After months and months of what I would call blog slacking, and the hopeful early arrival of spring, I feel inspired and ready to make my blog a weekly part of my life. I often get asked various food related questions, recipe suggestions and basic cooking tips or techniques. So over the past few months I have been taking mental notes as to how I can really use my skills and talents to inspire all those people who inspire me on a daily basis.
So with this idea in mind, I feel the urge to share my thoughts about food, wine, travel, yoga, and so many more of the things I love about my life. I was recently asked to contribute a recipe and a brief thought about that recipe for a cookbook that will be going out to my yoga community. For anyone that knows me and most chefs for that matter, they know that we all love food on a very deep soulful level. Most chefs don’t discriminate between meat, fish, vegetables….we eat,cook and love them all! However, is has become very commonplace for people to eat more vegetarian and even vegan diets these days. While I always applaud healthy eating and living, it can be a challenge as someone who has a serious passion for all food to connect to those who have changed their diets. My first thought was that ten years ago most chefs would scoff at the idea of having to cook vegetarian food let alone even thinking anything vegan was actually food in the first place. But things have certainly changed and I do believe our attitudes as chefs have changed for the better. We are constantly trying to challenge ourselves and expand our minds and including and often times excluding things is a great way to think about life and food in different ways. So my contribution to this non meat cookbook included a few vegetarian recipes that I have cooked for others and even for myself on occasion. The idea is that vegan and vegetarian food can and should taste delicious. If one is a true carnivore, like I am, it will never truly replace the joy of meat, but everything in moderation and there is no reason all of our food shouldn’t taste good. So I plan to offer up some simple recipes that anyone can make, both vegetarian and carnivorous for all to explore. So enjoy and look for my recipe of the week every Monday……Bon Appetit….
We should always remember that food is the most universal thing in life everywhere in the world. It is one of our greatest pleasures that enhances our world, inspires creativity, and brings people together with no prejudgements. For those of us that are lucky to have food at our disposal for human consumption, we should celebrate it and try to share with those around the world who don’t have these same luxuries.
Spicy Thai Coconut Soup
recipe yields about 2 quarts
1 to 2 TBS red curry paste (depending on desired level of spiciness)
2 stalks lemongrass rough cut into a few large pieces
2 roma tomatoes, rough chopped
1/2 white onion, rough chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and rough chopped
1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 kaffir lime leaves (if accessible)
1 c. sliced mushrooms such as shittake (can use any preferred mushrooms)
1/4 bunch cilantro, leaves picked and kept whole
2 cans coconut milk
4 c. vegetable stock or water
1/4 c. fish sauce
1 TBS lime juice
1-2 TBS cooking oil (vegetable canola, or any light colored oil can be used)
Place a large stockpot over medium heat on the stove. Add oil once it’s hot, then add the onion and begin to saute. When the onion becomes translucent (about 2-3 minutes), add
tomatoes, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves and saute about 2-3 more minutes. Next add the curry paste and stir thoroughly. Let it cook for about 3 minutes to release the flavor. Then add fish sauce, lime juice, stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and add the coconut milk. Let the soup simmer to infuse all the flavors for about 20 minutes. Taste the soup to make sure it has the desired spiciness. To create more heat, simply add small amounts of curry paste slowly. It can get very spicy very quickly. Be sure to taste it frequently. Strain the soup once desired flavor is achieved and discard the strained contents. To serve, place the soup back into the pot and add the mushrooms and let cook for about 3 minutes. Add the whole cilantro leaves to garnish, serve and enjoy