Dreamy

image from http://www.istockphoto.com

While I’m away on my imaginary vacation, I’m leaving the pantry stocked with posts from Exit 51 that would have been part of the Flashback Friday series. The following originally appeared on 7/1/09 at Exit 51.

Dreamy

I’ve been looking at a recipe for creamy crab bisque nearly four years.  I figured it was finally time to either test it or get rid of it.  Guess which one I chose? This is the recipe that SFC’s mother makes.  Just say the words cream of crab soup to him and he gets this dreamy, far away look in his eyes.  Kind of like I do when I hear the words bacon or Andy Nelson Barbecue. Continue reading “Dreamy”

Food Memories – How To Make Matzo Ball Soup (In 20 Easy Steps)

Matzoh Ball Soup

Wendi Aarons says out loud the things I can only mumble quietly to myself.  She is bold and sharp and wickedly funny.  She is also a member of the Barry Manilow International Fanclub, and has the lapel pin to prove it, which makes her good people in my book. Her Food Memory originally appeared on her web site on 16 May 2007.

How To Make Matzo Ball Soup (In 20 Easy Steps)

1. Start with $10 of organic chicken breasts.

2. Plan to make baked chicken for dinner. Recipe says to dip chicken in egg whites, then coat in bread crumbs and put in oven.

3. Search frantically in pantry for container of bread crumbs. When no bread crumbs seen, substitute crushed bag of Cheese Nips found under soda bottles.

4. While chicken bakes, pat self on back for being an innovative, creative cook.

5. Proudly serve family Cheese Nip chicken entrée.

6. Remain strong when family’s disgusted comments include “Dis is yucky”, “I’d rather eat what’s in the Dustbuster” and “Were you drinking when you made this?”

7. Watch ungrateful family happily eat Cheerios and Pirate’s Booty for dinner.

8. Clean up kitchen and stare morosely at weird, orange chicken breasts that are now silently taunting you.

9. Start drinking and plotting.

10. Forcefully grab biggest knife in the kitchen.

11. Take a deep breath, raise knife over head, then hack the crap out of the goddamn chicken breasts like it’s Fight Day at the San Dimas Woman’s Correctional Facility and you’re just a few stabs away from being crowned the cell block champ.

12. Decide to make soup. While grabbing matzo ball mix from pantry, finally find container of bread crumbs. Slap it hard.

13. After soup comes to a boil, drop in matzo balls and demon chicken chunks.

14. Tell family you have a surprise for them.

15. Remain strong when family’s insensitive comments include “Who wants soup when it’s 80 degrees in here?”, “Why do I smell boiling cheese?” and “When Mommy cooks, I cry.”

16. Continue drinking.

17. Say good-night to family. Turn thermostat to 60 degrees and sit in dark room eating soup.

18. Wonder if this is how Lee Harvey Oswald started.

19. Finally give in and throw soup in garbage disposal. As Chik Nips are cruelly ground into oblivion, scream “So long sucker, see you in hell!”, then wash dishes.

20. Happily eat Cheerios and Pirate’s Booty for dinner and plan on dining out indefinitely.

BAH Note:  I couldn’t replicate the demon chicken chunks she used to fancy up the matzo ball soup mix and it’s ok if you don’t either.  Fortunately, my recreation of her recipe did not include Step 9, Step 15, or Step 16.

  • 1 box matzo ball soup mix
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 quarts water

Combine the egg and oil in a medium bowl.  Beat lightly.  Add the matzo ball meal and stir to moisten.  Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring the water to boil over high heat and add the soup seasoning packet.

Wet your hands and quickly roll the matzo meal into one inch balls.  Once all the balls are rolled, drop them into the boiling soup, cover the pot, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Super Charged

With summer’s heat ready to breathe down our necks any minute now, I’ve got a quick and easy alternative to gazpacho.  It also gives you another tasty weapon in your arsenal to combat the pending zucchini onslaught.  You can thank me later.

Curried Zucchini Soup

Adapted From South Beach Quick and Easy

BAH Note:  I found this soup to be equally good hot or chilled.  If you use a stick blender, your soup won’t be silky smooth.  For velvety smoothness, process the soup in a blender or food processor.  Either way is fine to enjoy zucchini with hints of ginger and super charged with sweet curry and garam masala heat.

