Cheese cloth sachet
4 whole cloves
2 wheels of star anise (whole foods or Fresh market - dry herbs)
2 tablespoons of coriander seeds (pre-toasted in a hot pan)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 regular rotisserie chicken ( carved and portioned )
1 qt of low sodium chicken broth
1 shallot - julienne thin (important)
1 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 small or ½ large bunch cilantro
1 ½ pounds small flat rice noodles (bánh pho), dried or fresh
2 green onions (green part only), thinly sliced into circles
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (leafy tops only)
3 cups bean sprouts (about ½ pound)
12 to 15 fresh culantro leaves
2 or 3 Thai or serrano chiles, thinly sliced
2 or 3 limes, cut into wedges
1st carve down your rotisserie chicken and set aside on a plate
You need 2 pots for this recipe. One for your noodles and one for your broth. Once you've toasted your coriander seeds in the smaller dry broth pot. Assemble your cheesecloth sachet. In the smaller of your 2 pots bring your chicken broth to a boil. It takes about 20 minutes for the sachet to steep and release. In the meantime slice your shallot real thin. You can julienne or ring them. Add your fish sauce and sesame oil to the broth lower the heat.
In the larger pot bring your water to a boil. Once boiling drop in a bundles of your Bahn pho' rice noodles. It takes about 5 minute to cook these noodles. Anymore than that and the turn into a mass and get gummy. At 5 minutes, strain them and run COLD water over them to stop the cooking process. Now it's time too assemble your dish. Very easy
Portion out a serving of noodles in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle the broth over the doodles until they float. Now place your carved chicken on top of the noodles with the sliced shallot and let stand for a couple of minutes to lightly poach the shallot and warm the chicken meat. Finally add your garnishes to your liking. Traditionally it is served with Thai basil. I find that too overbearing to the rest of the spices. Cilantro works best and coupled with the addition of a squish of lime? Sublime . Now eat it and bask in the cuisine that exemplifies Vietnam. BEAUTIFUL food!
Don't forget the Hoisin and the Sriracha!
Charley's Sour Cream Banana Bread
(Makes 1 9x5x3 inch loaf)
1/3 stick butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup Cane Syrup
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoons real vanilla
1/3 cup sour cream
4 ripe bananas
Preheat oven to 350 , grease and flour dust 1 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, mix butter with sugar. Add the eggs, and bananas and vanilla, mixing well. Stir in sour cream. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and stir just until moistened. Bake for 60 minutes at 350 degrees. At home here it takes a full hour in the oven. Test the loaf with a skewer or a chop stick. If it comes clean, the bread's ready. Cool loaves on a rack for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of pan and flip it out. I like to serve these with cream cheese. My partener likes to frost them with cream cheese frosting and serve it as a cake. He's really southern!
Charley's File' Gumbo in one hour!
1 packet of Greenwise chicken cut into small chunks
2 teaspoons of all purposes flour
1/3 stick salted butter
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 large Vidalia onion, dice
1 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
1 quart chicken broth (cartoned)
2 links andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch half circles
1/2 pound Pink Florida shrimp, cleaned and deveined (other varieties will do)
1/2 pound bag of frozen okra (unless you like cleaning and cutting them)
2 1/2 tablespoons Prudhomme's file powder
Heat some olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. I like my big aluminum soup pot. You choose. Cook the chicken until it is golden brown, maybe a little underdone , because you'll finish the cooking process later in the recipe. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the Andouille Sausage, got to find the Andouille! It's the best flayvuh! Remove and set aside. Add the flour to the chicken and sausage juices with a little splash of the chicken broth to loosen it up. You've got to get all that goody off the bottom of the pot. Wisk fast and continuously with a hand wisk. Now, wisk in the butter and cook the roux until it is bubbling and amber / brown. That's where the Gumbo's distinctive color comes from.
Add the peppers, onion, salt, pepper, cayenne, 2 bay leaves and 1/2 the quart of low sodium chicken broth (carton type). Stir well and bring to a boil. When the vegetables are soft, put the chicken and sausage back into the pot and add the remaining broth. Let the gumbo simmer for 1/2 an hour, then add the okra, stewed tomatoes and corn. After 20 minutes, turn off the heat and add your 1/2 lb of shelled butterflied shrimp and put the cover on. The receding heat of the previous boil will quick cook the shrimp to perfection! Ladle a couple of cups of the liquid into a mixing bowl. Dip out a little of the Gumbo liquid in a bowl add your file' and mix it till it dissolves pour it back in, stir. I'm HOHNGRAY! Les' eat!
You can serve this with rice (Jasmine preferably) or any kind of cornbread recipe.