Salad with Passion Fruit and Mint Garnish

Tuna Pasta Bake
Hot Tuna and Vegetable Pasta Bake