Three or four times a year I like to sit down and look through all of my cookbooks and recipes that I’ve pulled out of magazines. Like a lot of people, I sometimes get stuck rotating the same recipes over and over again.
Last year I was in organizational mode and created a binder of all of my favorite recipes broken down into 25 sections. Nothing fancy, just organized.
Then, I created a file box with the same sections, but the file box is only for things that I want to try, de-gluten, de-dairy, or want to combine with other things.
It might sound like a lot of work and come across as a little crazy and “Martha” like…but I’m telling you, every single time I look through the binder or the file box I’m thankful I did it. When I get tired of cooking the same old things, I sit down with a nice cup of tea or glass of wine and create an entire menu for a month, sometimes two. As much as I like an organized, scheduled, and predictable life, I don’t like my meals to be boring and predictable.
I pulled this soup out of the file box. It originally came out of a Food Network magazine and was called Vietnamese Noodle Soup. I made quite a few changes, partly because I didn’t want a beef based soup for tonight, and partly because I wanted to use what I had on hand. You can find the original recipe here.
Chicken & Shrimp Noodle Soup
10 oz. Rice Noodles, I used Phad Thai Rice Sticks
2 Partly Frozen Boneless, Skinless, Chicken Breasts, sliced thinly
1 Bag Frozen Shrimp, peeled
1/2 Sweet Yellow Onion, sliced thinly
1- 3 inch Cube of Ginger, peeled and chopped
3 – 32 oz. Boxes of Gluten-Free Chicken Broth
6 Green Onions, sliced
2 Jalapeno Peppers 1 Red 1 Green, leave seeds in if you like it spicy, sliced thinly
1/2 Cup Fresh Cilantro, leaves removed from stem
1 1/2 Tbsp. Garlic, smashed and chopped
2 Tbsp. Gluten-Free Fish Sauce
1 Cup Fresh Bean Sprouts
About 3 Tbsp. Gluten-Free Soy Sauce
About 2 Tbsp. Sriracha Sauce
Sea Salt & Pepper
Chop and prepare all of the vegetables.
Slice the partly frozen chicken breasts very thinly, peel the shrimp, and set aside. Place a large pot over medium-high heat. Drizzle about 3 Tbsp. of olive oil and 1/2 tsp. sesame oil in pot and as soon as it starts to smoke, add the sliced chicken breast. When the chicken slices are white on both sides, remove from pot to a plate and set aside. Heat pot up again on medium-high heat and add a little more olive oil and just a couple drops of sesame oil, if necessary, and add the shrimp. Cook the shrimp only until it is barely pink and you can no longer see any of the gray original color. Pour onto a plate and set aside. Do not over cook it because it will be going into the hot soup later to finish cooking.
Next, add a bit more olive oil to the pan and add the onion, garlic, and ginger. When the onion just begins to brown slightly, add the chicken broth, about 1 tsp. of sea salt and about 8 grinds of pepper, scraping the bottom of the pan to de-glaze. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.
Add chicken, jalapenos, fish sauce, soy sauce, and boil for 5 minutes. Add the shrimp, noodles, and boil for another 3-5 minutes or until noodles are tender. (They will cook quickly.) Add the green onions, sriracha sauce, and a few drops of sesame oil. Serve in bowls and top with cilantro leaves and fresh bean sprouts.