Cooking Fail o’ the Week

My status as amateur burner-of-water has been in question as of late. (This might be partly because I was given an electric kettle that turns off the water automatically. Fantastic gift.)

Never fear. This week’s latest experiment in cooking shatters last week’s attempt at chicken casserole. Introducing bean-thread noodle chicken soup!

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Notice the distinct lack of “soup.” 🙂

I’ve been on the IMF Elimination Diet for the past month or so now. No, this was not a random decision I made myself – it was something me and my medical team decided to try. For the most part, this hasn’t meant huge changes for me, but there are some things I miss. Chocolate. Ginger ale. Fritos. And chicken noodle soup.

Since normal chicken noodle soup has gluten in it (and depending on your variation, milk, water, corn, eggs…) I needed to do a quick substitution. No problem-o! I have bean thread noodles I got for making Singapore noodles. I’d use those! Also I had a package of enoki mushrooms, and I’d never used those before. Why not?

I sauteed strips of zucchini and onion in a pan in olive oil and vegan butter. I seasoned *very* liberally with salt, pepper, garlic, and thyme. Going great. Added some gluten free flour, cooked that a little, then poured in chicken broth. Excellent, excellent. I cut up a chicken breast and cooked that in more oil and seasonings, and dumped that in. Still good. Now for the noodles. I’d forgotten about the soak time, but oh well. That would be fine. I could soak them right in the soup while it cooled.

I put in a bundle. That wasn’t a lot of noodles. I pushed another brittle tangle down into the broth. About right.But wait! Didn’t I want leftovers? Of course! I added a third.

It did not take the full 15 minutes of soak time before I had a heaving, quivering pile of bean thread noodles in the pot. I hastily whapped off the ends of the mushrooms and tossed them in, not knowing that I should probably separate the slender stalks…or possibly trim a little more off the ends. At that point I was in damage control, hoping to get the mushrooms in for their required one minute cook time while there was still some broth to cook in. The straw mushrooms fused into a few tough ropes in seconds. By the time I’d had my first bowl (tasty but not what I expected), the rest of the noodles had slurped up all the broth and left me with a brimming pot of squidgy strands.

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I’m not going to inflict this “recipe” on you, o long-suffering readers, delicious as it turned out. It was a complete fail as chicken noodle soup.

Great learning experience about the expansion capability of dried bean threads, though. And on the plus side, leftovers for the week? Done. Leftovers for the month? Um, possibly! At least this time – unlike an attempt at mac and cheese eons ago – the noodles did not overflow the pot.

I’ll take it.

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