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!

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.

Parsnip Curry Turmeric Soup

14 Apr

Oh, hello daunting Bag-o-Parsnips.  I can barely figure out what to do with one of you, never mind a pile of you.  Another roast?  Another mash? Too boring, too….beige.

Is it possible that the parsnips are making everything around the beiger?  Are they boring-ifying my world??

Is it possible that the parsnips are making everything around the beiger? Are they boring-ifying my world??

Fortunately I discovered a sunny yellow box of turmeric in the back of my cupboard.  And next to it, some damn spicy curry powder.  To the Soup Machine!!  On y va, mes amies!!

Here’s the soup:

1 bag of parsnips.  Probably 6 parsnips, or like a pound or something.  Cut them into 1-inchish pieces.

1 glug of olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped but don’t try too hard cuz we’re gonna blitz them with the immersion blender anyway.

4 teeth of garlick, squashed and diced.

1 bay leaf, or more if they’re dried out and decrepit like mine

2 teaspoons of turmeric

1 tablespoon curry powder

3 cups of veg stock (or whatever stock is on hand)

salt & pepper

Sautee down your onion and garlick a bit, add bay leaf, turmeric and curry until everything’s yellow.  Then add parsnips and stock.  Burble away for like 40 minutes. Add salt & pepper, adjust curry/turmeric as needed, and remove the bay leaf.  Then throw everything in a blender and marvel at how awesome your kitchen smells.

Starting to feel spicy....there should be a parsnip make-over montage here...

Starting to feel spicy....there should be a parsnip make-over montage here...

Bzzzzzz....

Bzzzzzz....

Ta-da!  It's soup!

Ta-da! It's soup!

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!!

New Box!! zOMG!!1!

13 Apr

Here she is:

Box o' root veggie lovin'

Box o' root veggie lovin'

You are looking at:

1 lbs Empire Apples (VT)
1 lbs Mutsu Apples (VT)
1 lbs Black Radishes (Quebec)
1 lbs Carrots (Quebec)
1 small head Green Cabbage (Quebec)
1 1lb bag Parsnips (Quebec)
1 2lb bag Rainbow Mix Potatoes (ME)
1 lbs Red Beets (Quebec)
1 lbs Red or Yellow Onions (NY)
1 lbs Sunchokes (Quebec)

I think I’m gonna obliterate much of this box by making borscht.  Not a watery pink broth but a big hearty, beefy, chunky borscht.  That will use up the beets, some carrots, onions, cabbage, potatoes, and maybe a parsnip.  Although, I wanna hold onto the parsnips for that curry turmeric parsnip soup I didn’t get a chance to post last time.

For the black radishes, I will either make that awesome Black Radish Beer Snack again, or I’ll try frying them into little pancakes with scallions.  I bet those would taste rad with my leftover Katsu sauce from the Okonomiyaki.

The sunchokes will probably wind up in Round 3 of the Sunchoke Truffle Soup, unless anyone has a fresh idea.

When soup season is over, I will probably cry.  Just a heads-up.

Summary post

13 Apr

Here’s all the stuff I made with my last box:

1 lbs Empire Apples (VT) – Apple Ginger Galette
1 lbs Mutsu Apples (VT) – Apple Ginger Galette
1 lbs Black Radishes (Quebec) – Black Radish Beer Snack
1 lbs Gold Turnips (VT) – Purple Sun Potato and Gold Turnip Gratin, plus the leftovers as Breakfast Potatoes
1 small head Green Cabbage (Quebec) – Okonomiyaki, Fish Tacos, and many salads
1 1lb bag Parsnips (Quebec) – Actually made a pretty kick-ass parsnip soup with curry and turmeric.  I’ll post that one when I find the camera…
2 lbs Purple Sun Potatoes (ME) – Purple Sun Potato and Gold Turnip Gratin, plus the leftovers asBreakfast Potatoes
1 lbs Red Beets (Quebec) – Haven’t used them, but have devious plans for their demise…
1 lbs Sunchokes (Quebec) – Made the Sunchoke Soup with truffle oil again. This time I swapped cream for two potatoes, and it worked out great. I did add a swish of sour cream to the finished product. Highly recommend.
1 lbs Yellow Onions (NY) – These were an ingredient in just about everything except the apple galette.

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.