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Chicken Pozole

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Chicken Pozole
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Chicken
  • ½ Red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • 2 Carrots, search peeled and roasted
  • 2 Celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 Large can hominy
  • 1 Small tomato chopped or 10 cherry cut in half
  • 6-8 Cups chicken stock(use stock from boiling chicken)
  • 2 Garlic cloves, chopped
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Chipotle powder
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garnish
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Red onion
  • Lime wedges
Instructions
  1. Boil chicken in water, salt, pepper and bay leaf
  2. When chicken is done remove and let cool, save water
  3. When chicken is cool to touch shred and set meat aside
  4. Use chicken water as stock
  5. Add bay leaf, garlic and spices, salt and pepper to taste
  6. Add carrots, celery, onion, tomato and hominy.
  7. Bring to a simmer
  8. When vegetables soften add chicken
  9. Add red bell pepper
  10. Add more spices to taste.
  11. When chicken is brought to temperature of soup your soup is done.
  12. Garnish with cilantro, red onion and lime wedge.
Notes
Roasting carrots before hand will give it a smokey flavor. You can also sauté the onions and add carrots, celery and tomatoes before adding chicken broth and use butter or olive oil to sauté vegetables

 

 

Pozole is total comfort food.  And with it being soup season,  the perfect hearty lunch or dinner.  So grab yourself some comfort and enjoy!

Chicken Pozole

Simple Celery Soup

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I love celery!!  The taste, malady the crunch, the smell, yum!  I know nutritionally its lacking, but the flavor is undeniable.  It adds so much to most dishes that most people probably take it for granted.  We use it as an appetizer with cream cheese or peanut butter, as a garnish for color, or to stop the heat from a chicken wing, even adding that crispness to stuffing.  Just to name a few.  But a celery soup, is a great way to celebrate a sometimes through away vegetable.  It’s bursting with flavor and richness that any creamed soup could want.  Celery has an important roll in most soups so why not let it shine on its own?  I recently had some left over and decided to make my own soup, and I was glad I did.  I read up on some recipes and I didn’t have everything they were asking for, so I decided to go with my gut and make my own version.  Enjoy!

 

Celery Soup

Celery Soup

 

Simple Celery Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 3 Cups chopped celery
  • ½ Red onion chopped
  • ½ Garlic clove chopped
  • 4 Cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Instructions
  1. Melt butter
  2. Add onions and saute for about 5 min
  3. Put in a sprinkle of salt and pepper
  4. Add celery, saute for another 5 minutes
  5. Add garlic, saute for 1 minute
  6. Add pinch of red pepper flakes
  7. Add another pinch of salt and pepper
  8. Pour in stock
  9. Bring to boil, then lower flame and simmer for 10 minutes
  10. Let cool then blend
  11. Reheat and serve

Potato Leek Soup

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Potato leek soup is such a staple in restaurants and kitchens that it seems impossible to improve on it.  Most of the time it’s potatoes, shop leeks, stock, cream and buttermilk or just cream.  I dont use cream or buttermilk, but add a carrot, celery and garlic.  I not sure this is an improvement, but its just way I do it.  Like a lot of recipes, it comes from a mistake.  I was making a bunch of soups(winter does that to me) and they called for a carrot and celery.  So of course I addded them to my potato leek soup.   Oops!  Not normal.  But it was for a dinner party and everyone liked it, so I kept on making it that way, and still do!  Of course now I add garlic.  Always tweaking the recipe.  I can’t help it!

