It's hard for me to pick my favorite food blog. But if I could only pick 2, Jaden's Steamy Kitchen would be one of them (for the record, this is the other. Obviously.) Lots of things about Jaden inspire me: her talent in the kitchen, the flavors she uses, her ridiculous photography skills, and especially her wit, sharp writing voice, and ubiquitous presence in the food blogging world**. So you can imagine my delight when I read that Jaden is the guest host for this month's Daring Cooks challenge, Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup).
We're huge fans of Vietnamese food, and Andy especially adores Pho Ga (chicken pho). We frequent our local Vietnamese restaurant/Asian grocery store at least weekly for a fix of comfort food.
The Daring Cooks were given the option of preparing a short or long version of the soup. In order to make this a real challenge for myself, I made the long version, which requires making stock from scratch. I have a huge aversion to cooking with animal parts, and avoid them as much as possible. But this was supposed to challenge, so from scratch we made! I still asked Andy (sick with the flu) to hack up the chicken, but I did the rest, and I can say with a lot of satisfaction that this was another delicious Daring success. As an added bonus, the timing was perfect. Nothing's better than chicken noodle soup for a sick husband!
If you've been reading along here for a while, or know me in person, you know that my most despised food is cilantro, which also happens to be a key ingredient in this dish. So, in the spirit of the challenge, I forged ahead and used it (in the broth, I skipped it as a topping). Although it's still haunting me, I'll admit I couldn't detect it in the final product.
You can find Jaden's recipe for Pho Ga here. And if you're into making Asian food at home, buy her cookbook! All the cool kids are doing it.
**I'm not trying to sound like a fangirl. I just think Jaden's great, okay?
The fine-print blog-checking lines: The October 2009 Daring Cooks’ challenge was brought to us by Jaden of the blog Steamy Kitchen. The recipes are from her new cookbook, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook.