Soup Up My Soup

Food and Stuff


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Lazy Sunday Frittata

A frittata  is an open-face omelette originating from Italy. Unlike a traditional omelette where the eggs are cooked at  high heat and then folded, a frittata is typically made by sauteing some combination of vegetables and meat until softened, and then the egg mixture is poured into the pan and then left to set at low to medium heat. A non-stick brunch pan such as the one in the photo is most ideal, but any pan which has been sufficiently seasoned with butter or oil will do.

After the vegetables and/or meat has been cooked through, it should take about seven minutes give or take for the eggs to set properly. About half way through the setting process you can add cheeses such as feta to the mix.

I usually just end up using whatever is in my fridge, but normally I will put in spinach, peppers, tomatoes, onions, and then maybe ham, bacon, and feta or cheddar at the end. It takes about four eggs worth of liquid to fill this brunch pan, but use whatever you want that reflects the number of people you are cooking for. You can serve this by cutting into slices.

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Khao Soi Soup (Sans noodles)

Khao Soi is a popular dish in Thailand and Myanmar, although there are many variations and you won’t get a consistent recipe. However, they all start with creating a paste of some kind, and then use that as the basis for a soup. Most recipes that I come across for Khao Soi use both coconut milk and chicken stock. Hopefully you make your own stock, but use whatever you can.

The recipe below is basically the same one from the March 2013 issue of Bon Appetite, however I have made this noodle-free to make it friendly for a paleo or grain-free diet (not that I follow it that closely, but I cut it out where it’s easy.) The main differences compared to the magazine (aside from being sans noodles) are that I added a pound of tiger shrimps, and used more chicken than their recipe called for. I also used coconut oil to sauté the paste, you can substitute for vegetable oil if you want. Also, if you really have to eat gluten-free, make sure the fish sauce you use doesn’t have any wheat in it, or just cut it out entirely. The rest of the ingredients should be fine.

If you want to add noodles, no problem, just cook according to the packages instructions towards the end of the process. Egg noodles probably would work best here, but use whatever you like.

Chicken Khao Soi

(Serves about 6 as a meal, or more as an app)

Khao Soi Paste

  • Large dried Guajillo Chiles, stemmed, halved, and seeded, 4
  • Medium shallots, halved, 2
  • Garlic cloves, 8
  • Ginger, peeled, sliced, 1 2” piece
  • Turmeric, ground, 1 tsp.
  • Coriander, ground, 1 tsp.
  • Curry Powder, 1 tsp.

Soup

  • Coconut oil, 2 tbsp.
  • Chicken thighs, skinless and boneless, 2 lbs.
  • Tiger shrimp, 1 lb.
  • Coconut milk, two cans (use light coconut milk if you want to cut the fat a bit)
  • Fish sauce, 3 tbsp.
  • Palm sugar, 1 tbsp. (can substitute brown sugar if you want)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Sliced red onion, bean sprouts, cilantro sprigs, crispy fried onions or shallots, chili oil, and lime wedges (all for serving with at the end, pick and choose the ones you want, they all work)

Making the Paste:

Put the chilis in a bowl of hot water and let sit for half an hour to reconstitute. Drain and put in a food processor (or mortar and pistol it all if you have the patience) along with the rest of the khao soi paste ingredients. Keep adding the reserved chilli water as needed until you get a consistent paste.

Making the soup:

Heat the coconut oil (or vegetable if you don’t have any, but you should!) and add the khao soi paste on medium heat. Cook the paste while stirring for about 5 minutes, until it starts to darken and become fragrant. Add the coconut milk and the chicken stock, and then bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer and add the chicken, cook for about 25 minutes. With about 10 minutes left add the shrimps.

Remove the chicken and shred it, or slice it into thin pieces. Then add back to the soup, and add the fish sauce and the palm sugar. Add salt to taste (remember you can put it in but you can’t take it out!).

Serve, along with the added toppings you wish (lime wedges, sliced onion, bean sprouts, etc.).

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Flourless Pancakes

I came across this recipe in Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution and loved it (shout out to David for the show). If you are on the Paleo diet, or you have a gluten allergy, or you just want to eat something without flour in it, this is a great recipe for breakfast or as a snack. I’ve only made this as a sweet dish, but I’m sure you could find ways to make it savory.

You might need to do a bit of hunting for the cashew or macadamia butter. I found some at Sobey’s, but if your local grocery store doesn’t have any, then you probably have to go to a health food store. I’m sure there are a dozen places in Kensington market that sell it.

Also, it’s super easy to make applesauce from scratch. Just quarter a couple apples, and put them in a covered pan with an inch of water or so and cook on low for 15 minutes. The apples will completely break down and turn into applesauce. Just get rid of the apple skin, and put in a bowl for later use.  Don’t buy it unless you really have to!

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup nut butter, use macadamia or cashew, peanut butter doesn’t work
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • coconut oil

Mix everything together but the coconut oil. Next, grease a pan at medium heat with the oil, and wait for it to melt.  Then just pour out the batter into pancakes, flipping after a couple minutes. You might ruin a few until you get a feel for what the right temperature should be and how long it should take before you flip them (everyone’s pans and stoves are different). About two minutes for the first flip worked for me, and the  maybe another minute for the second side.

You can dress these up however you want. I got a little fancy with it and made some apple-strawberry coulis, but you can do any fruit sauce, more applesauce, etc.

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