Friday, November 18, 2011

Super Soups

One soup season post is not enough.
I'm simply not done with soups yet.
But I thought this go around we could focus on some Caribbean, Thai, and Sichuan flavors. I'm talking chili lime soup with coconut, chicken, and mushrooms.
I'm talking about some awesome Chicken Foot soup I got at a Caribbean spot, and I'm talking about an update for the Sichuan Peppercorns.


So this Thai-influenced soup is first. It is pretty freaking delicious. This was really the first time I made this kind of soup, but it will certainly not be the last. I'll even give you guys a recipe for it!
Here is what my cutting board looked like when I started:

Pretty good right? We've got some ginger, limes, fresh jalapenos, shallot, coconut milk, enoki mushrooms and some dried chilies.
Add some chopped chicken legs, a little magic, and we are all set to go!
Squeeze that lime on top, dog.

Yeah see that whole dried chili? Yeah eat that! Slurp some coconut broth and make sure some tender little enoki are on your spoon. Oh, is it cold or rainy out? I wouldn't know because I'm eating tropical soup that's warming me from the inside out.

This next soup is the from God Is Restaurant (yelp link) available only on Wednesdays.
This bright yellow container of love is Caribbean chicken foot soup, and it is fantastic.

Freaking amazing. Potatoes, carrots and chicken make their home in a deep rich yellow broth seasoned with thyme and allspice. My soup had no chicken feet, so I swapped with a buddy (he had two!) I had to have the namesake ingredient, and this chicken foot was worth it. I've had plenty of run-ins with chicken feet before, but I think this so far has been my favorite application. (I have yet to try them deep fried and served like buffalo wings.) Chicken feet, for those that have never had them, are pretty much all skin and cartilage. It's like the best part of chicken wings, but with smaller bones and more machismo.

I suggest you guys try some!

Oh, remember this post? I haven't forgotten about my special jar of Sichuan peppercorns. Sometimes I make single bowls of soup in a small pot, and I thought this would be a perfect time to try out the numbing spice.
First I toasted some star anise, dried red chilies and a tiny stick of cinnamon, and just before they were done I threw some finely minced dried Sichuan peppercorns to finish with.
Now it was time for some water, fresh ginger and garlic, dried shiitake mushrooms and some wakame seaweed. Wait, you don't readily have four or five varieties of sea weed around? You should, because seaweed makes a great contribution to dishes and is packed full of important minerals.

After a few minutes of boiling, I tossed in the rice noodles, a little soy sauce and some Squid Brand fish sauce (which you can apparently order by the boatload, minimum order from the website is over 1,000 gallons)
The Sichuan peppercorns made a obvious impression throughout. At first they numbed my tongue, but soon the heat from the chilies overpowered. The soup was consistently spicy throughout, which I like, and the spice mixture worked well.
It smelled great and the slick spicy noodles had great texture and flavor. Thick meaty mushrooms and soft sea weed pieces rounded out the textures and helped influence the glassy noodles.
I will definitely make more soups and other things with these peppercorns!

After you check out God Is Restaurant, get over to a grocery store, because you are going to need to pick some things up for my Thai-style soup:

2 medium shallots, diced
half a dozen green jalapenos, diced
2 inches of ginger, cut into fourths
2 cans of light coconut milk (or one can of regular)
2 cups water or stock
about 6 dried chilies
a little less than two pounds of chicken legs
3 fresh limes 
one package of enoki mushrooms
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
and some fish sauce

Take the skin off the chicken and brown it in a pot. Eat it or discard(it's great salted), but keep the fat in the pot. Add the first three ingredients, plus half the dried chilies to the chicken fat on medium heat. When the jalapenos begin to soften and the shallots are becoming translucent, add the chicken, browning slightly on all sides. Add half of one can of coconut milk and a half a cup of stock and the sugar, I also added some of the lime zest during this step, but it can be left out. Keep this on medium for about fifteen minutes
Now add the rest of the liquids and bring up to barely a boil. Turn it down to a fast simmer and add about 3 tablespoons of fish sauce, or to your liking (I may have added more, but not by much)
After about forty-five minutes (stirring occasionally) add the enoki mushrooms.
Squeeze a lime over your steaming hot bowl and enjoy!

1 comment:

Jonah said...