By Karin Calloway

Karin Calloway is a working mom living in Augusta, Ga., with multiple freelance jobs and a ton of dirty dishes.

A Taste for Thai

The cuisine of Thailand, with its combinations of sweet, salty, tart and spicy flavors, is an American restaurant favorite. But supermarkets everywhere carry most of the ingredients you need to create a delicious Thai menu at home.

This month's menu, entitled "A Taste for Thai," is the perfect change of pace for an upcoming supper club or special dinner party. The menu starts with Chicken and Shrimp Dumplings, which can be made ahead, and then cooked just before serving. These are wonderful dipped in my simple sweet chile-garlic sauce.

Cucumber-Peanut Salad is traditionally served as a condiment or relish, but I like it so much that I often serve it as a salad course. Shrimp Evil Jungle Prince is my version of a hot and spicy vegetable-packed Thai curry that is cooled down with some coconut milk. And, Pineapple Fried Rice is a nice counter to the spicy shrimp, as well as being lovely dinner party fare served in a pineapple shell.

For dessert, my favorite Thai restaurant dish, Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango, is as comforting as your favorite rice pudding, but in my mind much tastier.

Three other recipes posted on the Viking site which could be added to your Thai menu and include Thai Coconut Chicken Soup with Ginger, Shrimp Pad Thai and Shrimp and Salmon Curry.

Recipes:

Spinach Salad with Bacon-Wrapped Scallops and Sweet Bacon Vinaigrette
Wilted spinach salads are a more elegant rendition of the classic, and my Spinach Salad with Bacon-Wrapped Scallops and Sweet Bacon Vinaigrette brings the salad into the new millennium.
Chicken and Shrimp Dumplings
Pan-seared or steamed in a bamboo steamer, Asian dumplings are a family favorite at my house. And, with the help of prepared wonton wrappers and a few other ingredients they are quite simple to prepare.
Cucumber-Peanut Salad
One of my favorite Thai appetizers is the fried curried fish balls called Thot-Mun. While they’re a bit of trouble for the home cook, the delicious cucumber salad that usually accompanies them is part of my enjoyment of the dish, and I often let it stand alone as a delicious salad course.
Fried Rice with Pineapple
Fried rice is a Chinese takeout staple, but my Fried Rice with Pineapple is a Thai tradition that is sweet, spicy and loaded with fresh pineapple flavor. Using a whole fresh pineapple boosts both flavor and presentation.
Shrimp Evil Jungle Prince
For years, it was a special treat to enjoy a Thai meal when we traveled to larger cities around the country. Although the tastes of Thailand are now close to home, I still keep my eyes open for special Thai dining spots when we travel, and had a great meal at Keo’s in Honolulu.