Archive for ‘Soups and Stews’

January 5, 2020

Multicooker: Chinese Pork Rib Stew 清燉排骨湯

Chinese soups in the multicooker, take 2! Totally trying Korean braised short rib stew next. That was my intention this week, but my son ate the Korean pear I was saving.

You’ll notice it looks a lot like the Chinese chicken soup recipe. But it tastes surprisingly different. Chicken and pork don’t taste alike, after all. This one takes a bit longer with an extra parboiling step, but well worth the effort.

This is the clear broth version. For the soy sauce based or “red braised”  紅燒排骨 pork rib stew, see this recipe! Easy to adapt for the multicooker.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-3lb pork spare ribs (chinese style, or other small tender cuts)
  • 2 stalks green onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 slices ginger
  • white pepper, pinch
  • 1/2 cup of Chinese rice wine/Michiu (TTL is my go to brand)
  • dash of soy sauce for umami
  • salt
  • 2-3 medium daikon radishes, roll cut
  • 6 -7 dried red jujube dates

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. PARBOIL: I always parboil pork. ‘Cause my momma says to. Add ribs (chopped into equal size pieces) into a pot (not your multicooker pot). Fill water until just covered. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, remove from heat.
  2. Remove ribs one by one and wash under cold water in the sink. Place each clean rib into the inner pot of your multipot.
  3. Place a large mesh strainer over the inner pot of ribs. Carefully pour parboiling water over strainer. This is your soup base without all the nasty foamy meat floaties. *some people discard their parboiling water and start their base with clean water. I think that’s a waste of good tasting meat water.
  4. Add green onions, garlic, ginger, rice wine, a sprinkle or two of white pepper, and a dash of soy sauce, and a couple tsp of salt.
  5. Cover, close vent to “pressure”, pressure cook on HIGH for 40min.
  6. Carefully vent pressure.
  7. Add daikon and jujube dates. Close valve and pressure cook on HIGH for 10min.
  8. Best served the next day. Cover and store in fridge the next day. Skim off fat, then slowly heat on stove before serving. *TIP: remove some of the solids into a separate container before storing soup so that skimming the fat is easier! Or you’ll be skimming around chunks of rib pork and daikon instead of working with a smooth surface.

 

January 5, 2020

Multicooker: Chinese Chicken Soup

Got myself a Zavor Lux for Xmas! I’ve been a snobby purist for years, sticking to my Le Creuset for soups and braises for the last decade. But the demands of working and raising two babies has finally convinced me to pull the trigger on a multicooker. I can make meals after work that use to be reserved for weekends only!

Why Zavor and not Instapot? Cooks Illustrated reviews told me so.

So far my favorite thing to cook with my new pot is healthy Chinese soups. During the months of October through April, our family is plagued by never ending illness. Here’s the basic components: meat, water, rice wine, ginger, garlic, green onion, and chinese herbal ingredients like red jujube dates, gogi berries, etc, and a dash of soy sauce.

I swear I’ve never made chicken soup before. My 1 year old sucked down four bowls of this stuff in one sitting and screamed for more. Incidentally, her nickname is JujuBe.

No pictures this time ’cause my hungry family burst through the doors the moment I finished cooking.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 bone in thighs
  • 1/2 cup Chinese rice wine
  • 2 stalks green onion
  • 3 slices ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 5 dried jujube dates
  • 5 dried scallops, soaked 30min
  • 1 package of shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 daikon radish, ROLL cut
  • small handful gogi berries
  • white pepper
  • 2+ tsp salt
  • dash of soy sauce
  • Optional: white rice (Nishiki is my go to)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place chicken thighs, green onion, garlic, ginger, white pepper, rice wine, mushrooms, scallops, dash of soy sauce, and salt in inner pot of multicooker. Add water until just covered.
  2. Close vent valve to “pressure” setting. Pressure cook on HIGH for 30min.
  3. Carefully release steam via valve.
  4. Add daikon and dates. Cover, close valve, and pressure cook on HIGH for 10min.
  5. Salt to taste of needed. Scoop out green onions, ginger, and chicken skin and discard.
  6. Pour out soup into separate pot, drop in gogi berries, cover. You can continue to simmer, but no need if it’s in a cast iron! See below for making rice to serve with:

INSTRUCTIONS FOR RICE

  1. Wash rice 3x (soak, swirl with fingers, drain, repeat).
  2. Pour damp rice back into inner pot of multicooker (no need to wash after soup, rice will just taste chicken-y). Add liquid at 1:1 ratio to rice. I did 1 cup rice, 3/4 water, 1/4 cup chicken soup.
  3. Pressure cook on HIGH 4-5min, more if you make more than 1 cup of rice, or if you like your rice softer. Leave it and don’t touch anything for 10min, then quick release on the valve.

