Monday, December 27, 2010

Peanut Chicken Soup

Do you, too, have sniffles? A winter cold? You need chicken soup. Chicken soup cures almost all ills, and doubly so when the peanut sauce you happen to add in has a touch of spice to it.

This soup got very high reviews from Clive, though that may be in part because he was out in today's chilly rain for a few hours on the his bike. Whatever the reason, the soup is happy and good and good for you.

Peanut Chicken Soup
Serves 4

2 T olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
4 chicken thighs, chopped
1 small head broccoli, chopped
4 T peanut sauce, prepared
1 quart stock (chicken or turkey)
1 bunch udon noodles
1/3 c cilantro, chopped
1/3 c scallions, chopped
1 t pepper, or to taste

Heat a large dutch oven or soup pan over medium heat until warm. Add the olive oil and heat to just shy of simmering. Add the onions and sweat briefly; 2-3 minutes.

Add the chopped chicken and cook for 5 minutes, until the chicken has started to cook through. As the chicken begins to cook, add the broccoli and the peanut sauce, stirring to coat all the ingredients with the peanut sauce. I used a prepared peanut sauce that has a little spice to it and right about this point, the house started to smell amazing.

Pour in the stock and stir to get any bits off the bottom of the pan. Allow the soup to come to a simmer, then throw in the udon. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or according to the package directions.

Stir in the cilantro and scallions and taste the soup. Add pepper to taste. Serve.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Catalonian Pizza

It seems I am relatively lackluster when it comes to posting. I have a good excuse, I'm sure. Somewhere.

Last night, I made pizza. It was delicious and everything pizza should be. The crust was thin and crisp and the cheese was melty and happy. I'm relatively picky about pizza, because with food that's simple, there's less of a margin for error. Translation: there's lots of bad pizza out there. This was very good pizza.

The recipe originally came from Wine Bar Food, which I constantly flip through looking for ideas and inspirations. My favorite so far is a recipe that basically amounts to grown up pizza rolls. This one is a close second. I did make one fairly substantial tweak to this recipe. The original recipe called for two pounds of manchego cheese. Two pounds. I love manchego; it's delicious and wonderful and reminds me of Spain. But two pounds? Depending on where you get it, manchego can cost you between $12 and $20 a pound. I may love pizza, but there's no way I'm dropping $40 on cheese for these bad boys. So say hello to mozzarella, which has a far more wallet-friendly price point:

Catalonian Pizza, adapted from Wine Bar Food to reduce the cheese by half and switch to mozzarella, which does not cost $40.
Serves 4
1 recipe pizza dough
6 oz chorizo
4 fresh tomatoes, sliced thin
12 oz mozzarella, grated
1/4 c cilantro

Preaheat the oven to 500° F.

Saute the chorizo until browned, about 5-7 minutes. Drain any grease. Divide your pizza dough into four pieces. Roll each into a 12 inch square.

Move the dough to a baking sheet and top with 1 cup shredded mozzarella, then thinly sliced tomatoes, then the chorizo.

Bake 12-15 minutes, until the cheese is browned. Remove and top with the cilantro.