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Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

As the summer months wind to an end, it is a great opportunity to take advantage of the abundant fruits, vegetables and meats that are just beginning to come into season. Autumn cooking can incorporate some of the most hearty and satisfying dishes.

Purchasing seasonal foods is a healthy and cost effective way to approach food shopping. Grocery stores tend to stock up on these items in bulk, making them less expensive for you. The Farmers Market is the best place to find seasonal fruits and vegetables in your area.

Happy cooking!

THAI CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

2 Tbsp sesame oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tsp minced ginger
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup natural chunky peanut butter
1 cup crushed tomatoes
6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp fish sauce
6 oz rice noodles
2 cups shredded green cabbage
1 cup canned bean sprouts, drained
1/4 cup chopped scallions
Chopped cilantro

In a soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, ginger and chicken. Cook 2 – 3 minutes stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink on the outside. Dissolve the peanut butter in the crushed tomatoes; add the mixture to the soup pot along with the chicken broth and fish sauce and bring to a boil. Add the noodles; reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook 5 minutes. Stir in the cabbage and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in the bean sprouts and scallions; turn off heat. Ladle soup into bowls and top each with cilantro.

CHILLED CANTALOUPE SOUP WITH LIME, BASIL and MINT

 Preparation time: 15 minutes
Chilling time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

3 cups cubed melon
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Zest of one lime
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp honey
3 basil leaves
3 mint leaves
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
Note: Soup can keep up to three days in the fridge. Be sure to blend well before serving.

SPINACH STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Cooking spray
6 oz baby spinach
3 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch ground nutmeg
4 boneless chicken breast halves
3/4 cup crumbled feta
1 tsp fresh dill (or 1/4 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 – 3 Tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Warm a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until soft. Add spinach and cook about 3 minutes, tossing. Transfer to a bowl; remove skillet from heat and wipe with a paper towel. Butterfly each chicken breast and open as you would a book; pound to an even 1/4-inch thickness.  Toss spinach and garlic with the feta, dill and pepper. Place a quarter of the mixture along the center of each breast; roll and secure with wooden toothpicks. In the skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add stuffed chicken and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until the bottoms are golden. Turn and cook another 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to the prepared baking sheet; bake in the center of oven 15 minutes or until cooked through.

TANDORI CHICKEN WITH CUMBER RAITA AND PINEAPPLE CHUTNEY

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

3/4 tsp coarse ground sea salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chili powder or to taste
10 turns fresh ground black pepper
1 cup whole milk plain yogurt
juice of one fresh lime
1 Tbsp finely-minced fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
4 skinless chicken thighs, 4 skinless chicken legs (or whatever part of the chicken you like)

Place all the ingredients in a large zip-lock freezer bag, except chicken.  Mix thoroughly. Score the chicken flesh deeply in a couple of places and add to the bag. Massage the bag to mix the ingredients and coat the chicken pieces. Refrigerate the chicken overnight.

Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and fry the pieces, with the thick marinade clinging to them, in a hot oiled grill pan until dark on one side. Flip and fry until darkened on the other side.

Check and make sure the chicken is cooked through. If not, add a bit of water to the pan to loosen any caramelized bits, and place in a 350F (180C) oven for about 10 minutes, or until cooked through.

CUCUMBER RAITA

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Chilling time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 – 8

1 seedless cucumber, finely chopped
1 cup Greek-style yogurt
Lots of finely minced garlic
Juice of one fresh lime or to taste
1/2 cup finely chopped mint

Mix all together and chill before serving.

PINEAPPLE CHUTNEY

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Chilling time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 – 8

1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks (cut each in half)
3/4 cup shredded coconut, toasted
1 tsp chili powder or to taste
Juice of one fresh lime

Mix all together. Serve chilled or room temperature.

STRAWBERRIES DIPPED IN CHOCOLATE

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

3 oz high quality dark chocolate
12 strawberries

Microwave chocolate in a small bowl on medium for 1 minute. Stir, then continue microwaving on medium in 20-second intervals until melted, stirring after each interval. Or place in the top of a double boiler over hot, but not boiling water. Stir until melted. Dip strawberries in the melted chocolate and place on serving plate.

Capt. Jan Robinson holds certificates from the Culinary Institute of America, The Ritz Cooking School, and the Cordon Bleu. Her Ship to Shore Cookbook Collection is available at your local marine or bookstore. Or visit www.shiptoshoreINC.com email CapJan@aol.com or call 1-800-338-6072 and mention All at Sea to receive a discount.

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