What the Pho?
|I wonder how many blog entries will be titled that today? hehe|
So this morning I felt fanfarkingtastic. Tonight? Not so much. Lots of talk of flu and the cold weather setting in.. and hubbs doesn't feel good.. so I dunno if this is psychosomatic or if my wonderful husband has shared a germ with me.. but I feel like poo. So this is going to be short and sweet! :)
The October 2009 Daring Cooks’ challenge was brought to us by Jaden of the blog Steamy Kitchen. The recipes are from her new cookbook, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook.
Ah-mazing. That's all I can say about this Vietnamese Beef Pho soup. I was a lil iffy with those spices.. anise and cinnamon in a savory beef soup? *shudder* But boy were my eyes opened after that first taste. I couldn't have been more surprised or more happy with the results.
I went with the long version of the Beef Pho from Jaden's Steamy Kitchen because Hubbs had just made his world famous (not really) chicken noodle soup 2 days before. Jaden's quick version of Pho Ga, which is found in her brand spankin' new KICK ASS book, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook: 101 Asian Recipes Simple Enough for Tonight's Dinner is on the menu next week while I am on VACATION! WOOOO HOOOOO!!!!!! Actually quite a few of the recipes in her book are on the menu next week as I am reviewing it for this blog, so keep an eye out! :) (It will also be reviewed on The Daring Kitchen TWICE! So look for those reviews too. ;)
Anyhoo.. this month's challenge was about learning how to toast spices and how to make a KILLER stock. Both of which I'd never tackled in the kitchen before. That stock.. oh that stock.. so rich, so flavorful.. so freakin' delicious. Just the right amount of saltiness and beefiness. AND another weird ass thing was creating a bowl full of noodles, bean sprouts, thinly sliced red onions (chilies and cilantro too.. but we omitted because we didn't have any and I couldn't talk Mr. Chicken Soup Two Fakkin Days Before I'm Suppose To Cook Vietnamese Chicken Soup into running to the grocery store for me. Gah.) LIME and RAW BEEF. Seriously. I decided to use London Broil as it was on sale, and figured hell, if it's raw, it won't be tough right? I mean.. don't get me wrong.. I like my steak still mooing, but even rare is at least seared, yanno? This was raw as raw can be.. sliced thinly and laid on top of all the other ingredients.. then the broth was poured over and it "cooked" the beef. But it didn't cook it enough to make it tough as a well done London Broil will be.. nope, it was cooked just enough to take away the raw flavor but left it tender and amazingly flavorful. And the lime just added another incredible flavor layer that makes me wanna.. GAWD DAMN I WANT SOME RIGHT NOW. I'M SICK, I SHOULD HAVE SOME. SOMEONE MAKE ME SOME. PWEASE??? *sob*
'kay well I might not really be sick and wasn't I suppose to keep this short?? Jebus.
Alrighty then.. this recipe got a huge THUMBS UP from both of us. I have froze the remaining stock and can't wait to use it again. I am so looking forward to the quick version and then somewhere down the road I'm going to be roasting a chicken or two and will save the carcass to make the longer traditional Pho Ga, you can betcher sweet patootie. As a matter of fact, it's been decided that no longer will we be making our soups with store bought stock when it's SO SIMPLE MR. JENKINS to make it at home.
Jaden, huge huge huge thank you for the time you gave all of us at The Daring Kitchen this month. It was a pleasure seeing your smiling face in the forums and listening to you during the conference call. Thanks for so generously sharing these recipes and your new book (there's a contest.. 3 lucky winners will win a copy of Jaden's new book!) and we hope you stop by every once in a while and say HI! Oh yeah and once you've finished your 2nd book.. uhmm... we'll so test 'er out for ya again! :D
Kids.. buy this book. It's filled with gorgeous photos and amazing recipes. Check out Jaden's blog for the traditional Beef Pho recipe and the traditional Chicken Pho recipe. Also, check out the The Daring Kitchen for the Quick Chicken Pho recipe.. something to tantalize you while you are waiting for your book to be delivered to your doorstep. ;)
Oh and all of you Daring Cooks out there.. I'm not going to spill the beans right now.. but Jaden is going to be offering a new contest which will be announced in the private forums on Oct. 17th.. :D
And before I leave this "short" post (BAHAHAHAHAHAA) I couldn't forgive myself if I didnt plug another AMAZING contest being hosted at The Daring Kitchen from Oct. 10 to Nov. 9 - It's a cake decorating competition! The good folks at The New York Cake Convention and The US Confection Connection are giving away an all expenses paid trip for 2 to the NY Cake Convention Jan. 2 to the 5, 2010! That includes airfare, hotel accomodations, tickets to the convention and SO MUCH MORE. Check out the details HERE. This contest is open to the public as well as our Daring Kitchen members. Enter! You've got nothing to lose and so much to gain! :)