Souper Tasty!!

A couple of weeks ago my sister in law came out to visit from L.A. to see the cutest baby in the whole of the universe (Ok I may be a bit biased…but seriously…have you seen him?). While she was here we were trying to figure out where to eat. I had wanted to go to a steak restaurant because the week before I got completely robbed of a juicy steak. Here is the story:

My friend Amber had her son two weeks before I had mine. So we were invited to her sons birthday party the same day that the husband and I had planned a double date. Luckily she planned it for noon and our date wasn’t until 4 so we were in the clear but we got there and the pizza she was going to order hadn’t been ordered yet. It was probably about 1:30 before we ate and she was super sweet and ordered me a gluten free pizza. So naturally I felt like I should eat as much of it as I could and on top of that it was the Baked Potato Pizza from Pizza Luce which is delish!! So on top of eating a poop ton of pizza it was basically all carbs and just sat in my stomach like a solid brick.

For our double date we were supposed to go to Outback steak house and then go see the Body Worlds exhibit at the Science Museum. I had really been looking forward to a nice juicy steak all week long and was so perturbed at myself that I was so full that I basically just sat at the steak house pouting like a giant 4 year old. I was so full of carby pizza that I literally didn’t need to eat dinner that night. When I went to bed about midnight I was still full.

Ok so fast forward to my sister in laws visit. I still wanted steak in the worst way but it sounded like they wanted sushi or Asian food which makes sense since they are both Asian. I was not in the mood for Asian so we all settled for Thai which I like a whole lot and it was a happy medium. We went to a restaurant called Pad Thai which my husband and I have been to a couple of times and liked a whole lot.

I’m pretty adventurous when it comes to trying new food and since I think she’s actually been to Thailand I let her make recommendations for dinner (especially since she was paying). She recommended a soup called Ghang Kha which is a chicken coconut soup. I was a bit skeptical but boy when I tasted it….WOOOO!!! It was so good and I knew I had to make it.

Last night I was shopping online for wine and wondered about the name of the wine I ordered. I did some investigating and I went to the site for Pad Thai to see if they showed what the brand was. No luck. BUT! While I was on the site I looked up the name of the soup and planned to make it tonight since we both liked it a whole bunch.

Now when I went to look up the recipe online I could not find it but the recipe for Tom Kha Gai kept coming up. So I looked at the recipe and low and behold that was the same soup. I’m not sure if the name Ghang Kha is specific to that restaurant, the region where the owners are from or what but it’s the same soup.

Souper tasty!!!

Souper tasty!!!

This soup utilizes the juice of lime, leaves of keffir lime, lemon grass and ginger to create this wonderfully rich broth that is so fabulous. It’s just the right balance of salty and zesty tanginess that makes this dish so delightful. The mushrooms add an earthy undertone  and the coconut milk adds a silky sweetness that compliments the full bodied flavor as it dances across your tongue.

The hardest part about making this soup is the same gripe I have about cooking all Asian food. The chopping. I learned a long time ago after making what I called “White Girl Mistakes” that you need to do ALL the chopping BEFORE you cook anything. The steps for Asian food go so fast that if you have to stop to chop something the dish doesn’t turn out the same.

I took complete advantage of this and had my husband chop the lemon grass and score the lime leaves while I cut up the chicken, mushrooms and ginger. Sometimes I forget how much fun it is to have him in the kitchen with me. We always have a good times and laugh a lot when we cook together. We need more of that.

After you get everything chopped it’s all downhill from there.

Son number one was a bit skeptical about this soup as it was something he hadn’t tried before but he loved it. Even son number two loved it and ate quite a bit of it. This dish definitely made it into our rotation.

RatingI give this dish four wooden spoons mostly because I am not a fan of all the chopping but the flavor and the smiles were all worth it!!

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Grilled Flank Steak with Ginger marinade? Yes please!!

Sometimes I like to watch cooking shows. A lot of times I feel like they are over my head but sometimes I find shows that I really feel a connection with.

Ask Aida on the cooking channel is just such a show. She features easy to cook meals that pretty much anyone can understand and cook.

So a couple months back I was watching her show and she featured a recipe for grilled flank steak. You can find the recipe HERE. Now, I’ve never had flank steak and had no idea what a flank steak even was. You might remember flank steak from  your favorite fajita recipe. That’s right! It’s the same cut of meat. Now that I’ve cooked with flank steak I am most definitely going to go looking for a fajita (pronounced fa*G*ta in my house for fun) recipe because well, the husband like fajitas so why not!? A full man is a happy man especially on good food! Besides, flank steak is pretty cheap. We picked ours up at Costco for about $10 and the nice part was it was already trimmed of extra fat and sinew (what on earth is sinew??)

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Mmm…looks mighty tasty…

The hardest part of this recipe was cutting up the ginger. I had no idea that ginger was hairy on the inside. Did you?? Well, you learn something new every day. The recipe says to cut the ginger thinly so I decided to try to be clever and use a vegetable peeler but as soon as I got to the middle that plan fell apart. Even using a knife I had a hard time cutting it. Perhaps I need a new set of knives? *hint hint Santa baby* I’m also not a big fan of peeling garlic either. You smash it to help peel it but then your fingers get all sticky…and blah. That just bites. One other thing I had an issue with was that I forgot to add the lime juice right away. I added it when I took it out to let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. My husband said he didn’t think it made much of a difference. We’ll see though because I am TOTALLY going to make this again.

The only thing I changed in this recipe was that I added Garlic Chili Paste. I put in a 1/2 teaspoon and it added a really nice zing. Now, for those of you who don’t like spicy foods (and you can put me in that camp too) it isn’t going to make you not eat it. It just adds a nice zing…that’s it. Not really any heat. One of the other nice things about this recipe is that there are people who like juicy red meat and others that like their meat well done. Well, this dish accommodates everyone. Those who like the well done bits eat the ends and those who like the juicy red bits eat the middle. Holy buckets! Everyone is happy!

The meat was so soft and flavorful!! I served it over rice and the husband went wild over this. Definitely adding this to our rotation. I give this recipe 5 wooden spoons for its ease of prep, short cooking time and mega flavor!

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