As with so many of my recipes, this is not truly authentic. I’m lucky there are many Vietnamese restaurants in Southern California that serve delicious gluten-free pho (both beef and chicken). I’m also aware that every place I’ve ever gone has a slightly different variation of the broth.
Some are salty and a bit spicy. Some have a bit more sweetness. Most are very rich, with intense meat or vegetable flavor.
These different flavor profiles make me confident my soup is just fine for those times when I don’t want to venture outside to get my pho fix. And when I say this soup is addictive, you can either take my word for it, or, well, become an addict yourself!
Yes, beef pho is traditional, but I haven’t mastered a good beef broth (I’ve mastered an okay beef broth), so I stick with chicken when I’m dining at home. Some things, I believe, are best left to the experts.
Meatballs are one of the world’s great comfort foods. And they’re one of the world’s most versatile foods. You can work with any type of ground meat, beans, or grains. Add seasonings to suit your mood. Bake, grill, pan roast, or simmer in a sauce. Eat.
Meatballs are also quick to make. The hard part is getting your ingredients lined up (ye old mise en place). Still, since meatballs generally cook up in about 15 minutes or so, it’s not hard to get them done in under thirty minutes. This makes them an attractive option for weeknight meals. Continue reading “Meatballs: The Easiest of Comfort Foods”
Last week, I confessed my love for mustard. But you know the old saying: woman cannot live on mustard alone. Thankfully, there are many other condiments — gluten-free condiments! — that are ready, willing, and able to serve as you prepare delicious meals.
Because my weeknight dinners are always quick meals, a stash of condiments helps me add flavor, create sauces, and fix mistakes quickly. Even if dinner is just a plain chicken breast or piece of fish, the right condiment can turn ordinary meals into something delicious in mere moments. Continue reading “Condiments Beyond Mustard”
Between you, me, and the wall, I was in the “ain’t never gonna buy or try something call fish sauce” for many years. Let’s face it: the name doesn’t sound appealing. And, well, you know, fish sauce. I was pretty sure I’d hate it.
I didn’t. It was love at first bit. It became an addiction. The kind of addiction that had me making gratuitous fried rice and dipping sauces just so I could get my fish sauce fix (hello spring rolls!). I started sneaking the stuff into dishes where no fish sauce had been contemplated before (when I added it to my caramelized onion dip, I got raves). Continue reading “Missing Soy Sauce? Try This Instead”
If there’s one thing I miss about my pre-gluten-free days, it’s going out for Chinese food. Sure, even then, I could make it for myself, but there’s something about the way restaurants prepare the food that had me going back, time and again.
Yeah, that’s generally a solid clue what I ordered wasn’t the most healthy choice on the menu. Except when I ordered beef with broccoli. Done right, it’s a fairly healthy dish. And, it turns out, it’s so easy to make at home.
Which is perfect for those times when I want to treat myself with my favorite food!
While you may not have heard of larb by that name, you are likely familiar with the variation known as “lettuce cups”. Lettuce cups often feature Chinese flavors while larb tends to be spicier, with flavors of Thailand and Laos.
This ground meat dish features lime juice, fish sauce, chiles, and herbs. You can use any type of ground meat, though chicken seems to be the most traditional. Serve in lettuce cups and make a little extra sauce for spooning over the completed dish if you’d like.
Once interesting ingredient in this dish is ground toasted rice. It can be optional, but the rice powder adds a bit of crunchiness that is surprising, so I suggest going for it. You can toast the rice on the stove, but I prefer the oven method because it’s less hands-on — I do all the other meal prep while the rice is browning away!
Fried rice is one of my favorite go-to dishes during the week because I always have leftover rice in the refrigerator — I make a big batch every week because it’s great for lunches and dinners. Taking a few minutes to mix up a sauce, shred some chicken, pull out some veggies, and, if I have one handy, crack an egg makes ordinary rice more interesting.
The recipe below assumes you’re working with pre-cooked chicken and frozen vegetables. If you choose to cook your chicken, make sure it’s cut into very small bite-sized pieces. Saute the chicken until nearly cooked through and set aside. Do the same for the vegetables.
Fish sauce is a key ingredient here. It adds flavor that soy sauce alone can’t create. Also, this is a lightly sauced fried rice because the fish sauce adds to much flavor. If you like more sauce, add at the end to make sure your flavors are balanced.