Now that I’m all caught up on my blog entries, you’ll be disappointed because there isn’t any fabulous jet setting about which I can write. Just normal, everyday entries. Prepare yourself for the mundane!
After discovering that the NY-style pizza place was closed, I decided to walk across the street and try Mes Amis Cafe, the “down market” location of the nearby upscale Mes Amis French restaurant. To call the cafe “down market” is a bit of a stretch: white tablecloths, attentive waiters, high prices – it is still relatively upscale.
The food was good, though. Pretty authentic (for Khrungthep) French cafe food. I had roast chicken with a side of vegetables and mashed potatoes. Looks beautiful, no?
One of the waiters seemed quite intrigued by my ability to speak Thai and he kept engaging me in conversation. Or, more accurately, he would keep thinking of additional questions to ask me, which resulted in an uncomfortable (for me) desire to be able to read my book and eat my lunch in peace. Finally, dessert arrived so I had an excuse to stop answering questions.
On my trip back to the United States, I bought a Kitchen Aid immersion blender. This is an addition to my stash of kitchen appliances that I have been considering for two years, so it wasn’t an impulse buy by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve found that using a traditional blender is not very effective for things like pesto and hummus, and is downright messy and even dangerous for blending soups.
Additionally, I’ve previously owned a food processor and found that I rarely used it because of the amount of clean-up necessary. Unless I’m chopping and slicing for a dinner for dozens of people, it is faster to do the prep work with a knife.
But I have been reading how an immersion blender makes quick work of soups, pestos, hummus, and sauces – as well as how it can be used in the pot or container the ingredients are already in. Talking with several people who use them, I realized that the immersion blender would be a very handy addition to my kitchen. As for which model, I settled on Kitchen Aid because of the very high review it was given by Cook’s Illustrated magazine, who rated it their best value.
Thankfully, Macy’s had them on sale for $20 off the regular price, so only $49.99. Oddly, they only had red and black in stock although Kitchen Aid does make a white body as well. Sadly, no yellow to match my Kitchen Aid stand mixer.
Inspired by T. Susan Chang’s NPR story about chilled summer soups, I made some chicken stock and then prepared this roasted tomato and pepper soup. It was very easy to make, although I had to substitute the broiler for a grill as we don’t have a grill. This led to a less smoky flavor, but it was tasty nonetheless.
Before and after pictures, below:
Tawn isn’t a big soup person to begin with and there was a bit of cognitive dissonance as the expectation (soup=warm) and the temperature (cold) did not match. Still, he liked the flavor. I thought I could dial back the peppers a bit and find some more flavorful tomatoes. Tomatoes in Thailand aren’t as tasty as summertime tomatoes in the United States. Maybe I can enrich the soup with a little tomato paste.
Worth reading: Sonny shares a funny, true story about his trip to a Starbucks to get one of their mango-banana blended drinks, where he had to contribute the banana because the store was out of them. Link here.