Tom Kha Gai

Posted: February 23rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Dairy-free, Poultry, Soup, Thai | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Tom Kha Gai

A few weeks ago we had a Thai-themed potluck at our house. It was a fantastic success. Tom kha gai! Cucumber salad! Banh mi! Spring rolls! Tea salad! Pineapple fried rice! Pumpkin curry! Pad thai! Sticky rice & mango! My contribution was tom kha gai, the delicious coconut milk soup that has always been my favorite Thai dish. I’d never cooked Thai food before, but it turned out to be incredibly easy. The catch is that you have to have access to some ingredients that might be hard to acquire, especially if you don’t live in a big city. But if you can find the ingredients, this soup is well worth making.

Tom Kha Gai

From CHOW

INGREDIENTS
4 cups chicken stock (Swanson’s Organic is good)
1/4 cup Thai fish sauce
Juice and zest of 1 lime
2 crushed kaffir lime leaves (if you can find them – if not, it’s okay to omit)
4-inch section lemongrass
1-inch section galangal, sliced (similar to ginger)
1/4 pound chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk (Chao Koh brand is good)
2 to 10 (to taste) small red thai chiles, slightly crushed
Cilantro leaves for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Bring chicken stock, fish sauce, lemongrass, and galangal to a boil. Simmer 20 minutes. Strain if desired (the lemongrass and galangal is not edible).
  2. Add chicken pieces, coconut milk, and chiles. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add lime juice and zest and stir till mixed. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve.

Chicken Dumpling Soup

Posted: January 31st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Dairy-free, Other, Poultry, Soup | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Chicken Dumpling Soup

On Wednesday evening, my friend Morley came over for an evening of wine, soup, Obama, and studying. It was a good night. I had a bunch of bread-ends in the freezer that needed to be used up, so I decided to make chicken dumpling soup. The basic soup started with the chicken noodle soup recipe I posted not too long ago, but I omitted the noodles in lieu of dumplings. Morley had brought some lovely farm share leeks so I chopped those up and added them to the stock, which added a lovely, subtle new dimension. I’d never made dumplings before so I kind of winged it but it turned out great! The dumplings were a perfect, slightly sweet, spiced foil for the salty soup, and they stayed together wonderfully (much to my surprise). I used this recipe as a starting point for the dumplings, but ended up changing it pretty heavily. Here’s how I did it.

Chicken Dumpling Soup

INGREDIENTS

One batch of my chicken noodle soup, omitting the noodles and adding one chopped leek at the same time you add the onions, celery, and garlic.

6 cups bread crumbs (I used the ends of a few loaves of Orowheat whole wheat bread, pulverized in the blender)
1 cup soy milk (or real milk, or cream — I used soy so Ed could eat them)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 whole egg + the yolk of another egg
Olive oil for frying (a couple tablespoons)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Make chicken soup per the other recipe.
  2. While the soup is boiling, whisk together bread crumbs, salt, nutmeg, thyme, turmeric, nutritional yeast, and pepper.
  3. Add soymilk and mix well. Allow to soak in for a few minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and egg yolk well. Add to the breadcrumb mixture and mix well. Roll into 1 1/4 inch balls and place on parchment paper. They’ll be a little mushy but don’t worry about it.
  5. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and heat it.
  6. Place evenly spaced dumplings in frying pan, minding the fact that it might spatter. Don’t place the dumplings too close to each other or they’ll be difficult to turn.
  7. When dumplings are dark golden brown on one side, turn them to another side and cook till it’s dark golden brown too. Repeat as many times as necessary until all sides are golden brown and crispy.
  8. Keep the dumplings separate from the soup. Add them to each bowl just prior to serving. They stay together fairly well in the soup, but not much longer than the time it takes to eat it. To reheat dumplings (as serving as leftovers), microwave them for 30 seconds before adding them to hot soup.

Italian Sausage Soup with Croutons

Posted: January 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Dairy-free, Soup | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Italian Sausage Soup

I’ve discovered the wonders of soup-making just in time for this ultra-rainy San Francisco winter. It’s so easy and satisfying! There’s nothing quite as lovely than a steaming hot bowl of homemade soup to slurp as the rain drips outside and the heater struggles to keep your home warm.

Italian Sausage Soup

Adapted from this recipe

INGREDIENTS

1 lb ground Italian sausage
3 cloves garlic, smashed
6 leaves fresh basil, ripped
2 carrots, peeled, cut into rounds
2 red potatoes, peeled, cubed
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 15oz. cans beans (butter beans are good, and so are black eyed peas), drained
1 15oz. can diced tomatoes
26 oz. container of Swanson’s beef stock (the good stuff, without MSG)
1 15oz. can’s worth of water
Splash of olive oil (1 tablespoon?)
Splash red wine
Salt, to taste (1 1/2 teaspoons?)
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste (1/2 teaspoon?)
Crushed red pepper, to taste (1/4 teaspoon?)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Chop all veggies. Drain beans.
  2. Remove sausage from casing and separate into chunks. Heat olive oil in large pot. Brown sausage in oil till cooked through.
  3. Add onions, garlic, and basil. Saute a few minutes.
  4. Add everything else except the beans. Stir well. Adjust seasonings as necessary. Cover and bring to a boil.
  5. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes, covered. Add beans. Simmer another 5 minutes, covered. Make sure potatoes and carrots are soft enough. Serve with baguette croutons (recipe below).

Baguette Croutons

INGREDIENTS

Sweet baguette
Olive oil
Salt
Garlic salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Toss slices of baguette with a generous amount of olive oil, salt, and garlic salt, to taste. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Flip each crouton over and bake another 10 minutes, checking to make sure they aren’t getting burnt. Croutons should be golden brown and crispy.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Posted: January 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Dairy-free, Pasta, Poultry, Soup | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Chicken Noodle Soup

My poor Ed has come down with some sort of sickness, so I decided to make him some chicken noodle soup from scratch. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go back to canned soup now. This stuff turned out downright amazing. I combined a recipe for chicken soup from the January 2010 issue of Martha Stewart Living and this recipe by Tyler Florence and came up with this. Tasty tasty. Comfort food at its best.

NOTE: I have edited this a bit since I first posted it. Tweaked the quantities to make more soup happen! It’s great reheated. I’ve also made a few variations since I originally posted it: adding leftover spiced rice or dumplings instead of noodles, adding leeks, etc. I’ll post the dumpling recipe soon…

Chicken Noodle Soup

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living, January 2010, and Tyler Florence

Yield: About 8 servings

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs chicken thighs (about 5 thighs) (frozen or thawed, doesn’t really matter)
14 cups water
3 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
3 celery stalks, sliced in half lengthwise then chopped
3 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
1 small jalapeno pepper, cut into rounds (optional)
6-8 oz. wide egg noodles (or rice, or dumplings, or whatever you’d like)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Bring chicken, water, salt, pepper, bay leaf and thyme to a boil.
  2. Add onions, celery and garlic. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, 30 minutes.
  3. Remove chicken thighs. Add carrots. Simmer, partially covered, 30 minutes.
  4. While soup is simmering, remove chicken from the bone by using two forks. Pull into bite-sized pieces. Add bones back to soup as you’re going.
  5. When 30 minutes is up, add egg noodles. Taste broth and add more salt or pepper if it’s needed. I added a bit more salt. When in doubt, add more salt.
  6. Turn up the heat a bit and cook, uncovered, until noodles are tender — about 10-12 minutes.
  7. Add chicken back into soup and stir until it’s heated. Remove bones. Adjust salt and pepper as necessary. At the very end, add jalapeno peppers.

I love how easy it is to make soup!


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