So, what’s for dinner?
If you’re on the east coast like I am, the answer is something hot, filling and wholesome. Oh and it should give your cheeks a rosy flush while warming you to the tips of your toes.
Maybe there’s a glass of red wine or maybe it’s dry January. That’s cool. Do you.
Who am I to judge?
If I were to wish one gift upon you it would be the gift of this soup: Tom Kha Gai or Thai coconut milk and chicken soup. You can, of course make it pescatarian or vegetarian to suit. You can add noodles or rice or neither. I don’t like mushrooms. I left ’em out. Judgement free zone here. This is my basic recipe from Bon Apetit: Tom Kha Gai
Except that I changed it completely. My neighborhood is Polish and it’s easier to find perogi and blintz than lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. So, what can you do when ingredients are deemed too exotic?
Adapt of course.
Ginger is easier to find as are limes. But I wanted flavor. Since flavor is what’s it’s all about I started building from the bottom up and made my own chicken broth. I bought a whole chicken, salted it, seared it and covered it with water. I threw in chunks of ginger, bay leaf, garlic, thyme, leek tops and salt and let it simmer on the lowest heat while I went to the gym.
Don’t worry, my roommate was home.
About an hour later, I sliced and browned some leek rounds until crispy and reserved the oil for a topper. See, layers!
I pulled the chicken, separated the meat from the bone and added it back into the broth. After tasting for seasoning, of course. Then stirred in a can of full fat coconut milk and added the juice of one lime and two tablespoons of fish sauce.
Do you know what makes things taste good? Fat.
Do you know what makes you feel full? Fat.
See, the world makes so much sense. The soup was basically ready by this point. I seared up some beet greens and kale that happened to be in the fridge, placed them in the bottom of the bowls and poured the soup over. A liberal handful of cilantro, a scoop of salsa verde I always have an hand and the crispy leeks and leek oil pulled the dish together.
Not only was I full, happy and warm but my roommates and I feasted and I still had 3 more meals out of one nights prep.
Like a boss, my friends. Like a boss.