 

March 30, 2019

Galbi Jjim: Korean Braised Short Ribs

Winter has come and gone, but it’s still in the 30’s in NYC. I think we have a few more weeks of stews and braises in our house. Plus, now that I gotta feed a family of four, any dish that lasts a whole week is a win. (I guess the baby eats it indirectly from me. Soups are great for nursing mamas!)

Typically I make stews at the beginning of the week then eat it with rice one night, noodles the next, and as a side dish to another meal when we get to the dregs. If it even lasts that long.

Note on cutting veggies for stews: roll cuting is your friend! Just make sure you keep the pieces relatively equal in size. With large veggies like daikon, you have to get creative. Roll cut then halve or chop into 3’s.

Parboil vs Sear: Unlike lamb shanks or boeuf bourguignon, Asian braises and stew recipes typically do NOT call for browning the meat first.  Instead, parboiling the meat results in a clear, cleaner looking soup. Is it ok to sear instead of parboil? Sure. But if you want a cleaner presentation, I’d recommend skimming off the meat foam before adding veggies.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3lb country style beef short ribs, or 4lb bone in short ribs, cut into large equal sized chunks
  • 1 medium yellow onion, large dice or puréed
  • 1 korean pear, peeled and pureed, OR:  ~6oz apple sauce
  • 2 stalks green onion, chopped into 3 inch pieces
  • two thin slices of ginger
  • 1/2 lb daikon radish (half of a large radish), chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped (see note on roll cutting)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 cup water
  • Sesame oil

*you can puree onions with the pear. Makes the soup thicker. But as I am lazy and didn’t want to wash yet another device, I just diced the onions and used packaged apple sauce.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Parboil method: Place meat in a pot of COLD water. Just enough to submerge. Bring to a low boil on medium heat. Once you reach a low bubbling boil, wait 5 min, then strain out meat. Reserve the strained water (saves the flavor you would otherwise lose from parboiling). Rinse meat off and remove debris.
  2. In dry dutch oven, heat on medium high heat. Once hot, add 1 tbs cooking oil and heat until shimmery. Add aromatics: green onion (and regular onion if not purée-ing it with the apples), ginger, and garlic and quickly stir as it pops and sizzles.
  3. Once fragrant but nOT burned, add mirin and soy sauce, reserved liquid from step one, and bring to a gentle low boil.
  4. Add ribs back in, stir in apple sauce (and onion purée), turn heat down to low and cover with lid. Simmer for two hours.
  5. Add daikon and carrots. Simmer another hour.
  6. Set in fridge over night and skim off fat the next day. Remove ugly green onion pieces. Reheat on low simmer.
March 21, 2017

Lamb and Root Vegetable Stew

Adapted from Food and Wine.

Snow storm in March? Stew it is.

NOTE: This makes a huggge batch. Good for freezing half for another day. Or halve the recipe!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4lb lamb stew meat (I used 2lb bone in, 2lb boneless)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 lb carrots
  • 3/4 lb parsnips
  • 1 lb red potatoes*
  • 1/3 cup celery, diced
  • 1 onion or 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • ~1 tbs parsley
  • ~1 tbs tarragon
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • salt/pepper

*I prefer red potatoes for stews and braises. Holds their shape better. Russet is more mealy and better for mashing

INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Salt and pepper meat.
  2. Heat large cast iron pot over medium heat. Once hot, add 1-2 tbs high smoking point oil. When oil is shimmering, toss and coat 1/4 of the meat in flour, then brown evenly on all sides, remove and set aside when done. Dredge and brown another quarter batch, etc, until complete. Do nOT crowd meat as this will steam it instead of sear! Remove meat and set aside.
  3. Add onions, celery, parsley, and tarragon and saute until just soft. 3min. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 1min. Salt.
  4. Preheat oven to 225F.
  5. Add veggies (carrots, parsnips, potatoes), mix and saute for 5 min. Salt generously. Return meat to pot. Add red wine and vinegar and bring to a boil. Let alcohol boil off for 2-3min. Add broth and bring to a boil. Cover and place in oven for 3 hours, stirring once an hour.
  6. Serve with crusty bread!
January 8, 2015

Chinese Lion Head Meatballs 獅子頭

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lb ground pork
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-2 green onions, minced
  • 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
  • 4 tbs minced water chestnuts (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 – 3 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Optional: 1/4 cup cornstarch

SOUP:

  • 4-5 cups napa cabbage, chopped
  • 3 tbs soy sauce
  • 3 slices of ginger
  • 3 cans chicken soup
  • 1/4 cup Chinese rice wine

