September 21, 2011

Tom Kha Gai

by Erin Elizabeth

What I had for dinner tonight…this soup is one of my favorite things to order whenever I go to Thai restaurants, but I always thought it would be impossible to make at home because it has a delicious layered flavor of sour, sweet, and salty. Turns out it is actually really easy and only took me about 30 minutes. What was not quite as easy to do was to find all the necessary ingredients. You will probably need to check out your local Asian market. If you live in the Columbia area I recommend the Oriental International Market on Decker Blvd. Also, watch out on the chilies I actually used 3 in mine and think I actually finally met my heat quota. One last note, this is actually Thai chicken coconut soup, however, in an attempt to be a little bit healthier I made it vegetarian and used vegetable broth and mushrooms.

1 cup vegetable broth
1.5 cups coconut milk, I recommend light.
1 stalk of lemongrass (only the white part)
6 slices of peeled ginger
4 kaffir lime leaves
2 serrano chilies
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
10 baby bella mushrooms
2 tablespoons cilantro

1. Cut the lemongrass into 2 inch pieces then beat with a mallet to release the flavor.
2. Pour the veggie broth into a sauce pan, bring to a boil and add the ginger, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.
3. Simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Add the coconut milk, chilies, fish sauce and sugar.
5. Simmer 5 more minutes.
6. Add the mushrooms and simmer 5 more minutes.
7. Take off heat and garnish with lime juice and cilantro.

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July 12, 2010

Summer Pasta

by Erin Elizabeth

This summer in Vermont we have delightfully dubbed South Royalton “Nerd Camp”. What exactly does Nerd Camp entail? In a nut shell, a lot of fun and river culture. I’ve spent my time, when I’m not in class or working at Rural Vermont, laying in a hammock out behind my house reading, sunning on the rocks by the river, wandering around various farms, spending afternoons on the porch at Shari’s discussing agriculture policy and bluegrass, and either tubing or kayaking down the river until the sunsets. Let me tell you, Nerd Camp is like your traditional camp, but only much, much more fun. One thing this means is that I haven’t had a ton of time to cook, because I would rather be outside soaking up the sun and on the water. What it also means is that when I finally do make it home I’m pretty tired from all the activities. In that respect I’ve turned to making fairly simple, quick meals like this one. Continue reading

July 12, 2010

Green Curry Beef

by Erin Elizabeth

This past week I went to DC to visit my friend Caroline from the College of Charleston. Caroline is from DC and returned home after graduation to work there. I love visiting DC and try to see her at least two times a year up there. Since I’ve stayed with Caroline several times I’ve already covered the standard DC activities. This past weekend another friend, Stephanie, from undergrad also came up to DC to hang out with us for the weekend. Friday night we started out at an amazing restaurant called OYA for dinner. Me and Caroline started with seaweed salad and Stephanie started with the Ramen. We all got 2 sushi rolls for our main course and everything was fabulous. Fresh fish and great service. The inside is so hip and all white; I was in love. Afterwards we went down to a chocolate bar and got desserts and drinks. I got a chocolate banana martini, which I cannot remember the name of, but it came with a slice of chocolate covered banana that I will not forget! Following that we went to the W for drinks on the rooftop. At this point I had moved on to water, but it still offered amazing views of the Capital. Continue reading

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