October 09, 2005

Oh my god, I don't have to say curried grass anymore.

I've finally figured out how to use Movable Type category tags. I'm the most brilliant person alive!

Thai Coconut Soup (modified from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics)

Lemongrass stock

5 cups water
5 fresh lemongrass stalks, roughly chopped (2 inches or so)
3-inch piece of fresh ginger root, sliced
3-inch piece of galangal, sliced
1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
(1/2 tsp salt)
( 1 tsp. powdered vegetable stock)

Put the water, lemongrass stalks, ginger, galangal, peppercorns, and coriander seeds into the most enormous soup pot you own (this makes a LOT of soup). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove lemongrass, ginger and galangal if desired. If you're using vegetable stock, add it now (use sparingly, only 1/2 or 1/3 as much as you'd normally use for that much water ). Otherwise, just add 1/2 tsp. salt.


3 cups coconut milk
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (juice of 6 small limes)
cayenne pepper or ground piquin chiles, to taste (I used about 1 tsp. piquin chiles)
1 large carrot, sliced
3 small leeks, coarsely chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 lb. firm tofu, drained and cubed
1 1/2 cups quartered small mushrooms
1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 tomato, cut into small chunks with skin on
3 or 4 green onions, minced

Add carrots, leeks, and celery, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add coconut milk, lime juice, cayenne or ground chiles, tofu, mushrooms, cilantro, and salt if needed. Cook on low heat for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and add tomato. Let stand for 1 minute to allow tomato to warm, and serve garnished with green onions.

I particularly recommend stirring in 1/4 cup of jasmine rice per bowl of soup, but don't store the soup and rice together as the rice will absorb all of the soup broth.

Blackberry Pie


2 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup cold water

Mix flour and salt in bowl. Pour canola oil into flour mixture and use pastry blender or forks (or stand mixer!) to mix it into the flour. Slowly pour in cold water while mixing; use only as much water as needed to make a dough that will form a ball without falling apart. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Divide dough into two balls and return one ball to refrigerator. Lay out other ball of dough on waxed paper and place another sheet of waxed paper on top. Roll out as thin as possible (around 1/16â) with rolling pin, remove top sheet of waxed paper, and gently flip crust into 8â glass pie plate. Trim edges.

Prick crust with fork, fill with pie weights (or a sheet of tinfoil weighed down with 2 cups of dry beans) and bake at 350 Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. While baking, remove other ball of dough from refrigerator and roll out the same way.

Pie Filling

5 cups fresh, or frozen and thawed, blackberries
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unbleached white flour

If berries are frozen, let them stand in a colander until mostly thawed to drain off ice and excess juice. Mix berries, sugar and flour in large bowl and pour into pre-baked pie crust. Gently lay second crust on top and use a sharp knife to cut 3 or 4 slits in it. Fold edges of top crust around and under edges of bottom crust (or simply pinch them together to seal).

Cover edges of pie with foil to keep them from overbrowning (the easiest way is to cut a large circle out of the center of a 12-inch square of foil). Bake at 375 Fahrenheit for 25 minutes, then remove foil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes more until top is slightly golden.

Pie will be liquid when removed from oven, but will solidify when cooled. Serve with enormous scoops of vanilla Soy Cream and devour.

Posted by dianna at October 9, 2005 01:20 PM

Looks good, particularly the pie. I have just one question: what's galangal? Am I likely to find it in an asian grocery store? A health food store?

Also: I'm having some trouble with the search function on this blog. I was looking for your vegan banana bread recipe, the one you made on your last day of work at the library. I got two hits, but clicking on them doesn't take me to the promised entry, it takes me to your penultimate post, "My wife to murder and Gilder to frame for it." I tried with a different browser and got the same result. It seems like all the links from searches lead to that post now.

Posted by: Zach S. at October 9, 2005 06:50 PM

These look awesome.

Zach: Galangal is this delightful plant that vaguely looks like and reminds one of ginger, but isn't. Most good slightly hippie-ish markets will have it in the produce section, but if you have to ask where to find it you'd better hope the person you're asking already knows what it is, or they'll never figure it out. Same reason the Delightful Housemate and I just went on an epic journey to try to find agar-agar in this damn town, only to meet with frustration at every turn, and if anybody knows what that actually is I'll be really excited.

Posted by: katie at October 9, 2005 09:55 PM

Adding on to the "Wife to murder, and Gilder to frame for it" thing:
When I click the title for ?u>this entry from Cementhorizon, I also get the aforementioned entry at the bottom (complete with date tag and comments). Sounds like a bug in the way Gene is mucking around with Movable Type. If you can't find anything weirdly special about the "Murder" entry, you should email Gene and let him know.

Posted by: Jacob at October 9, 2005 10:09 PM

Stupid missing-shift-when-trying-to-make-an-underline-tag.

Posted by: Jacob at October 9, 2005 10:10 PM

Motherfucking shit. I screwed something up when I was putting in category archives. See, I knew it was going to be a disaster. I've been over the Movable Type help files three times and I can't figure out what it is. I'll fix it when I figure it out. Until then you can get to other entries through the monthly archives and category archives, which are the only links still working.

But, Zach, that won't help you with the banana bread recipe, because I didn't post that one. I'll do that some time when it's not 11:30 at night.

Posted by: Dianna at October 9, 2005 11:25 PM

And Katie, I can help you with agar. After some mucking around with dessert mixes (not the right thing) I finally discovered that that vegetarian store in Chinatown sells plain powdered agar in little packets for about 50 cents apiece. Easy and cheap. I'll be going back for their fake frozen chicken (SO GOOD), so I can pick you up some while I'm there.

I mean, unless it's the seaweedy unpowdered form that you're going for, in which case I'm pretty sure my Whole Foods has it by the kombu and nori and other salty fishy vegetable matter.

Posted by: Dianna at October 10, 2005 09:42 AM

Thanks for the info on agar, DBS. And I'd love some! But in rereading my original comment I've realized that what I actually asked to have explained was "frustration at every turn."

For someone who's been stuck using pectin and pudding mix in everything, you'd think I'd know about frustration. But then, I'm talking to someone who just made her page links all wonky, so evidently you know too.

Posted by: katie at October 10, 2005 11:27 AM

For the record, leaving the galangal out of the soup if you can't find it would probably not result in the end of the world. Leaving out the lemongrass, lime juice, or hot pepper (or, you know, the coconut milk) would be disastrous. Galangal not so much.

Posted by: Dianna at October 10, 2005 11:54 AM


Katie is a grad student at a large university,

and whereas,

Katie was previously an adminbot in a civil engineering office,

and in light of,

Katie's most recent blog entry delete delete two blog entries delete delete delete three blog entries,

...I do not believe that there is very much I can say to explain frustration at every turn which she does not already know.

Posted by: Dianna at October 10, 2005 02:37 PM