I love cookbooks. I don’t have hundreds of them, but I have about two dozen and I actually use recipes out of all of them. I was recently at my friend’s house and saw she had a cookbook on her kitchen counter. I started thumbing through it and found a lot of recipes that looked up my alley, so I ordered it right then and there on Amazon. It’s called Cravings, by Chrissy Teigen. One of my pet peeves is celebrities who write cookbooks. Not celebrity chefs (who have actually been to cooking school), but wives of celebrities, or models (like Chrissy Teigen, who is a model and the wife of John Legend) who have enough resources to get a cookbook published and so they just do. They all say the same things: “ My mom loved to cook”, “My house was always filled with food and friends growing up”, blah, blah, blah.
Cravings is not your typical celebrity cookbook. Not only are the recipes extremely legit, but it’s also a pretty good read. Chrissy is funny, and I am so obsessed with her Pad Grapow recipe that I made it twice this week. Once with chicken and once with shrimp. I am going to walk you through how to make it and you need to make it tonight.
*In her cookbook it states that this recipe serves 3-4. When I made it, it served Mark and me. That is 2. Just a heads up
12-16 jumbo shrimp or 1 ¼ pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced into thin strips or chunks
2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
2 tablespoons of soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Amino (If you have read any of my food blogs you know I am hooked on Braggs Liquid Amino)
1 serrano chile
3-5 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil (she calls for 2 but I didn’t need that much)
3 cups of basil
Cooked jasmine rice
Prep and clean your shrimp. I like the biggest shrimp I can find and I like them raw. I find precooked shrimp to be chewy and bland. I get wild caught, jumbo shrimp from Mexico. They come about 12 to a pound. I de-vain and clean the top and the bottom and remove the tails.
Marinate the shrimp. I use a gallon baggie. Put the 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce and Braggs in the bagging and throw in the shrimp. Shrimp only need about 15 minutes in the marinade. You can just close the baggie and throw it in the fridge while you are prepping the rest of the dish. Chicken can stand the marinade for a lot longer. Anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. RESIST the urge to salt the meat. The soy sauce will make it plenty salty.
Prep the serrano pepper and garlic. Chop them up as small as you can. I like a lot of heat so I chop the whole serrano pepper up and leave the seeds in. You can use just 1/2 a pepper if you don't like as much heat or slice the pepper open and remove the seeds for even less heat. Serrano peppers have about 3x's as much heat as a jalapeno pepper.
Tear or roughly chop the basil.
Get the shrimp going. Pour the oil in the pan and make sure the oil is hot before you put the shrimp in (it will start to ripple). Cook the shrimp for about 3-4 minutes each side. Then, pull them out of the pan and place on a plate.
Pour a skosh of chicken broth, seafood broth, or water in the pan to scrape up the brown bits and add your garlic and serrano pepper. Cook for about 1 minute. Then, add your shrimp back in and mix it around so the shrimp is coated in the garlic and serrano.
Add the basil and let it wilt in the pan about a minute.
Get the rice ready. I always use Uncle Ben's Ready Rice because it literally takes 90 seconds and it's perfect every time. If you want to make rice the long way, go for it, but you will need to start the rice before you start working on the Pad Grapow.
Spoon rice onto a plate or into a shallow bowl and top with the basil shrimp.
If you are intimidating by making Thai food, this is a great introduction. I promise you, you won't be disappointed.
Make the recipe and let us know what you think in the comments below or on our Facebook page.