Saturday, March 7th
Thai Chicken-Basil Soup; a new recipe I wanted to try. I read the ingredients: chicken, basil, onion, ginger, lime juice. . . fish sauce? I'd never heard of fish sauce but coincidentally found it at the grocery store while I was looking for the rice noodles. I began to combine the ingredients, the sauteing onions, poblano chili, fresh ginger and garlic smelled unearthly it was so satisfying. Add fish sauce and cook one minute read the recipe. I opened the foreign substance and poured out the appropriate measurement. As I drained the contents into the pot gradual wafts of its scent reached my nose and my hairs stood on end. Few things in all this world smell as that fish sauce did; the bodily fluid that seeps from the liver to the neighboring duct, the dark secret places of an unkempt woman, perhaps rotting flesh also smells as rancid as this liquid I was emptying into my pot of heavenly aroma. "Noooo!" I thought after the deed had been done. What was I thinking?! A rush of anxiety passed through my person and I realized what evil had contaminated our meal. I quickly continued the recipe puring in chicken broth, water, spices, anything to dilute the repugnance of the stench. The smell had reached Chase and he too was in a panic for our fit-for-a-king meal. Turn up the unit, boil, boil, boil! In time it passed and after I had added the other ingredients I tested the broth for quality. Success! It was heavenly, it was perfect. How ridiculous I felt looking on my moment of distress . . .but funny too.
1. In 6-quart Dutch oven (pot), heat oil on medium until hot. Add onion and poblano, and cook 10 minutes or until lightly browned and tender, stirring occasionally. Add ginger, garlic, crushed red pepper, and 1 tbsp. fish sauce; cook 1 minute.
2. Add broth, water and half of basil; heat to boiling on high. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 minutes. Uncover; increase heat to medium-high. Stir in chicken and uncooked noodles; heat to boiling. Boil 1 minute.
3. Remove Dutch oven from heat. Skim off fat. To serve, stir in lime juice and remaining fish sauce and basil. Garnish each serving with basil sprigs. Serve with additional fish sauce if you like. (YEA RIGHT!). Makes 15 cups.