Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Eating Well in the Crowsnest

Remember my blog about all the cool things we found to do in the Crowsnest Pass?  No? Perhaps this will refresh your memory:  https://hpdsinc.blogspot.ca/2017/04/secrets-of-crowsnest.html.  One of the other things we did was eat. . . a lot. . . and really really well! We planned on having a few meals out but, honestly, we enjoyed our own cooking so much we chose staying in!  Here are the recipes.

Wicked Thai Chicken Soup
1 tbs vegetable oil
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
4 c. chicken stock
2 tbs lemon grass herb paste
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 c. high quality coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp chili paste or sriracha
1 tb. cornstarch
1/2 c finely chopped onion
1 1/2 c sliced mushrooms
2 diced chicken breasts
1 tsp fish sauce (optional)
1 c half & half (10%) cream
2 tsp red curry paste
2-3 tb. tomato paste to taste
2 c cooked rice
Fresh cilantro, parsley or shredded green onion for garnish

Saute mushrooms in 1 tbs. oil.  Remove to a plate.  In the same pot, add remaining 1 tb. oil, onion, red pepper and saute.  Return mushrooms, add broth and chicken and heat.  Add lemon grass paste, fish sauce and worcestershire sauce and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add coconut milk, turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 minutes.  In a small bowl, add curry paste, tomato paste, sriracha, 2 tbs. water and cornstarch and mix until incorporated. Stir into soup until combined and summer until it thickens very slightly and has a velvety appearance.  Add cooked rice, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Garnish with cilantro, parsley or shredded green onion strips and serve with additional hot sauce for those who prefer a hotter soup.  Serves 8 (or 4 hungry people).
Notes from the cook (Mary Jane Porter Morrison):  I add 2 garlic cloves to onion and red pepper.  Always use a good quality coconut milk, such as Thai Kitchen.  It comes in a tetra pak or can.  You may need to stir it very well before using it as it can separate.  You only need a half cup for this recipe but it can be frozen in portions.  Use a fine grater on the lemon grass if you use the plant.

Lemongrass Chicken 
Secret Saute:
8 boneless chicken thighs or breasts (it's good with beef too)
1/4 c minced lemongrass, fresh or frozen
2 shallots or 1/4 onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves
1 - 2 fresh red chilies, sliced or 1/2 - 1 tsp cayenne pepper, to taste
1 thumb-sized piece galagal or ginger, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp tumeric
2 tbsp. ground coriander
2 tsp cumin
3 tbsp. dark soy sauce
3 tbsp. fish sauce (optional)
6 tbsp. grown sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Peanut sauce for dipping

Place all marinade ingredients in a food processor or chopper and process well.  Marinade meat for at least 2 hours or longer. Serve with Coconut Rice.

Notes from the Cook (Jane Friesen):  Meat can also be frozen in the marinade; and it's best on the BBQ or broiled.  

Coconut Rice
1.5 cups basmati rice
1 - 400 ml can coconut milk
250 ml chicken broth

Pulled Pork Sandwich

1 tsp vegetable oil
4 lbs. pork shoulder roast
1/2 c apple cider vinegar
1/2 c chicken broth
1/4 c brown sugar
1 tbsp mustard powder
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp chili powder
1 large onion chopped
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1.5 tsp dried thyme

Mix all ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on high for a minimum of 5 hours or until pork will easily shred using two forks.  Once shredded, continue to cook for at least another hour.  Serve on hamburger or other style of large bun.  

Notes from the cook (me):  This recipe is very forgiving.  I use various types of vinegar, including balsamic or red wine vinegar.  Depending on who I'm making it for, you can also add heat, with any variety of hot sauces, or by adding hot chili peppers.  I usually make it with a side of coleslaw which some people add as a topping to the sandwich.

And now you have it!  ENJOY!