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SOUPS

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THE MODEST CABBAGE – UNSUNG HERO AMONG ALL VEG

braised red cabbage

Nanette Hebdige – April 29, 2020 Handshakes and hugs are a thing of the past. It’s FaceTime, Skype or Zoom for most everyone. Local eating hotspots are closed, and we can’t even go for a leisurely walk at the park or for a breath the fresh air by the beach. We dread going to the grocery store as it’s a production and the ingredients are not really the ingredients, as we have to get creative and use whatever is at…

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THE INDOMITABLE AND TRENDY KALE

KALE AND SAUSAGE CROSTINI

Oh kale, I love thee, let me count the ways. Kale, the veggie titan that’s killing it in every Farmer’s Market and produce department. Thousands of pounds are consumed and purchased worldwide, as it’s the trendiest and most hyped leafy green on the veggie Vogue parade in recent years. Once unappealing and certainly given the bypass, it’s now the number one contender and much revered by all. Packing a big wallop nutritionally, it’s a giant among veggies, as it’s brimming…

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WHITE BEAN HAM SOUP WITH CHORIZO

WHITE BEANS WITH HAM AND CHORIZO STEW

The holidays are formally over with the ringing of the new year.   After vast consumptions of high caloric foods, which were officially launched at Thanksgiving, a mountain of sweets later and the invariable intake of more than our fair share of cocktails, wine and bubbly, we’re riddled with usual post-festivities-guilt over the number of calories ingested.  The typical diet favored resolutions come into play, along with that extra hour at the gym.  Yet some of us need some hearty fare to counter…

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A THANKSGIVING TABLE – APPETIZERS

CARAMELIZED ONION DIP

It might be abominably indelicate and neglectful not to present some form of pre-dinner nibbly-bits for your guests and family  to munch on while they are catching up on the year’s activities.  What better way to pique the appetite for the main event than with some avant-guard cocktails and some of these amazing appetizers before and the wolves pounce to devour the lovingly prepared dishes at the table?   CARAMELIZED ONION DIP   This is a killer dip and a way better…

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CHIVES GLORIOUS CHIVES

CREME OF ASPARAGUS

Chives are somewhat misunderstood as most people believe they’re the finishing touch when presenting any dish. However, they are the kissing cousins to leeks, scallions and onions (belonging to the lily family), and their flavor is subtle, unlike the sharp onions and scallions.  Leeks are more delicate and less pungent, however, chives with their green flavor and subtle oniony undertone are utterly incomparable. A last-minute sprinkling of savory chives intensifies the taste of any dish, taking it from good to umami…

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MANHATTAN CLAM CHOWDER

MANHATTAN CLAM CHOWDER

Unlike its brother the New England chowder, Manhattan style has a tomato based broth and no cream, a heritage inherited from the Portuguese immigrants arriving into Rhode Island in the 1890’s.  It’s now found and served everywhere and although a few folks enjoy both, you definitely aren’t on the fence here – you are either a New England or Manhattan lover, as each is vastly different, but equally as lovely.   6 cloves of garlic – minced 2 dozen little…

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NEW ENGLAND CLAM CHOWDER WITH ANCHOVY BREADCRUMB TOPPING

new England Clan Chowder

The cast of characters in this rich, thick chowder includes the traditional favorite lineup: bacon, potatoes, cream and clams.  The arrangement of using canned clams may be a modern convenience for a weeknight meal, however, if you have additional time use fresh – the stock from steaming them adds unparalleled flavor to the chowder and it’s what makes this version so distinctive.   The finished touch of the anchovy breadcrumbs and crumbled bacon creates a magnificent rendition, one that your guests…

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ROOT VEGGIE SOUP

Root Vegetable Soup

This simple and extremely satisfying soup can be made with whatever root veggies you have on hand.  Rutabagas, celery root, parsnips, carrots, sweet and regular potatoes, turnips.  There’s really no exaggerated usage here as all are quite content cooking side by side.  Together with onions, garlic and a few condiments, you have created an earthy and satisfying meal to remove the chill on a frosty winter’s night.   Give the carnivore in you a rest and try this robust veggie…

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BOUILLABAISSE

Bouillabaisse, soups

Much is expected from fish stews, but what makes this version of Bouillabaisse anything but insipid is the combination of Provençale herbs, spices and the touch of Pernod or Pastis (licorice flavored liqueur) in the broth.  A traditional Provençale seafood stew originating from the port of Marseille, Bouillabaisse is a distant relative of the Cioppino and may even be related to our Gumbo.  The present delight in this stew-like soup is the abundance of fish and shellfish in it.  Every…

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CREOLE SHRIMP AND SAUSAGE GUMBO

Creole Shrimp Gumbo

Here is another superlative example of the culinary debates that surface over food.  This one’s been raging for decades.  Quintessentially, Gumbo is a Creole/Cajun soup that has been prepared and enjoyed for over 300 hundred years in Louisiana.  The conflict therein lies with the thickening agents used.  In Louisiana most gumbos achieve their color and thickness from the brownish roux, a legacy left behind by the French colonial cooks in the 14th century, and in theory, many claim that its…

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AVGOLEMONO – GREEK LEMON AND EGG SOUP

Characteristically this is originally a rich sauce made from chicken broth, egg and lemon and served over grilled meats, cabbage rolls, grilled style Greek Fricassee and many more dishes. Including chicken, white rice and additional stock makes it quite a substantial soup and I’ll wager it will make you besotted at first slurp and equally as flummoxed because you can’t conceive that such simplicity imparts such superlative flavor.   2 cups of cooked white rice 2 egg yolks 5 cups…

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VICHYSSOISE – CREAM OF POTATO AND LEEK

Vichyssoise

The irreproachable character of Vichyssoise makes this fair and virtuous soup one of the most elegant around.  The simplicity of the unadulterated ingredients create a clandestine appearance, making you wonder how this delicate soup can turn out so wickedly good. When potatoes, leeks, onions, chicken broth and cream have developed a close bond, a velvety cream is born that’s not only delectable, but incomparable in excellence. This is another of those soups that’s typically served chilled, but I’m adventurous and…

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TUSCAN MINESTRONE

Tuscan Minestrone

In Italy, Minestrone means “big soup” and since it’s a ubiquitous giant for all seasons, when done correctly, there is no better dish.  There’s really no traditional set version for this gastronomic chameleon, as you can practically throw in the kitchen sink and it’s amicable to any palate. The habitual partnership of a profusion of veggies and some kind of bean demand a sturdy broth, with substantial seasonings.  In Italy, the high regard for Minestrone calls for a version in…

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CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

Chicken Noddle Soup

From youthful recollections, you know your ma’s and grandma’s Chicken Noddle Soup was one of the best things you ever tasted.  Those are gratifying memories of comfort and home associated with this classic which removed the chill from a frigid winter’s eve and also provided essential TLC when you were feeling poorly. We have succumbed to the relentless gravitational pull of processed foods and with the diurnal 24 hour countdown, it’s easier by far to reach for a can of…

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Pantry Rat