Posts from the ‘jewish’ Category

roasted chicken matzo ball soup with quinoa


when i crave matzo ball soup, i make it myself because i can’t get it in the city anymore. seems all the jewish places have moved out of town. i usually can’t get it to taste as good but this time i did it different & it blew away any chicken soup i have ever had or made.

the process is tedious but well worth it.

roast an entire chicken thomas keller style. i coated the entire bird with

-coarse salt
-white pepper
-italian seasoning
-valentina fruit seasoning or some kind of chili lime salt – important

let cool. separate the skin & bones from the meat. make stock. i did a double stock-a previous stock was used to simmer the new bird bones. this added more richness. i also used a pressure cooker which speeds it all up. tossed in 2 bunches of green onion tops, several garlic cloves & above spices.

while the stock is cooking, take a large skillet & fry 5 pieces of chopped bacon till crisp. remove bacon, drain some fat & set aside. chop one large onion & fry 10 minutes. add 3 chopped carrots & 2 chopped celery stalks. add salt, cover & cook 10 more minutes. add 6 chopped garlic cloves, the chicken meat & bacon. add all the spices used on the bird. cook covered on low until the stock is done-about an hour. the pressure cooker is my friend.

drain the stock & combine with skillet. it will be ready almost immediately.

cook the quinoa separate. matzo balls are also separate & very easy. whip 2 eggs with 2 T oil whipping them with electric mixer. stir in one pack matzo meal, chill 15 minutes. cook covered in simmering water 20 minutes. i have made them many times & it seems this is the best way. i used to cook it all together and the flavor is much better cooked separately. you DO want to use the bacon.

i topped it with togarashi. a little romano, but it’s really fine without it.

chicago is having it’s 4th polar vortex- minus 30 degrees w/wind chills. soup is not a luxury. it’s a necessity.

chicken matzo ball soup

i make this soup often because i love it so much. actually i am quite fond of the majority of jewish delicacies i sometimes wish i were jewish. not just because of the awesome traditional foods but because i find their ceremonies & holidays to have a lot of spirit & meaning. jewish folk in general are delightful.

anyhoo, since the colonel came down with a bad cold after work friday i decided to take care of him the best way that i know how-juicing & cooking. we started with fresh squeezed orange/grapefruit juice-i have a great juicer that i actually use-& then went to the grocery store to stock up on proper items for soup.
i like rachael ray & always use her suggestion of buying a pre-broasted chicken when using it for soup, chili or stews. i could not make it taste better because broasting is the ultimate flavor enhancer. i also found a new recipe for matzo balls that does not use ginger ale, but 4 egg whites whipped to stiff peaks. this gives the balls a lightness that is really awesome! the only thing i did different was add half of a fine diced sautéed onion to the mix & substituted room temp butter for the chicken fat.

chicken stock is a very individual thing. yesterday’s was this.

1 broasted chicken-remove all meat, cover & set aside. use skin, bones, fat & cartilage for stock.
3 carrots cut in half
1 yellow onion cut in half
1 bulb garlic
handful of parsley stems
3 celery stalks cut in half
8 cups water
3 star anise
1 T. rubbed sage
1 T. thyme
1 T. lemongrass
plenty of salt to taste
1 T. whole white peppercorns

cook everything covered 3-4 hours. strain & reduce 1 hour more. save 2 cups to cook the matzo balls in. after you do that, strain & put it back in. the matzo balls can be stored in water or stock so they don’t dry out.

it’s common to have just broth & matzo balls, but i added high quality egg noodles cooked separately & a cup of chicken meat. i put the meat in a strainer & dip it in the stock to warm it up. if you just throw all the meat in there it tends to get mealy because it’s already broasted. top with fresh minced parsley.

this is super hearty yet healthy & low in calories. AND of course delicious 🙂

basic potato pancakes

i have a big bag of potatoes to use up & was going to whip up some mashed potatoes. instead, since i had good sour cream on hand, i decided to make potato pancakes. SO easy.

