Nothing like a spicy south western soup to warm you up on a chilly day. Specially if you have no electric and you don’t know when it’s coming back. Was hoping to post my pumpkin crêpes-cakes (they are like in between a pancake and a crêpe) but it’s a little easier making soup in the dark (or candle light that is) than making pancakes. Plus it’s kinda okay to have leftovers and eat it a few times without much additional effort. Reheating pancakes without electricity? Not so much.
Since this crazy storm that called itself Sandy came through, the lucky ones have just been out of power, some fared much worse… Since I am usually lucky, I just lost power but am able to keep the freezer stuff alive thanks to my small but potent generator. Kinda silly, but I also have the laptop hooked up right now so I can type this, and to take some of the classes for a certification I am working on, can’t tell you more right now. Soon, I promise. So where was I? Oh, I am saving the pancakes for tomorrow, and I am making some soup!
When everything shuts off, and it’s starting to get cold outside after this storm, having hot soup in your belly makes you happy. No, frankly it’s just because I like soup, a lot, in fact I might be a soup addict, if there is such a thing. But a warm belly should never be underrated, just sayin’. So being trapped inside, I made another soup 🙂 The recipe makes a lot, like for 6 to 8 people, but in this case for one. But it’s so super delicious, I wouldn’t mind eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a few days!
- about half a grilled or roasted chicken *
- 4-6 cups of water
- 2 big cloves of garlic, minced
- 2-4 chilies and 1 tbsp sauce from 1 can of ‘chilies in adobo sauce’
- 2 whole ears of corn (or use about 1 1/2 to 2 cups frozen, canned or fresh kernels)
- 1 small bag of dark red kidney beans**, frozen (or 1 can, drained and rinsed)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 heaping tbsp pan or masarepa (pre cooked corn meal)
- 1 can (28 oz) San Marzano tomatoes
- lime slices and tortilla chips for serving
*or use 4 cups of good quality chicken stock and some leftover grilled or roasted chicken meat
**I cook my own beans and freeze them in serving size bags for later use. Much cheaper and less sodium than canned and much more flavorful. Also feel free to use black beans to make it more southwestern like I intended, I only had kidney beans left.
- In a large stock pot cover the roasted chicken with water and 1 teaspoon salt, and bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer until the meat starts to fall off the bones. Remove the chicken and set aside to cool.
- Add the ears of corn to the hot stock until defrosted, then remove and slice the kernels of, return to the soup. (If using kernels, just add)
- Add the beans
- In the meantime, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet and cook the garlic until golden, then chop and add the 2 chilies in adobo and the tablespoon of sauce (use more if you’re friends with the devil and like it HOT) and the can of tomatoes and cook until reduced and starting to thicken. Add to the soup pot.
- When the chicken is cool enough to handle remove the meat from the bones, chop and return back to the soup
- Remove about 1 cup of liquid from soup, set aside to cool slightly then stir the ‘pan’ into it until dissolved and no lumps are left (it will thicken) then stir back into the soup and bring to a simmer. Cook until the soup has slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
- Serve garnished with a slice of lime and some tortilla chips on the side.
© 2012 SimpleHealthyHomemade
Years ago while backpacking half way around the world, I spent some time in Malaysia, and this one town on the east coast had a fantastic night market, where one could fill up on fantastic foods for a couple of bucks. Some of my favorites where the flaky roti canaii, the massive grilled king prawns (more like emperor prawns, if you advance on that size scale, as they were literally fist sized) with sambal and the endless variations of flavorful soups that would be available at all times of day (or night)
For a long time after coming back I would make a chicken and shrimp based soup called Laksa, then I forgot about it, but last week-end in NYC we ate a delicious little gem called Niu noodle house and our dinner reminded me of Laksa, and back came the memories of the fantastic taste, flavorful yet mild.
You can make this totally from scratch by buying a whole chicken, cutting it into pieces and boiling it to make stock, then remove the meat from the bones, shred and reserve and discard the bones. Or you can use chicken broth (homemade and stashed in your freezer) and a chicken breast or rotisserie chicken, all depending on the time you have or your willingness to work. In the spirit of full disclosure, my not completely authentic version features some adaptations, to make the recipe fit our western pantry a bit better. For one, I use macadamia or cashew nuts, the original calls for candle nuts, which are rather difficult to come by in this part of the world. I also like to add a pinch of turmeric to give the whole thing a bit of color.
…and of course you can put lots more broth over the noodles
- 1 chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces or left over rotisserie chicken meat
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 can coconut milk
- (1/2 pound shrimp, or 5-6 per person, peeled and cooked, optional)
- 3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
- 7 oz or 200 grams dried rice noodles, size medium or smaller, or vermicelli
- 4 small shallots + 1 shallot for garnish*
- 3 garlic cloves
- 4 macadamia or cashew nuts
- 1 stem lemon grass, only thick end, bruised so it’s slightly crushed and split open
- 1/2 tsp coriander seed
- 1 pinch turmeric
- 3 tbsp oil
- salt to taste
* as a shortcut, get ‘fried red onion’ in a jar from your Asian grocer
- Using mortar and pestle, grind the coriander seeds to a powder, then add the nuts and process the same way. Press the garlic and the small shallots through a garlic press, then add to the mortar and pound everything to a paste.
- Thinly slice the remaining shallot and set aside.
