I have decided that I need to make the Daring Cooks challenge immediately after it is posted because other wise I forget and time jsut gets away from me. This time I actually finished my challenge. Wahoo.
This soup is right up my alley because the more I know any type of Asian food the more I love it.
The October 2009 Daring Cooks’ challenge was brought to us by Jaden of the blog Steamy Kitchen. The recipes are from her new cookbook, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook.
For my Pho I wanted to make my own broth. You of course can use store bought if you would like but I felt it was worth the extra steps. I did take the easier route with my broth. Here is what I did the day before I made my pho:2 pounds chicken thighs
2 pounds chicken legs
Lightly spray a roasting pan or cookie sheet with oil. Place chicken pieces around, leaving some space between each. Salt the chicken. Roast in a 425F oven until the skins are brown. DO NOT REMOVE THE SKINS- lots o flavor there. Don't worry you will get your chance to defat later. Once you are done roasting let cool. Pick of all the usable meat and set aside for soup or you can also use it for some other use because you will probably have quite a bit of meat. Place all those skins, bones, cartilage and juice into a deep soup pot. Add any aromatics that will lend itself to whatever you are making or you can leave it plain. For this challenge I only added pepper. Cover all those browned bits of goodness with water, just covering. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and let it go for at least an hour, maybe even two. Let cool a little. Pour the soup through a strainer, reserving all that amazing broth, fat and all. Discard solid and refrigerate broth. Leave overnight. The next morning your broth will have worked very hard forcing those fatty solids to the top. Skim off the fat. Your broth will be very clean after that and you are ready to use it for whatever your pea pickin' heart desires. In my case, pho.
All that gelatin means lots of calcium!
CHICKEN PHO ( pronounced fuh )
Preparation Time: 45 cooking time + 15 minutes to cook noodles based on package directions Servings: Makes 4 servings Ingredients:
2 tbsp. whole coriander seeds
4 whole cloves
2 whole star anise
2 quarts (2 liters/8 cups/64 fluid ounces) store-bought or homemade chicken stock
1 whole chicken breast (you can skip this if you made your own, see above)
1 3-inch (7.5 cm) chunk of ginger, sliced and smashed with side of knife
1 to 2 tbsps. sugar
1 to 2 tbsps. fish sauce
1 lb. (500 grams/16 ounces) dried rice noodles (about ¼ inch/6 mm wide)
2 cups (200 grams/7 ounces) bean sprouts, washed and tails pinched offFresh
1 cup pea pods
cilantro (coriander) tops (leaves and tender stems)
½ cup (50 grams/approx. 2 ounces) shaved red onions
½ lime, cut into 4 wedges
Sriracha chili sauce
Sliced fresh chili peppers of your choice
Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the coriander seeds, cloves and star anise and toast until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Immediately spoon out the spices to avoid burning.
In a large pot, add all the ingredients (including the toasted spices) and bring to a boil.
In the oven roast onion and ginger until browned. Add to soup. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes. Add fish sauce and sugar.
Taste the broth and add more fish sauce or sugar, if needed.
Prepare the noodles as per directions on the package.
Ladle the broth into bowls. Then divide the shredded chicken breast and the soft noodles evenly into each bowl. Have the accompaniments spread out on the table. Each person can customize their own bowl with these ingredients.