for 6 medium pancakes

2 large potatoes peeled-any kind-but i’m partial to yukon golds
1 medium yellow onion
1/4 cup fine chopped parsley
2 t. salt
2 t. pepper
2 eggs
2 T. flour
vegetable oil

fine grate the potatoes & onions in a food processor. put in colander, wash, drain & squeeze out all of the water.
whip the eggs, add the parsley, salt, pepper & flour. then add the potatoes & onion mixture.
coat a large fry pan with oil-heat & put 1/3 cup for each pancake & press down. cook about 8 minutes each side until brown. put on a paper towel lined plate, top with another towel & pat out the extra oil.
serve with sour cream or apple sauce.

delish 🙂

sour cream banana chocolate chip loafs & raspberry cream cheese rugelach with candied orange peel & toasted pecans

i took a banana chocolate chip muffin recipe & changed it up a bit. instead of milk, i used sour cream, used an extra banana, baked in mini bread pans & topped with toasted pecans. moist & very easy to prepare. i also had a taste for my very favorite cookie again, rugelach but put a different filling in. i spread a layer of cream cheese, topped with raspberry preserves, toasted pecans & chopped candied orange peel. the orange & raspberry are lovely together. this is a very sweet cookie. the dough is so fluffy because of the cream cheese in it. it does take some time to prepare. the dough is kind of challenging & delicate, but it’s way worth the effort.

caramel apple rugelach, lemon thins & chocolate orange shortbread

i chose 3 fun cookie recipes to bake today for the hosts of the 2 thanksgiving parties i am attending. of course i had to change them up a bit because i had some nice little goodies on hand.

-scharffen berger fine artisan dark chocolate
-candied lemons
-candied oranges
-caramel apple preserves
-dried cranberries

i started early with my usual rugelach recipe. the filling can be anything you want, so i made it out of the caramel apple preserves & dried cranberries, half of them with walnuts. this recipe takes awhile to make because of the dough & the chilling & building process.

then i turned my attention to orange shortbread cookies with chocolate chips. i have never made shortbread before. instead of the chips, i melted the chocolate i had & dipped one candied orange peel in it for each cookie & chilled it to firm the chocolate on top. they look really pretty.

the last one, lemon thins
was a chilled log type. it’s rolled into a tube with parchment & foil a couple hours, sliced thin & baked. i topped these off with candied lemons dipped in chocolate, dusted in powdered sugar & chilled.

i can see a theme here. fruit & chocolate with butter & sugar is good.

herbed matzo ball soup with tuscany egg noodles

i have been making matzo ball soup for years. it’s really fun & very delicious. yesterday’s broasted chicken stock turned out so savory & dark from the herbed chickens i was very excited to make the balls today. it’s pretty simple, but takes patience cause it can take awhile.

i love herbs in the balls, so i went with the miniature leek & chive matzo balls. except i used green onions instead of leeks. one key ingredient is ginger ale. always in the recipe for some reason-i think it acts like sodium bicarbonate. i wondered if baking soda could be used. and i use real european butter instead of margerine because i’m not a kosher jew. well, i’m actually not jewish at all but i worked for 7 years in jewish delis & came to adore the food. i’m damn good at making authentic rugulah as well. it’s been tested on actual jews & they told me they would be proud to serve them to their mothers.

that’s a HUGE compliment.

after you make the matzo batter, it has to sit in the fridge for a few hours. then formed into balls & set for another 30 minutes, boiled for 40 more, & then finally added & cooked into the broth.

i bought this bag of $9 italian egg noodles to put in as well. i was SO proud of the stock i felt it deserved a nice noodle. this comfort food is never over filling. it’s all about the stock. and a good herbed matzo ball never hurt. nor bronze-drawn & slow dried egg pasta from tuscany.

this turned out to be the very finest batch & best matzos i’ve made to date. i guess i’m on a roll