Thai Mussels in Coconut Broth

 

Harmony is the guiding principle behind this dish. Influenced by Thai cuisine,  this mussels recipe is essentially a marriage of centuries-old Eastern and Western influences harmoniously combined into something that is uniquely delicious. In  less than 30 minutes, you can have a seafood feast that is just as good, if not better, than any sophisticated  five- star restaurant.

Enjoy!

Serves 2

Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 cup Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup green beans, ends trimmed, sliced thin, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup red bell peppers,thinly sliced into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled grated
1 stalk of lemongrass, crushed
1/4 teaspoon crush red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon curry powder
One 13.5 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 Tablespoon fish sauce (nam pla)
1 cup chicken stock
3 pounds Pei mussels, scrubbed, beard removed
Zest and Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cilantro, for garnish

Directions:
Place a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the oil, potatoes, green beans, peppers, garlic, ginger,lemongrass, red pepper flakes and curry powder. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until fragrant, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce and stock, bring to a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are tender but still have a bite, about 10 more minutes. Add the mussels, lime zest and juice, and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook over high heat until all the mussels open.

Remove from heat and discard any mussels that did not open Remove and discard the lemon grass. Season with salt and pepper. Add the basil and scallions and stir to combine.Serve from Dutch oven into individual bowls, and garnish with cilantro.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

 

 

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Thai-Style Pumpkin Soup

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This past Summer, I was stuck on cauliflower and all the wonderful edible things that could be made from it.

Well, the  vegetable obsession saga continues. This Autumn, I am obsessed with PUMPKINS.……

Through the fall and  winter months there are a good number of vegetables and fruit that guarantee a seasonal supply of nutrition. Pumpkin is a particularly good example, capable of being stored for several months. Low in cholesterol and sodium, it is also a good source of vitamins A, B6, C and E, thiamin, niacin, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese.

Just like with any type of food, people tend to fall into two camps when it comes to pumpkin flavored foods; they either love it or hate it. If you are in the ‘love it’ camp then read on. Because I think that you are going to love this Thai inspired recipe that is perfect for the transitional days of Autumn to Winter.

Enjoy!

Serves 6
Ingredients:
For the Soup:
4 pounds fresh pumpkin flesh, peeled and chopped into large chunks
1  yellow onion, chopped
Two 15-ounce cans organic coconut milk
4 cups vegetable stock
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt

For the Red Curry Paste:
2 Thai red chillies
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 lemongrass stalks, tough outer leaves removed and chopped
2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
grated zest and juice of 2 limes

1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

To make the red curry paste, simply place all of the ingredients into a blender and process until it turns to a paste.  Remove to a non-metallic bowl, cover  with plastic wrap and set aside.

Place the chopped pumpkin flesh on a baking sheet, sprinkle on the salt and drizzle with half of the olive oil. Put in the pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes or so, until the flesh is soft when pierced with a sharp knife. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of   olive oil in a  Dutch oven or a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until it is soft and translucent. Add the pumpkin flesh and the red curry paste. Quickly stir to combine and then add the coconut milk and the vegetable stock.Bring the contents of the pan to a gentle simmer, lower the heat and cover the pan. Cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove from the heat and allow it to cool for a another 10 minutes.

Put the soup into a blender, doing so in several  batches and process until smooth. Return the blended soup back to the  Dutch oven or stock pot and reheat gently, simmering, and NOT boiling.

Serve the hot soup in bowls, garnished with the chopped cilantro.

Photo Credit: Eat Drink Paleo, 2013


Tom Kha Gai ( Thai Chicken Coconut Soup) ต้มข่าไก่

tom-kha-gai-chicken-coconut-soup.jpg

 

“A soothing that calms the soul”, is how my friend described what Tom Kha Gai is like, as he reminisced about his childhood memories and so graciously shared his mother’s recipe with me.

Tom Kha Gai is a soup made of chicken (Gai) cooked (Tom) in coconut milk which has been infused with galangal (Kha), lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves.This dish is simple and easy to prepare and most of the  ingredients can be easily found at your local Asian specialty market. They usually sell them in quantities greater than what you will need, but know that these ingredients  freeze really well and can be readily available for the next time you want to  make soup or a curry. If you cannot find galangal at a store near you, you can use ginger as a substitute.  Unfortunately, there is no substitute for the kaffir lime leaves.

tom kha gai recipe

 

Galangal (kha ข่า) is one of the most important ingredients in any tom kha gai recipe (ต้มข่าไก่).

 

It has an earthy spice flavor, and many people compare the taste to ginger. Galangal is included in many Thai curries and soups, and when used in small quantities, it provides a subtle kick of flavor. You don’t normally eat the actual pieces of galangal, but instead it’s boiled in the soup and releases its wonderful essence.

 

Serves 6

Ingredients:
One 1-inch piece of galangal, peeled and cut into paper thin, coin sized pieces
10 kaffir lime leaves or 1 Tablespoon lime zest and ¼ cup lime juice
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces oyster mushrooms, stemmed, caps cut into bite-size pieces
5-6 Thai red chilies (more or less, depending on your heat preference)
One 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
1 Tablespoon lime juice
2 Tablespoons fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
1 teaspoon palm sugar
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, tough outer layers removed
Cilantro leaves with tender stems, lime wedges, steamed jasmine rice, for serving
Chili oil, for serving (optional)

Directions:
Using the back of a knife, lightly smash lemongrass; cut lemongrass into 4” pieces. Bring lemongrass, galamgal, lime leaves, and  chicken broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors are melded, 8–10 minutes. Strain broth into clean saucepan; discard solids.

Add chicken to the strained broth and return to a boil. Reduce heat, add mushrooms, and simmer, skimming occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and mushrooms are soft, 20–25 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked through, throw in the smashed chilies and remove the pot from heat immediately. Mix  in the  coconut milk,  lime juice, fish sauce and sugar. Stir in the cilantro leaves and taste. Add more lime juice and fish sauce, if necessary.

Divide soup among bowls. Serve with lime wedges and teamed jasmine rice as an entree.

 

 

Cook’s Notes:
One pound of deviened and shelled shrimp can be substituted for the the chicken.

You can also use white button, cremini, and oyster mushrooms. Any meaty, mild-flavored mushrooms will do. Portobello mushrooms are fine flavor- and texture-wise, but even with the gills carefully scraped off they still turn the broth into an unappetizing shade of gray. Do not use shiitake; the flavor is way too strong for this. Also, DO NOT use any kind of dried mushrooms because they will change the flavor profile of this dish quite drastically, and not in a good way.