Sunday, April 20, 2014

Thai Twist {Recipe ReDux}

It's April 21, and in my world that has always meant the day between my brother and my birthday, or sometimes even the day we celebrated together. Currently, it means time for my monthly Recipe ReDux post! I haven't been posting as often as I'd like lately, but I always try to plan to participate on the 21st. The April theme this year is: Treasured Cookware – Share a story of classic cookware – and a healthy recipe to go with it. Some of us will be celebrating Mother’s Day next month (May 11,) but it’s more than once a year that many of us cook with a pan, a wooden spoon or another piece of cookware passed on to us from the kitchens of our favorite relatives. Let’s see what you can cook up with your treasured kitchen tool!

I thought this was a great topic, since we often have a food specific theme, and I am very excited to see the variety that comes out of it. I had many items to consider since I often get kitchen related gifts - such as the tagine my parents gave me yesterday.  I have platters and a cake plate from my grandma, wine glasses from my mother-in-law, various gadget from my bridal shower, etc. However, with our recent winter-like weather, I was inspired to make a soup and use the ceramic french onion soup bowls I have from my mom. I even used the homemade placemats she gave me for Christmas in some of the shots.

I've made french onion soup at least twice before, but since I love tom yum gai soup so much, I thought I would try a Thai twist and play around with the flavours. 

Thai Twist French Onion Soup
Serves 4

1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
5 medium white onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
pinch of salt and pepper
1 piece fresh ginger (2-3", size of your thumb), grated
1 lemon grass stalk, smashed & cut into 3 pieces
1-2 red Thai chili peppers, thinly sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups beef broth
1/2 whole wheat baguette
1/2-1 cup Emmental cheese, shredded 

1. Melt butter and oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. I learned from chef Michael Smith that combining the two protects the butter and it's flavour from burning (and I also use his concept of caramelizing the onions). Add the onions, sugar, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, and a splash of water. Stir and cover, cooking for 10-15 minutes.
2. Remove the lid and reduce to medium low, stirring frequently to keep the onions from sticking, for about 30-40 minutes until the onions take on a darker caramel colour.
3. Add the ginger, lemon grass, chili pepper(s), garlic, and broth. Simmer for 25 minutes. Meanwhile slice the 1/2 baguette into 1/2" pieces (I made 8) and turn on your broiler. Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and lightly toast each side.
4. Remove the lemon grass and discard. Spoon the soup into four oven safe dishes, top with toasted bread and shredded cheese. Place under broiler until cheese is melted. Serve and enjoy!
This variation adds a hint of spice and more complex flavours to a traditional dish. It was perfect for our rainy Sunday and will definitely be made again in my home.
See below for the cookware that inspired my fellow dietitians and their recipe creations. Feel free to share a story about cookware that you've received and/or that inspires you in the kitchen.

Happy eating!
Steph Langdon, RD