BANGKOK FISHERMANS SOUP Serves 4-6
Tom Kha Talay
Recipe by Jeanne R Tentis
In Bangkok, located near the sea on the most important river of all, the Chao Phraya, the rich and various seafood resources of Thailand come together. This soup is an expression of Bangkoks abundance.
4 c chicken stock
1 large stalk lemon grass. tough outer skin removed, lower stalk trimmed to 12 inches, crushed and angle-cut into 2-inch pieces
3 large slices unpeeled Siamese ginger (galangal or kha), about 2 oz., or common ginger
1 can (14oz) unsweetened coconut milk
3 t chili-tamarind paste (nam phrik pao)
c fresh lemon juice
2 T coconut-palm sugar or golden brown sugar
3 T Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
10 New Zealand mussels (or regular black mussels), cleaned and debearded
3/4 lb. scallops
10 medium shrimp, peeled, butterflied, and deveined
5 small Thai chilies (phrik khee nu), stemmed and lightly crushed
Sprigs of fresh cilantro
Put the stock, lemon grass, and ginger in a soup pot. Gradually bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat and stir in coconut milk and return to a simmer. Add the chili-tamarind paste, lemon juice, sugar, and fish sauce. Stir until the paste and sugar are dissolved and blended. Reduce the heat and simmer gently while you prepare the mussels.
Agitate the water in which the mussels are soaking, (Live mussles will open and close to breath. Any mussels that dont eventually close should be discarded). Scrub and debeard the mussels. Leave in the whole shells and when cooked, they will open. Any mussels that do not open should be discarded.
Return the soup to a boil. Add the mussels, scallops, and shrimp. Do not stir. Bring back to a simmer and cook just until the seafood is cooked through and mussels are open, about 1-2 minutes.
Float the chilies on top and turn off the heat. Ladle the soup into a steamboat, a soup tureen, or individual serving bowls. Tear a sprig or two of cilantro over each serving.
Note: Frequent customers to Thai restaurants know that the lemon grass and Siamese ginger are not meant to be eaten. Eating the chilies is optional. BE AWARE: THEY ARE HOT!!!!!
JULIA CHILDS POTAGE PARMENTIER Serves 8
Potato and Leek Soup
Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking
1 lb potatoes, peeled and diced
1lb leeks (or onions), diced
3-4T unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
4-6T heavy cream
2-4T minced chives and parsley
Thinly sliced radishes for garnish
Simmer the potatoes and leeks in salted water for 40-50 minutes, until soft
Puree the vegetables with an immersion blender. Add the butter in bits; then add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the cream.
Pour the soup into bowls and sprinkle on the chives, parsley and radishes.
TORTILLA SOUP with CHICKEN and LIME Serves 6
Sopa de Tortilla
Recipe by Jeanne R Tentis
5 corn tortillas, 5-6 inches in diameter
– c peanut oil
Or use Mexican tostados and eliminate the process of frying the tortillas
4 c chicken stock
2 c water
1 can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes with juice
1 bay leaf
4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
t ground cumin
t dried crushed red pepper
1 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs
2-3 T white rice, uncooked
4 scallions, sliced (including greens)
c cilantro, chopped
2-4 T fresh lime juice
1 c cheddar cheese, shredded (or better yet use Chihuahua, asadero or quesadilla)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large ripe avocado, pitted and cut into -inch cubes
In a large pot combine stock, water, tomatoes, bay leaf, garlic, cumin and red pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Wash and dry chicken and add to liquid. Simmer for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove, allow to cool.
Add rice and cook until tender about 15 minutes.
Shred chicken and return to pot. Turn heat to low.
If not using tostados, heat oil in a skillet. Stack tortillas and cut in half. Stack halves and cut into inch strips. Place tortillas into hot oil and fry until golden. Work in appropriate sized batches so as to not overcrowd pan. Drain on paper towels. If using tostados, break them into manageable size pieces.
Add scallions, cilantro and lime juice to the soup. Stir well.
To serve, place a few tortilla chips into the bottom of a bowl. Ladle hot soup over chips. Place a few more on top and sprinkle with cheddar cheese and or avocado.