Archive for ‘Carrots’

December 11, 2012

Simple and Heartfelt | Matzo Ball Soup

Matzo Ball SoupSometimes, you just want soup. When it’s rainy (no snow?) and cold and dreary and grey, you need something that says, “Bubbala, where are your mittens?”

This fantastic soup is something that anyone can make, with the most simple of ingredients.  And it’s pretty much the single most biggest bang for your buck kind of thing you can make.  People love it.  It’s funny like that.  Because you say to yourself, “Really?  This is that good?”

But it is.  You might even get a bit greedy for the leftovers.  But then, you won’t, because you know better and because this is wonderful to share.  Because the leftovers are even better.  And this, in the season of giving is a wonderful thing to give: warming, comforting and 98% love by volume.

This particular recipe/method uses every possible bit of the soup, even the fat that you skim off the top of the stock.  Because thrift is what takes this soup from ho hum to oh nom.  Yeah, I went there.

Matzo Ball Soup, Serves two for dinner, plus five for leftover lunch, so, yeah. Lots.

For the stock

1 split chicken breast, bone in, skin on

2 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on

2 chicken drumsticks, bone in, skin on

2 carrots, quartered

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June 4, 2012

Two Light and Easy Nights | Summer Miso Soup

This past weekend the most recent Top Chef winner Paul Qui was in town at Market District to do a demo and answer questions.  Honestly, I don’t think there has been a nicer, more unassuming winner of that crazy show.   He’s just such a humble, talented guy.  His dishes were lovely light versions of chicken rice (his with lots and lots of a lemony ponzu) and a summer miso soup.  Things, he says, are his comfort foods.  I can completely see why.

His cooking got me thinking about dishes I had made in the past but could bring together for the perfect, almost no effort summer dinner.  Granted, you’ll have Asian food a couple of days in a row, but I don’t think that ever hurt anyone.  Plus, this is the time of year that you can gather just about everything locally, aside from the kombu, katsuobushi and a couple of pantry items.

But perhaps the thing that makes me happiest about this kind of dinner is that since everybody gets to choose what to include in their bowls, it’s lots of fun for Cherub.  She amazed even me tonight by her choice of tofu, zucchini, carrots, green onion, bean sprouts and snap peas.  But she passed on the fresh sweet corn.  (What kid does that?)  And she even had seconds.

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May 6, 2012

Almost Effortless | Summer Picnic Slaw

This weekend’s weather made me gear back up in the garden, get back in the kitchen and get my groove back.  Warm weather is all about ease: barely putting a pot on the stove, most things cooked over the grill.  Who needs a mess when the back garden begs you to come and play?  A quick ten minutes of chopping and a quick simmer is all it takes to throw this big-enough-to-serve-a-crowd slaw together.

Summer Picnic Slaw for Friends, serves 6

1/2 c rice wine vinegar

1 T whole cumin seeds

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March 8, 2012

Put It On (Just About) Anything | Daikon Radish Slaw

I’ll admit it: I am already greedily longing for spring and summer, despite the blissfully mild central Ohio winter we have had.

Forgive me.  I grew up in Texas.  And I’m almost certain tomatoes are already in season.  OK, that’s being dramatic.

But this daikon slaw somehow reminds me of summer.  And grilling outdoors.  And warm weather.  And love.

It’s simple to pull together from what has kept well during the still – quite seriously – dark days of winter.  Its Asian flavors make it interesting for topping a hot dog or snuggling up to a nice piece of pan-roasted fish.  It’s as fancy or homey as you want it to be.  Flexibility with flair.

And that tastes great any season of the year.

Pickled Daikon Radish Slaw

1 very large daikon radish, peeled and shredded

1 carrot, peeled and shredded

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April 12, 2011

Korean Short Ribs | Galbi Jijm

I’m always honored and humbled to cook food with such proud, venerable, even ancient roots.  Korean food is no exception.  Thousands of years of refinement has led to a breathtaking marriage of flavors.  This dish is a perfect example.  The sweet of the mirin joins the depth of the soy and the earthiness of the mushrooms for a bit of kitchen alchemy.  I compulsively tasted it as it simmered away, and I struggled to remember a more delicious sauce.  It was beautiful.

Again, its a recipe that takes a while, but there’s not a lot of hands-on time.  There are some moving parts at the end, but it is so – I repeat – so worth it.  It’s comforting, traditional, and special.  Those eating with you will feel loved.

Persephone’s Galbi Jijm

2 pounds of bone-in short rib

1 medium onion, roughly sliced

1 clove of garlic, diced

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February 24, 2011

Warmth | Carrot and Corriander Risotto

Spring has forsaken us for a moment here in Ohio.  The 40’s are not really doing it for me.  Yes, I remember it’s still February.  But I long for barefoot weather.  I crave a muddy, just-pulled summer carrot and the sight of my coriander having, once again, gone to seed before I can get a decent couple of salsas out of it.  I yearn for warmth.

In absence of warm outdoors, I made some sunshine in the kitchen with this sweet, herby risotto.  You can take your time with the stock, as it says in the recipe, or you can certainly make a quick and dirty one, starting it only a few minutes before you start the risotto (no whole onion, cloves, juniper berries required).

I will be making this one again, late this summer, with carrots from my garden that is yet to be planted, and the new cilantro plants that will spring unassisted from coriander seeds that found their way into the cracks around my patio.  I will stretch out barefoot on the grass and be content with the warmth.

Carrot and Coriander Risotto

1 bunch of carrots with tops
1 medium onion
2 cloves
Small handful parsley
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
10  peppercorns
4 or 5 juniper berries
1 t whole coriander seeds

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