Rice Soup with Chicken & Shrimp

This soup is an adaptation of Chao Boi, a dish of northern Vietnam. I omitted the crabmeat and replaced dried mushrooms for fresh, but the essence of the soup remains the same. Because it contains chicken, shrimp, rice and vegetables, it’s my favorite kind of dish, a complete meal in a bowl!
 
Serves 4-6
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 cup long grained rice
12 cups chicken stock
6 mushrooms, sliced
2T. canola oil
1 small onion sliced
1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and halved
1/4 cup small tapioca pearls
1/3 cup chopped scallions (white and green)
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
salt
sweet chili oil (optional)
Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a 5 qt. saucepan. Remove from heat, add chicken, cover and allow it sit for 20 minutes. Remove chicken, but do not discard the water. Once chicken has cooled, shred it and set aside.
 
Return the water to a boil and add rice. Parboil for 8 minutes until tender but firm. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
 
Using the same pan, bring stock to a boil. Add the rice and chicken, lower to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes until the rice expands.
 
Meanwhile in a skillet, heat oil. Add onion and mushrooms, cooking until fragrant and soft. Add shrimp and cook only until they curl. Set aside.
 
Rinse the tapioca in a sieve under cold water. Add to the soup once the rice has expanded and cook for another 10 minutes. Once the pearls have expanded and become translucent, add the shrimp only to heat through. Taste for salt.
 
Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with scallions and cilantro. Add sweet chili oil for a little heat.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Cara Cara Orange Salad

It was love at first bite when I tasted the Cara Cara orange. A relative of the navel, it is sweet, juicy, seedless, and possesses such a deep rosy color that you can’t help but smile. You can find them at your local grocery store, or even at Costco, from December – April.
 
Inspired by a recent visit to New York’s’ Union Square Cafe, this simple salad was delicious and memorable.
Cara Cara oranges, peeled and sliced into rounds
Pine Nuts, toasted (optional)
Ricotta Salata cheese. sliced into thin matchsticks
Fennel, sliced into thin matchsticks
Chives, snipped
 
Rice Wine vinegar
Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper
 
So easy and delicious!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Spiced Carrot Hummus

Steamed carrots lightly spiced with rosemary, garlic and paprika elevate traditional hummus to new heights. Healthy and delicious!

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Recipe adapted from Taste magazine
1 lb. carrots, peeled
2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
4 T. oil
2 t. paprika
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic
3 T. sherry vinegar or to taste
salt-pepper
fresh mint
Steam carrots until tender, reserving the cooking water. Heat olive oil, paprika, rosemary, and garlic in a small saucepan over low heat for 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Remove rosemary sprig and discard.
Put all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. If too thick, add a little of the reserved cooking water to the food processor until you’ve reached the desired consistency. Adjust seasoning and garnish with chopped mint.

How to Make Perfect Hummus

Creamy, smooth, perfect hummus, the kind you get at your favorite Middle Eastern restaurant, bears little resemblance to the tubs you buy at the grocery store, or even make at home using canned chickpeas. With a little planning ahead, it’s easy to make perfect hummus at home.
1 lb.( 2-1/4 cups) dried garbanzo beans
 
The secret to making the best tasting hummus is to start with dried, not canned garbanzo beans, which require soaking.
 
In a large bowl, add enough cold water to cover the beans by 2″. Set aside overnight, or for at least 6-8 hours.
 
Drain water and rinse beans. They are now ready to cook.
 
 
Fill a pot with 6 cups cold water and add beans. Simmer gently covered with lid ajar for about 45 minutes to 1-1/2 hours until beans are very tender, almost mushy. Add additional water as needed to cover.
 
Drain, reserving about 2 cups of the cooking water and set aside to cool.
 
Makes 5 cups Hummus
 
4 cups cooked garbanzo beans
2 cloves garlic
Juice of 4 lemons, or to taste
3/4 cup tahini
1/2 cup olive oil
1-1/2 t. kosher salt
pinch of cayenne pepper, (optional) if you like a little heat
reserved cooking liquid
 
Purée beans in the bowl of a food processor, adding a little of the reserved water if necessary. Then add tahini, garlic, salt, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice. Process for about a minute, then with machine still running, add olive oil in a stream. Add the reserved cooking liquid a little at a time until you’ve reached the desired consistency.
Serve with carrot and celery sticks, olives, and pita chips.
 
 
 
 
 

Black & White Chambord Truffles

Bittersweet chocolate infused with Chambord, a black raspberry liqueur produced in the Loire Valley of France, coated in velvety white chocolate and sprinkled with colored sugar crystals. Need I say more?
Happy Valentine’s Day!
 
For the dark chocolate ganache center, you will need:
 
1 lb. bittersweet chocolate (use high quality chocolate, not chocolate chips)
1 cup heavy cream
2 T. light corn syrup
2 T. unsalted butter, softened
2 T. Chambord liqueur
 
Makes about 50 truffles
 
Chop bittersweet chocolate and place in a shallow bowl with the softened butter.
 
In a saucepan, bring the cream and corn syrup to the boiling point, but do not boil. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate and butter.

Allow to sit for a minute, then stir gently to melt without incorporating too much air. Cool slightly before adding the Chambord.
Allow to firm up covered in the refridgerator for about 2 hours. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat and using a small ice cream scoop or melon ball slicer, scoop the ganache onto the cookie sheet.

Coating for ganache-
1lb. tempered white chocolate
Tempering is necessary for the chocolate to harden at room temperature and maintain it’s luster. It will give your coating that snap.If you prefer to skip this process, simply roll the ganache in sweetened cocoa powder and store the truffles in the refridgerator.
 
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Dip truffles in tempered white chocolate and place on the lined cookie sheet.
 
Sprinkle with colored sugar and set aside. Tempered chocolate sets up quickly.
Store covered at room temperature.