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).


Mike said...

Yummm! This looks alot like a Tom Ka Gai recipe we got from our favorite Thai restaurant here. One ingredient it has that is a nice flavor enhancer is several slices of galanga ginger - put it in early with the lemongrass. Another more subtle flavor addition is kaffir lime leaves. Like the lemongrass, don't eat either of them though.

We'd never really cooked much with fish sauce before. One tip we learned from the restaurant is to taste the soup both before and after adding a small amount - it's amazing what it does for the flavor. And we learned how to get just the right amount.

Streaming Folkways this morning. Ed Miller just played some Keltic-Texan Christmas music. Man we miss Austin!

Erndog said...

Mike- I like the idea of adding galangal...I happen to have a bag of those lovely gnarly roots in my freezer too! Kaffir lime leaves seem nigh on impossible to find. Got them ONCE at My Thanh, but never found them again.
And about the missing Austin comment...gitcher butts down here then! :-)