Magazine article Sunset

Comfort in a Bowl

Magazine article Sunset

Comfort in a Bowl

Article excerpt

From the multicultural West, five choices to match your mood

You need a chicken and noodles fix-but it's got to be spicy

Thai chicken and noodle curry

SERVES 4 TO 6 | 45 MINUTES

The secret ingrethent is the curry paste, a complex, medium-hot blend made with lemongrass and chiles. Originally from Malaysia, it's now popular all over northern Thailand.

10 oz. wide rice noodles

2 tsp. vegetable oil

2 tbsp. minced garlic

¼ cup minced shallots

12 oz. boned, skinned chicken breast, thinly sliced crosswise

1 ½ tbsp. pananfi curry paste, such as Mae Ploy brand*

1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk, divided

1 tbsp. each sugar, lime juice, reduced-sodium soy sauce, and Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce

½ cup each sliced green onions, cilantro leaves and small sprigs, and Thai basil* leaves and small sprigs

1 lime, cut into wedges

1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

2. Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add garlic and shallots and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken, curry paste, and half the coconut milk. Stir well to dissolve paste and boil until liquid is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining coconut milk, the sugar, lime juice, soy sauce, and fish sauce, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is slightly thicker, 2 to 3 minutes more.

3. Add noodles, toss to coat, and cook a few minutes until hot, stirring often. Pour mixture into a serving bowl. Sprinkle with green onions, cilantro, and basil. Serve with lime wedges.

* Find in grocery stores' Asian foods aisle, at Asian markets, or on amazon.com. Use regular basil if Thai isn't available.

PER SERVING 414 CAL., 38% (159 CAL.) FROM FAT; 14 G PROTEIN; 18 G FAT (l3 G SAT.); 50 G CARBO (0.6 G FIBER); 526 MG SODIUM; 36 MG CHOL.

You're ready for a chili night - a really hearty chili

Whiskey and triple pork black bean chili

SERVES 4 TO 6 | 2 ½ HOURS

Why make the same old thing when you can cook up a chili rich and smoky with bacon and Spanish chorizo, mellowed by whiskey, and fired up with chipotles?

1 lb. pork shoulder (butt), cut into 1- to 1 ½-in. chunks

Vegetable oil (if pork is lean)

5 slices (½ lb.) thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, sliced

1 ½ cups dried black beans, cleaned of debris and rinsed

2 chopped canned chipotle chiles

1 ½ tsp. ground cumin

1 qt. reduced-sodium chicken broth

¾ cup whiskey such as Jack Daniel's, divided

4 oz. Spanish smoked chorizo, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

½ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Crème fraîche or shredded jack cheese

Chopped chives

1. Brown pork in a large pot over mediumhigh heat, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes, adding a little oil if pork is very lean. Transfer pork to a plate. Add bacon to pot and cook, stirring often, until browned but still soft, about 5 minutes. Spoon out fat and return 2 tbsp. to pot. Add onion and celery and cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

2. Return pork to pot and add beans, chipotles, cumin, broth, and ½ cup whiskey. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until beans and pork are tender, about 1 ½ hours.

3. Stir in chorizo and remaining ½ cup whiskey. Simmer, covered, until flavors are blended, about 10 minutes more. Stir in parsley.

4. Ladle into bowls and top with crème fraîche and chives.

PER SERVING 579 CAL., 49% (284 CAL.) FROM FAT; 35 G PROTEIN; 32 G FAT (11 G SAT.); 32 G CARBO (11 G FIBER); 973 MG SODIUM; 105 MG CHOL.

It's time for some masala magic-but on the healthy side

Broccolini and chickpea dal

SERVES 6 | 1 ¼ HOURS, PLUS AT LEAST 2 HOURS TO SOAK

With the right seasonings, a potentially plain bowl of legumes becomes supremely flavorful. …

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