- David Gyscek
I am not making Tom Kha Gai
I am making a soup with a similar flavor profile and certain ingredients.
I have a beautiful chicken stock in the fridge from the carcass (and some meaty bits) of a pastured, fresh-killed chicken that I had then spatchcocked and grilled.
I have some poached chicken breast.
I have coconut milk.
I have mushrooms & green onions.
My Holy Basil is nearing its end and I want a good use for it.
I can harvest some lemon grass from my window ledge nursery.
I have Jasmin rice.
I like this soup to be colorful and full of veggies. Maybe I’ll add some fresh turmeric root (curcuma).
I don’t have tofu.
I have u8 prawns, but I don’t want to use them; I have four Caribbean lobster tails (colas de langostas) and I think I’ll use two of them!
I have fish sauce and soy sauce. I have garlic & ginger.
I just ran to Fruver (one of the many local produce markets nearby) and bought the rest of what I’ll need.
I got cilantro, zucchini, red bell pepper, and soy bean sprouts.
Here’s the plan (it’s now 11:06am):
Process and prepare all vegetables: wash and pluck cilantro, wash bean sprouts, mince garlic, mince ginger root, slice mushrooms, slice green onions, confetti chop red bell pepper, slice zucchini into half-moons. Cover all and/or refrigerate as necessary. But in reality, I’ll probably do much of the chopping closer to when they’ll be used. But everything will be washed and ready in advance.
Enrich stock with lemon grass, garlic, ginger root, cilantro stems, leek tops, lime zest, turmeric root, and shrimp shells that I have saved in the freezer.
Meanwhile, I have an excess of blueberries, so I’m also making Blueberry Cobbler (via NYTimes and thanks to Chez Panisse).
Scratch that. I thought I had cream, which is needed for the cobbler. I do not have cream.
So instead, I’m going to make a Blueberry Crisp using my Grandmother’s Apple Crisp recipe.
Maybe I’ll substitute cardamom for cinnamon and add some of the Holy Basil.
Update: It's now 2:45pm and stock is being enriched and flavored.
Update: 4:20, going to check on stock (and strain, if it is time) and start prepping veggies while watching my stories. After checking it a bit earlier, the smell was intoxicating. I removed about half of the shrimp shells (I didn't want them to overpower), which I think will have been a good decision.
Update: 5:25pm, with some thoughts on stock that I may share another time.
Update: 6:58pm, and the final assembly begins.
Pre-poached chicken breast (i.e. left-overs), shredded.
Mushrooms, sliced; peppers, diced; zucchini, sliced.
Update: 6:21: Starting to come together. Stock enriching more with lobster shells (my fish sauce was expired so I wanted to boost that flavor; probably should have left the shrimp shells in earlier). Those will be removed soon and everything else put in.
Rice is in progress.
Blueberry Crisp, done. (Forgot the basil.)
Update: Wednesday the 8th at 11:33am
It was like a elixer; it cleansed the senses.
Final steps after steeping the lobster shells in the final stained broth with garlic and ginger:
Add zucchini & mushrooms (pre-cooked independently), red bell peppers, shredded chicken, and bean sprouts.
Stir in cooked lobster meat and coconut milk. Lots of cilantro and basil. Finish with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil & chile oil for heat. And a bit of hot sauce for good measure.