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Chicken Matzo Ball Soup – PROPA!!

2 May

Actually, I lied.  This is the version of the soup I make when I’m a self-piteous ball of frowns.  It’s a low-labor-intensity meal.  Just throw a buncha stuff in a pot, cover with stock, and boil until it’s soup.

A pile of Delicious.  In Broth.

A pile of Delicious. In Broth.

I started with my trusty Boston Organics veggies: carrots, a yellow onion, and some potatoes.

Why is this picture so dark?  Oh yes, it was because of my personal storm cloud.

Why is this picture so dark? Oh yes, it was because of my personal storm cloud.

Regular soup base: carrots, an onion, celery, herbes de Provence, salt&pepper.

Wooden spoon not added for flavor.

Wooden spoon not added for flavor.

My mama always adds a LOT of dill.

What's the dill-io.

What's the dill-io.

Then I just threw the rest of the ingredients into the pot, covered with stock, and simmered for 1.5 hours.  You don’t have to cook it that long.  It’s pretty much done after about 30 min.  But I like for the meat to fall apart and for the potatoes to make it nice and starchy.

A soup is born.

A soup is born.

Aaaaand meanwhile, in the other pot, I just made some matzo balls according to the recipe on the box.  Nothing spesh.

Did y'all notice I only own three pots? Bet you didn't know you can make matzo balls in a sautee pan!  Thanks, Necessity!

Did y'all notice I only own three pots? Bet you didn't know you can make matzo balls in a sautee pan! Thanks, Necessity!

Soooo that’s it.  Recipe:

Chicken Soup

3 big carrots

3 big celery stalks

1 yellow onion

3 bay leaves

1/2 tsp herbes de provence

2 tbsp olive oil

big handful of dill

1/2 lb of potatoes, peeled, chopped

1 lb chicken breast (that’s about 3 chicken breast halves)

3 cups of stock, chicken or veg
Chop all the veggies into bite-size chunks.  Cook them down a bit in some olive oil with the herbs.  Add potatoes and chicken and dill.  Cover with stock.  Put the lid on and come back when it’s soup.

For matzo balls, I forget the proportions.  But what you need to have on hand is:

Matzo meal

vegetable oil

two eggs

water

seasoning if your mazto ball mix doesn’t have it already. All I added was salt and pepper. My mama also adds chopped dill.  It turns the matzo balls green.  Tee-hee!

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You Don’t Win Friends With Salad

15 Apr

That is not only true, but also rhythmically compelling.

But I do win salad with salad.  And thats not so bad.

But I do win salad with salad. And thats not so bad.

The only thing remarkable about this cabbage, lettuce, green onion is the dressing.  And EGADS is it a spectacular dressing!!

-1/2 inch of ginger, unpeeled and grated.

-1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar

-1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil

-2 tablespoons of olive oil

-salt, pepper

-black sesame seeds

Seriously, I’d drink the stuff.

Okonomiyaki – Cabbage Me to the Moon and Let Me Play Among the Katsu Sauce

14 Apr

Yes, I know that title makes no sense. So remember when we made Okonomiyaki last week? Here are the pictures from that.

Okonomiyaki kit in all its splendor.  Plus the extra ingredients not in the kit.

Okonomiyaki kit in all its splendor. Plus the extra ingredients not in the kit.

Dicing the shrimp.  I didn't take pictures of cleaning the shrimp.  You're welcome.

Dicing the shrimp. I didn't take pictures of cleaning the shrimp. You're welcome.

Okonomiyaki ingredients, pre-entanglement.

Okonomiyaki ingredients, pre-entanglement.

The Vortex Of....OKONOMIYAKI

The Vortex Of....OKONOMIYAKI

Oppressing the masses...with a spatula.

Oppressing the masses...with a spatula.

Egads, that is FREAKING DELICIOUS!!

Egads, that is FREAKING DELICIOUS!!

Okonomiyaki – A Symphony in the key of “Cabbage”

13 Apr

Yaaaaay Okonomiyaki!!! Remember that friend who gave me that awesome Kyocera ceramic santoku knife? He also introduced me to Okonomiyaki.  Then I became obsessed with it on a subsequent trip to Japan, but I never thought to make it at home.  I don’t even know how I made the leap between Okonomiyaki and an over-supply of cabbage.

btdubs, I can't find my camera, so forgive the impersonal photos.  I'll fix this post when my camera comes out of hiding.

btdubs, I can't find my camera, so forgive the impersonal photos. I'll fix this post when my camera comes out of hiding.

Ok, the basics.  Okonomiyaki is like a big, savory Japanese pancake with lots of fun toppings like katsu sauce and dried bonito flakes.  The batter is just flour, baking powder, a little dashi or veg broth.  The bulk of the pancake is shredded cabbage and two eggs.  The remaining contents of the pancake are totally flexible – you can add any meat, bacon, shrimp, squid, fish, veggies, whatevs.  I added diced shrimp, bean sprouts, and enoki mushrooms.

