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Like all of you, I'm a number of things to a number of people...Navy wife, homeschooling mama, educated woman and aspiring writer. Read my thoughts on all of it here. Please feel free to leave your thoughts on all of it too!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Pho - October's DC Challenge

I hope it's true what they say..."better late than never." It's been a crazy week, but I got my first Daring Cook's Challenge made and even remembered to take a few pictures. I'm still learning the new camera, though, so they didn't all turn out...but you'll have a few to make your mouth water!

So, October's challenge was Pho (pronounced fu, with a soft u). I was nervous from the get-go. Scott doesn't enjoy anything Asian except the occasional bagged stir fry with soy sauce on the rice. I know...he's quite adventurous, isn't he?! The kids barely eat anything I make anymore. They still love to help me in the kitchen, but they don't hardly eat what they make either! The other issue? Pho is a soup. Scott is not a soup guy. He likes to say that he doesn't like hot liquids. I love soup, though, so even though I was nervous...I was also excited!

There were some choices to be made this month. Pho can be made with chicken, pork, seafood, beef or vegetarian. I chose beef. There's also a long and a short version. I made the short version, purchasing my beef stock from the store rather than making it. Here is the recipe for the long version. Other than not making my own stock, I pretty much followed it.

So, what do you think? I thought it not only smelled fantastic, looked delicious, but tasted incredible. As my husband is not a fan of Asian flavors I don't get them very often and I just have to say, "Man! I'm missing out!"

This recipe wasn't difficult. The hardest part was finding the whole spices, and shelling out the cash! I recommend giving this a shot, though...yum!

Now, if you ask my husband and kids, you'll get a very different opinion on the success of this challenge. Tyler liked the noodles but nothing else. Jace and Gracie ate nothing but the salad I served with it. Scott, didn't even eat that!

I thoughtfully made Scott a variation, knowing his aversion to hot liquids. I pulled the flank steak out and thickened a bit of the broth to make a nice sauce.
In the end, this recipe will not be one I turn to again anytime soon. But, if the occasion arrises that I'm cooking for others, I might just pull it out. Like I said, I did enjoy it.
There was another part of the challenge too. Dessert wontons. We got to pick the filling and I chose marshmallow fluff, peanut butter, and chocolate. That part was great. However, I couldn't find wonton wrappers. Obviously I was looking someplace they weren't and I might ask next time I'm in the store. (Weight Watchers has a whole article on wonton recipes this week.) For this I tried Lumpia wrappers, thinking, "How different could they be?" As it turns out, very different and not so good!
All in all, my first go round as a daring cook wasn't exactly great, but I shall not be deterred...I'll be back next month for more. You can count on it...and I'll try to be on time too.


Lauren said...

Congrats on your first challenge! Love your spirit & the pho looks amazing =D.

Mary Teresa said...

lumpia wrappers are more like egg rolls. lol. It looks delicious though. =)

Abby said...

i think we took the same approach to this - follow the long version apart from the homemade stock bit!

and if you fancy making it again, i'll happily keep you company as i loved it too.