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Chef Patti Anastasia
Serving Southern New Hampshire since 2003
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Table Talk » Asian Grandmothers' Secrets
Last spring, a delicious spicy basil pork dish that I had at The Chatta Box inspired me to grow Thai basil in my Aerogarden. I became obsessed with Thai basil. Early in the summer, a friend told me that she bought some Thai Basil plants at her local Walmart. I'm not a fan of Walmart, but I was willing to break my no Walmart rule when Thai Basil plants were involved. My local store had five plants, I bought all five. They didn't like the cold weather we had at the beginning of the summer, but after a few weeks, they started producing a bumper crop of Thai basil. We enjoyed lots of delicious meals featuring Thai basil because the more I harvested it, the more it grew. When frost started threatening in mid September, I put the huge pot of Thai basil in my little red wagon so I could easily put it in the garage at night and bring it out on warmer days. I've been nursing it along for the past month. Tonight's dinner was the Thai basil's final hurrah.
I cheated on the Asian grandmothers, but just a little bit. First, the recipe uses ground pork and the ground pork that I can get is very high in fat. So I bought pork tenderloin, trimmed it, cut it into chunks, and ground it in the food processor. This works great when you want lean ground pork. The recipe also called for Thai chilies, which I didn't have. I used a heaping tablespoon of Thai chili paste. And I tossed in about five julienned kaffir lime leaves, just because I'm crazy about the flavor of kaffir lime limes.
I served the Thai Basil Pork with jasmine rice and roasted carrots tossed with a dressing of fish sauce, sesame oil, powdered galangal, and brown sugar. The grandmothers' Thai Basil Pork was easy and delicious. Perfect for a busy night.
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Carol who knits and loves cats said… (on November 5, 2009 at 18:43 PM #)
Looking forward to trying this recipe! Hope it will taste just as good with "normal" basil. In September, a friend presented me with a plant pulled from the garden with roots attached. I plunked it in a jar of water, and it's still alive and well on the kitchen counter.
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