Friday, October 22, 2010

Hold the cilantro and peppers
in this terrific chicken noodle soup!

While it may seem logical that the writer of a blog about great recipes would be an adventurous eater, that’s not always the case.
   While my husband and I do love to try all sorts of new recipes and tastes, there are some things we find gross.
   My husband hates bourbon, and I have aversions to cottage cheese and beef jerky.
   We also established long ago that there are two things we would cut back or substitute in a recipe if we came across them: Fresh chiles or peppers and fresh cilantro.
   We don’t like dishes that burn the mouth with spice, and cilantro is something we both find displeasing.
   So when we tried Lemony Chicken Noodle Soup with Ginger, Chile and Cilantro (click for the recipe) from Fine Cooking magazine recently, we substituted parsley for the cilantro and used one jalapeno pepper instead of two. (Actually, the recipe called for serrano chiles, but since we couldn’t find them, we used a jalapeno pepper.)
   We loved the fantastic final product, and agreed that we wouldn’t have enjoyed it if we had used two peppers and cilantro. As it was, we could feel some heat from the pepper.
   This soup, while it has a homestyle appeal because it is chicken noodle, also has a bit of kick and a hot-and-sour effect.
   Fresh Chinese egg noodles, a crucial component, can be found in the produce section of the supermarket. They won’t necessarily be labelled “egg noodles” -- just check the ingredients on the back to see if eggs are a major component.
   After a mixture of lemon zest, cilantro (or parsley) and ginger is made, six cups of chicken broth are brought to a boil. Fresh egg noodles, lemon juice, fish sauce and half of a serrano chile or jalapeno pepper are added and the soup simmered. The chile or pepper half is removed.
   One sliced boneless, skinless chicken breast half is stirred in, along with a half of a chile or pepper, sliced, and the soup boiled for a bit longer.
   The recipe directs to serve the soup and portion out the lemon zest/ginger/cilantro mixture into the bowls.
   We added it directly to the soup in the pot instead, then ladled out its lemony, noodley goodness.

Another great soup: Black Bean Soup with Sherry

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