Monthly Archives: November 2008

Thai coconut soup

I just finished my first non-Doritos based meal of the weekend: this tasty, spicy Thai-ish soup adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. I bought the book to try to spur myself into eating more veggies. So far I seem to only choose recipes that, while they contain no meat, also contain no vegetables. Well, baby steps.

Before I get to the soup, do you ever use Bittman’s recipes? I like him, but the timings always seem to be off. Or is it just me?

Neutral oil

An onion or two, chopped

Couple cloves of garlic, minced

A hunk of ginger, minced or grated

Tablespoon or so of lemongrass, minced

Tablespoon curry powder

1 or 2 chiles, chopped

1 litre vegetable stock

1 can coconut milk

2 tablespoons soy sauce

Juice of 1 lime

Cilantro to garnish

In a pan, cook the onion in the oil over medium heat until it is soft and started to brown, about 10-15 minutes. Toss in the garlic, ginger, curry powder, chile and lemongrass and stir it around for a minute or two. When it is all nice and hot, add the stock. Bring to a boil, and simmer.

After 10 minutes or so, add the coconut milk to the soup stock, and cook for another 5-10 minutes, until it’s thickened just a bit.  Add the soy sauce, lime juice and cilantro. Et voila, soup!

Note: As with most things I cook, this isn’t the handsomest soup. But it tastes good! And because I tend to overdue the chiles, and use hot curry powder, I serve the soup over rice.

If feeding more than two people, you’d need another dish.

An ominous sign

Slightly off topic, but we’re all cat lovers here. cat1

My father emailed two cat food recipes yesterday. Am I really such a crazy cat lady that my own father thinks I’m going to buy a pound and a half of wild shrimp for Prunella every two weeks?

That said, kelp powder aside, they don’t sound too terrible. If anyone gets sick of turkey leftovers, might I suggest Jack the Cat’s Turkey Tetrazzini? It’s turkey, stuffing and gravy all rolled into one. If the cats behave you could even share!cat2

The real deal

I’ve never particularly liked cranberry sauce, but finding a mouldy jar of supermarket stuff from Thanksgiving 2007 at the back of my fridge (yeah, yeah, I should probably clean out the fridge more often, but that is not the point of this little story) prompted me to make my own this year…and the result was a tasty treat, with very little effort.  Minimal work, maximum reward…

Cranberry Sauce with Port and Tangerine (from Epicurious)


  • 1 (12-ounce) bag fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup ruby Port
  • 3 (3- by 1/2-inch) strips tangerine zest
  • 1/3 cup tangerine juice (from about 2 tangerines)


Bring cranberries, sugar, Port, and zest to a simmer in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cranberries burst, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in juice. Cool completely.

Cooks’ note: Cranberry sauce can be made 1 week ahead and chilled in an airtight container.

The morning after

Well that was tasty. For the record, when I woke up at 6.30: still full; when I woke up at 8.30: hungry! So thank you Anna for the doggy bag.

My big revelation last night was the benefit of stuffing stuffing into something other than a buttered up baking dish. I helped myself to some stuffing straight out of the bird while “helping” Ryan carve, and it was like the platonic ideal of stuffing. I don’t know what was in it, couldn’t identify flavors – it just tasted exactly like what I thnk of when I think stuffing. Either that or just like my grandmothers.

But outside the bird, it was just good stuffing. Really good stuffing but not Special. So, lesson learned.