Soup for Supper: Weeknight Seafood Chowder

Our recipe for “Quick dinner: Fantastic seafood chowder” (San Jose Mercury News)

This seafood chowder is really pretty quick to make and definitely feels like a little bit of luxury for weeknight dinner. Love that you can use any mix of seafood that you choose (fish, shrimp, clams whatever!). In thinking about this recipe our main goal was to avoid the clump factor that you can sometimes get with some of the traditional chowder recipes that call for a flour-based roux mixture to thicken them. So, this recipe leaves out the roux altogether and results in a chowder that lands on the more brothy side of things (which I personally don’t mind). It’s brothy but it does feel substantial if you keep the pieces fish and potatoes chunky and you’re generous with the amount of seafood that you add. But if you happen to be a chowder fan (like my dad for one) who prefers a texture with a bit more body, you can try this quick trick:  just mash some of the potatoes into the soup once they’re tender.

I absolutely love this with a hunk of good, sourdough bread and a tossed salad — glass of white wine or a beer wouldn’t hurt either 😉 ! Click here for our recipe in the San Jose Mercury News’ “Fast & Furious Weeknight Cooking” column.

Thai Curried Noodles

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This dish looks way more complicated than it actually is.  And it is probably as beautiful as it is tasty.  We developed this recipe recently for the San Jose Mercury and our editor made it once for her family and then made it again a few days later.  Nothing makes us smile more than a successful recipe and positive feedback, especially from our editor (since she knows food!).

It also is far easier than it probably looks.  We use store bought red curry paste (which I always “gussy up”) and a grocery rotisserie chicken.  Technically cheating, but who cares?  When you can get something this tasty on the table for dinner, no one will ask about the short-cuts you took.  My little one’s face lights up when this is on the menu and I am thinking we need to make it again soon.

You can use “light coconut milk”, but I am not a fan at all.  I have tried it and hated it, low-fat coconut milk in my book, just doesn’t cut it.  But don’t let my snobbery stop you. 🙂  You can also use Asian noodles, but thin or regular spaghetti works just fine.  Not the the real thing, but definitely good enough and somewhat reminds me of the laksa I grew up eating. Continue reading