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Archive for the ‘Soup’ Category

While writing my post on How to Host a Sushi Party, I surfed the blogs for a good 30 minutes…

**I have moved!!  Read the rest of this post at my new home** 

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Homemade Stock

Save time by making your own stocks using a pressure cooker. See my recipes and writeup at Well Fed Network.

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Killer Cajun Shrimp
Ok, I’ve finally written down my recipe for Killer Cajun Shrimp – which is now the ONLY reason I would ever move back to California. (My other reason is no longer valid!)

Los Angeles is home to the famous, Killer Shrimp, a restaurant that only serves 1 dish…Killer Shrimp. But you do have choices. You can order Killer Shrimp with Bread, Killer Shrimp with Rice or Killer Shrimp with Pasta. Its a rich, divine broth spiced with the most ‘killer’ concoction of peppers and spices. Nestled in the broth is a mountain of massive shrimp that you peel, swirl in the brew and eat. Take a slice of french bread, dip it in the broth to mop up all the goodness. You don’t want to leave one drop behind.

How spicy is it? Hmmm….how to describe? Well, its not sharp spicy hot like biting into a habenero, this type of spicy is the slow, complex, lingering heat that you don’t feel until 10 minutes into the meal when you notice that your nose has little beads of sweat. Beware: its highly addictive and this will probably affect you for the rest of your life. Be prepared to acknowledge and satisfy your cravings for the next 15 years. Keep lots of napkins nearby and don’t expect to have table conversation. Have a few beers handy.

If one of your guests don’t like spice, well, then I suggest that they grab a Happy Meal on their way to your house. Don’t be scared off by the bright red broth – the color doesn’t come from the hot peppers, it comes from tomato paste. You can adjust the heat factor based on your taste by using less pepper (but why would you do that?!)

So, what would make this recipe even more KILLER? A version with Crawfish of course!

Killer Cajun Crawfish

The recipe itself is very simple. Active time is only 15 minutes, but you’ll want to simmer the concoction for 1 hour (or more if you have the time)

Killer Cajun Shrimp or Crawfish
Serves 4 hungry people

The Aromatics: Fry onion, celery, garlic in the butter until fragrant and soft
½ small onion, diced
1 celery rib, diced
5 cloves Garlic, minced
1 stick of butter

The Spices: place all in a morter & smash (or just quickly run knife through the herbs on cutting board) You want the herbs to still stay whole, but you need to smash them to release its flavors.

2 T Dried or fresh rosemary
2 tsp Dried thyme
1 T Dried fennel
2 tsp Celery seed
1 T Crushed red pepper flakes (less if you don’t like it too spicy, you can always add more later)
2 tsp Black Pepper (again, use less if you’re a wimp)

The Broth: Add the broth ingredients, simmer 1 hour

1.5 quarts Chicken broth (low sodium and organic – because you already got a whole stick o’ butter in it already, might as well add some sort of health benefit to this dish)
16 oz Bottled Clam juice
1/2 lemon (cut in half just throw both pieces in the broth)
3 oz. Tomato paste
1 cup White wine

The Shrimp or Crawfish: Just before serving, add and simmer until done (how long depends on how big your shrimp or crawfish are. start with 3 minutes for Shrimp and 7 minutes for Crawfish. Check and adjust with more time if needed)

2 lbs Shrimp or 4 lbs Crawfish

The Bread:
1-2 loaves French bread, sliced – you can make your own loaves very easily!
I always have 2 loaves on hand, 9 times out of 10 we grab the pot with leftover broth and dig in with the second loaf

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Creamy Chicken Soup, Organic

This soup is creamy and rich, yet only uses low-fat milk. The secret is to extract as much of the milky, creamy substance from the corn kernels. I also use a couple slices of natural bacon, crumbled as garnish. This gives a smoky flavor to the soup without going overboard on the fat or feeling deprived!

Creamy Corn Soup, Healthy & Organic

All ingredients used are organic, except where noted

(serves 4 as side)

5 ears corn, husked
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced w/garlic press
1 large russet potato (or 2 red skinned potatoes), cut into 1/4” cubes
5 cups low sodium chicken stock
3/4 cup lowfat milk
2T chopped fresh parsley leaves (from my garden)
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning (non organic)
pinch of Cayenne pepper (non organic)
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
Salt & Pepper

(optional) 2 slices all natural (no hormones, organic) bacon, trimmed of visible fat on the edges

In a large bowl, hold 1 ear of corn upright and use a serrated knife to cut off the kernals, but only go halfway deep. Go around the ear once. Go around the ear a second time, this time getting the rest of the kernals. Third time around: use the back of the knife and go over the ear again, to extract out all of the creamy, milky pulp. The purpose of going around 3 times is to get as much cream from the kernels as possible (and without the use of a food processor)

Repeat with remaining ears. Set aside.

Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add 2T olive oil. When oil is shimmering, add onions and cook until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, cook 30 seconds. Add corn kernels, potatoes, chicken stock, Old Bay seasoning, Cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Bring to boil and turn down heat to low. Simmer 20 minutes.

In the meantime, place the slices of bacon on a microwave safe dish and microwave on medium for 3 minutes until crisp. Crumble the bacon.

When the soup is ready, add lemon juice, adjust salt and pepper seasoning. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley leaves and crumbled turkey bacon on top.

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Chicken Soup

I’m cooking once a week for a friend whose family is on a No-gluten, No-sugar, No-soy diet, All-organic diet. Their little 4 yr old daughter has cancer. They are going in this diet to try to prolong her life as much as possible. Sugar feeds cancer, and the Soy interferes with her medication. Fermented soy (soy sauce) is ok, so I’m saved by Organic Tamari! Agave is a sugar derived from a cactus plant, and is processed differently than regular sugar in the body, so we can use that. I’ll be posting recipes – I’m sure there are many other cancer patients on a similar diet.

This week, I chose one of the most nourishing, warming dishes to prepare.

While soup is easy to prepare, there are multiple steps, including cleaning the chicken by boiling it for 5 minutes.

Healthy Chinese Chicken Soup

All the ingredients I used were organic.

When I purchase a whole chicken for the purpose of making soup, I carve out the precious breast and reserve for another dish.

1 3-lb organic chicken, or 3lbs of chicken pieces

5 stalks green onion, cut into 3″ pieces

2″ piece of ginger, cut into 4 “coins”

2 carrot, cut into large chunks

2 stalk celery, cut into large chunks

salt

1. Using very sharp, heavy cleaver, cut up the chicken into as many 2″-3″ pieces as you can. The smaller the pieces, the more flavor will be extracted into the soup.

2. Boil 1 quart of water in a large stockpot. Once the water boils, add the the chicken pieces. Boil for 5 minutes. Have a large strainer ready at the sink – and dump the entire stockpot into the strainer. The cloudy and scummy water will go down the drain. Wash your stockpot, getting rid of any scum that clings to sides. Rinse the chicken pieces and return to the stockpot. Refill stockpot with 1 1/2 quarts cold water.

3. Add rest of the ingredients to stockpot. Bring to barely a boil and immediately turn down the heat to low. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours, never letting the stock bubble and boil. Periodically check the stockpot and remove any scum on surface. Strain, reserving stock. Congratulations, you’ve just made a very clean and healthy stock! Return stock to the stockpot.

4. Add 1 tsp salt. Taste, adjust salt as needed. Strain the soup, discard ginger and green onion. Using your fingers, shred the chicken meat and return the chicken and vegetables to the stockpot.

Chicken Soup

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