Monday, June 24, 2013
For the next recipe, my first execution of a Gordon Ramsay recipe, I needed some lemongrass. I've never used it before even though it had been recommended to me, years ago, as a variation on Ga Kho by the recipe's author.
The packaging was very simple, a plastic band with a tag around a few stalks of the lemongrass. At the store, I was unsure if I could just pull two of the stalks from the bunch so bought the entire bundle.
I removed the outer leaves which were supposed to be tougher than the inner leaves. The inner leaves didn't seem any less tough than the outer leaves and had me wondering if these were a little on the old, dry side, or if this is just how they are normally. I stopped peeling leaves away when the stalks looked more vibrant and young.
The rough tops were trimmed and with the spine of the knife, I bashed the stalks at somewhat regular intervals across the entire lengths. According to Ramsay, that will help release the flavors. It does make sense, sort of like how you can squeeze more juice from a lemon if you roll it against a counter while pressing firmly with your palm before halving and squeezing.
And then I trimmed the bottoms off and the color variation reminded me of rhubarb.
And now, they're ready for the recipe.
For kicks, I checked to see if the Larousse had any info on lemongrass, but apparently, as of 1984 lemongrass wasn't used in French cooking and thus, not worth mentioning. Get this though, according to Wiki, this grass is where we get citronella, the insect repellent!!
Frieda's lemongrass, available in the produce section at Ralph's for $2.24 a 0.28-lb bunch, making each stalk about $0.45.