I’ve been back over a month, and I’m back to eating Cambodian food. There’s a food-cart-turned-brick-and-mortar spot called Sok Sab Bai. It’s about as authentic as it gets, so it’s nice to know it exists. You just don’t see Cambodian food often. Amok Trey [salmon, prahok, krueng, coconut milk, egg steamed in banana leaves, assorted vegetables for dipping], Nom Pa Chok [chicken, noodles, carrot, potato, onion, peanuts, shrimp paste, fresh assorted vegetables], and Khwa Ko [grilled fermented beef and rice sausages]. Hea-ven. It’s hard for me to explain the flavor profile of Cambodian food other than a lot of emphasis on any sour/fermented flavors. I love it. The Amok was thicker than the one in the coconut, but dipping vegetables in it was fun. The Nom Pa was heaping, and had the most tender chicken. The Khwa Ko…easily my favorite dish of the night. Those sausages were so flavorful. They were served on a bed of rice with slaw that was fresh and sour and pickles. It’s such a great contrast of bright flavors.
I miss daylight already, if only for the
vitamin D good photo light. Priorities, y’know? I like to think the tripod is helping, but I still don’t like the artificial light. It’s never going to be the same.
I’m still on a soup kick. I keep bookmarking new soup recipes more than anything else. Soup is easy to make and easy to eat at work. They generally don’t smell terrible either, which is key when eating at the workplace. I’m not above eating smelly things, but I do try to have some common courtesy.
Smooth, velvety soups are not my go-to soups. I love them, but they leave me with the mental game of telling myself I’m full. My brain instead tells me I’ve just had something with the consistency of a smoothie, and that I should eat accordingly. It’s a first world problem, for sure. I can’t help but be drawn to them. Cream of potato is one of those soups that you can get away with less cream since potatoes are pretty dang creamy all on their own. I still put in a half cup or so. It helps the soup to achieve that thick and velvety texture. The bacon? Necessary. The leek? A flavor that I cannot get enough of. New potatoes are just that, new. I happened to find some, so I went with them. I think I’d go with some nice golden Yukons if I couldn’t get my hands on some new ones.
Quick. Easy. Simple. Delicious.
Inspiration: Simple Bites
- three slices of thick cut bacon, chopped
- 3/4 leek [about one large one], sliced from white to light green
- Approx. one pound of new potatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper
- rosemary, chives, croutons for serving
In a large dutch oven or soup pot, cook the chopped bacon through until all of the fat is rendered. Sauté the leek in with the bacon once the bacon starts to caramelize. It will take about 2-3 minutes for the slices to really start softening and breaking down in the fat. Add the chopped potatoes and about three cups of water. You can add more later if you want to thin it, but I like thicker soups.
Bring the water to a boil before turning the heat down to a simmer, and partially cover the pot while the potatoes cook fully. Once the potatoes are soft, about 20-25 minutes, puree the soup into velvety goodness either in your blender or food processor. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with herbs or croutons or even a grilled cheese.