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Craft Tip: I know, this is weird coming from me. You're probably wondering, "Um, what about the food?". I promise that is ne...

Girl's Night In!

By 4/15/2011 ,


Craft Tip: I know, this is weird coming from me. You're probably wondering, "Um, what about the food?". I promise that is next. I just want to share a great craft tip that served me very well today. I took the day off today to finish painting my living room (It's only taken two years), and there was a pretty tough spot to deal with. Namely, a little sliver of a corner between two doors. Behold my little buddy, the tool that got me through this challenge!

That, friends, is a simple craft brush I had on hand and behind it is the corner that tried to vex me today. Hahaha, not today! I didn't study scenic design for four years to be beaten by a wee, hard-to-reach corner. This little guy let me get in there with my paint, do what I needed to, manuever, and finish the job without hardly any frustration. It took a little longer, but it was great! Which brush you use when painting makes all the difference. Now, onto the food!

Some of my girlfriends and I have started doing a number of girl's nights at each other's houses. This is a grand opportunity to experim...erm...give them the opportunity to try new recipes that I make. I recently hosted a "Goodbye to Winter (I Hate Snow) Girl's Night", so I made up some warm and cozy deliciousness. Both of these recipes come from Aarti Sequeira's show "Aarti Party".

Sweet Corn and Chicken Soup
1 leek, green parts too if you have 'em, sliced in half and thoroughly washed
1 carrot, chopped in half
3" hunk fresh ginger
1 tsp whole coriander seeds
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
2 chicken breasts on the bone, with skin
3 (14 oz) cans creamed-style corn
2 chicken bouillon cubes, crumbled
3 Tbsp finely chopped ginger
4 scallions, chopped finely, white and green parts (reserve some green for final garnish)
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
2 egg whites
1 tsp unseasoned rice vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Soy sauce, for serving
Special equipment: cheesecloth

Pour 10 cups water into a big stock pot and bring to a boil over high heat. While it's coming to temp, throw in the leek, carrot, and hunk of ginger. Place the coriander and peppercorns into a small square of cheesecloth. Tie with kitchen string and add to the pot.

Skin the chicken breasts, remove any excess fat, and throw the chicken breasts into the pot. Allow the whole lot to come to a boil, and then turn it down and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked and tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove the chicken and allow to cool. Strain the stock and discard the leeks, carrots, ginger, and cheesecloth sachet.

Return the stock to medium heat. Add the creamed corn, bouillon cubes, Ginger-Garlic Paste, scallions, and sesame oil. Keep the soup at a gentle simmer while you remove the chicken from the bone and shred finely using a fork. (Or you can just slice it really thinly.)

Turn up the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the cornstarch with the water until smooth. Add half to the soup whilst stirring. Allow to boil until it's thickened to the soup consistency of your liking. (If it doesn't thicken, add the remaining slurry.)

Turn the heat back down to medium. In another small bowl, beat the egg whites with a little water. Stir the soup in circles as you add the egg whites in a steady stream; it should form pretty white wisps on the surface of the soup.

Add the shredded chicken and rice vinegar. Cook for 5 minutes, allowing everything to warm through. Taste for seasoning. Serve with a splash of soy sauce and some of the reserved scallion greens.

This was the first time I had ever worked with whole ginger. I used a spoon to rub most of the skin off of it, but my fingernails ended up being the best tool for getting that papery skin out from within the hard-to-reach "corners" of the ginger. Also, I think ginger looks a little creepy.

Those are two, beautiful chicken legs getting cooked in a nice big pot of water. After it was cooked and out of the pot, I used a fork to get all the meat off of the bones.

And here ends the pictorial section of this post. Things got busy fast, so I couldn't keep on taking pictures, but the dish turned out great! The soup actually has some real sweetness to it and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. I don't think this would be a good recipe for summer, but it's great for fall or winter. This is a massive improvement to your everyday chicken soup. Try and enjoy!

As a final note, here is my number one girl's night wine choice. :-)

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3 comments

  1. Yum! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Sounds like an awesome night! Love the wine choice. Might need to put this soup on the short list. Sounds fantastic.

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  3. It's all delicious! I didn't mention that the wine is sweet, but not too sweet. It still has a bit of dryness to it. Soooooo good!

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