14th November 2009

    Big Curry Noodle Pot


    Here’s a quick & easy, packed-full-of-flavor slurpy bowl of goodness from Super Natural Cooking: Noodles, tofu, and onions swimming in a rich, creamy coconut curry broth. Just the right amount of spice, and a garnish of cilantro and shallots provide nice color contrast to the yellow broth.

    Lisa says:

    Ooooh, good choice! This is different than what we usually make.

    Chris says:

    Yeah, I’m usually not in the mood for coconut-broth-type dishes like this. I certainly never order them out.

    Lisa says:

    Well I’m glad you made this one; and I actually like the spiciness level.

    Chris says:

    Yeah it’s perfect — could always kick in additional hot sauce if you want it hotter.

    Lisa says:

    What makes it yellow, the curry paste?

    Chris says:

    It was a little closer to orange before the turmeric. Adding that and the coconut milk gave it the nice yellow color. I think the only thing I don’t think the recipe as shown in the book needs is the peanuts. I’ll leave them out when I make this next time.

    Lisa says:

    Agreed — they don’t really add much. It’s plenty awesome without them!

    Big Curry Noodle Pot
    8 1/2 oz. dried whole wheat udon noodles
    2 tbsp coconut oil
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 onion, chopped
    1 1/2 tsp red curry paste
    12 oz. extra firm tofu, cut into 1″ long columns
    1 14 oz can coconut milk
    2 cups vegetable broth
    2 tsp turmeric
    2 tbsp soy sauce
    1 tbsp sugar
    Juice of 1 lime
    2 shallots, sliced into rings
    1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

    Cook noodles according to package directions in lots of boiling water with a dash of salt. Drain, stop the cooking by running cold water over, and set aside.
    Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, onion and curry paste, stirring until the curry paste is well incorporated, 1-2 minutes. Add the tofu and gently stir until coated. Stir in the coconut milk, broth, turmeric, soy sauce and sugar. Bring to a slow simmer and keep it there for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the lime juice and noodles, and stir.
    Add the noodles and some extra both to each of 4 bowls. Top with the shallots and cilantro.

    4-6 Servings

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    posted in Asian, Main Dishes, Soups and Stews, Super Natural Cooking | 10 Comments

    12th November 2009

    Chipotle Chicken Chowder


    I’ve been sitting on this recipe for a while, looks like I had bookmarked it about a year ago and finally got around to making it.  Originally from a Cooking Light recipe, this modified version from The Kitchen Sink features chicken, potatoes, and other veggies in a smoky-tasting, creamy broth — using just 1/4 cup of cream.

    Chris says:

    This is bueno — I knew I’d saved that link for a reason…

    Lisa says:

    It’s pretty creamy tasting…

    Chris says:

    I know! There’s a little cream in there, but not a lot — most of the texture is from pureeing the broth and onion, celery, and carrots.

    Lisa says:

    Oh good, I like that the potatoes aren’t pureed in. I like the chunks.

    Chris says:

    Same here… and I just want to add lime and cilantro to every recipe.

    Lisa says:

    Don’t we already?.

    Chris says:

    Good point.

    Lisa says:

    Good dinner.

    Chipotle Chicken Chowder
    1 chipotle chile canned in adobo sauce, minced with 1 tsp of the adobo sauce *
    1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    2 cups chopped onion
    1 cup chopped carrot
    1/2 cup chopped celery
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp ground oregano
    6 garlic cloves, minced
    6 cups chicken broth
    2 small chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
    3/4 lb yukon gold potatoes, in 1/2″ dice
    1/4 cup whipping cream
    1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more to garnish
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    lime wedges

    Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chopped chile, adobo sauce, onion, carrot, celery, cumin, oregano, and garlic; cook 7 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring frequently. Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

    Remove pan from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture until smooth. Stir in the potatoes and chicken; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, uncovered, 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in cream and cilantro; simmer 5 minutes. Top with additional cilantro and serve with the lime wedges.

    * Tip: To avoid wasting an entire can of chipotles when you only need one for a recipe, do the following: Once the can is opened, line a baking sheet with foil, spoon each chipotle chile with sauce onto the foil, and place in the freezer. Once frozen, remove from the foil (they’ll slide right off) and place into a ziploc bag or other container and keep in the freezer. Easy to remove just one when required for future recipes.

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    posted in Cooking Light, Main Dishes, Mexican, Soups and Stews | 6 Comments

    14th July 2009

    Pork Posole


    The Third Place Books close to us was having a blowout on used books a couple of weeks ago, and we picked up a copy of The Best of Cooking Light: Everyday Favorites for four bucks (I’m a sucker for cookbooks with pictures). This pork posole recipe caught my eye because it looked pretty much like a normal (aka, non-light) posole recipe. Pork is browned and then added to a stock made from chicken broth and pureed ancho chilies. This recipe is all about the condiments: a squeeze of lime and a bunch of cilantro really brings out the flavors in this soup.

    Lisa says:

    We must love posole — I think we have four different recipes on the site.

    Chris says:

    Yep, and each one is a little different.

    Lisa says:

    I’m not sure about this one, you know I like the stewier ones.

    Chris says:

    Well, even though this one is broth-based, I think you’ll like it.

    Lisa says:

    Hmmm… kind of bland.

    Chris says:

    What? Ahhh… hit it with those garnishes. Squeeze that lime! Add those onions! Savor the cilantro!

    Lisa says:

    Wow, that makes a big difference… yum! It’s definitely growing on me.

    Chris says:

    Yeah, keep going…

    Lisa says:

    Awesome — I’m going back for more.