Another option is to buy a kit like this:

Okonomiyaki kit...complete with hilarious translated instructions and adorable Japanese cartoons.

Okonomiyaki kit...complete with hilarious translated instructions and adorable Japanese cartoons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The perk of the kit is that it contains the special yam powder.  That yam is hard to find.  It’s also kinda gross and viscous.  Sooooo let’s go with the powder.

So you make the batter and throw the rest of the ingredients into a big bowl.  Give it a few good turns but don’t mix too hard.  Then take a scoop, put it on a griddle or frying pan, and smack it down into pancake-shape using a spatula.  When it’s done, eat it with BEER!!!

For the toppings, I put furikake seasoning, which is pretty easy to find.  Sadly I had no bonito flakes.  But I did find this awesome katsu sauce and I highly recommend it:

Katsu makes everything better.  Or maybe just fried things.  I wouldn't like put it on ice cream.

Katsu makes everything better. Or maybe just fried things. I wouldn't like put it on ice cream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green Cabbage Panic Leads to Fish Tacos

13 Apr

How many cabbages have I purchased in the last like 15 years?  Maybe….2?  So what do I do when I get two cabbages in my not-quite-CSA box? Panic.

After the initial cabbage-induced anxiety attacks subsided, I realized there were plenty of cool things to do with green cabbage:

-Fish tacos with lots of shredded cabbage.  After a friend mentioned the terms “fish tacos” in passing, I couldn’t think about anything else for like a week. So that was good.

-Okonomiyaki….more on that in a future post.

-Salad

For fish tacos, I really wanted to emulate Wahoo’s Fish Tacos. I love these tacos in particular because of the piles of shredded cabbage.

Never thought I would be that happy to see a bowl of shredded cabbage.

Never thought I would be that happy to see a bowl of shredded cabbage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lemme tell you about that knife.  It’s a Kyocera 5.5″ Ceramic Santoku.  My friend gave it to me years ago, and it is still the sharpest thing in my kitchen.  Fantastic device. Never needs sharpening, and great for small hands.

This whole fish taco dinner thing was really easy.  The only thing that required any kind of prep was the fish.  We used tilapia.  All we did was season it with a little salt, pepper, lime, and olive oil, then we sauteed it.

Fish Taco Assemblage

Fish Taco Assemblage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s what’s on the table:

-corn tortillas

-some salsa from a jar (not very exciting)

-shredded cabbage

-fresh cilantro

-sour cream

-sauteed onions + green bell peppers

-lime wedges

-big bowl o’ tortilla chips

-and a little bowl of garlic Rooster sauce, per Wahoo’s.

…aaaaand the fish was in the sautee pan, out of frame.  But it was there.  I promise.

Soooo….guess who forgot to take pictures of the finished product?  Just imagine it looked like those Wahoo’s tacos above….

Gratin leftovers = awesome breakfast potatoes

8 Apr

…And then the next morning…

Gratin with poached eggs.  There is nothing un-awesome about this breakfast.

Gratin with poached eggs. There is nothing un-awesome about this breakfast.

Purple Sun Potato and Gold Turnip Gratin

8 Apr

Purple and gold!  An involuntary homage to the Lakers, I suppose.

Gratuitous gratinery.

Gratuitous gratinery.

So I made this gratin.  It has paper-thin slices of purple sun potatoes and gold turnips, some milk, some parmesan cheese, and loads of herbs de Provence.

The potatoes are super-pretty.

Purple Sun Potatoes, favorites of Louis XIV.  Not really.

Purple Sun Potatoes, favorites of Louis XIV. Not really.

So, I was gonna just do a potato gratin, but I thought it sounded kinda lonely.  So I searched my fridge  and…

Behold!!  The sacred turnip!!

Behold!! The sacred turnip!!

I got to slicing on my mandoline, which provided transparent slices of these burly roots.

OXO mandoline in action.

OXO mandoline in action.

So thin you could use them on a slide projector. Not really.

So thin you could use them on a slide projector. Not really.

Next I buttered my Le Creuset baking dish and layered it with a maze of potato and trnip slices.  In between each layer, I put salt & pepper, herbs de Provence, and parmesan.  Extra cheese on the top, and then added enough milk to just reach the top layer.

Gratin me up, Scotty

Gratin me up, Scotty

And then baked it for about 50 minutes at 400 degrees F.  And then it was dinner!

Gratin, chicken sausage sauteed with onions, and a salad. In my country, we call this "dinner".

Gratin, chicken sausage sauteed with onions, and a salad. In my country, we call this "dinner".