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April 27, 2008

Bean and Herb Soup

This recipe derived from having a bunch of stuff I needed to use up: some shallots, some bottled garlic pesto, chicken stock, carrots, celery, and fresh dill. I improvised the following soup, which manages to be hearty and (nearly) vegetarian at the same time. (You could easily make it vegetarian by using vegetable stock.)

This soup would have been extra fabulous with a bit of grated pecorino romano or parmegiano reggiano on top, but we didn't have any.

Since this was an improvised dish, measurements are highly approximate.

The Ingredients

The Steps

  1. Saute the shallots, celery, and carrot in olive oil for a few minutes, until they start to soften.
  2. Add the vermouth, bay leaves, sage, herbes de Provence, and fennel. Cook, stirring, until most of the vermouth evaporates.
  3. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the beans and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the dill and simmer for 5 more minutes.
  6. Stir in the pesto. Taste, and add salt, pepper, pesto, or herbs as needed.

Serves about 4.

Posted by spaceling at 08:27 PM

Avgolemono Soup

Mr. Spaceling and I have been feeling under the weather. When you're under the weather, it's hard to beat chicken soup. Avgolemono soup is the queen of chicken soups. I used the recipe from Mark Bittman's The Best Recipes in the World, with a couple of tweaks. To make the soup slightly more substantial, I poached some chicken thighs in the soup, and shredded the meat to put into the soup. I also used bulgur wheat instead of rice or orzo, because it was what I had on hand. It was nice, although I think bulgur doesn't expand as much during cooking as rice or orzo, so I think next time, I would add more.

The Ingredients

The Steps

  1. Heat the broth to a gentle simmer in a pot. Add carrot, celery, rice/orzo/bulgur, and chicken thighs. Cook everything gently for about 20 minutes, or until the rice and chicken are cooked.
  2. Turn the heat under the pot to low. Remove the chicken thighs to a plate. Let them cool a bit, and take the meat off the bones and shred it. Stir the meat back into the soup.
  3. Whisk the eggs in a bowl with the zest and lemon juice. Still whisking, slowly add about half a cup of the broth to the eggs. Add about another cup of broth, and keep whisking.
  4. Pour the egg mixture into the soup, and stir well. You can very gently reheat the soup a bit, but don't let it boil, or you'll get bits of cooked egg floating in your soup instead of the smooth egg emulsion.
  5. Taste, and add salt, pepper, or more lemon juice as needed. Serve with a bit of chopped dill on top.

Serves 4 to 6.

Posted by spaceling at 08:21 AM

April 19, 2008

Recent food discoveries: granola and cheese

No, not granola and cheese together. Just two new foods I've discovered recently.

First, the granola: 18 Rabbits Veritas granola, containing hazelnuts, walnuts, and cacao nibs. The perfect way to realize that desire to eat chocolate for breakfast while still having something sort of healthy.

Second, the cheese: a Spanish blue cheese called Valdeon. It's very intensely "blue" flavored without being excessively stinky or sharp on the tongue. The woman at the cheese counter at Whole Foods described it as a blue cheese that you could just slice up and eat in chunks. I put it in a salad with spinach, black beans, tomatoes, red onion, avocado, lemon juice and olive oil, and it was good.

Posted by spaceling at 09:17 AM

April 04, 2008

Soy-Broiled Black Cod (a.k.a Sablefish)

I made this very easy and tasty recipe last night. Note to self: cook black cod more often.

This recipe involves marinating the fish briefly, then broiling.

The Ingredients

The Steps

  1. Season the fish with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Combine the soy sauce, lime juice, dry sherry, sesame oil, and garlic. Pour over the fish, and marinate for 15 minutes.
  3. Broil 6 inches from the heat without turning for about 10 minutes, or until cooked through.

Serves about 4.

Posted by spaceling at 10:35 PM