    Chris says:

    Mission Accomplished!

    Pork Posole
    4 ancho chilies, stemmed and seeded
    2 cups boiling water
    1 tbsp cumin seeds
    1 tbsp peanut oil
    1 1/2 lbs boneless pork loin, trimmed and cut into (1/2″) pieces
    1 1/2 cups chopped onion
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    4 cups chicken broth
    2 tbsp sugar
    3/4 tsp salt
    2 15.5-oz cans white hominy, undrained
    sliced radishes
    chopped green onions
    minced fresh cilantro
    lime slices

    Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Place chilies in pan; flatten with a spatula. Cook 10 seconds on each side or until blackened. Combine toasted chilies and 2 cups boiling water in a bowl; let stand 10 minutes or until soft. Place pepper mixture in a blender; process until smooth.

    Cook cumin seeds in a large Dutch oven over medium heat for 1 minute or until toasted and fragrant. Place in a spice or coffee grinder; process until finely ground.

    Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pork; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Do this in batches if you must — don’t crowd the pork or it’ll steam instead of brown. Remove pork from pan. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and garlic to pan; cook 8 minutes or until onion is browned, stirring frequently. Stir in pork, pureed chilies, toasted ground cumin, broth, sugar, salt, and hominy; bring to a simmer. Cook 30 minutes or until pork is tender. Spoon equal portions posole into each of 6 bowls; top each serving with radishes, green onions, and cilantro. Serve with lime slices.

    6 Servings

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    posted in Cooking Light, Main Dishes, Mexican, Soups and Stews | 0 Comments

    2nd June 2009

    Catch-Up Post #1: CSA Soup & Asparagus Stir-Fry

    Not sure if it was a major ice-cream headache, weekend trips, or other commitments, but somehow I’ve ended up with a backlog of a dozen or so posts to catch up on.  Rather than try to recreate the magical conversations we had when enjoying these meals, I’m going to post a quick summary of each dish.  That’ll do, pig.


    “CSA” Soup: Delicious!  Lisa made this soup up from all the ingredients we had left over from our last CSA box.  Snow peas, zucchini, broccoli, and shallots, in a tomato and vegetable broth base.  Making a soup is a great way to use up vegetables that are starting to lose their firmness or are a few days away from the compost bin.


    This stir-fry, originally found on 101 Cookbooks, is a quick-to-prepare mix of tofu, asparagus, mushrooms, and spinach.  We [Heart] Asparagus season!

    Asparagus Stir-Fry
    toasted sesame oil
    8 oz extra-firm tofu, cut into slices
    4 oz mushrooms, halved
    4 green onions, thinly sliced
    1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
    1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
    1/2 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
    a couple big pinches of fine-grain sea salt
    3 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 big handful of toasted cashews, chopped up a bit
    a few handfuls of spinach
    zest and juice of one lime
    2 tbsp hoisin sauce
    1 small handful fresh mint, slivered
    1 small handful fresh basil, slivered

    Heat a teaspoon or so of sesame oil in a large pan, or well-seasoned wok over medium high heat. When it is hot, add the tofu, and cook until golden – a few minutes. Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.

    Add a generous splash of oil to the pan and, as soon as it is hot, add the mushrooms, onions, ginger, red pepper flakes, asparagus, and salt. Stir fry for about a minute, then add the garlic, cashews, and spinach and stir-fry for another minute, or until the spinach wilts. Return the tofu to the pan. Stir in the lime zest and juice and the hoisin sauce. Cook for another 10-20 seconds, stirring continuously.

    Remove from heat and stir in the mint and basil. Taste and add a bit more salt if needed.

    2 Main-dish Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Soups and Stews | 0 Comments

    13th April 2009

    Ancho White Bean Chili


    Everyone loves chili! (Right?) This vegetarian chili is from Great Bowls of Fire: The World’s Spiciest Soups, Chilies, Stews, and Hot Pots by Jay Solomon. It came together really quickly, and Abbie’s cornbread was a perfect accompaniment. The spice level was just right — not too hot, but definitely present.

    It’s been a few weeks since we actually sat down to eat this meal, so I have no memory of what was actually said.

    Rather, this:

    Chris, Lisa, Thad, and Abbie said:

    Yum, This is delicious, Could you pass the cornbread, Thank you, No problem, This isn’t very spicy, I like it, As do I, Thanks for making mine without cilantro, I love cilantro, I love corn, Good job on the cornbread, Are there any leftovers, No.

    Ancho White Bean Chili
    2 dried New Mexico chilies, seeded
    1 cup simmering water
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 large yellow onion, diced
    1 orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
    1 medium zucchini, diced
    1 large carrot, diced
    3 large cloves garlic, minced
    1 28-oz can fire-roasted plum tomatoes
    1 15-oz can corn kernels, drained
    1 15-oz can white kidney beans, drained
    2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
    1 tbsp oregano
    2 tsp ground cumin
    2 tsp chili powder
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    1/2 tsp salt

    chopped fresh cilantro, to garnish

    In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the dried chilies for about 2 minutes, shaking as they cook. Remove from the heat and cover with 1 cup of simmering water, then soak for 15-20 minutes. Place the chilies in a blender with 1/2 cup of the water and puree for 5 seconds. Scrape into a small bowl.
    In a dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, zucchini, carrot, and garlic, and cook for six minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and the pureed chilies and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
    Remove from the heat and let stand 5-10 minutes before serving. Top with the cilantro.

    6 Servings

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    posted in Great Bowls of Fire, Main Dishes, Soups and Stews | 2 Comments

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