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Piment d'Espelette

----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Sharon 
  To: phaedrus 
  Sent: Monday, October 29, 2001 4:04 PM
  Subject: Seasoning


  I have a recipe for a Basquaise Sauce that requires  1/8 tsp. of 
  piment d'Espellette (it says it's a type of seasoning.  I've checked 
  the stores and no one knows what it is or where to find it.  Any idea?             

  Thank you,


Hi Sharon,

The word "piment" means "pepper". When Christopher Columbus returned to Spain from America, he took with him chile peppers. Some of those chile peppers made it to Esplette, in the Basque region of France/Spain, where they were cultivated by the Basques. Today, these are known as Espellete peppers or, when roasted, dried, and powdered, "piment d'Espelette". This spice is rather difficult to obtain in the U.S. If you like, you can use regular red pepper flakes. If you want to be authentic, you can order piment d'Espelette online from these sites:


  Basquaise Sauce 


  2 medium red bell peppers
  2 small onions
  4 tomatoes
  5 garlic cloves
  3 Tbs. olive oil
  1 tsp. Kosher salt
  1/4 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
  1/8 tsp. piment d'Espellette (or red pepper flakes)
  1 bouquet garni*
  1/3 to 1/2 cup water

  * bouquet garni [boo-KAY gahr-NEE] A bunch of herbs (the classic 
  trio being parsley, thyme and bay leaf) that are either tied together 
  or placed in a cheesecloth bag and used to flavor soups, stews and 
  broths. Tying or bagging the herbs allows for their easy removal 
  before the dish is served.


  To prepare the vegetables, seed and core the bell peppers. Coarsely 
  chop the peppers, onions and tomatoes. Peel and crush the garlic 
  cloves, and set aside. Heat olive oil in a pan until hot. Add the 
  peppers, onions and garlic to the pan. Sautee until translucent. 
  approximately 5 to 8 minutes.

  Add the tomatoes to the pepper and onion mixture. Season with salt, 
  pepper, piment d'Espellette and bouquet garni. Add water, stir, and 
  bring to a gentle boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 35 to 45 
  minutes until all vegetables are soft.

  Remove bouquet garni and puree mixture in a blender for one minute or 
  until smooth. The mixture many be pureed in batches if necessary. The 
  sauce may be frozen for up to three months and can be used as a pasta 

  Yield: 2 to 3 cups 

Thai Peanut Butter Sauce

 ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Albert 
  To: phaedrus 
  Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2001 11:24 PM
  Subject: looking for three recepts

  Looking for receipt for a friend.

  What is the receipt to make a peanut butter sauce?

Hello Albert,

Below are several recipes for Thai style peanut butter sauce.


  Thai Peanut Butter Sauce

  Makes 2 cups  

  1/3 cup hot water 
  2/3 cup peanut butter 
  1/3 cup soy sauce 
  2 tablespoons lemon juice 
  1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  1/4 cup light corn syrup 
  1/4 cup dry sherry 

  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir well. Transfer 
  to a serving bowl and spoon over seafood of your choosing.  
  Peanut Butter Sauce

  1/2 cup soy sauce
  1 tsp. sugar
  1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  1/4 cup hot water
  1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
  1 clove garlic, minced
  Juice of 1 lemon

  Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook and stir until blended 
  and bubbly. Remove from heat.serve over chicken, pork, or seafood.
  Peanut Sauce for Grilled Beef, Chicken or Shrimp 

  1 1/2-inch piece gingerroot, peeled and minced 
  1/2 head garlic, peeled and crushed 
  2 pounds creamy peanut butter 
  1/2 cup chicken stock 
  1/4 cup light soy sauce 
  2 tablespoons chili oil 
  lime juice to taste 
  1/4 cup honey 
  1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves 
  salt and pepper to taste 

  Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl. Mix well and season to taste. 
  Store in a sealed container until ready to use. Keeps for several 
  weeks in refrigerator. Use as a marinade for beef, chicken, shrimp or 
  vegetable kabobs. Makes 2 quarts
  Title: Peanut Butter Sauce
    Categories: Polkadot, Faylen, Sauces, Thai
         Yield: 1 Servings
       1/2 c  Crunchy peanut butter
         1    Onion, minced
         1    Stalk of minced lemon grass
         1 c  Coconut milk
         1 tb Brown sugar
         1 ts Chili powder
         1 tb Nampla
         1 tb Heavy soy sauce
     Bring the sauce to a boil. Remove from the heat and pour into 
 small bowls to serve with satays.
     Note: you can substitute a green onion for the lemon grass. 
 It just occurrs to me that I've heard some say that substituting 
 lemon zest for lemon grass (apparently they have similar tastes?) 
 is acceptable...

