Archive for ‘Soups and Stews’

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.

Image

June 10, 2012

Kale, Sausage, and White Bean Soup

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large batch kale, chopped
  • 1 lb sausage, sliced
  • 3/4 lb carrots, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 (15oz) cans white beans/cannellini beans
  • 1-2 strips bacon, pan fried and chopped finely
  • 1/3 cup parmesan
  • 1 tbs rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt/pepper
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat dutch oven or large soup pot over high heat. Brown sausage slices until cooked through. Remove and set aside.
  2. In remaining grease, saute onions ~3 min until soft. Add minced garlic and continue to saute until fragrant, ~2 min.
  3. Add rosemary, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, and salt generously. Stir in carrots. Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer ~30 min.
  4. Add 1 whole can of beans, including the liquid. Drain other can and add just the beans. Cover and simmer another 3o min.
  5. Add bacon, sausage, kale, Parmesan. Bring heat up to medium. Heat, uncovered, ~15 minutes, stirring often to make sure kale becomes fully submerged.
  6. Continue to simmer until serving time, or refrigerate overnight and heat slowly over a low simmer on the stove before serving the next day. Soup always tastes better a day or two later!

May 4, 2012

Guiness Braised Beef Stew

Perfect thick and hearty stew! Serve with toasted sour dough or Irish soda bread. I’m still trying to finish off the other 5 bottles of Guinness left over from this recipe. Probably not a bad thing….

Adapted from My Recipes.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 2 pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 5 cups chopped onion (about 3 onions) $
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 (11.2-ounce) bottle Guinness Stout $
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 0.5 lb carrot, cubed
  • 0.5 lb parsnip, sliced diagonally
  • 0.5 lb turnip, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle beef with 1/2 teaspoon salt; dredge beef in starch or flour. Add half of beef to pan; cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove beef from pan with a slotted spoon. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and beef.
  2. Add 4 cups of onion to pan; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  4. Stir in broth and beer, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.
  5. Return meat to pan. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, raisins, caraway seeds, and pepper; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Stew should have small, infrequent bubbles.
  6. Uncover and bring to a boil. Add carrots. Reduce to low.  Cook 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add 1 cup of reserved onions, parsnip, and turnip. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and bring to a boil; cook 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Salt to taste. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

NOTES: I feel the flavor of the parsnips is rather overpowering. In the future I might reduce the parsnips by half to 1/4th lb, and use rutebega or celery root instead. Also, the turnips also didn’t do much for me. They don’t bring much to the stew in terms of texture or flavor. I might just substitute with potatoes in the future.

March 27, 2012

Chinese Oxtail Stew

Amazing recipe. Who would’ve thought that I could find such authentic Chinese flavors on NYTimes?…

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 to 6 pounds oxtails, cut into pieces, fat trimmed
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 star anise, broken into pieces
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths, plus 2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal, for garnish
  • 6 slices fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 orange, 4 large strips of zest removed with a vegetable peeler and reserved
  • Cooked rice, for serving.

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Heat oven to 300F. Season oxtails with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large ovenproof pot with a tight-fitting lid. Working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding, brown oxtail all over, removing each piece when done. Add oil as needed.

2. When done browning, pour off extra fat from bottom of empty pot and set pot over high heat. Add wine and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits. In a bowl, mix soy sauce and sugar with 2 cups water and pour into pot. Add star anise, 2-inch pieces of scallions, ginger and garlic and bring to a boil. Turn off heat. Return oxtails to pot and add orange zest. Cover and transfer to oven. Cook 1½ hours.

3. Turn over pieces of oxtail, cover again and cook 1½ hours more, or until oxtail is very tender. Transfer oxtail pieces to a baking dish. Strain sauce into a separate saucepan; discard contents of strainer. Cover oxtails and sauce and refrigerate overnight.

4. The next day, heat oven to 300 degrees; remove oxtails and sauce from refrigerator. Lift off any fat on surface of sauce and discard. Gently warm sauce until liquid, then pour over oxtails. Cover with foil or a lid and bake 30 minutes.

5. Uncover, stir and raise oven temperature to 400 degrees. Cook, uncovered, 15 minutes. Stir again and cook another 15 minutes, until hot and glazed thickly with sauce. Meanwhile, squeeze ¼ cup juice from orange. Remove oxtails from oven, stir in orange juice, and serve in bowls over rice. Sprinkle each serving with thin scallion slices.

Yield: 4 servings.