Spicy Curry Noodle Soup with Koji, Sweet Potato & Chicken

With our first ever fresh ginger from Windflower Farm, I riffed on this Epicurious recipe to maximize CSA ingredients (and simplified the cooking steps per the comments!) Absolutely delicious, easy & could be a one-pot meal if you cooked the noodles directly in the soup!

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Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 thinly sliced white onion or 2 thinly sliced shallots

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 2 tablespoons lemongrass* (from bottom 4 inches of about 3 stalks, tough outer leaves discarded)

  • 2 tablespoons minced or grated peeled fresh ginger

  • 2 tablespoons Thai yellow or red curry paste*

  • 2 tablespoons curry powder

  • 1 teaspoon hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek)*

  • 2 13.5- to 14-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk,* divided

  • 5 cups low-salt chicken broth

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)*

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 1 bunch of koji or other choy, stems chopped to 1/2-inch pieces, leaves roughly chopped, separated

  • 1 large red-skinned sweet potato (yam), cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 cups)

  • 1 pound dried rice vermicelli noodles or other Asian noodles* (I used buckwheat soba noodles)

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

  • 1/4 cup crushed peanuts

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1-3 red Thai bird chiles or red jalapeño chiles, thinly sliced with seeds

  • 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges

PREPARATION

  1. Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add next 4 ingredients; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in curry paste, curry powder, chili paste, and 1/2 cup coconut milk. Stir until thick and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add remaining coconut milk, broth, fish sauce, and sugar; bring broth to boil.

  2. Bring pot of water to boil for noodles, if cooking separately. Cook noodles according to package instructions until just tender but still firm to bite, about 6 minutes. Drain; rinse under cold water to stop cooking. (Alternatively, you can add noodles to broth 2 minutes after sweet potatoes in next step.)

  3. Meanwhile, add chicken thigh slices to boiling broth and stir. After 2 minutes, add cubed sweet potato. After 6 additional minutes, add choy stems. When chicken and vegetables are

  4. cooked, about 2 additional minutes, add choy leaves to wilt.

  5. Divide noodles among bowls and top with hot soup. Scatter green onions, peanuts, cilantro, and chiles over soup to taste. Garnish with lime wedges and serve with sriracha.

    *Available at some supermarkets, at specialty foods stores and Asian markets.

Ground Cherry Muffins

This week we got something I’d never heard of before joining the CSA: husk tomatoes, or as I learned they are also called, ground cherries.  From my internet research, they are either related to, or the same thing as, gooseberries.  They look sort of like tiny tomatillos, little yellow tomatoes inside lantern-like husks, but they taste sweet, a lot like pineapple.  They are apparently often used for pies and jams, but I like to use them in muffins.

Ground Cherry Muffins, based on recipes by Mark Bittman

1 c. ground cherries, husked and rinsed
1 c. all purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
½ t. salt
3 t. baking powder
¼ c. real maple syrup (more for sweeter muffins)
3 T. canola oil
2 eggs
1 c. milk

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a muffin tin with 12 baking cups. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Beat together the maple syrup, canola oil, eggs, and milk in a smaller bowl.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it.  Combine swiftly, stirring and folding rather than beating, just until the dry ingredients are moistened.  Stir in the ground cherries.  Divide the batter between the 12 baking cups and bake 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.  Let rest for 5 minutes, then remove from muffin tin.

Veselka’s Ukrainian Christmas Borscht

from the New York Times, adapted from the Veselka Cookbook

  • 2 pounds beets, trimmed and scrubbed (do not peel)
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 whole allspice berries
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, more to taste
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt
  • Mushroom and onion dumplings (optional, see recipe)
  • Chopped dill, for garnish.
  1. Coarsely chop beets, preferably in a food processor. In a medium pot, combine beets, 4 cups water and vinegar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until beets are soft, about 45 minutes. Strain and set juice aside. (Beets can be used for another purpose, likesalad.)
  2. Meanwhile, in a deep pot, combine carrot, celery, onion, stock, bay leaves and allspice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 45 minutes. Strain and discard aromatics and vegetables.
  3. Combine strained stock and beet juice and simmer 5 minutes. Add sugar, garlic and black pepper. Season to taste with sugar and salt. Serve with dumplings, if desired, and sprinkle with dill.

Sesame Soy Braised Mei Qing Choi

Adapted from Blue House Organic Farm

  • 1 head (or 6-8 baby heads) Mei Qing choy
  • 2 Tbs peanut oil
  • 1 Tbs grated ginger
  • 1 Tbs minced garlic
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1 Tbs toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbs sesame seeds

Trim the root end off the Mei Qing choy. Slice the leafy portions of the plant from the stalks. Chop both the leaves and the stalks, keeping the two piles separate. Heat very large, heavy skillet or wok until it looks hazy over the surface, 2-4 minutes. Add peanut oil and swirl it to coat the pan. Add bok choy stems; stir-fry about 5 minutes.

Add ginger and garlic and stir-fry briefly. Add Mei Qing choy greens, chicken stock, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until bok choy is tender and glazed with sauce, 5-8 minutes.

Remove cover, sprinkle with sesame seeds, increase heat to medium-high, and cook until excess liquid evaporates, 2-3 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Pasta with Kale Pesto and Roasted Butternut Squash

A great, easy recipe from the Times that’s nice enough to serve for company.  If you can figure out a way to peel them, I don’t see why you couldn’t make this with the acorn squash we’ve been getting the last couple of weeks.

 

Pasta with Kale Pesto and Roasted Butternut Squash
by Melissa Clark for the New York Times

1 1/2 lbs butternut squash
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling over squash
3/4 t. kosher salt for pesto, plus more for squash
Freshly ground black pepper
1 small bunch lacinato kale, stems removed
8 oz. pasta (penne rigate works well) (note: I made twice this much and the pesto was still plenty strong)
1/3 c. toasted pine nuts
2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
Finely grated zest of one lemon
Freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
Grated Parmesan, for serving

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Use a vegetable peeler to peel squash, then halve it lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Dice squash flesh into 1-inch pieces, place on a baking sheet, and toss with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Spread pieces into an even layer, making sure there is space between them. Roast, stirring squash pieces once or twice, until golden brown and tender, about 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; have ready a bowl of ice water. Drop kale into boiling water and cook for 45 seconds. Use tongs or slotted spoon to transfer kale to ice water. Bring water in pot back to a boil, adding more if necessary so there is enough to cook pasta.

3. Drain kale well, then wrap tightly in a dry kitchen towel and squeeze thoroughly to remove any excess moisture. Roughly chop leaves. When water in pot comes back to a boil, cook pasta according to package directions.

4. In a food processor, pulse together kale, nuts, garlic, salt and lemon zest until mixture is smooth and salt has dissolved. With motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil until fully incorporated. Taste and add more salt dissolved in a little lemon juice, if necessary.

5. Drain pasta, reserving a little cooking water. Toss pasta with kale pesto and some pasta cooking water if necessary to help it coat pasta. Add cheese, lemon juice and salt to taste. Serve topped with squash and more cheese.