Things have been quiet around here for the last week, mostly because I’ve been too exhausted at the end of the day to write anything coherent about our meals. The air in the city has been thick and heavy, and it’s making me feel particularly lethargic.
Last Tuesday was so muggy I couldn’t bear the thought of cooking indoors, nor did I want Mike to spend time over a hot grill, so we did the indoor picnic thing. I tossed a couple of green salads and topped them with halves of burrata, serving them with slices of good rustic bread and cured meats.
Mike did fire up the grill on Wednesday, grilling fillets of wild striped bass, summer squash, bell peppers and eggplant which I served with a lemony basil and parsley pesto. We dined out on Thursday, and on Friday Mike grilled a 3 lb. piece of pork shoulder that he had been brining all week (which was delicious, but sadly not very photogenic).
We skipped our usual food safari and made a long-overdue trip down to Red Hook on Saturday to visit our favorite booze boutique. When we returned home, Mike mixed up a couple of rounds of drinks for us while we put together a pretty classic summer meal of grilled chicken, potato salad and sliced tomatoes for dinner that evening.
I got my first batch of pickles of the year going on Sunday after a quick trip out for groceries, dumplings and pork buns. Since the rain was coming down pretty heavily most of the day, we planned to cook dinner indoors.
Mike and I both love Thai food, but we don’t often cook with those flavors and ingredients at home. I decided to give it a shot, though, and make a seafood soup loaded with shrimp, clams and mussels in a hot-sour-salty broth.
I started by sauteeing some thinly sliced shallots in a bit of oil, then adding coconut milk, water, fish sauce, Sriracha, and a sachet of kaffir lime leaves, garlic, ginger and lemongrass. I added plenty of fresh lime juice to that, as well as a thinly sliced fresh chile, and let it come to a boil.
I added the clams and mussels first, covered the pan and let them steam open, then added peeled shrimp, diced tomato, chopped scallion and fresh cilantro. When the shrimp were just cooked through I added additional fresh lime juice and cilantro, and ladled the soup into bowls over scoops of steamed rice. The flavors weren’t quite as intense as I was hoping they’d be, but I the soup turned out really well – well enough that I’m eager to try my hand at working with these flavors again.