Potato Leek Soup

 

Potato Leek Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Large leeks, white to light green part
  • 4 Small or 2 large potatoes
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Celery rib
  • 2 Cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Olive oil
  • 4 Cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Cut dark green and very bottom of white off
  2. Slice in half and give a good rinse
  3. Get in between the layers
  4. Chop across
  5. Peel and chop carrots, set aside
  6. Chop celery, set aside
  7. Chop garlic and separate
  8. Peel and chop potatoes into small pieces
  9. In large stock pot add butter and a couple tablespoons of olive oil
  10. Heat until butter is melted
  11. Add leeks and sauté till they start to wilt/translucent
  12. Add some salt and pepper
  13. Add one clove of garlic while leeks are cooking
  14. When leeks start to look translucent and smell, add carrots and celery
  15. Lower heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes
  16. Add potatoes and rest of the garlic
  17. Cook for about 5 minutes
  18. Add stock
  19. Bring to boil and turn down to a simmer
  20. Cook till potatoes are soft, about 10 to 15 minutes
  21. Check to see if all veggies are soft
  22. If veggies are soft turn of heat and let cool enough to blend
  23. Blend till smooth, reheat and serve

Ham, Potato and Bean Soup

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What to do with holiday leftovers is as much a tradition as the holidays themselves.   So with that in mind, viagra I decided to go along and add a dish to the leftover tradition.   We had ham, as do a lot of people.  And like lot’s of people, we had lot’s of it left over.  After a few days of eating it I was starting to wonder what else besides sandwiches or frying it up with my morning eggs I could do with it.  I thought about for a little while and decided a soup would be good.  But what kind?  My friend said potato and ham.  I thought genius, but it needed something else.  I then thought bean with bacon!   So I thought use the ham,  instead of bacon.  And our ham, potato and bean soup was born.  This was supposed to be a cream soup, but I couldn’t decide whether to blend just the potato, or the beans, or both.  As I was cooking,  I realized that if I cut some of the potatoes small, and cooked them long enough, the potatoes would start to break down and create a creamy effect.  Thus, solving the problem of what to blend.  In the end, what I got was a brothy soup with bit of a creamy texture that is simply divine.  Enjoy!

 

Ham, Potato and Bean Soup

 

Ham, Potato and Bean Soup
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 med onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 3 potatoes
  • 2 cups chopped ham, fat and grizzle removed
  • 1 can of white cannellini beans, drained
  • 4 cups broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian herbs
  • Pinch of thyme
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
Instructions
  1. Chop ham to bite size pieces, fat and grizzle removed
  2. Peel and chop carrots and celery
  3. Peel and chop onion
  4. Peel and chop two of the potatoes
  5. The the third potato chop into smaller pieces
  6. Chop garlic clove.
  7. Sauté onion in olive oil till translucent
  8. Add salt and pepper
  9. Add celery and carrots and sauté for a few minutes
  10. Add potatoes and garlic, sauté for a few minutes
  11. Add ham, beans and stock
  12. Add Italian herbs and pinch of thyme
  13. Bring to boil then simmer on low till small potatoes start to disappear
  14. Salt and pepper to taste.
  15. If needed add more herbs

Remodeling and The Bean Soup

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Mixed Bean and Lentil Soup with Bacon
Author: 
Recipe type: Main dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
This is a very easy recipe that you can leave and get things done. Once you have done the prep all you have to do wait.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb of mixed beans and lentils
  • 2 Tbsp of butter
  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 6 cups of stock(your choice)
  • 4 pieces of bacon chopped
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 4 celery ribs
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • ½ box of frozen peas
  • 1 lime cut in half and separated
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • dry herb mix- oregano, salve dill, medical chive, celery leaf, kale, parsley
  • (you can make your own mix)
  • Splash of red wine or beer or water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Chop up bacon
  2. Chop up onion
  3. Cut celery into ½ inch pieces
  4. Peel and cut carrots into ½ inch rounds
  5. Cut red pepper into ½ in squares
  6. Rough chop parsley and set half to the side
  7. On med to high heat put oil and butter in large soup/stock pot
  8. Add onion and cook till they get soft
  9. Make a ring on the edge of the pot with onions
  10. Add bacon in the center and let cook for a couple minutes
  11. Stir onions and bacon together and cook till bacon starts to get crisp
  12. Add stock, beans and lentils and herb mix
  13. Bring to boil and lower flame to very low
  14. Let simmer for 4-5 hours with lid on
  15. Last hour add celery, carrots and bell peppers
  16. Add beer or wine or water if soup seems too thick
  17. (this is if the soup starts to get to dry)
  18. You want some broth
  19. The last 15 minutes add the peas and half the parsley
  20. Save the other half for garnish
  21. Salt and pepper to taste
Notes
The beans and lentils can be any combo you want. Also I say 6 hours but the soup can be ready between 4- 6 hours. It just depends on how you like your beans. Adjust times accordingly

