Please make this tomorrow. Granted, you must like thai food and cheese and butter. I mean, cheese. CHEESE.
I almost always order a bowl of Tom Kha from this Thai restaurant in Houston and eat it up with rice. It's great Thai style comfort food. I grew up eating my mom's chicken soup with fried rice mixed in and people thought it was weird. It's not weird. Don't make people feel weird about what they eat. Back to the soup, Tom Kha is full of flavor from the lemon grass, ginger, and red curry paste. There's no need for salt or black pepper in this recipe. I used the curry paste as a cheat because I could not find the galangal and kaffir lime leaves that give this soup it's signature taste. The red curry paste includes these two ingredients. Granted, I could have made an extra stop to the Asian market on my way, but I didn't want to. All the ingredients listed in this recipe can be found at your grocery store.
Feel free to omit the chicken from the soup if you would like to make the soup vegetarian. Add some extra veggies like sliced red bell pepper, or snap peas, or even tofu to make up for the chicken. It's a great flavorful soup with an added richness from the coconut milk. Use fresh ingredients and a good chicken stock. Or vegetable stock. I adapted the recipe for the soup from Bon Appetit, best foodie resource ever.
Instead of rice, I decided on grilled cheese because cravings. I upped the ante on the grilled cheese by making a batch of browned butter seasoned with curry powder that was used to coat the inside and outside of the sandwich. I'll probably use the leftover butter to make my eggs tomorrow morning. Butter is a good fat. I hope you all know this. Moderation is key.
Tom Kha Gai (adapted from Bon Appetit)
2 stalks lemongrass, woody leaves discarded, cut into large chunks1 in. piece of ginger, peeled, cut in half
1 thai pepper, sliced in half lengthwise
zest and juice of 3 limes
4 cups chicken broth
1 lb. sliced chicken breast
oyster mushrooms, sliced thin
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbs Thai red curry paste
1 13.5 oz can coconut milk (full-fat)
1 tbs fish sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
cilantro, chili oil, lime wedges (garnish)
Bring to a boil the chicken broth with the lemongrass, ginger, thai pepper, lime zest, and lime juice. Once boiling, bring down the heat and allow the broth to simmer for 15 minutes. This will allow all the good stuff to get infused in the broth.
Drain the broth through a sieve/colander into another heat proof bowl. Discard the chunks. Carefully transfer the broth into the pot and place back on the heat.
Add the sliced chicken and bring the broth back to a boil. Add mushrooms, tomatoes, and curry paste and let all of this simmer for 30 minutes so the flavors come together.
Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, and brown sugar. Allow this to simmer for a few minutes. Serve hot with cilantro, lime wedges, and chili oil. Enjoy!
Curry Brown Butter Grilled Cheese
4 tbs unsalted butter
1 tsp curry powder
4 slices sourdough
4 slices Muenster cheese
In a small saucepan over medium heat. Add butter, let it melt and foam up. Begin whisking continuously until the butter takes on a dark yellow tinge and smells nutty. Once you see the brown bits appear, add curry powder and whisk for 15 seconds. Take the saucepan off the heat and continue to whisk.
Using a brush, brush on the seasoned butter on one side of all the bread slices. Or use a spoon to drizzle on the slices. Add 1 slice of cheese to each slice of bread. Assemble the sandwiches. Brush one side of the bread with the browned butter and grill over medium heat until crispy. While the buttered side cooks, brush the top of the sandwich with butter. Flip and cook other side until crisp and cheese is melted.