Phở Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Soup)


Pho is a Vietnamese soup that can be made with beef or chicken.  Pho, to the best of my knowledge has something of a cult following among foodies and I was excited to try it out for myself.  Pho is popular because of the amazing stock that is used to make the soup.  The stock is flavored with star anise, cloves, cinnamon, lemongrass and nutmeg.* A list of ingredients and garnishes can be found here.  I have never tried beef pho and this is the first time I have ever had chicken pho.  Even though I don’t have any prior experience for comparison I really enjoyed this dish and I can see why it is so popular.  The broth is really clean and fragrant and the flavors of the garnishes mixed with the noodles and broth are so good.  The ingredients are basic but when eaten all together the flavors are more amazing than the sum of its parts.  The star of pho is the beef soup and if the chicken version is as good as this was, I look forward to making that one too!

*I used ground spices for my soup but with most pho recipes it will require whole spices (I would imagine some pho purists would think this to be sacrilege). I thought the ground spices were great–I just made sure to strain the broth twice to remove the spice particles to get a clearer and cleaner broth.

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Pumpkin Bread with Dried Cranberries and White Chocolate

Since September has arrived I have been searching for a more fall inspired bread recipe.  This recipe is a perfect fall bread and has so many good flavors.  The pumpkin flavor and spices can clearly be tasted along with the delicious addition of cranberries and white chocolate chips.  The white chocolate chips melted into the bread during baking so I might try a larger, white chocolate chunk next time.  The bread was nice and moist and the pumpkin spice highlighted the flavors of the pumpkin puree.  The aroma during baking was amazing and I can’t wait to have this for breakfast the next coming week!

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Chile Verde Roasted Pork Stew

Since I had several pounds of shredded pork, I decided to make a stew out of the leftovers.  This stew is an interpretation of a chile verde pork stew but with an addition of red chili flavors.  Chile verde with pork is usually green and looks a lot like salsa verde.  This stew has the flavors of a green chili with the addition of red chili flavors like paprika, chili powder, and ancho chilis.  It turned out really well and I enjoyed all the layers of flavor this stew had. The recipe isn’t too difficult to throw together and it is a great way to use leftover pork roast. I recommend saving the bone from the pork shoulder and throwing it in this stew for added flavor.

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Chile Verde Pork Quesadillas

I am lucky to live in an area with such a wide availability of ingredients used in tex-mex recipes.  My local grocery store, for example, has a 4 ft deep box full of tomatillos, tomatoes, and every pepper both fresh and dried on display.  Ever since I tried salsa verde I have been a huge fan of its sweet and sour flavor and how good it tastes on pork, chicken, fish, etc.  Because of its versatility I can enjoy it on a lot of different Mexican dishes. My favorite cut of meat lately has been pork shoulder, which cooks so nicely on low heat over a few hours.  I buy a larger weight and double my salsa verde recipe so I can have lots of leftovers too! The quesadillas were super tasty and not too difficult to throw together.

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Korean BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich

There is still time to celebrate summer with this spicy Korean BBQ pork.  This recipe has all the elements of a good barbeque with the added seasoning of gochujang and Korean BBQ sauce.  The sauces provide the perfect barbeque flavors of sweet, tangy, and savory.  The pork is slow cooked for 8 hours so the meat should fall apart from the bone.  Pork shoulder has turned into my favorite cut of pork simply because of the transformation it goes through after cooking it slowly.  The pulled pork turned out really tender and easily shredded into a delicious BBQ sandwich.  Topping with coleslaw is also a must for this recipe!

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Roasted Sesame and Ginger Coleslaw

A great addition to the Korean BBQ Pork Sandwich was this sesame and ginger coleslaw.  A standard pulled pork recipe just has to have a side of coleslaw either in or outside the bun! Coleslaw can get really heavy if you add too much mayo and sour cream, so I only add a little to give it just a mild creaminess while staying light.  Since the pork was flavored with Korean sauces, I flavored the coleslaw with similar ingredients.  The coleslaw turned out really nicely and provided a good balance against the spicy pulled pork.

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