Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Flavor Explosion

A few weeks ago at our pot luck Halloween lunch at work I sampled kielbasa cooked in yellow mustard and apple jelly. It was served on toothpicks as an appetizer. And wow, was it good. So last week I took this yummy idea a step further and made a soup with kielbasa, cabbage, onions and potatoes. And cooked them in the mustard and apple jelly mixture. Flavor explosion is all I can say. And easy peasy.

Kielbasa and Cabbage Soup
serves 4

1 package kielbasa (I used the light)
1/2 head green cabbage sliced or chopped
1 large onion sliced
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp canola oil
water to cover kielbasa
2 cups chicken broth
1 Russet potato diced
9 oz apple jelly
4 oz yellow mustard
salt and pepper

Let's get cooking. Slice your kielbasa so it fits in a medium size sauce pan. Cover with water and cook on medium heat until the sausages begin to plump, about 25 minutes.

Prep your cabbage and onions and set aside. Remove kielbasa from pan and let cool. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid for broth. When kielbasa is cooled a bit slice into 1/2 inch rounds and mix together the mustard and apple jelly.

In large soup pan on medium heat, add canola oil and toast the mustard seeds for almost a minute, until they start to pop. Now add the cabbage and onions and lower heat to medium low. Cook cabbage/onions until slightly wilted.

Now add the apple jelly mixture and reserved cooking water and chicken broth. Add back the kielbasa and the chopped potatoes. Cook another ten minutes and your soup is done. Taste to see if you need to add any salt and pepper. I added a pinch or two of both.

This is one hearty meal, and the combo of the apple jelly and mustard just takes it over the top. It's a little bit sweet and has just the right amount of tang due to the mustard. Yummers, I'm going to try this again and add a little bit of bacon. And next time, you can be sure I'll have a crusty loaf of bread on hand for dipping. Oh yeah, I'm getting ready for winter.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thai Inspired Red Curry Satay Chicken Soup

I can't get enough of the Thai flavors. The red chilis, lemongrass, peanuts and coconut milk to name a few. You name it- I'm hooked. Last night's dinner was simple to make and fabulous to slurp. And served with Jasmine rice, well it was over the top delish. Want to make this? I can't wait to re-live putting this simple dish together. And don't let the long ingredient list stop you from making this. It's mostly a "can opener" experience and very little prep. Let's get going.

Red Curry Satay Chicken Soup
Serves 4

1-1/2 to 2 pounds bone-in chicken breast or breasts with skin removed
Kosher salt
1 T canola oil
1 small onion diced
2 T Thai red curry paste (I use Thai Kitchen)
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 can (14 oz) lite unsweetened coconut milk
1-1/2 cups water or chicken broth (I used water)
1-1/2 T fish sauce
2 T brown sugar
1/2 cup Thai Kitchen Peanut Satay Sauce (easy to find in international aisle of your market)
1-1/2 T chili garlic sauce
1 red pepper sliced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
Juice of one lemon or lime (I used a lemon, no lime in the fridge)
chopped dry roated peanuts for garnish
scallion slices for garnish
Fresno chilis sliced for garnish

Clean and wash your chicken breasts. I had a breast in my package that was soooo big, I ended up just using the one. It was about 1-3/4 pounds. Remove skin, sprinkle with kosher salt and set aside.

In large soup pot on stovetop, add canola oil and heat on medium to low heat. Add onions and sweat for about 3-4 minutes. Now add your chopped garlic and red curry paste.

Let aromatics cook for a few more minutes on low until you can smell the chili and lemongrass in the paste. It's now time to add the coconut milk, water, fish sauce, brown sugar, peanut satay sauce, and chili garlic sauce. Stir together with a spatula to combine and add your chicken breast(s).

Well, I had a nice photo array of the chicken cooking, veggies being added and it seems that my photos are no longer compatible with my blog. So, trooper that I am, I'm finishing the post without anymore new pics. Grrrrrrrrr. That's directed at you Google.

Anyway, cook chicken on low, covered, until done. Don't over cook it. My whopper breast cooked for 36 minutes on low/simmer and rested for about 10-15 minutes until I could handle it and shred it.

While chicken is resting, slice your red pepper in strips, prepare your garnishes and make your Jasmine rice in a separate pan. I'm not a great rice cooker so I use the Success brand Jasmine rice. Ready in 9 minutes.

Add shredded chicken to soup, add sliced red pepper and let them cook together 10-15 minutes. Now add the peas and corn. Cook about another minute and add the juice of one lemon or lime. When plating, I put a dome of rice in the center of each bowl and added the soup around the edges. You see, sometimes I just enjoy a mouthful of rice with very little broth and sometimes I like it nicely mixed. This way you can do both. Garnish with scallions, Serano chilis and crushed roasted peanuts. Cilantro would be a natural, but there was none available in my market. I hope you enjoy this. I had a taste tonight before writing and it's just as good if not better than yesterday. And look at that fabulous color. A very happy meal I must say!