thesoupfairy: (garlic)
Evil Jungle Chicken (or Tofu)

Fabulous Thai dish that you may have eaten in a restaurant. (I used to eat Evil Jungle Tofu at Thai Kum Koon, a local Thai restaurant, all the time.) It is every bit as easy to make at home, though! This is my own version, which has a few more veggies than the ones I've seen in restaurants. I created this recipe to mimic the flavor of the Thai restaurant specialty without having to drive into the city to the Asian market, which means that in place of traditional Thai ingredients, I've substituted ones that are easier to find here.

A note: Often you can get away with chopping as you cook... I highly recommend having all of your ingredients chopped, zested, and ready before you start cooking!

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25
Servings: 6

Ingredients
  • 2 cups white rice

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into thin bite-size strips or firm tofu, drained and diced

  • 2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks

  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks

  • 8 mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced thinly

  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into matchsticks

  • 1 medium white onion, sliced into thin wedges

  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

  • 2-4 serrano chiles (unless you have access to Thai red chiles - then use 2-4 of those) or more if you like it hotter

  • zest of 2 lemons (or 4 lemon balm leaves) combined with an inch-long piece of fresh ginger, minced (if you have access to lemongrass, use 1 stalk fresh or frozen in place of the lemon/balm + ginger)

  • zest of 2 limes (unless you have access to kaffir lime leaves then use 8-16 leaves)

  • 20 basil leaves

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce

  • 1-4 tablespoons fish sauce (or homemade Mock Fish Sauce, see below), to taste

  • 2 cups finely shredded cabbage


Directions

Cook rice according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté chicken or tofu, carrot, bell pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, onion, and 4 cloves of the garlic until chicken is done and vegetables are tender.

While sautéing, process chiles, remaining 2 cloves of garlic, lemon zest/lemon balm + ginger (or lemon grass), lime zest (or kaffir lime leaves), and basil leaves in food processor until you have a paste.

Add chile paste to skillet and sauté another 2-3 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and cook another 7-8 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in tamari and fish sauce. Simmer until it seems ready. Serve on a bed of chopped cabbage with rice on the side.

Mock Fish Sauce

Not fermented like the real thing, so it won't keep as long and will need to be refrigerated.

Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes

Ingredients
  • 1/2 can anchovies, drained

  • 1 clove garlic, bruised and peeled

  • 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup water


Directions

Combine all in saucepan. Simmer for 10 minutes and strain.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
The Dulce De Leche was a last-minute addition born of my apparent NEED for it tonight. In fact, I very may well keep its creation all to myself and sneak in after everyone goes to bed, eating it directly from the can with a spoon :) If so, I will make it up to my family by making them a Quadruple Milk Cake later this week!

Magical Mystery Bread

Magical Mystery Bread


This is my most beloved and requested bread... as well as my easiest! Start off with this bread with the full 1/2 cup of sugar and no extras. After a while, switch it up a bit. Use less sugar and add some savory herbs. Throw in some oats or other grain. Experiment - it's pretty tough to go wrong with this one.

Prep: <5 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients
  • A little butter for the pan

  • 3 cups self-rising flour

  • 12 ounces dark beer

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar

  • herbs, seasonings, some grated cheese, etc. if you like


Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease the entire inner surface of a standard-sized loaf pan with butter. (I keep the wrappers from my sticks of butter in a baggie in my fridge and just use the wrappers to grease pans with.)

Combine remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl, using a wooden spoon to mix them just enough to have the entire bowlful of dough equally moistened. Scrape dough all together in a ball and then turn dough into the loaf pan. Use your spoon or your hands (Warning! It's very sticky dough!) to press it evenly into the pan.

Moisten your fingers and palms with warm water and smooth the top of the loaf.

Place in the oven and bake for about 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Turn out of pan and cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing.




Fabulously Quick and Easy French Onion Soup

The first French Onion Soup recipe I ever made took about nine hours to prepare! This one is much, much quicker, but you and whoever you're feeding will love it just as much. We usually use sourdough or French bread for the crouton on the top, but tonight I'm using the Magical Mystery Bread for the first time. I'll let ya know how it goes.

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes or so
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients
  • 1 stick of butter (or an equal amount of olive oil if you're vegan

  • 6 yellow onions, peeled and sliced thinly

  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

  • 6 cups stock (beef if you like, or vegetarian if you prefer)

  • 1/3 cup cooking sherry

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • sliced bread, about half an inch thick

  • Sliced cheese for melting on top (Provolone, Gruyere, Swiss, Mozzarella)


Directions

Melt butter in a heavy soup pot. Add the onions and sauté until they are translucent and soft, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add garlic about half-way through the onion cooking period.

French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup


Once the onions have cooked down, add the broth and sherry. Simmer for half an hour, then season with salt and pepper.

French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup


While the soup cooks, preheat the oven to 350°F. Toast the sliced bread on a baking sheet until it starts to turn golden, turning to toast both sides. Turn on the broiler and top each slice of toast with 1 or 2 slices of cheese (or an equivalent amount of grated cheese). Broil until cheese is bubbling and browning.

Float one of these crouton on the top of each serving of soup.

French Onion Soup



Dulce De Leche

Seriously amazing creamy caramel sauce. Some folks will tell you this is unsafe to make without piercing the top of the can, that your can will explode. The truth is that it's quite safe so long as you keep the level of the water well above the top of the can. Keep checking the water level throughout the cooking time and keep it at least an inch above the can.

Cook: 2 to 3-1/2 hours

Ingredients
  • one can sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand is fine, but i've not found one, even the store brand, that wasn't just as fabulous)


Directions

Remove the label from the can and place it in a large cooking pot. Add water to well higher than 1 inch above the top of the can. Bring to a boil, and continue boiling, adding water as needed to keep the level up.

Dulce De Leche


Boil two hours if you want a creamy sauce and 3-1/2 hours if you want a thick puddinglike consistency.

Allow can to cool slightly, then remove lid carefully. Serve over ice cream, as a dip for fresh fruit, and anywhere caramel seems like it would be tasty.

(A photo of the finished caramel will be up when it's done!)
thesoupfairy: (Default)
The Soup Fairy

October 2012

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