Wow, it's been over two months since I posted! I got pregnant in September and therefore didn't feel well through almost all of October and November. I wasn't as sick as I was with my first pregnancy, but was sick enough that I did not cook almost that entire time. My poor husband ate a lot of frozen pizza and Hotpockets! But things started turning around at the end of November, and I was actually able to cook Thanksgiving dinner for seven adults and my daughter. I have made some new dishes since then, but we are experiencing computer problems so blogging has been put on hold.
I made a new soup for a potluck at church last night. People seemed to really enjoy it and requested the recipe, so here it is. I don't have a picture because it went so fast (not a drop left at the end of the meal!), but I will certainly be making it again so I will take a picture of it then.
This is a recipe I saw on a recent episode of America's Test Kitchen. It's super easy and doesn't take long.
Thai Chicken Soup
1 tsp vegetable oil
3 stalks lemon grass, outer leaves removed, bottom 5” halved lengthwise and sliced thin crosswise
3 large shallots, chopped
8 sprigs fresh cilantro leaves, chopped coarsely
2 tbsp fish sauce
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 (14 oz.) cans coconut milk, well-shaken
1 tbsp sugar
½ lb. white mushrooms, cleaned, stems trimmed, cut into ¼” slices
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise and sliced on bias into ⅛” thick pieces
3 tbsp fresh lime juice from 2 to 3 limes
2 tsp red curry paste (Thai)
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 serrano chiles, sliced thinly
2 scallions, sliced thinly on bias
1 lime, cut into wedges
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until just shimmering. Add lemon grass, shallots, cilantro, and 1 tbsp fish sauce; cook, stirring frequently, until just softened, 2 to 5 minutes (vegetables should not brown). Stir in chicken broth and 1 can coconut milk; bring to simmer over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until flavors have blended, 10 minutes. Pour broth through fine-mesh strainer and discard solids. Rinse saucepan and return broth mixture to pan.
Return pan to medium-high heat. Stir remaining can coconut milk 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 chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until no longer pink, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove soup from heat.
Combine lime juice, curry paste, and remaining fish sauce in small bowl; stir into soup. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with cilantro, chiles, and scallions, if desired. Serve immediately with lime wedges.
Makes 6-8 servings as an appetizer, 4 as a main course.
This is a really tasty soup! I didn't change much about the recipe. I didn't have shallots, so I used onion instead. I love shallots though, and I'm sure it will be even better with them. The other thing I changed was the amount of fish sauce called for. It called for a total of 3 tbsp, 1 at the beginning and 2 at the end. I had never used fish sauce before, and was not-so-pleasantly surprised by the smell. The onions, lemongrass, and cilantro were smelling so good, then I added the fish sauce. Oh my. That has to be the worst smelling ingredient I have ever used! When I got to the end, I was afraid to add the full 2 tbsp, fearing that it would make the soup smell really bad, so I only added 1 tbsp. I don't know if the extra would have made it taste that much different or not.
This is not a spicy soup. The lemongrass and curry paste give it a nice, complex flavor without adding heat. I think if I make it just for us next time, I will try adding one more tsp of curry paste to see what that tastes like. I like it the way it is, but I think it would also be good with a little more heat.
As soon as I get my computer fixed, I have a backlog of recipes to blog about, so watch out!
Merry Christmas everyone!