  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced in 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sweet curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • kosher salt

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until softened, approximately 5 minutes.  Add the zucchini, ginger, curry powder, and garam masala (if using) and cook until the zucchini softens.

Add the broth and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.  Taste for seasoning and add kosher salt to taste.

Working in batches, carefully process the soup in a blender until smooth.

Serve plain or garnish with a dollop of sour cream, greek yogurt, or plain yogurt.

{printable recipe}

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Flashback Friday – What’s Cooking?

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 11/5/07 at Exit 51.

What’s Cooking?

This past weekend saw more kitchen action as I hosted a small brunch. Not sure which I enjoyed more…the food or the time with friends. The combination of good food and good friends is always a winner.

We dined on:

Butternut Squash Soup
Mixed Green Salad with Carrot Ginger Soy Dressing (this is similar to the dressing that comes on your salad in a Japanese restaurant…yum)
Pie

The food was easy to pull together in advance. Try it yourself, you’ll see. Continue reading “Flashback Friday – What’s Cooking?”

Chicken With Wild Rice Soup

image from http://www.istockphoto.com

Earlier this year I had sinus surgery.  For whatever reason, I completely underestimated how completely wiped out I would feel after my little procedure.  I had figured that a couple of days later I would be bouncing around full steam ahead.  The reality was quite different.  It was all I could do to take a shower and get dressed.  Darvocet became my best friend.  We spent quality time together camped out on the sofa.  We drank Diet Coke and lots of smoothies.  We watched crappy daytime television.  And we discovered that bad haircut aside, Holden Snyder looks almost exactly the same in 2010 as he did in 1995 when we last caught an episode of As The World Turns.  Cooking was the last thing on my mind.  But since mine is not the only mouth in this house, and the food doesn’t just magically appear, I had to come up with something for The Mistah to eat besides peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Continue reading “Chicken With Wild Rice Soup”

You’ve Been Warned

Turkey Noodle Soup

On those days when I don’t have it together enough to make homemade chicken noodle soup, Bon Appetit – Fast, Easy, Fresh has me covered.  Assuming that I put chicken broth, turkey breast, and rice noodles on my shopping list, I can have soup in under 30 minutes.  Don’t believe me?  Try it yourself and see.  But don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Once you realize how easy this is to make, you just might find yourself regularly putting the ingredients on your grocery list.  Because who doesn’t love a super quick meal that tastes like it took all day to make?  Better yet, make a double batch and freeze half for later.  In cramped freezers like mine, portion it out into quart sized freezer bags for easy freezing and thawing.  They store much better than plastic containers.

Asian Turkey Noodle Soup

Adapted from Bon Appetit – Fast, Easy, Fresh

BAH Note:  I take the easy way out with the turkey breast and get it at the deli counter.  The person helping me usually gets a puzzled look when I ask to have a slice of turkey breast that’s about an inch to an inch and a half thick.  But it works perfectly.  You could roast a turkey breast at home or maybe even find one prepared in the rotisserie section of the grocery store.  But don’t be afraid to ask for it at the deli counter.

  • 3 1/2 ounces medium wide rice noodles, broken in half
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thinly into about 8 rounds
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 cups diced turkey breast (about 8 to 10 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon dried chives
  • 1 tablespoon crystallized ginger (not sugar coated), minced

Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions.  Rinse, run under cold water to cool, and set aside.

Combine broth, shallots, fresh ginger, and fish sauce in a large sauce pan or dutch oven.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, partially cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove ginger slices from the broth, add diced turkey, noodles, dried chives, and crystallized ginger and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add a pinch of kosher salt, or additional fish sauce,  if desired.

Enjoy plain or top with bean sprouts, a squirt of lime, or thinly sliced chiles for more heat.

{printable recipe}

Flashback Friday – Soup’s On

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 10/22/07 at Exit 51

Soup’s On

To celebrate the kitchen finally being functional enough to use, I swept the dust bunnies under the sofa, cleared off the dining room table, and invited a friend over for supper. Make no mistake, the work isn’t done and the house is still all torn apart but after weeks of frozen meals and take out, I was ready to cook. Continue reading “Flashback Friday – Soup’s On”