Saturday, January 11, 2020

Curried Chicken Soup

I have been keeping this blog since January 16, 2006.   My first blog post, which I thoughtfully entitled Scottish Food, totally reflected where I was in that point in my life.   I have always enjoyed good food, but as a mother of two young children (Jane was 11 and Eddie was 9) I often found myself at the drive thru at McDonalds,    I rarely find myself there now, but I do admit a fondness for McDonald's french fries.    I'd go there right now and get some but we are about to have an ice storm and so I might as well stay in and make some chicken soup instead.

I'm a fan of the shredded rotisserie chicken you can get at Meijer.   I buy it almost every week - it is very often a quick snack or an easy lunch ingredient.  This week, I found myself at Costco, even though I rarely use Costco for much more than gasoline, toilet paper and vodka.   (yes, their vodka is outstanding and well priced).   They offered up some shredded rotisserie chicken as well, at a price comparable to Meijer.   Consumer warning: it is rare that Costco prices can beat Meijer prices.   They trick you because you need to do math to figure that out.   Don't fall into the trap that Costco is cheap.  It most often is not.  I bought their chicken and found it to be subpar.   So I had a bunch that needed to be eaten and when I saw a recipe in Cook's Country for curried chicken noodle soup that sounded like it might work. 

Given the ice storm, I wasn't going to go out to get the rice vermicelli and the Thai basil leaves required for the recipe, so I decided to adapt.   Here is what I came up is outstanding!  Feel free to use up a cup of whatever pasta you have kicking around in the pantry.   And of course, you could poach some chicken breasts instead of the shredded rotisserie chicken.   This soup was so good!  Let the storm begin!

Curried Chicken Soup

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, halved and sliced thin
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch-long matchsticks
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
6 cups chicken broth (3 cans)
1/4 c. dried pasta
¼ cup canned coconut milk
2 tablespoons sriracha sauce
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 small can mushrooms
2 T dried hot peppers
1 c. frozen peas

Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion, carrots, salt, and pepper and cook until vegetables are just softened, about 4 minutes. Add broth, noodles, coconut milk, and sriracha sauce and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until noodles are softened, about 12 minutes, depending on your pasta.  Stir in chicken and mushrooms and cook until chicken is heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in frozen peas and heat until bright green. 

Serve with lime wedges

This soup would be perfect for someone with a cold!  It is spicy.    So good on a cold, wet day like today.   My kids are grown and gone now, but I am willing to bet either one of them will make this soup.    Stay warm, my friends!

Sunday, January 05, 2020

Paprika Salad Dressing

I really do need to scale back my cookbook collection.     We will be retiring one day and moving to our lakehouse in the Keweenaw, and there's no way I can move my entire cookbook collection.    I am going to need to KonMari my cookbook collection.  My problem is that they all spark joy for me!  Just yesterday, I allowed myself to peruse the cookbook section of the Dexter Library used book sale, and I was thrilled to find a copy of the 2002 Taste of Home Annual Recipes.   I now only need 2003 to complete my collection from the 2000s. 

I adore old TOH cookbooks from back in the day.    I love to read the corny head notes for each recipe.  Ladies are always promising great things from the recipes they have submitted.      A recipe for paprika salad dressing caught my eye....Sharon Nichols from Brookings, SD assures me that "fresh greens really perk up with this zesty homemade dressing".    I decided to jazz her recipe up with some apple cider vinegar and honey and smoked instead of sweet paprika.   Plus more hot sauce. It is spectacular!

Paprika Salad Dressing

1/2 c sour cream
1/4 c mayonnaise
2 T steak sauce
1/4 t kosher salt
1/2 t smoked paprika
1/4 t celery seed
1/2 t Tabasco sauce
1 T. honey
2 T. apple cider vinegar

Put all ingredients in a jar and shake until well blended.

I'm trying to eat more vegetables in the new year, like every year.    I am looking forward to some salads made with this outstanding dressing.   I had some light sour cream left over from another recipe and normally I find light sour cream kind of a let down, but this dressing has so much flavor I didn't even notice that it was missing anything.