Thai Coconut Lemongrass Soup

I am a huge fan of Thai food and frequently visit Chelsea Thai (in Chelsea Market) for their Tom Ka Gai soup. It’s sweet, sour, and spicy all at the same time.  I’ve always wanted to try and make it myself, so today I went for it! I made my version without chicken and just stuck to veggies. I added some bok choy that I got in my CSA this week which I thought was a nice addition. I am lucky to have had my best friend bring me back spices from her trip to Thailand recently, so a few of the “what the heck is that” ingredients were already on hand. If you end up making this soup, Whole Foods has a great selection of spices etc and should have what you need. The soup came out better than I could have hoped for- it tasted just like Chelsea Thai!

Ingredients: (adapted from Atelier Christine)
Serves 2

1 cup coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup water
2-3 lemongrass stalks, pressed down with a knife (like you do to garlic) and cut into 3 inch pieces
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon Thai galangal powder
2 small shallots, one cut in half & the other minced
1-2 small Thai red chilies, depending on preferred heat
2 baby bok choy bunches, ends trimmed and roughly chopped
1/2 can of straw mushrooms
1/2 can of bamboo shoots
1/8 cup coconut cream
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 small limes, juiced (saving half a lime for serving)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (and a few sprigs left whole)

In a heavy bottomed pot, add the first 8 ingredients and bring to a simmer along with a few cilantro sprigs as well. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, adding all the liquid back to the pot along with the lemongrass and red chilies. Discard the rest. Next add the remainder of the ingredients- bok choy, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, coconut cream, fish sauce, lime juice, and cilantro. Cook for another 10 minutes. Serve with a small wedge of lime for an extra squeeze!

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Sweet Potato, Chorizo, & Caramelized Onion Empanadas

I first have to start this post with the introduction of my NEW cutting board that my fathers amazing girlfriend (whom we call “prinnie”) personally made me. I was completely blown away when it came in the mail, and couldn’t believe she made it by hand. I had been complaining that I couldn’t find the right cutting board anywhere, so her solution was to just make one! Pretty inspiring- you really can learn to make anything if you put a little time and love into it. THANK YOU Prinnie!! She is now selling them on her new website for others to enjoy as well!

Ingredients:
1 box pie dough (or homemade if you have time!)
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup manchego cheese, shredded
Smoked paprika for topping
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)

Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees.

Toss the sweet potato in some olive oil and roast on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 30 minutes or until fully cooked. Once it’s done, mash it in a bowl with the butter, cumin, cinnamon, and salt and pepper. While the potato is cooking, get the rest of the fillings ready to go. Add a tiny bit of olive oil to a pan and brown the chorizo, then set it aside in a bowl with a paper towel to drain the fat. In the same pan, cook the onions in the leftover sausage drippings until golden brown and caramelized. Toss in the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute or two.

On a floured surface, roll the dough out so it is 1/4 of an inch thick, then cut 5 to 6-inch round circles (I simply used a bowl to make my circles) Place a tablespoon of sweet potatoes on one half of the circles, then add a scoop of chorizo, followed by some caramelized onions, and pinch of cheese. Don’t fill them too much that they are hard to close! Brush edges with a little egg wash and fold the dough over, pressing the edges down with a fork. Cut a little sliver into the top of each pie, this will help them vent while cooking. Brush the tops of the empanadas with some egg wash and sprinkle with a small pinch of smoked paprika. Bake until crust is golden, about 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!

Kale Pesto Pizza With Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese

I make pizza at home a lot, but I have never tried adding beets before! It wasn’t what I expected, and I loved it. I think it especially tasted great with the kale pesto and goat cheese. I had also never used whole wheat dough before, and was actually a pretty big fan! It added a nice flavor that complimented the rest of the ingredients. Overall a pretty delicious (and healthier than usual) pizza!

Ingredients- (Adapted from A Passionate Plate)

Kale Pesto:
1 small bunch of kale
3 garlic cloves, roasted
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Other:
Whole wheat pizza dough
4 small beets, roasted and sliced
2 small Yukon potatoes, sliced
Goat cheese
Small handful pine nuts, toasted
Olive oil, for drizzle

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice beets in half and place in an aluminum foil “pouch” with the garlic and drizzle with some olive oil. Cook for 20 minutes in the oven or until the beets can easily be pierced with a knife. I used small candied beets so they cooked faster than say a regular size beet which could take 40 minutes or so. While those cook, thinly slice the potato and simultaneously cook those in the oven for 10 minutes, or until slightly browned. In the meantime, de-stem the kale and blanch it for 30 seconds in boiling water, then transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Squeeze out the excess water and place in a food processor with the olive oil, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, lemon juice, and roasted garlic from the oven. Blend until you have a pesto consistency, then salt and pepper to taste.

Roll out the pizza dough on a floured surface. Spread some of the kale pesto, then top with the roasted potatoes, beets, and goat cheese. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until the crust is slightly browned. Top with some fresh pepper and toasted pine nuts. I also drizzled a little olive oil to finish it off, but this is optional. Enjoy!

Vanilla Seared Scallops With Swiss Chard & Grapefruit


I’ve never cooked scallops before, but my sister Devon was telling me about a recipe she came up with the other day where she seared some scallops in brown butter and vanilla, so I really wanted to try it! They came out great! The sweet scallops were nice with the bitterness of the grapefruit and Swiss chard. Overall a successful first scallop attempt- so thanks Dev! If you’re not a fan of bitter greens, bok choy or spinach would be a nice alternative.

Ingredients:
4 jumbo scallops
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 shallot, finely chopped
Thin slice of fresh ginger, minced
1 small bunch of Swiss chard, washed and lightly chopped
1 small grapefruit, segmented and cut into smaller chunks
1 tablespoon grapefruit juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Start by removing and discarding any muscle tabs still attached to the scallops (if they have any) then pat dry with a paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper. Add the butter and vanilla to a medium frying pan over high heat. Once the liquid is hot (but not smoking) add the scallops. Sear them for about 2-3 minutes on one, then flip over and sear on the other side for another 2-3 minutes. You want them to get nicely caramelized on each side but without overcooking. Place on a plate and cover with some foil to keep warm while you quickly cook the greens.

In another medium frying pan, heat two tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the shallot for a few minutes. Add the Swiss chard and cook down for a few minutes until wilted. Next add the grapefruit juice and chunks, followed by a little pepper. Plate some of the Swiss chard and grapefruit, and top with the seared scallops and any juice leftover from the scallop pan. Enjoy!