Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cold Soba Noodles with Vietnamese Pork

Ok, this is another Cooking Light recipe that needed tweaking. The pork was delicious and cooked in a flash, but the rest of the dish needed something. I just went ahead added more dressing (vinegar, chile paste, etc.). I'm posting as written in the magazine, but next time I'm going to make the pork as called for and then use my Asian Chicken Salad dressing (see bottom of this page for the alternate dressing) for everything else.
I'm thinking the pork would be wonderful in a hot dish too.

Cold Soba Noodles with Vietnamese Pork:
(Cooking Light)

3 tablespoons chopped green onions, divided
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil, divided
4 teaspoons fish sauce, divided
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari
2 teaspoons brown sugar (I used amber agave nectar)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound boneless pork cutlets, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips
8 ounces uncooked organic soba noodles
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon chile paste with garlic (such as sambal oelek)
3 cups chopped napa (Chinese) cabbage (I probably used more to make more of a salad)
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
Cooking spray

Combine 1 tablespoon onions, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon fish sauce, and next 4 ingredients (through pork) in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 20 minutes (I marinated it longer).

Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

Combine remaining 1 tablespoon oil, remaining 1 tablespoon fish sauce, vinegar, and chile paste in a large bowl, stirring well. Add noodles, cabbage, and bell pepper; toss to coat.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Remove pork from marinade. Add pork to pan; cook 1 1/2 minutes or until done. Arrange pork over noodle mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons onions.

Alternate dressing for next time:
Probably should bump up the amount of napa cabbage used in above recipe, since this makes quite a bit of dressing.

2 TBS extra olive oil
2 TBS soy sauce (I used a little less)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2-3 TBS agave nectar, or honey
pinch red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Coconut-Curry Chicken Soup

Alright, all these Christmas goodies are starting to get to me. I've been going on and on about what a sugar fiend my father is and was on his recent visit, when really, I'm just as much of one!!! Maybe I thought I could deflect some of the attention from my own sugar monster tendencies if I went on and on about how taking my sweet foddah to a store that just happened to have candy/cookies/ice cream there was like trying to drag a non-reasonable 4 year old through the most candy laden checkout line at a grocery store all the while saying "no, no, no". Alas, tis my cross to bear too. If it's in the house, I want it. This soup might help. Unfortunately, the original recipe from Cooking Light falls short in the flavor department. Not a problem if you're up for adding a pinch of this and a splash of that though! Only problem is that I don't have any amounts to list...just the extra ingredients.
All just as well in any regard, since we all like different levels of spice, sour, sweet, etc. anyway.
The monster really dug this one after said tweaking of the recipe had occured, so I'm posting it.
If only to be one of the few food blogs I read that doesn't have cookies, etc. posted AGAIN.
Plus it's been ages and my buddy James is way over seeing the teff pancakes post. :-)

Coconut-Curry Chicken Soup:
(Adapted from Cooking Light)

4 cups water
3 cups fresh spinach leaves (I used more than 3 cups)
1/2 pound snow peas, trimmed and cut in half crosswise
1 (5 3/4-ounce) package pad thai noodles; wide rice stick noodles (I use the equivalent weight of Tinkyada's Brown Rice Fettuccini noodles...they're just fabulous!)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
2 teaspoons red curry paste
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons agave nectar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 small hot red chiles, seeded and chopped, or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
7 lime wedges
I added some rice wine vinegar, more fish sauce, and some sirachi chili sauce, more lime, and probably more salt. Just keep adding and tasting til you're happy with it. :-) Oooh, add lemongrass if you've got it! That's what it was missing!

Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add spinach and peas to pan; cook for 30 seconds. Remove vegetables from pan with a slotted spoon; place in a large bowl. Add noodles to pan; cook 3 minutes (or if using the brown rice noodles as per package instructions). Drain; add noodles to spinach mixture in bowl.

Heat canola oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and the next 5 ingredients (through garlic) to pan; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth to pan, and bring to a boil. Add coconut milk to pan; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add chicken, onions, sugar, and fish sauce to pan; cook for 2 minutes. Pour chicken mixture over noodle mixture in bowl. Stir in cilantro and chiles. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve with lime wedges (I added some lime juice into the soup before even serving).