Friday, February 14, 2014


I suppose it was inevitable that I would fall off the blistering bogging pace I set in January. Chalk it up to the winter doldrums, plus the bout of food poisoning that hit me after a weekend trip to Montreal (picked up, I’m embarrassed to say, from a rare and ill-advised rendezvous with the golden arches) or maybe the fact that I’ve been living on mostly quick, boring recipes that I haven’t deemed worth sharing. So yes, I have fallen off the pace a bit here.

I wish I could say I had something super fresh and new in store today, but, nope: just more soup. In fact, it’s another curry soup, so I’ll forgive you a sense of déjà vu from my last post. That said, it’s a damn good soup, a Thai-inspired curry soup given a bit of a twist with the addition of dried New Mexican chilis to add a hint of smokiness and complexity to what is a rich and silky concoction. Give it a try while I try to find something to eat that’s not soup.

Chicken Khao Soi (from Bon Appetit)

Spice paste:
4 large dried New Mexico or guajillo chiles, stemmed, halved, seeded
2 medium shallots, halved
8 garlic cloves
1 2" piece ginger, peeled, sliced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro stems
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon curry powder

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 14-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, halved lengthwise
1 pound Chinese egg noodles
3 tablespoons (or more) fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
1 tablespoon (packed) palm sugar or light brown sugar
Kosher salt

Sliced red onion, bean sprouts, cilantro sprigs, crispy fried onions or shallots, chili oil, and lime wedges.

For the khao soi paste:
Place chilis in a small heatproof bowl, add boiling water to cover, and let soak until softened, 25-30 minutes. Drain, reserving soaking liquid. Purée chilis, shallots, garlic, ginger, cilantro stems, coriander, turmeric, curry powder, and 2 tablespoons soaking liquid in a food processor, adding more soaking liquid by the tablespoon until smooth.

For soup:
Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add khao soi paste; cook, stirring constantly, until slightly darkened, 4-6 minutes. Add coconut milk and broth. Bring to a boil; add chicken. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is fork-tender, 20-25 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Let cool slightly; shred meat.

Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions.

Add chicken, 3 tablespoons fish sauce, and sugar to soup. Season with salt or more fish sauce, if needed. Divide noodles among bowls, add soup and top with your choice of accompaniment.

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