Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tom Kha Gai

I am becoming a huge fan of coconut soup and all things coconut in general. On my visit to the Asian supermarket I bought all the fresh leaves, herbs and roots to make quite an authentic version of Thai coconut soup--Tom Kha Gai. If you can get a hold of fresh Kaffir lime leaves, galangal, and lemongrass then you're good to go. Everything else can be found in a regular grocery store.

To make the most delicious soup on earth you will need:

For the broth:
- a can of coconut milk
-a can of water
- a one inch piece of galangal
-a long stalk of lemongrass, chopped into 1 inch pieces
-ten Kaffir lime leaves, torn in half

Put these ingredients in a soup pot and simmer for 25-40 minutes, depending on how fragrant a broth you want, and how much time you have. Strain the herbs out of the broth. You're almost there.

To put in the soup:
-a protein...shrimp, chicken, tofu...
-veggies: mushrooms, celery, carrot, tomato...whatever's in your fridge.
Put these things in the broth and let them cook until slightly tender.

Throw these in at the end before serving and simmer for about a minute"
-a couple spoons of sweetener, such as Agave syrup
-the juice of a lime
-a squeeze of Bragg amino liquid, or fish sauce

That's it, enjoy! Be warned that you might want to eat this every day...

Here's some more of those awesome snow pea greens stirfried with garlic, ginger and spring onion.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Asian Inspiration

There has been a lot of Asian style cooking going on in my kitchen these days...This inspiration came after a visit to the Asian supermarket on the south shore...it was all very exciting because I had a knowledgeable companion with me and as a result I bought a lot of stuff I've never tried before.
I made mung bean noodle salad twice in one week...so good I had to have it again!

The noodle package in question.

Noodles: soak them in cold water for 10 minutes, then simmer them in miso broth...

Probably talking about food...

While drinking some beer...

These oyster mushrooms changed my life.

Stirfried pea greens and choi sum with mushrooms in oyster sauce.

To top it all off...we even went out for Chinese in CDN. Check it out, it's called Lao Beijing. 7$ for a lunch special!
Chinese eggplant stirfry with sweet and spicy sauce.

Ma Po tofu...ate around the meat chunks...

Decided to soak some beans around 3am after a big night...woke up to find the beans soaking unexpectedly...and discovered I even captured this in a photo at the time...in sepia no less. A late night moment of lucidity.

Lookout view.
Oratoire St-Joseph through the trees at Lac aux Castors.

Skating at my local park.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

inspired by banana loaf

I rarely follow recipes. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love browsing recipes on the internet but I'll take them as inspiration and then jazz them up. In baking, I will never put the right kind/amount of sugar a recipe calls for, as I usually find them too sweet. Also, I often eat my baking for breakfast the next day, so a lesser quantity of sugar somehow makes me feel virtuous and healthy.

Inspiration for this recipe came from the Coconut Lover's Cookbook. Originally called Orange Coconut Banana Bread, I didn't add any oranges (didn't have any) and so I substituted with chopped dried black cherries and a couple of squares of 70% dark chocolate, also chopped. Decadent!

1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c grated coconut
1/2 chopped nuts (I used almonds--recipe says walnuts)
1/4 t baking powder
3/4 c sweetener (I used 1/4 c of agave syrup and 1/4 c raw cane sugar)
pinch of salt
1/4 c coconut milk ( I used almond milk)
2 large eggs (I used 1 egg and 1 egg replacement)
1 1/2 c mashed ripe bananas (about 3)
1 1/2 T grated orange rind
1/4 c orange juice concentrate (I added butter instead!!!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all dry ingredients. Add all the wet ingredients and fruit. Mix until just moist. Pour batter into 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch greased loaf pan. Bake for 55 -60 minutes or until knife inserted into center of cake comes out clean.

Chopped almonds. Nutty goodness.

This is the part where a fine line is drawn between virtue and decadence.

Banana turd and dry ingredients.

About to get baked. Oh yeah.

Closeup at breakfast the morning after.

Orange got thrown into the equation finally. I adore blood oranges.