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix all meatball ingredients. Do not over mix or you’ll end up with tough meatballs. Roll into large, softball size meatballs.
  2. Add corn starch in a large bowl. Roll meatball in bowl to lightly coat.
  3. Heat frying pan over medium high heat. Add plenty of oil to coat bottom of pan. Once oil is shimmering hot, add meatballs one or two at a time with tongs. Avoid crowding.  Remove once evenly browned on all sides. Reduce heat to medium if they start to blacken too quickly.
  4. In a large dutch oven or pot, add chicken soup, rice wine, remaining slices of ginger, leftover mushrooms, stem portions of the cabbage, soy sauce. Bring to a boil then add cabbage leaves. Stir and add salt to taste.
  5. Place meatballs over cabbage. Spoon over soup and cover. Simmer on low for 1 hour, adding the cabbage leaves at the half way point.
  6. Serve over a bowl of rice.
February 18, 2014

Leek + Fennel Bisque

onion fennel bisqueAdapted from Gourmet

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large fennel bulb, chopped (set aside stems/fronds) – 3-4 cups
  • 3 medium small leeks, light green and white parts only, chopped – 3 cups
  • 3 medium large onions, chopped – 5-6 cups
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar (or 1/4 cup white wine)
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable/chicken stock
  • 1 pinch nutmeg (allspice will work)
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 2 slices of bacon (optional), chopped
  • 1 cup half and half
  • salt/black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat 5-6 qt dutch oven/pot over medium high Heat. Add butter, swirl to coat bottom, and sauté fennel, leeks, onions, garlic 15 min or. Salt generously. Stir in nutmeg.
  2. Add white wine and let it boil away. 1 min.
  3. Add stock, season to taste, simmer 10-15 min. Stock should not immerse vegetables.  This will end up being a thick bisque, not a runny soup.
  4. In a separate bowl, add cream and ladle in soup slowly to bring temperature up. Slowly incorporate cream mixture into pot. Continue to simmer, 15 min. Soup will thicken slightly. No need to stir.
  5. Heat separate frying pan over medium heat. Fry bacon. set aside.
  6. In batches, blend soup with caution until smooth. Last chance to salt to taste! Amazing what a pinch of salt can bring out. Once it passes that threshold of perfectly salted, all the flavors will come out. Left under-salted, this bisque will taste bland.
  7. Ladle into serving bowls. Add bacon, fennel frond for decoration, serve with toasted crusty bread.

Can be made a day or two ahead of time, chilled, and reheated slowly in the same pot.

There’s a lot of flexibility in the ratio of ingredients. I think it’s silly to throw away extra vegetables just because it does not measure out to be exactly 3 cups per fennel bulb. Just use approximately 1:1:2 ratio of fennel:leeks:onion. And obviously more of whatever flavor you like!

Keep those stems. Great for roasting fish on (so that the bottom does not burn). The mild flavored fronds also make a great garnish (looks like dill!)

January 20, 2014

Beef Stew

Gonna be low of 10F tomorrow. No better reason to make a pot of warm stew. (:

beef

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3lb well marbled beef chuck or stew meat
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • ~1 lb carrots (4 large), chopped
  • ~1 lb white sweet potatoes (2 medium), chopped *
  • 2 medium small onions, chopped in large 2 inch pieces
  • 7 cloves garlic, roughly chopped and smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • ~half a 8oz can of tomato paste (roughly 2 tbs)
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • flour
  • 4 cups beef broth

*healthier than potatoes. Japanese variety with purple skin and white flesh. Yukon gold or russets can be used as instead, the later being softer and grainier.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 320F
  2. Salt and pepper beef generously. Toss and rub in ~ 1 tsp brown sugar. This will help with caramelization.
  3. Heat medium size pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add 1 tbs oil (I like avocado oil these days, smoke point at 480F!) and sear meat until browned evenly on all sides (5 min or so). Do this in batches to avoid crowding (crowding = steaming, not browning). Add oil, 1 tsp at a time between batches as necessary
  4. Remove meat and set aside. Lightly dust with flour.
  5. Add onions and garlic. Saute 3 min or so. Add tomato paste and mix. Continue stirring and sautéing another 3 min or so, or until onions are soft and translucent. Salt.
  6. Add balsamic vinegar. Scrape up brown bits from the bottom of the pot.
  7. Add wine and broth, continue to scrape up bits from the pot (wooden spoon is your friend. don’t eff up your pretty pot with a metal utensil).
  8. Return beef to pot. Stir, cover, and place in oven for at least 2.5-3 hours.
  9. Remove pot from oven. Stir in chopped carrots and potatoes. Cover and return to oven for another hour or until carrots are fork tender.
  10. Serve with crusty bread
September 6, 2013

Pork Rib Noodle Soup

Pork Rib Noodle Soup

Holy crap! Was it really in the 50’s last night? Is it really only September and already noodle soup weather?

