Tuesday, January 24, 2012

First goal in the making, literally

One of my new year’s goals was to make more food from my world travels and I’m making good on that promise! Can I get a high-five on following through with one of my goals? Not yet? Yeah, I thought so. Maybe in March??
Anyways, I have decided to try and make one international meal per week. So far I have made some yummy vegetarian Dal and Thai chicken and rice soup. I did not post or take any pictures of the dal because I had the idea for this weekly feast while eating said dal. The Thai chicken and rice soup will be the kick off. Unforutnately, I was a HUGE slacker and only took a picture of my ingredients. I was super hungry and I was too busy shoveling yummy, creamy, spicy soup in my mouth to bother with a picture. Will you forgive me? Thank you! I so appreciate it!

I found this recipe on Pinterest, my new love and addiction, and I have to say it was a great find. This soup was easy to make and had ingredients that were easy to locate stateside. One of my potential struggles with re-creating my international meals is finding some of the ingredients. Not the case here, so don’t worry, even you can make this! This soup is a nice twist on a standard and frankly, boring, recipe.

Thai Chicken and Rice Soup:
2 Boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1” pieces
1 small onion, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 cup sliced mushrooms (I omitted this because I think fungus is, well fungus if you get my drift)
2 Tbsp lemongrass paste (Yes, this does exist at your local store or you can make your own with a mortar and pestle. I continue to be lazy and merely sliced the stalk into 3” halved segments and removed them before serving and it seemed to work just fine.)
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (I still can’t say this word, can you?)
1 cup half and half
½ cup lite coconut milk
2 tsp red curry paste
1 ½ tsp red chili paste
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp water


1.       Heat soup pot on medium and add onions, peppers, and salt to cook in a tbsp or so of canola or vegetable oil. Cook until onion translucent and peppers soft. Throw in zucchini and mushrooms and chicken. Cook till chicken halfway done.

2.       Add lemongrass, fish sauce, and Worcestershire and simmer for 5 minutes. Add half and half, coconut milk. Reduce heat and simmer for several minutes.

3.       Combine all the pastes, cornstarch, and water in a small bowl. Stir till the cornstarch is dissolved. Add to soup, stir till soup thickens. To be honest my soup never really thickened and I added additional cornstarch. Will the mysteries never end?

4.       Let soup simmer for 10 minutes and adjust seasonings at this point as desired. I added more chili paste, but I like things on the spicy side.

5.       Serve over rice. I would not recommend adding the rice directly to the soup, because the rice will start to break down and turn to paste and that’s just not appetizing. The last time I ate paste was in grade school!
Serves 4


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