Ref Lockout Homemade Thai Takeout
By Food Lab on October 5th, 2012
National Football League refs may have been hungry this year but they settled their beef last week, returning to the field and ending weeks of lock out frustration for fans, coaches and players. The stalemate culminated in the final moments of Sunday’s Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks game where a scab ref’s mistake meant misfortune for Packers’ safety M. D. Jennings. Jennings was not only robbed of a clear interception, but adding insult to injury, the Seahawks’ intended receiver, Golden Tate, was given credit for the catch on a missed penalty call resulting in a touchdown and Seattle winning it 14-12. (VIDEO: Worst NFL call ever?)
The return of the official men in black (and white) restores harmony to a season marked by such gameplay grey area thanks to the rift in the referee department. It turns out, delving into the grey area is actually a sweet spot for anyone exploring Thai cooking. According to its philosophy, there is simply no official measurement system for ingredients. A helpful resource for basics, ThaiTable.com explains that in Thailand recipes are much more like “guidelines”. When prepared, dishes are generally done so with leniency to the rules, producing various interpretations with personality infused by the individual cook and their tastes.
But in football, rules are rules, and it’s helpful to have qualified officials back on the field. It seems fitting to celebrate the refs’ return with some Thai flair to show that the combination of a little order and a little chaos can be delicious. Plus, everything can be prepared during halftime so you won’t have to miss a minute of the game.
The following five ingredients result in a fantastic Thai-inspired faux takeout meal that delivers a salty, sweet and spicy fix in five minutes flat.
Follow the inspiration of Thai cooks and don’t hesitate to adjust the ingredients and amounts according to your own taste and style!
Spicy Peanut Meatball Skewers
- 1 bag of frozen Trader Joe’s Turkey Meatballs
- ½ jar House of Tsang Thai Peanut Grill Sauce (any kind of spicy peanut sauce will do)
- Sliced green onion or chives for garnish (optional)
- Enough wooden skewers to serve your party (optional)
Sweet and Spicy Carrot Salad
- 1 bag of shredded carrots
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼-½ jar Ginger People® grated ginger
Place meatballs in a microwave-safe dish and microwave according to package directions. While the meatballs are heating, prepare the salad. Pour bag of carrots in a large salad or mixing bowl. Add ginger (you may want to use a fork to help separate the ginger strands so they better combine with the carrots), raisins and toss to mix. Add a dash of the ginger juice if it’s a bit dry. Remove meatballs from microwave and toss into a separate mixing bowl to coat with a few large dollops of the peanut sauce, reserving some of the sauce for dipping at the table. For skewers, reduce the microwave time so that meatballs are soft but not too hot to handle. Toss them to coat, then thread onto wooden skewers. Reheat until hot. Whether serving the meatballs on skewers or on their own, finish with sliced green onion or chives before serving.
- A truly easy, tasty, five ingredient meal that can be made in five minutes.
- Bring all the ingredients to work on Monday and prep lunch in your lab kitchen all week!
- Both are simple recipes with many possibilities for variation. Example: Up your veggies by adding sliced red pepper and Thai basil leaves between meatballs on the skewers
Note: I’ve only used the Ginger People brand grated ginger because I like its balance of spicy and sweet vs. other pickled ginger varieties that are a bit sour and more salty, but the variation is up to you.
For the five-minute rule, microwaving the meatballs is required. The good news is you have the option to oven bake them or pan-fry them if you have more time, or if you aim for a slightly-crispy-on-the-outside meatball.