- Bring water to a boil, then pour over the rice noodles in a heat proof bowl and let stand until softened but not mushy, (time varies, depending on the size of your noodles)
- Heat a small amount of oil in a soup pan, and fry the seasoning paste from the mortar until it just starts to turn golden and a strong fragrance is released. Add the chicken breast and cook for another minute. Chicken will cook more in the following steps. ( If using cooked chicken, add after adding the broth)
- Deglaze with the chicken broth and the coconut milk, stir to dissolve any lumps of the seasoning paste. Add the lemon grass and bring to a boil and cook until the chicken is cooked through.
- In the meantime, heat a small frying pan, add the remaining oil and fry the sliced shallots until crispy, set aside.
- Add a pinch of turmeric to the broth and season with salt to taste.
- To serve, place the noodles into 4 bowls, top with shrimp and 3 pieces of hard boiled egg each, then ladle the hot soup over top and serve garnished with the fried shallot
© 2012 SimpleHealthyHomemade
Part IV of the series: Chicken for every day of the week!
Look here for Part I and II & III
This time we travel to the islands of the Mediterranean. Sounds nice, what? Haha, no, it’s just a simple week day recipe that can be whipped up in no time. But it borrows greek flavors hence my mind wandered off to sunny shores and white washed houses against blue skies. To make your taste buds experience the same image, we’re using feta and capers, and slices of lemon, if you like. It just looks so pretty with it 🙂
- 1 skinless boneless chicken breast half, pounded flat using a meat mallet
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper (or to taste)
- 1/4 cup feta, crumbled
- 2 tbsp capers
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced (optional)
- Season the flattened chicken breast with salt and pepper on both sides
- Heat some olive oil in a skillet
- Cook the chicken over medium high until browned on one side and starting to look opaque, then flip it over, crumble the feta cheese on top and ‘sprinkle’ with the capers. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook until the chicken is cooked through and browned on the second side.
- (If you are using the lemon slices, place on the chicken for about 2 minutes to heat up, best way is to add it just a little before the chicken is all the way done, and cover the pan back up)
Copyright © 2012 Simple Healthy Homemade. All rights reserved
Part III of the series: Chicken for every day of the week!
Chicken à la moutarde (chicken with creamy mustard sauce)
A staple in French kitchens and served all over Europe is mustard sauce, or Dijon sauce. A creamy flavorful sauce usually served with chicken or rabbit. And as fancy as it sounds, my version here be made very simply and even better, quickly. I used home made white wine mustard, (yes I’ll do a post on that soon) but any Dijon style mustard would work. I generally like to have both a creamy and a whole grain version on hand, but this sauce works well with just the smooth style as well.
- 1 boneless chicken breast half, pounded flat between two sheets of cling wrap
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 tbsp mustard, divided
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup white wine (or water)
- 1/2 cup milk
- Rub the chicken breast all over with 1 tbsp of mustard (I like to use the old fashioned kind for this)
- In a shallow dish combine the flour with 1 tsp salt and dredge the chicken breast until covered in a thin layer of flour. Season with pepper and thyme.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large skillet, then add the chicken and cook undisturbed until the edges start to look cooked and the bottom is browned. Turn the chicken breast and cook until cooked through.
- Add the wine to the pan, gently stir to loosen up any browned bits. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside, keeping it warm.
- Mix the additional tablespoon of mustard with a tablespoon flour until a paste forms, add to the pan, and add the milk.
- Stir to dissolve any pieces of flour and mustard and bring sauce to a boil, simmer until sauce thickens, and serve over chicken
Copyright © 2012 Simple Healthy Homemade. All rights reserved
My Dad used to buy herb butter for grilled meats, it was intensely flavored, fresh herbs, some garlic and salt and would melt wonderfully when placed onto a chicken breast or steak, hot off the coals. In my quest to recreate that elusive aroma from the past, I have come up with quite a range of flavoring and finishing butters (some good, some nah, I will spare you those). This one works well on chicken, roasted potatoes or salmon. And I am sure once you make it, you will find some other creative uses for it as well. What is your favorite way of using finishing butters?
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp butter, softened
- 2 md Shallots, finely minced (about 1/4 to 1/3 cup)
- 1/2 cup red wine (such as a Cabernet Sauv or a Côte du Rhône, don’t use anything sweet)
- 1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 tsp salt
- In a small sauce pan, melt the table spoon of butter, add the shallots and cook over low until softened, not browned.
- Add the wine and salt, simmer until the liquid is reduced by more than half and starts to become thick and sauce like. Add the parsley, and cook for a further 2 minutes over low. Remove from heat, let cool slightly ( it can still be somewhat warm, but not hot for the next step)
- Add the saucepan content into the softened butter and stir to incorporate completely. Your goal is not melt the butter, but mix the flavorings into the softened, malleable butter.
- Press into silicon ice cube molds and freeze until firm or chill in the fridge for a little, then form into 1 1/2″ to 2″ rolls on wax paper, refrigerate until completely firm and slice into portion sized disks, store in the freezer.
Note: If you pre portion the flavoring butter, you will only need to remove what you use from the fridge and don’t have to worry about the rest warming up and re freezing each time you use it.
Note: In these pictures, I reduced the wine too much (the phone rang 🙁 ) and the shallots absorbed all of it, and the parsley became all but invisible . The flavor is great, but it looks a tad different when you do it right, will post some updated pictures next time I make this. Usually the whole butter takes on the color
Home made, no nothing artificial (that’s why we store it in the freezer, no preservatives that make it stay ‘good’ for a ridiculous amount of time.
Copyright © 2011 Simple Healthy Homemade. All rights reserved