I’m sure you have all done it. That silly thing where you open the refrigerator and stare into the interior. You stand there as if contemplating a modern work of art as the cool air from washes over you. Then you close it and sigh because you didn’t find that one morsel that you were thinking about eating. Then you realize it never was inside the fridge. We started off the self imposed isolation with a packed icebox. I had come home from a mini-vacation to Arkansas with saintvi and decided to spoil Sparky with many of his favorite meals. Mostly because I love him but also because he wanted some real food. I made Rotini with Vodka sauce, Chili soup, Turkey Pot Pie, and some Pumpkin Pear Soup. Then the coronavirus came to town and we embraced social isolation/distancing. That meant no eating out and no shopping. It forced me to make some things I’d been saving for another day. For St. Patrick’s Day I did corned beef, cabbage and boiled potatoes. I made Thai Pho and I roasted a chicken.
With the leftover chicken I made chicken omelets and some Chicken Enchiladas (after a couple of lunches of just reheated chicken, gravy and mashed potatoes. Since I only had 6 flour tortillas and one chicken breast I think they turned out really nicely. Sparky was very satisfied and said they were excellent!
Since my Thai Pho is a real winner I thought you’d all want the recipe. So here it is (along with color commentary):
Preparation: This is the hardest part! Wash and slice thinly 8 oz white mushrooms. I just happened to have these on hand because Sparky is always making salads. Then cut one crown of broccoli into small florets (again I almost always keep fresh broccoli in the fridge). Cut ~ 12 oz. of carrots into matchsticks (or buy them already cut that way but I had to do it by hand so it was tedious). Peel and de-vein half a pound of shrimp. (I bought jumbo Patagonian Red Shrimp in December when they were on super sale for $5.99 a pound thinking I’d save them for making skewers on the grill this spring.) If they are the big ones you’ll need to chop them into bite size pieces.
Pour 2 cartons (32 oz each) of seafood stock into a large soup pot (again I keep a variety of at least 6 of these on hand during the winter because I do make lots of soup). Add an additional 32 oz of tap water. Bring the liquid to a boil and add the carrots and mushrooms. Cook until tender. Add the broccoli and shrimp cooking until the shrimp is done. Add 2 nests of mung bean thread noodles and submerge them into the boiling water. Cook until the noodles are completely translucent. Add 1 level teaspoon of yellow Thai curry powder. Stir well and allow to simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Serve. Garnish with fresh cilantro or basil leaves (of course I didn’t have either since we are avoiding the grocery store).
Hints and Tips:
The noodles are really stretchy and kind of hard to manage if you don’t cut them into shorter lengths. This is best done before putting them into the soup. I use my kitchen sheers and cut them over the pot to corral the stray bits. Also the amount of heat you like for your soup is directly related to the amount of curry added. A single teaspoon give this a little zing but not so much that you need to guzzle water or any other beverage. Sparky is prone to sprinkling a little additional curry into his bowl since he likes the heat! Just be aware that most Thai dishes are very spicy – even when they try to make them “mild”. I recommend starting with 1/2 teaspoon and working up from there if you are not familiar with curry. I use one nest of noodles per person. I only cook the noodles as needed because if you put them into the soup and then refrigerate the leftovers they absorb all the liquid. And I mean ALL the moisture. So it is best to add more noodles as you reheat the soup.