10 December 2008


Do you ever have those days when you realize way too late that your clothes are too tight and even though no one can tell except you, you start to feel more and more self conscious and more and more panicky?

Today was definitely one of those days. And the item in question was most definitely my tights, which, true to their name, are supposed to be tight, but not so much that you start to get indigestion at noon and that still hasn't gone away at a quarter to nine right? And then there's the weather; let's not put too fine a point on this, but it is December 10 and it is a whopping 60 degrees in New York. Global warming, anyone, anyone?

So what better than soup for cheer? I found this recipe a few weeks ago in an old issue of Gourmet, when I was looking for cookie frosting recipes, and it just kind of stuck in my head. All sorts of good things get thrown into the pot: pork, soy sauce, spices... add some noodles and voilĂ !

And it turned out just like I wanted. It's very homey, and comforting, and delicious. Just the thing when the weather's getting you down, as is a little indigestion. I have to warn you, though, that it's a little on the sweet side, though, so next time I think I'll add only two tablespoons of sugar instead of the four... and I'll also add a nice thumb of ginger. It would also be awesome with some cilantro to cut the richness of the broth.

Pork Noodle Soup with Cinnamon and Anise, adapted from Gourmet

2 pounds country-style pork ribs
5 cups water
2/3 cup soy sauce (I use the San-J Tamari Low-Sodium; it's my favorite for all my soy sauce needs)
2/3 cup medium-to-dry sherry
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 head garlic, halved crosswise
3 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
1 whole star anise
1 package bean thread (cellophane) noodles

1. Gently simmer all ingredients except noodles in a large pot, covered, skimming as needed, until pork is very tender, 1 1/2-2 hours.
2. Transfer pork to a bowl. Discard bones, spices, and garlic. Coarsly shred meat. Skim fat from broth, then return meat and bring to a simmer. Rinse noodles, then stir into broth and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until noodels are translucent and tender, about 6 minutes. Serve.

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