Posts tagged ‘cuisine’

January 7, 2011

Persephone’s Takeaway | Monkfish Tom Yum

I get it: the snow is falling, the wind is blowing, the streets are slippery.  You can’t be bothered to leave the warmth of hearth and home.  Well, here’s a dish that’s the perfect replacement for a phone call to the takeaway.  It’s bursting with the beautiful, aromatic, authentic Thai flavors that will transform your kitchen into a worthy competitor to a bought in meal, while offering the same warmth and hospitality of your favorite Thai restaurant.

There are as many versions of Tom Yum as there are cooks.  It’s a wonderfully warming soup that feels at once healing and satisfying.  I included mung beans to add some extra substance for these tough winter months, but they’re entirely optional, particularly if your goal is the thin, broth-y elixir that you traditionally find at your local Thai eatery.  Just know that if you honor the basics and the traditions of southeast Asian cuisine, you really can’t go wrong with a bit of improvisation.

Tom Yum with Lemongrass Monkfish Serves 2

For the Soup:

6 c of vegetable, fish, or chicken stock, I used crab stock

1 shallot, sliced

2 cloves garlic, grated

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December 13, 2010

Dining Out | Lunch at Lüke

South Texas has a long growing season, plentiful meats, feathered and furred game, and lots of space to grow and roam.  Why has it been so hard to find it?  I had an opportunity to meet CIA-trained  Chef Steve McHugh after a demo at the Pearl Farmer’s Market.  He may be planting the flag for San Antonio’s late- blooming local-food movement.  Having grown up on a Wisconsin farm, Chef McHugh knows a thing or two about how great local, fresh-from-the-farm produce can taste.  He sources many of his ingredients for Lüke from vendors at Pearl, all of whom are within 150 miles of San Antonio.  The salad he made at the market, which is on the menu, included Humble House baby blue cheese – some of the prettiest I’ve ever seen – snuggled up next to chili-spiced pistachios and candied beets.  I looked over the menus and decided we would cancel our lunch reservations to eat at the three-week-old bistro, Lüke. 

Lüke, on the Riverwalk, is the new sister to the original in New Orleans.  As a John Besh restaurant, Lüke has definite French Quarter flavor.  But there are menu touches here and there that make you remember you are in South Texas.

We started with cocktails, a French “75” for me and a Sazerac for Hades.

To start, I couldn’t resist the pâté de campagne of wild boar.  Served with watermelon pickles, mustard and a gelee, the pâté was luscious spread on crispy olive oil toasts.  Equally intriguing in terms of a first course would have been the fried Texas quail, which I will be sure to try next visit.

Hades ordered from the express lunch menu, which included a cup of soup.  He wisely chose the shrimp and sausage gumbo.

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