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Family Central: Tom Tom Turkey Gets a Holiday Break

There’s nothing I look forward to eating more during the holidays than the iconic Greenberg Turkey, smoked right here in Tyler, Texas. It’s the best bird I have served on our holiday table, and the leftover sandwiches (from fancy grilled Panini’s to mayo/white bread simplicity) are just as important to my family as the holiday meal!

But there comes the day when you just need to make something completely different from all the traditional fare you’ve enjoyed. There’s only so much cranberry sauce a person can eat.

My mom was here visiting us during Thanksgiving week, and by Friday, we decided to give the Tom Tom Turkey a rest and look to the East for inspiration for our Tom Kha Soup. The ingredients combine here to bring unbelievable flavors to your taste buds, and the warm broth is one of the most comforting soups I’ve ever enjoyed.

The recipe calls for some ingredients you might not be familiar with in your everyday cooking, but I think this soup will quickly become one of your favorite, easy go-to winter dishes. You strain the lemongrass, shallots and cilantro from the broth after it has simmered, leaving a beautiful creamy coconut milk base for the shrimp and mushrooms.

If you like your food a bit spicier, simply add another teaspoon or two of the Thai red curry paste. If you don’t eat shrimp, chicken works just as well.

And talk about leftovers! The soup just seemed to taste even better the next day when the flavors had had a bit of time to meld.


Tom Kha Soup

1 tsp vegetable oil
4 stalks fresh lemongrass, chopped
3 large shallots, finely chopped
8 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped coarse
3 Tbs fish sauce (on the Asian aisle)
32 oz chicken broth
2 (14 oz) cans coconut milk (can use light)
1 Tbs sugar
2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
50 -60 raw shrimp (thawed, peeled and deveined)
3-4 Tbs fresh lime juice
3 tsp Thai red curry paste (on the Asian aisle)
Hot cooked jasmine rice

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until just shimmering. Add lemon grass, shallots, cilantro and 1 Tablespoon fish sauce; cook, stirring frequently, until just softened, 2 to 5 minutes (vegetables should not be brown).

Stir in chicken broth, 1 can of coconut milk and remaining fish sauce; bring to simmer over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until flavors have blended, 15 minutes.

Pour broth through fine mesh strainer and discard solids in strainer. Wipe out saucepan and return broth mixture to pan. Return pan to medium-high heat. Stir remaining can coconut milk, curry paste, and sugar into broth mixture and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium, add mushrooms, and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add shrimp and lime juice. Let simmer until shrimp is just cooked through.

Serve over Jasmine rice. Garnish with additional cilantro leaves if desired.