Immersing and Blending

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?

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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.

Immersion Blender 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:

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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. 

 

Starbucks 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.

 

13 thoughts on “Immersing and Blending

  1. I like the way they arranged the roast chicken dish.  Btw, I am not too hot about cold soup either (punt!). Maybe an asian thing.  I like tomato juice though. wonder why it is.   

  2. I just told Raph about Mes Amis Cafe breakfast buffet a few weeks ago and I just wish that we could just live around there. Around Sathon where I live, no such place or any cute community just like that. (may be just Patpong nearby :-/)

  3. @blue_beau – Haven’t heard about their breakfast buffet.  Maybe it is a better value than their lunches, which seem a little spicy.  Have you been to La Boulangerie on Soi Convent?  That’s kind of a cute place in the mornings, when the street is clean and the farang and money boys are still asleep!

  4. @ElusiveWords – They definitely would, although there would be a challenge getting them blended finely enough.  Problem is, the only sundried tomatoes I’ve found here are packed in olive oil and are super expensive.  I think over-drying would be another way to further concentrate flavors. 
    One thing I don’t like about this recipe is that you strain all the remaining solids out of the soup.  Makes it velvety smooth, but of course a lot of the fibre is left out, which makes it less nutritious and filling.

  5. I’m not adventurous enough for the soup, but the chicken looked good. My mom just had to buy a Bamix hand blender from the fair when they first came out in the 80’s. I don’t think she used it much. I had one as a wedding gift and used it to death. I still need to replace it. I will take your recommendation of the Kitchenaid one as everything I have is Kitchenaid.

  6. @socaltransplant – Cooks Illustrated also recommended the two Braun models but said that for the money, Kitchen Aid is a much better value.  The metal shaft is also good because there is no concern about staining and also about using it in a very hot pot.

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