8th December 2008

    Dungeness Crab Soup with Cilantro Relish

    Carrie came over this week for dinner and we enjoyed this crab soup with a spinach salad and plenty of wine. The cilantro relish was a big hit, and though crab is expensive, it was totally worth it in this dish. We all loved it! The recipe comes from The Ultimate Soup Bible.

    Carrie says:

    Yum, I love crab!

    Lisa says:

    This soup is awesome…

    Chris says:

    I think there’s probably a bit too many noodles, but other than that I’m in love with this soup!

    Lisa says:

    Too many noodles in the recipe?

    Chris says:

    Nah, the recipe itself is probably a good amount, but my estimating skills are lacking. Determining five ounces out of a package of 16 when some unknown portion of them have already been used apparently is a challenge for me.

    Lisa says:

    The cilantro topping is awesome.

    Carrie says:

    Can I have more?

    Chris says:

    Yes! Let’s finish the batch!

    Lisa says:

    Leave room for dessert…

    Dungeness Crab Soup with Cilantro Relish
    SOUP:
    2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    1 red onion, finely chipped
    2 red chilies, seeded and finely chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 lb fresh Dungeness crab meat
    2 tbsp chopped parsley
    2 tbsp chopped cilantro
    juice of 2 lemons
    1 lemongrass stalk
    4 cups chicken stock
    1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
    5 oz angel hair pasta, broken into 2-3 inch lengths
    salt and fresh ground pepper

    RELISH:
    1 cup cilantro leaves
    1 green chili, seeded and chopped
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
    1/2 tsp ground roasted cumin seeds

    Heat the oil in a large dutch oven and add the onion, chilies, and garlic. Cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes until the onion is very soft. Transfer the cooked onion mixture to a bowl and stir in the crab meat, parsley, cilantro, and lemon juice, and set aside.
    Bruise the lemongrass on a chopping board. Pour the stock and fish sauce into the dutch oven. Add the lemongrass and bring to a boil, then add teh pasta. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 3-4 minutes until the pasta is just tender.
    While the soup is simmering, prepare the relish by using a mortar and pestle to make a coarse paste of the cilantro, chili, oil, lemon juice, and cumin.
    Remove and discard the lemongrass from the soup. Add the crab mixture into the soup and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then set on low and simmer for two minutes.
    Ladle the soup into four bowls and put a spoonful of the cilantro relish in the center of each.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Soups and Stews, The Soup Bible | 2 Comments

    14th October 2008

    Tuna Steaks on Cilantro Noodles

    Lisa has running group on Tuesdays, so I try to find recipes that can be prepared relatively quickly and don’t depend on exact timing — and so we can eat as soon as she walks in the door! This pasta dish from Fitness Food fit the bill: tuna steaks are grilled and placed upon a bed of wheat-noodles that have been tossed with plenty of cilantro, green onions, and an asian-inspired dressing. Any recipe that includes the words “one large handful of cilantro” gets my vote!

    Lisa says:

    Fitness Food rules.

    Chris says:

    See? You go for a run, you have run-worthy food waiting for you when you get home.

    Lisa says:

    I love the green onions.

    Chris says:

    …and of course, the cilantro?

    Lisa says:

    Of course!

    Chris says:

    I’d totally make this again if we wanted a quick pasta-and-fish meal. It took all of 20 minutes to make.

    Lisa says:

    Good, because I’d totally eat it again!

    Tuna Steaks on Cilantro Noodles
    1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
    1 tbsp fish sauce
    1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
    1 tsp sugar
    1/2 tsp spicy sesame oil
    salt
    pepper
    oil spray
    2 6-oz tuna steaks, at room temperature
    8-oz wheat linguine
    3 green onions, thinly sliced
    1 large handful cilantro leaves, chopped
    lime wedges

    Mix the lime juice, fish sauce, sweet chili sauce, sugar, and oil in a small bowl with a whisk, and set aside.
    Pat the tuna steaks dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat a grill pan over high heat and spray with the oil. Add the tuna and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until cooked to your liking. Transfer the steaks to a warm plate, cover, and keep warm.
    Meanwhile, place the noodles in a large pot of salted, rapidly boiling water and cook according to package directions, until al dente. Drain well. Add half the dressing, half the scallions, and half the cilantro, and toss well.
    Divide the noodles between two plates, then place a tuna steak on each. Mix the remaining dressing with the scallions and cilantro and drizzle over the tuna and noodles. Serve with the lime wedges.

    2 Servings

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    posted in Fitness Food, Main Dishes | 6 Comments

    9th October 2008

    Pollo Pulquero

    Our first post after our almost three weeks in Italy (w00t honeymoon!) is this chicken dish from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Everyday. The original recipe calls to prepare it in a slow-cooker, but, not owning one, we went with the oven-bake method instead. This was a perfect recipe match to our CSA box, which this week included tomatillos and red-skinned potatoes.

    Chris says:

    Yum, I love this!

    Lisa says:

    Me too — I was taking bites while you were taking pictures.

    Chris says:

    This is like your dream dinner — there’s no oil, and there’s salt between each layer.

    Lisa says:

    That doesn’t mean I can’t add even more salt, though…

    Chris says:

    I bet the flavors would be even more intense if this was done in a slow-cooker. And I really like the little crispy edges of cilantro and tomatillo from the lid-free finish.

    Lisa says:

    Too bad I have lunch plans tomorrow, this would make a great lunch.

    Chris says:

    Guess what we’re having for dinner tomorrow night, then?

    Lisa says:

    Wahoo!

