After months on end of humidity and sweltering heat, the coast has finally been swept with the first blast of winter chill!
And now…. I have a cold.
Desperate to kick this sickness to the curb before Thanksgiving, I’ve resorted to all sorts of remedies…a few aspirin, a handful of vitamins, gallons of tea, early bedtimes, maybe a whiskey or two….you name it, I tried it.
But my ultimate, tried-and-true, fail proof, cold-kickin’ combo is this: a stroll in fresh air and a steaming bowl of pho. Rather than staying cooped up and moping next to a box of Kleenex, I know that getting out for a long walk can start to clear up even the nastiest of symptoms. So I bundled up, leashed Wyatt, and headed for the wetlands.
The hound tugged me along at a fairly brisk pace, and we gulped down the salty coastal air. It was quiet out, there was a sturdy onshore breeze, and the view was gorgeous.
With weary legs but big smiles, we headed home. While Wyatt dozed off right away, I started on a big pot of soup. There’s something about Pho…the strong broth, aromatics, and spices…that warms you from head to toe. Deemed one of the world’s “50 Most Delicious Foods” by CNN last year, this popular Vietnamese street food is so killer, I had to find a way to whip up a pot at home. There was bit of leftover roast in my fridge, so this particular recipe is for a beef version (Pho Bo). Feel free, however, to sub the broth for chicken or vegetable and omit the meat if you need to. To me, pho is all about a deeply flavored, rich, spicy broth.
You will need:
4 cups good quality (beef) broth
Thinly sliced beef
Package of thin rice noodles or ramen
1 fistful of fresh basil
Sriracha (hot sauce)
Crimini or shitake mushrooms
1 cup scallions, diced
1 tsp. Chili powder
1 tsp. Ground or freshly grated ginger
1 tsp. Ground cumin
Finely mince 2 or 3 cloves of garlic and sauté in a large soup pot over medium heat. Once the garlic is turning golden, pour in the broth, followed by your scallions and thinly sliced mushrooms. Add in a pinch of salt and pepper, and a dash each of chili powder, cumin, and ginger. Pour in 4- 5 cups of water, and let simmer for 30 minutes, or until adequately reduced.
Once the broth is finished, place a handful of rice noodles in the bottom of a bowl and pour the piping hot liquid over. The noodles will begin to cook, and now you can add your condiments! I love the traditional bean sprouts, hand torn fresh basil, thin slices of jalapeno, and a squeeze of lime. If you like it spicy (like I do), stir in a bit of Sriracha hot sauce! If a more mild flavor is what you prefer, you can also add Hoisen or a bit of duck sauce.
Slurp up, and enjoy!
*** Wyatt wears a Gentle Leader headcollar. This may resemble a muzzle, but is far FAR from it. For more information, click here. ***