Yea, I’m not in Texas anymore.

Left over pork stew works wonders on a day like this.

Note: did not parboil ribs this time. Rubbed them with salt and brown sugar and seared them in the pot. Remove. Add aromatics, deglaze, add soup, add ribs, then simmered on the stove for 4 hours. Similar outcomes, different method of getting there. I did have to skim a ton of “meat particulate” throughout the simmering process though.

Mmmm…meat particulate…

September 4, 2013

Indonesian Chicken and Egg Curry Noodles

IMG_2220

This is a large meal for two. Inspired by the best meal I had in Bali this summer, at a little run down restaurant overlooking a volcano (Mount Batur). My mother actually use to make something similar when we were kids. (Sans curry ’cause we’re not southeast asian). It was a smooshy chicken noodle soup with lots of greens and fluffy eggs melted in. Any time one of us was feeling sick, she’d make us this soup. Perhaps my strong affinity towards this Indonesian dish is just due to homesickness. Anyway, don’t tell my mother, but I like it better with curry and shallots. Just a stronger, richer tasting meal.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 qt Chicken Stock
  • ~3 servings of noodles (I used dried, flat wavy noodles. plain dried ramen noodles are good, too)
  • chicken thigh meat, diced (yes. dark meat. do it.)
  • lime
  • fried shallots (comes in a plastic container w/ red lid. asian supermarkets)
  • ~3 tbs yellow curry paste (thai. ’cause that’s what i have.)
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • spinach (frozen OK, other asian greens, OK.)
  • 3 eggs
  • salt
  • optional: sliced green onions  and peppers as garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Rub diced chicken meat with curry paste. Salt generously. Mix with your hands. It’s slimy. It’s fun. Please wash your hands.
  2. 4 qt pot – Heat on medium high. Add a tbs oil. When shimmering, add onions. Stir. Saute until soft ~5 min. Salt generously. Add 1 tbs curry paste and mix in.
  3. Add chicken stock. Bring to a  boil. Stir in another spoonful of curry paste or to taste. Add chicken, reduce heat to simmer. Cover and simmer 10 min.
  4. Bring heat up to medium high. When bubbling, add noodles directly into pot. If you are uncomfortable judging cooking times, you can boil a separate pot of water and cook noodles there. Skip to step 5 and ladle finished soup over it after wards.
  5. Once noodles are almost done but still white on the inside and slightly too hard for al dente, add handfuls of spinach (to your heart’s content). I used 1 handful of frozen spinach. It will expand as it cooks.
  6. Bring soup to a low simmer, no rolling bubbles. Lightly beat 3 eggs (whites and yolk still slightly separated), drizzle into soup. Like all over. Don’t just dump it into the center. Cover. 3 minutes or until eggs solidify (OK if still a bit runny. will continue to cook)
  7. Spoon into serving bowls. Squeeze in a bit of lime and toss in spoonful of fried shallots.

IMG_2219

 

Note: obviously not a picture of my recipe, seeing as there is a volcano in the background. These pics are from my vacation. I unfortunately ate all the noodles I made before I thought to take pictures. Next time!

June 17, 2012

Coconut Milk + Lemongrass Steamed Mussels

Have lots of crusty bread on hand. You will want to DRINK this broth afterwards.

Image

And for the millionth time, I apologize for my crappy iphone camera. It tastes so much better than it looks… And mussels are really f*ck up free. Promise. Just try it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lb fresh mussels (in a pinch, frozen half shells work too)
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, cut in 4 two inch pieces and smashed with flat of knife.
  • 1 tbs tumeric (mostly for color)
  • 1 tsp red chili pepper flakes
  • 2 slices of fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 0.5 – 1 cup white wine
  • 2 small cans of coconut milk
  • juice of 1 lime

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large bowl, rinse mussels in cold water. Clean and cut off fuzzy green bits (beards). Let it soak and rinse ~20 min.
  2. In a 3 qt pot, saute shallots until soft ~3 min. Add garlic and continue to saute 2 min. Add tumeric, chili pepper flakes, lemongrass, ginger. Salt generously. Stir and saute another 3 min.
  3. Add wine and let it reduce by half. Add coconut milk. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover for 10 min.
  4. Add mussels and COVER. Steam 3-5 minutes or so, until all the mussels open. Don’t check on it repeatedly as this releases the steam.
  5. Remove from heat and pour into large bowl. Squeeze on lime juice and top with fresh chopped scallions or cilantro as garnish.

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