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Sunday Night Food Thread (SNiFT): February 14, 2016

Join us for a Valentine's Day edition of SNiFT, where it might get a little romantic all up in here.

WHOO!  bfd!!!!!
WHOO! bfd!!!!!
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome, everybody, to a Valentine's Day edition of SNiFT!  Here at the bfd household, we usually keep it simple for V Day.  I got Mrs. bfd chocolate, coconut water, a candle, and a single, beautiful red rose.  She gave me (EDIT: OH THE HUMANITY YOU CAN'T PRINT THAT HERE ~Tim).  For lunch, I treated Mrs. bfd and the niblets to Sunflower, a Vietnamese restaurant on the north side of town here in Austin.  We'll follow up with a hike and game night tonight.  We're keeping it simple and pleasurable (EDIT: STOP.  NOW.  ~Tim).

Speaking of simple, even what's seemingly complex is actually simple, especially if you can get the correct ingredients.  One of our favorite dishes is tom kha or Thai coconut soup.  In the same shopping center as our beloved Sunflower above, there's also an Asian grocery store, so it's easy for us to get great ingredients.  If you live in Houston, there are a number of fantastic Asian grocery stores dotted throughout the city.  If you live in Dallas, that's your own damn fault.

Even if you can't find everything the recipe below calls for, you can always ad lib a little.  Sometimes, the point isn't to be perfect, but it's to make the journey.

bfd's Tom Kha

  • 1 lb protein of your choice (we usually use tofu, but this is a good place to use sliced white chicken meat, which is otherwise utterly worthless)
  • 1 T toasted sesame oil or coconut oil
  • 2 cans coconut milk (we use one regular and one light, but we often use a third can)
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 to 2 inch piece galangal or ginger, peeled and diced finely
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, bottoms sliced off, outer peel removed, cut into 1" slices, and bruised with the back of a knife (sub. dried lemongrass or lemongrass tea, steeped in the soup)
  • 1 white onion, cut into chunks
  • 2 T garlic
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves, ripped into pieces (or substitute extra lime juice with below or lime zest)
  • 8 oz. mushrooms (white button or oyster are excellent choices)
  • 5-10 Thai chilis, diced, depending on your spice tolerance (sub serranos)
  • 1 T amino acids or soy sauce
  • 2 T fish sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Handful cilantro, chopped but not until the end
  • Serve over rice, rice noodles, or eat as is

In this case, it's definitely best to prep everything aside from the cilantro first as this recipe can go pretty quickly.

Over medium heat, add the oil and saute the onions until almost translucent.  Add the garlic, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and ginger.  Fry this up for about a minute or two until the smell of the ginger fills your kitchen, and you start drooling on yourself.

Add the following to the party: coconut milk, broth, protein, mushrooms, amino acids, thai chilis, and fish sauce.  Bring just up to a boil, then let simmer, stirring the soup gently.  Let simmer very gently until the protein and mushrooms are cooked through.  Turn off the heat and add the lime juice and cilantro, incorporating them - again - gently.

Serve over rice.  Remove pants.  Greedily consume.

What's cooking for you tonight, BRB?

Please feel free to use this as tonight's open thread.  Standard blog guidelines and rules apply.  Discontinue use if a rash occurs.  As always, SNiFT is a pants-free thread.