Monday, 21 October 2013

Thai Coconut Carrot Ginger Soup

Mmm... Thai! I don't know about where you live, but the kosher food situation in Toronto is pretty destitute. *Sadface*. All we have is burgers, falafel, pizza, shawarma, and... oh some more falafel! Don't get me wrong, I love all of these things, but where's the Indian and Thai??? Whenever I talk about the food situation, I end the sentence by saying 'this is why I cook!' If I didn't cook, I think I would be seriously depressed!! And no, I do not want to open a restaurant. Not for me, I'll stick to Social Work, thank you very much! I am quite content cooking at home and sharing wonderful recipes with the world on my blog!
This recipe was inspired by a delicious soup I tried in this amazing restaurant Thai Treats in Miami! It's called Tom Kha Gai, and it is a creamy coconut chicken soup with ginger/galangal and lime (understated by me so look it up!) I dream about it sometimes at night; it's that good! As much as it is sad that there is no good quality kosher food in Toronto, I am comforted by the fact that I can make authentic dishes like this at home, and hope to share more with you soon! This soup is quite simple to make, but will definitely impress your guests! 'Nuff said, lets get to it!

Thai Coconut Carrot Ginger Soup
Serves 4
2 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil (coconut gives it a nice Thai flavour)
1 red or white onion, diced
2 stalks celery (optional), cut small
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 birds eye chili, minced (optional, or pinch chili flakes)
1/2 tsp minced garlic
6 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
4 1/2 cups water
1 tsp (or so) salt
1/3 can coconut milk
Slices of fresh lime to garnish
In a large pot, melt coconut oil on medium-high heat. Saute onion and celery until softened. Stir in ginger, garlic and chili if using. After another minute of cooking, add in carrots. Cook for five minutes, stirring often. Pour in water and season with salt, to taste. Bring to a boil, and then cover and lower heat to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until carrots are soft. Puree soup, adding a little water if too thick. Once pureed, pour in coconut milk, and stir until combined. Serve soup hot with a wedge of lime to squeeze on top! So yummy!!!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Tomato-covered pesto tilapia

Hello world! (again!!) Sorry for my absence, I have been thinking a lot about blogging and wishing I had more time for it, but I don't :(... Anyways, I have another great recipe for you, which was inspired by my insane brain trying to think of what to make with leftover pesto I made the week before!!! My brain takes me places I never knew existed before! Actually it is similar to a recipe I made before with olive tapenade instead of pesto... I'll link you to it as it is also quite yummy! Anyways, I love to explore different nationalities when I cook. This pesto took me to... Italy! I served this tilapia with zucchini risotto! All I needed was a glass of wine and I was there! Oh the possibilities of cooking! Enjoy this recipe and don't be afraid to improvise!

Tomato topped pesto tilapia:

4 fillets tilapia, skin optional
5 tbsp parsley walnut pesto, recipe below
2 tomatoes, sliced thinly
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 400°. Pour olive oil in the bottom of a glass pan. I didn't have a big enough pan or oven (I used a toaster oven), so I had to split it into two, which was fine. Using your hands, smear the oil all around the bottom of the pan. Place tilapia skin-side down in the pan. Spoon pesto onto the tops of the fish, and use the spoon to smear it all over. Don't be too afraid to use a lot, because it gets less strong when cooked. Cover fish with thinly sliced tomato rounds. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put in oven for 15-20 minutes, until fish is firm and cooked, and tomatoes are cooked well. Broil on high for a few minutes to get some colour, but make sure not to overcook the fish, otherwise it will be dry. Enjoy!!

Parsley walnut pesto:
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, washed and cut up
1/3 cup walnuts
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a blender, put in parsley, walnuts and garlic. Add a little cold water to help the blending process, and slowly drizzle in the olive oil through the hole in the top of the blender. Add salt and pepper and blend until consistency is smooth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. You can use pesto in almost anything! You can put it in sandwiches, pasta, salads, grilled chicken, the opportunities are endless! Busy in brooklyn did a great post on the endless varieties of pesto, and here it is:.