Squash Soup

----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Albert 
  To: phaedrus 
  Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2001 11:24 PM
  Subject: looking for three recepts

  Looking for receipt for a friend.

  What is the receipt to make squash soup?

Hello Albert,

Below are several recipes for Squash soup.


  Butternut Squash and Thai Coconut Milk Soup


  1 medium size butternut squash.
  1  14 oz. can coconut milk (unsweetened)
  1  1/2 cups light chicken or vegetable broth 


  Cut the whole butternut squash in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the 
  seeds and place (cut side down) on a flat baking dish lined with 
  aluminum foil (for easy clean up).

  Roast the squash in a 375║ oven for about one hour.  Remove when soft 
  and let cool.

  Peel and cut into chunks.

  Heat one 14 oz. can of Thai coconut milk in a saucepan, being careful 
  not to scorch the bottom of the pan or let the milk "bubble up".

  In a blender, puree the warm coconut milk and roasted butternut squash 
  in batches .  Remove each batch to a large bowl.

  Add enough chicken or vegetable broth to thin the soup to your desired
  consistency.(It should be thick, but should flow off the spoon easily.)

  Place in a  deep saucepan and bring to hot when ready to serve. 

  Thai Butternut Squash Soup

  Makes about 1.5 quarts

  1 medium (2 pounds) butternut squash
  1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for roasting squash
  Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1 large onion, chopped
  2 cups chicken stock
  1 (14-ounce) can Coconut Milk
  1 jalapeno pepper, cut into 1/4-inch slices (I leave seeds in)
  1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  4 kaffir lime leaves or 1 whole lime, zested and juiced 
  (see note above)

  1. Preheat oven to 400░ . Line a 12- x 17-inch jellyroll pan with 
  parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet. Fill pan with one-half 
  inch water; set aside.

  2. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and strings (a melon 
  baller works well). Brush or spray cut sides of squash lightly with 
  canola oil. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and freshly ground 
  black pepper. Place squash cut-side down in prepared baking pan; 
  roast for 45 minutes. Remove pan from oven and turn squash. If pulp 
  is soft enough to remove with a rubber spatula, squash is done. If 
  not, return to oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until cut-side of squash 
  is soft.

  3. While squash is roasting, gently sautÚ onion in a 4-quart saucepan 
  in 1 tablespoon canola oil until onion becomes translucent. Reduce 
  heat to very low and allow onion to caramelize while squash is roasting. 
  Onion should be brown around the edges. If pieces start to burn, remove 
  pan from heat. 

  4. With a rubber spatula (or spoonula) remove roasted squash pulp from 
  skin. Transfer squash pulp to pan with onions. Add chicken stock, 
  coconut milk, sliced jalapeno, coriander and ginger. If using kaffir 
  lime leaves, cut them into slivers and add to pan. Bring to a boil, 
  reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. 

  5. With a slotted spoon, remove kaffir lime leaves and jalapenos; set 
  aside (don't discard). Blend soup until it is creamy and smooth. Return 
  kaffir lime leaves and jalapeno slices to blended soup. If using, add 
  lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. If using, garnish 
  with lime zest.
  Title: Spicy Thai Squash Coconut Soup 
  Yield: 4 Servings


        2 ts vegetable oil
        2 ts dried shrimp, soaked in 
             -water 5 min; drained
      1/2 c  finely chopped red pepper
        2 tb chopped shallots
        1 tb fresh galangal or 2 teaspoons fresh; chopped
        1    fresh Thai chile pepper finely chopped; and seeded
        1    clove garlic; minced
        2    stalks fresh coriander; chopped
        1 tb fish sauce or 3 anchovies
        1 ts light brown sugar
      1/2 ts freshly ground black pepper
        3 c  chicken stock
        2 c  acorn squash; cubed
    1 1/2 c  coconut milk; unsweetened
        2 ts fresh lime juice; or lemon 


  In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium high heat; cook shrimp 
  one minute. Stir in red pepper, shallots, galangal, chile pepper, 
  garlic and coriander and cook 3 minutes. Add fish sauce, sugar and 
  pepper and cook another 30 seconds. Remove from the heat; transfer 
  mixture to food processor fitted with metal blade. Add 1/2 cup 
  chicken stock and puree until finely chopped.
  Return to saucepan; stir in remaining chicken stock and squash. 
  Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until squash is 
  softened. Transfer to food processor; puree in batches until smooth. 
  (I did it all in one batch, but using a slotted spoon to transfer the 
  mixture to the food processor and not transferring all the liquid). 
  Return to the saucepan and bring to the boil; gradually whisk in the 
  coconut milk and continue whisking until the soup just comes back to 
  a slow boil. Remove the soup from the heat and whisk in the lime or 
  lemon juice. Sprinkle with fresh coriander if desired and serve!
  * When I make this, I also often use a spicy Thai stock cube when I'm
  adding the stock. They are available at some Asian markets and are made 
  by Knorr. If you can find them, they are called 'Tom Yam Bouillon 
  cubes', and make a great addition to this soup and lots of other dishes.

