Monday, January 18, 2010

Breaking Ground

Learning to cook Thai and Indian food (like they can be lumped together so casually, ha) is one of my top to-dos this year. Last night Kelsey came over and we tackled Thai Coconut Chicken Soup together. I have to say, it was so tasty, the entire pot is gone, less than twelve hours later. We started with the idea from The Williams Sonoma Cookbook, which my dad got me for Christmas, but since we were missing an ingredient or two, the recipe became a little more our own. Unfortunately, there was no time to stop for a picture between bowls, so you'll have to settle for the happy yellow lining of my soup pot.

Harder to find ingredients always held me back from trying Thai cooking before, since I'm not usually the plan-what's-for-dinner-type. But we finally went looking for lemongrass and all the other fixings (which turned out to be rather normal, actually), and the result was utterly worthwhile. Hopefully you'll have time to try this one soon!

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup
*serves about six*

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced very thinly
1 glug extra virgin olive oil
1 quart chicken stock
2 cans light unsweetened coconut milk (believe me, it's plenty rich)
1 stalk lemongrass (peel off the top layers, chop it in three inch bits, then plan to fish it back out)
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
2 Tablespoons fish sauce
2 Tablespoons curry powder
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 limes, juiced
1 package Trade Joe's rice noodles
Ginger, about six thin slices (peel it, as the skin comes off in cooking even if you skim it out)
Cilantro and basil, just for a fun little herb garnish
1 cup mixed veggies, such as carrot, spinach and/or mushrooms

Warm the olive oil in a soup pot and cook the chicken strips in batches, just a minute or so on each side. Place cooked chicken on a plate close by. Once the chicken has been cooked, add the chicken stock to the pot and scrape up the yummy bits, then add the coconut milk, ginger, a clove of garlic, the jalapeno (however much you can handle, a whole pepper makes it nice and hot), fish sauce, curry powder, turmeric, and the lime juice. Simmer for a little while the flavors get friendly. Add the carrots now, if that's your thing.

Return the cooked chicken to the pot, and add the rice noodles. Simmer some more while those noodles get soft, and taste as you go (with a clean spoon, duh) to make sure you have the flavors right.

Serve in big bowls with big spoons. Cilantro and basil are fun on top. It's comfort food without the gravy. Enjoy! :)

1 comment:

Jyl said...

This looks SO good. Jennie and I have been wanting to cook Indian food, so we might give this a try.

Also, I gave you an award on my blog. Just because I really enjoy your blog and you inspire me, Holly. :-)