Friday, November 27, 2009
Thai Food and More Bowling.
I seem to have developed insomnia over the last two nights, with the result that this morning I don't feel much like anything, so this will probably not be much of a blog. Thoroughly enjoyed our Travel League bowling yesterday although one group didn't turn up for some reason. Our bunch started with lunch at the My Thai and almost everyone really enjoyed what they ate. One of our number was not happy with the crispy vegetables which is something of a surprise in this day and age. Matt had the ginger chicken and I had a seafood and noodles soup which was pretty spicy and way too much really. I felt full to bursting when I had finished it. I suppose it was Tom Yum soup although they don't use Thai labels for their food. It was very good, but I think I would ask for less if I had it again. I have a Thai cookbook which I have never used, I really should do so one of these days. Then, the bowling itself was great fun, there were only 14 bowlers in the end and they mixed us up - everyone was cheering for everyone else and we all had a very good afternoon with one exception, we always get donuts and these were stale. I bowled pretty well and one of my group bowled a 300 game so he was very pleased with himself. As more and more alleys seem to be dropping out of the travel league, we are planning to maybe just form a group and tour round to different alleys anyway. Our 'leader' if you like to call her that, is the ex proprietor of a bowling alley which they sold, but she still organises us to go on the travel league once a month. As she said yesterday, there were more bowlers there from an alley which no longer existed. Today, of course, is our regular senior league bowling. Here is a somewhat different version of Tom Yum Soup from About.com. Easy Tom Yum Soup with Coconut Milk ("Tom Khaa") Source: Darlene Schmidt Aside from being one of the most popular soups in Thailand, Tom Yum Soup has many health benefits, due its potent combination of herbs and spices. In fact, this Thai soup is currently under scientific study, as it appears to have immune-boosting power as a natural remedy for cold and flu viruses. In my version of the soup, I've included coconut milk (officially "Tom Khaa") which I find adds both richness and flavor while still keeping the soup super healthy. ENJOY! Ingredients: * 3-4 cups chicken stock (this makes enough soup to serve 2 people - double the recipe for 4 or more) * 1 stalk lemongrass, lower 1/3 minced (for instructions on how to prepare lemongrass, see link below) * 3 kaffir lime leaves (available fresh or frozen at Asian food stores) * 12-14 medium or large raw shrimp, shelled * 2 Tbsp. fish sauce * 1-2 small red chilies, minced OR 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili (to taste) * 3 cloves garlic, minced * optional: a handful of cherry tomatoes * generous handful fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced thinly * 1 green and/or red bell pepper, sliced * 1/2 can coconut milk (or more to taste) * 1/3 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped * optional: additional red chilies, OR Nam Prik Pao Chili Sauce (1-2 tsp.) * optional: 1 tsp. brown sugar, and a sqeeze of lime juice Preparation: 1. For instructions on how to buy, prepare, and cook with lemongrass, see: All About Lemongrass. 2. Pour stock into a deep cooking pot and turn heat to medium-high. 3. Add processed lemongrass to the pot, including the parts of the lemongrass stalk you didn't slice. Boil for 5 minutes, or until fragrant. 4. Add garlic, chili, lime leaves, and mushrooms to broth. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes. 5. Add shrimp, bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes (if using). Cook 5-6 minutes, or until shrimp is pink and plump. 6. Turn down the heat to low and add 1/2 can coconut milk plus fish sauce. Test-test the soup for spice and salt, adding more chili and/or fish sauce (instead of salt) as desired. If too sour for your taste, add 1 tsp. brown sugar; if too salty, add a squeeze of lime juice. Add more coconut milk if you want your soup richer/creamier, or if it's too spicy for your taste. 7. Serve in bowls with fresh coriander sprinkled over. Enjoy!! (See below for more variations on this recipe.) Variations: * If you prefer chicken over seafood, substitute chicken breast for shrimp (cut the chicken into bite-size pieces). * Rice noodles can also be added for a delicious noodle-soup version of Tom Yum. Have a great day.