Cooking with Friends

The past few weeks we’ve had the opportunity to cook at other people’s houses, which is always a fun change of pace.  I find cooking outside my own kitchen to sometimes be a challenge – What do you mean you don’t have a potato ricer!? – but also fun because many friends have kitchens larger and more geared to socializing than mine.


Over Songkran we went to Ko and Per’s house.  Ko was Tawn’s university classmate and her husband, Per, is from Sweden and moved here late last year.  We decided it would be fun to try and make Swedish meatballs although we didn’t have a specific recipe and I’m not sure any of us knew what we were doing. 


Nonetheless, we intuited our way through it, and wound up with something that despite looking kind of gloppy, tasted good and seemed close to the real deal.  At least that’s what Per said.  Maybe he was just being polite.


Ko takes pictures of the meal: Swedish meatballs, roast potatoes, mixed green salad, and I think we made spaghetti with meat sauce, too.  It was tasty and, more importantly, the company was wonderful.


Tawn and me after a dinner of Swedish meatballs.  Compare that to our picture on the beach after the rough 30-minute ride on an unpaved road on Kauai!


The following week I went to cook at another friend’s house.  Chow, who is the author of the must-buy and use guide Bangkok’s Top 50 Street Food Stalls, invited friends over to cook Mexican food in honor (kind of) of the upcoming Cinco de Mayo holiday.  Never mind that we were a bit early.  Unfortunately, Tawn was not able to make it.  That didn’t stop us from having fun, though, and making too much good food.


Enchiladas stuffed with avocado and smothered in red sauce and cheese sauce.  Tasty!


Chicken enchiladas baked in a homemade mole poblano sauce.  Pronounced “mo-lay”, this sauce has cocoa powder in it, lending an unexpected flavor to its spiciness.


For my contribution, I resurrected a recipe for fish tacos from Michael’s blog, using his avocado cilantro lime sauce.  This sauce just goes perfectly on fish tacos!


And finally, a random picture not related to cooking with friends.  We had a visit from Ty, someone who was a very active member of the Xanga community under the username Just2Tyght when I first started almost six years ago.  We met in person several years back in SF and while Ty has gone AWOL from Xanga, we’ve stayed in touch through other channels.  Glad we had the opportunity to meet here in Bangkok.

Coming up soon… caramel rice flan.


0 thoughts on “Cooking with Friends

  1. swedish meatballs! that’s something i haven’t had in a very long time- and i think actually it was at ikea when i had it last haha. the ones you guys made look delicious (whether it was the real deal or not :p)

  2. Swedish Meatballs…oh YUM!!! I have only one question for you Chris…how do you and Tawn stay so durn slim and handsome, eating all that wonderful food??? I need to learn moderation…Ruth Ann

  3. Omg! Tawn totally looks happier in this photo. Haha! That ride is Hawaii must have been unpleasant to say the least! 🙂 I miss xanga and seeing your updates! 😦 can’t wait for June though!

  4. Hubby: what are you staring at so intently?Me: Pictures of food on Xanga. HahaAnother great post about friends and food! Btw you two looked great after a 30 min bike ride. I don’t see any sweat!

  5. I remember that photo of Tawn in Hawaii, Mr. pouty face!! Well, I don’t blame him though, after a one hour ride on very uneves road, I would be like that too. You have such wonderful friends Chris, and the neat part is, you keep in touch with them, and not just for the sake of food.How good that you can go to your friends’ homes and cook.  What is a ‘potato ricer’?

  6. looks delicious! i’ve always wanted to make enchilladas, but was scared off by the amount of time that i thought i would have to devote to it (especially as i was told by a friend from mexico that she cheats and buys enchilada sauce from the market because it takes too much effort to make it from scratch). if you know of a reasonable recipe, though, i’d love to get a copy of it!i must admit, i don’t have a potato ricer (and have no plans to get one anytime soon)!

  7. @Roadlesstaken – Aelx, you could use that sauce pretty much anywhere that guacamole, sour cream, or yogurt based sauces would work.  Especially nice with food that has a lot of spices (Mexican, Indian) as well as an accompaniment to dishes like grilled fish or chicken.@kunhuo42 – My friend made the mole sauce so I don’t know about that one.  The red sauce, though, came from a Jamie Oliver book in which he visits the different regions of Mexico.  It’s just a basic red sauce and didn’t take but 20 minutes to cook.  As for potato ricers, I used to have one but can no longer find it in my kitchen so don’t know where it is.  Clearly, not an essential tool, although nice to have for making gnocchi.@ZSA_MD – Regarding your question, a potato ricer is a kitchen implement that is used to push cooked potatoes through small holes, making small pellets the size of rice grains.  Link is here.  It is a handy tool when making gnocchi and also makes the absolute smoothest, lump-free mashed potatoes ever.@lil_squirrel4ever – Oh, we actually were driving on the road, not riding a bike.  Tawn would never ride a bike along a bumpy, unpaved road in the great outdoors!@kenpcho – Yeah, it was a pretty bumpy road.@Redlegsix – Oh, that’s very nice of you to say.  Tawn does about 60-90 minutes of yoga four or five times a week.  As for me, I just suck in my gut when taking pictures.  LOL@slmret – @osmundaregalis – Yes, the idea of using avocado as a filling had never occurred to me but it is spectacular.@Passionflwr86 – Hmm… microwave popcorn does sound like a bit of a let-down.@CurryPuffy – Thai style, farang style… we try to mix it up here at Christao408.  LOL@iskrak – I’ve never had meatballs at IKEA.  There is an IKEA supposed to open here late in 2011 so maybe I’ll go try them then.@The_Eyes_Of_A_Painter – Oh, that’s very nice of you to say.  If only I had a full production team to support me!  Ha!@awoolham – Be inspired, go forth and cook!Thanks for the recommendation.@Fatcat723 – That is the equation that pretty much illustrates how to achieve happiness for me.  

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