Thai Tea

----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Albert 
  To: phaedrus 
  Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2001 11:24 PM
  Subject: looking for three recepts

  Looking for receipt for a friend.

  What is the receipt to make Thai tea? 
  Where can I go to get the ingredients?


Hello Albert,

Below are several recipes for each of your requests. You can purchase Thai tea ingredients online at these sites:

Temple of Thai

Quick Spice

Import Foods

Pacific Rim Gourmet


Thai Tea Recipe From Scratch 

  1 gallon water
  8 Chinese star anise, ground
  1 tablespoon orange flowers
  1 tablespoon powdered vanilla
  1 pinch of clove powder
  1 pinch chopped cinnamon
  3/4 quart long cut China black tea leaves
  1 to 2 cups sugar
  1 quart half & half
  red food coloring
  crushed ice 
  Boil water. Add star anise, orange flowers, vanilla, clove, cinnamon, 
  and tea leaves to boiling water. Continue boiling for 3 to 5 minutes, 
  stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Cover and allow to steep until 
  luke warm. Strain, and add sugar to taste. Serve in a clear glass over 
  plenty of crushed ice. Top with half & half. 

  Traditional Variation: Substitute coconut milk for half & half.
  Decaffeinated Variation: Substitute decaffeinated tea leaves.
  Low-fat Variation: Substitute evaporated milk or rice milk for 
  half & half.
  Natural Variation: Substitute unrefined cane sugar for refined sugar 
  and beet powder for food coloring.
  Thai Iced Tea
  Serves 4

  4 cups water
  5 lapsang suchong tea bags
  8 heaping teaspoonfuls brown sugar
  16 teaspoons half & half

  Place water, tea bags and brown sugar into a saucepan and bring to a 
  boil. Turn of heat and let steep 1 hour. Remove tea bags and place in 
  fridge until cold. Serve in four glasses, over ice, with 4 teaspoons 
  half and half per glass.
  Thai Iced Tea

  Thai iced tea is one of the first things people fall in love with 
  when dining at a typical Thai restaurant.  It is a native-grown 
  red-leafed tea which is spiced with star anise seed.  It is usually 
  brewed strong and then blended with a rich swirl of evaporated milk. 

  6 cups water
  1 cup Thai tea (cha Thai)
  1 cup sugar
  1 can evaporated milk

  Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan.  Add the tea and remove 
  the pan from heat.  Stir to submerge all the tea leaves in the water.  
  Steep for about 5 minutes.  Pour the brew through a coffee filter or 
  a fine-mesh strainer into a large pitcher.  Add the sugar to the hot 
  tea and stir to dissolve.  Cool to room temperature.  Cover and 
  refrigerate until ready to serve.
  To serve:  Fill tall glasses with crushed ice.  Add enough of the 
  tea to fill the glasses to within 1 inch from the top.  Then float 
  3 to 4  tablespoons of evaporated milk over the ice in each glass.
  Thai Iced Tea
  Thai Iced Tea

  6 cups of water
  8 Thai tea bags (found in most Asian food stores) or any other good quality orange pekoe tea
  4 tablespoons sugar
  4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  12 mint leaves for garnishing
  1 cup evaporated milk or half and half milk
  Crushed ice

  Bring the water to a boil, put the tea and ground cardamom in a 
  teapot and pour the water over the tea. Let the tea steep for 
  5 minutes, then discard the tea bags and let the tea cool to lukewarm. 
  Fill four 12 ounce highball glasses half-way to the rim with crushed 
  ice and then fill two-thirds full with tea. Into each glass, add 
  1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 cup evaporated 
  milk or half and half. Mix well.  Garnish the top of each glass with 
  3 mint leaves and serve.

Scented Oil Diffusers

----- Original Message ----- 
  From: bonnie 
  To: phaedrus 
  Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2001 7:29 PM
  Subject: oil diffusers

  I am looking for a recipe to make my own oil to burn in my diffusers. 
  Can you help me?
  Thank You

Hi Bonnie,

Do you mean recipes for mixing different oils? If so, then these sites have them:


Rainbow Crystal

If you mean making your own oils from scratch, I could not find any instructions, just books for sale. I have seen devices that extract the essential oils from herbs, plants, and flowers, but they were quite expensive. If that's what you want, let me know and I'll see what I can find.



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