    Pollo Pulquero
    1 medium white onion, sliced into 1/4″ thick rings
    salt
    1 lb red-skin potatoes, sliced 1/4″ thick
    8 skinless chicken thighs
    1 cup cilantro leaves
    1 1/4 lbs tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and sliced 1/4″ thick
    1/4 cup roasted hatch chilis, chopped

    Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a 6-qt Dutch Oven, spread the onion in a layer, and sprinkle with salt. Continue with the potato slices, chicken, cilantro, and tomatillos, sprinkling with salt over each layer. Scatter the roasted chilis over the top. Set the lid in place and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the lid and bake 15-20 minutes longer to reduce the juices. Spoon directly onto plates, and top with additional cilantro.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Mexican, Mexican Everyday | 3 Comments

    19th August 2008

    Fee, Fi, Faux Pho

    Pho rilz? No.

    Sometimes you know a recipe’s just not going to be anywhere near authentic, not going to be nearly as good as you could get in a restaurant, but could still suffice for a quick weeknight meal. This is one of those recipes, from the cookbook How to Eat Supper. Should you really expect a full-flavored broth — the essence of pho! — in a 20 minute cooking-time recipe? No. If you haven’t yet experienced pho, this might stand on its own as an interesting soup recipe, but if you try to compare it to the real thing, it falls short. But hey — it was good enough to warm our bellies on this chilly evening.

    Chris says:

    What the pho? This just makes me want real pho, not faux pho.

    Lisa says:

    What if you just think of it as a noodle soup with slices of beef in it?

    Chris says:

    Okay — in that case, it’s not bad. But the broth could still be more flavorful. You can definitely taste the broiled veggies, and they’re good, but I really need to try to disconnect the pho association.

    Lisa says:

    You certainly look like you’re enjoying your sauces.

    Chris says:

    Pho Shizzle. I’m a meat dipper.

    Lisa says:

    Oh, pho cryin’ out loud… enough with the puns!

    Chris says:

    Okay, fine. In fact, there’s my review of this recipe. Okay/fine. Not spectacular, but I certainly didn’t dislike it.

    Lisa says:

    I agree. Good, not great.

    Chris says:

    Not pho.

    Fee, Fi, Faux Pho
    For the broth:
    1 medium onion, thinly sliced
    4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    3″ piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
    6 whole cloves
    1 whole star anise, bruised (or 1/2 tsp anise seed)
    freshly ground black pepper
    4 14-oz cans chicken broth
    2 tbsp sugar
    2 tsp fish sauce

    For the soup:
    6 oz rice noodles
    6 oz top round steak, sliced paper-thin (place in freezer for 30 minutes before slicing to make this easier)

    To Garnish:
    cilantro
    thai basil
    jalapenos, sliced
    bean sprouts
    lime, quartered
    hoisin sauce
    sriracha, or other hot sauce

    Place an oven rack 4-6 inches under the broiler and preheat. On a large piece of doubled-over foil, scatter the vegetables and spices from the broth ingredients (onion through black pepper) and broil for five minutes, flipping once, until the onion begins to char and the spices are fragrant. Remove from the oven and place everything in a large pot.
    Add the broth, sugar, and fish sauce and bring to a low boil. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. While the broth simmers, prepare the rice noodles by soaking them in warm water for 10-15 minutes, or until almost tender. (They’ll lose a little more firmness when the soup gets added.) Drain and divide the noodles between two very large soup bowls. Place the garnish ingredients on a plate and set at the table.
    When ready to serve, divide the (raw) beef between the two soup bowls. Ladle the low-boil broth into the bowls (this will cook the meat pretty much instantly). Top each bowl with your preferred garnishes.

    2 Servings

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    posted in How to Eat Supper, Main Dishes, Vietnamese | 1 Comment

    29th July 2008

    No-Cook Stew: Santa Fe Summer Pot with Shrimp and Avocado


    Tonight, a dish that’s perfect for those hot summer evenings where you don’t want to turn on the stove or the oven: a “stew” made entirely of raw and precooked ingredients. Shrimp, cucumbers, and avocado are topped with a puree of tomatoes, onions, and peppers, then topped with cilantro and tortilla chips. This recipe comes from How to Eat Supper.

    Lisa says:

    Is this like gazpacho or something?

    Chris says:

    Sort of — it’s like the world’s best chunky salsa.

    Lisa says:

    Yum… seems pretty light if it’s just raw veggies and shrimp.

    Chris says:

    Yep! Light and refreshing… that lime juice brightens up the flavors a bit.

    Lisa says:

    So, you mentioned that you don’t have to turn on the oven, but we did anyway for the bread we had with it.

    Chris says:

    Yeah, well I also mentioned that it’s good for really hot nights, but it’s actually kinda cool and raining.

    Lisa says:

    True. It’s still delicious.

    Santa Fe Summer Pot with Shrimp and Avocado
    1/4 cup fresh lime juice
    1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
    2 large garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 jalapeño, seeded and minced
    1/4 tsp cumin
    1/4 tsp coriander
    1/4 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
    1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
    4 sprigs fresh cilantro
    1 small cucumber, peeled and diced
    1 ripe avocado, diced
    1 pound cooked peeled shrimp
    Handful tortilla chips, lightly crushed
    limes, cut into wedges

    In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, onion, garlic, jalapeño, and spices. Let marinate for 10 minutes.
    Place the tomatoes and cilantro sprigs into the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until the mixture is chunky. Add the onion mixture, and pulse five times.
    Divide the cucumber, avocado, and shrimp among four bowls. Spoon the tomato blend into the bowls. Garnish with the crushed tortilla chips, additional cilantro, and lime wedges.

    4 Servings

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    posted in How to Eat Supper, Main Dishes, Soups and Stews | 7 Comments


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