 

 

We started the remodel because Jason’s friend suggested it.  Not only suggested it, but had developed a plan.  Jason was all ears.  I heard about it second hand.  It sounded vague but promising.  So we headed to this warehouse in Greenpoint to get these colorful brackets that were the basis of this mini make over.  They were bright, but something about them and the ideas that were being talked about made sense.  We walked out with a bunch of them.  The plan was in motion. We stopped at a bar to discuss the rest of the plan as it existed at that time.  As things came together, salvaged wood shelving, the color scheme of the kitchen, things changed and evolved.  Next thing you know we are painting the ceiling terracotta/brick red and the inside of the pantry became canary yellow.

The apartment is in complete disarray.  So cooking is not easy, to say the least.  But the Lab must continue to experiment and make new food.  The latest is a mixed bean, lentil and bacon soup that could sit for hours as we continued to work on the shelving.  It’s a basic soup but with a few extras thrown in on purpose and also just for the fun of it.  We started with a bag of beans and lentils we found at our local Indian market.  You could easily replicate the of mix beans and lentils if you don’t have access to store like this.  From there it was what broth to use?  We chose a combo of beef and vegetable.  One, because it’s what we had available and two because given the chance I will always use broth over water.  For reasons that are obvious.  We also had an herb bag for soup that we found during our excavation of the pantry.  Also from the Indian store.  From there we added onion, bacon, celery, carrot and a red bell pepper. As the soup cooked and as I tasted it, it also changed. From seasoning, to consistency, to the acidity. I added half the juice and pulp of a lime.  I always have citrus around as it’s always good for such occasions.  It took the bite out the soup that I couldn’t help but wonder how it got there.  I thank my friend Regina for this trick.  She is a brilliant cook.

Four hours and a few layers of polyurethane later we were ready to eat.  The soup was amazing and though we aren’t nearly finished with the kitchen and the shelving, at least we finished another food journey that will be part of our cannon for years to come.  Now if we could just get the rest of the kitchen off the living room floor!

Lasagna

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Lasagna! Filling Onions, <a href=website like this celery and bay leaf” src=”http://houseofzeta.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/image-300×225.jpg” width=”300″ height=”225″ />

 

With winter setting in, ask we all want to hunker down and eat.  And what better way then with a big ole piece goodness called lasagna?!  Do you make it at Christmas or New Years, or whenever you want that giant casserole dish of baked noodles with sauce and cheese?  Do you add meat or vegetables?  Maybe you’re a white sauce kind of person?  For me, it all comes down to one thing, tomato sauce.  It screams lasagna.  All red and bubbly with veggies and Italian sausage, yum!

I usually start with one large and one medium can of whole tomatoes.  Giving them a medium rough chop so you have nice chunks of tomato.  Then I saute onions, garlic and whatever vegetables I want in my sauce, like celery and bell peppers, all seasoned with the herbs I’m using in the sauce.  I find it helps get things going.  If I am adding sausage, I cook the veggies in with the sausage, onions and garlic first then the rest.  Next I combine the tomatoes, veggies, meat and simmer for a few minutes then add some paste to thicken.  More herbs and simmer for as long as necessary.  I even slice zucchini to put in between the layers.

When it comes to cheese, fresh is best.  But we all know we can’t always get it or have the time to make it.  So do your best and it will be just fine.  I do stir up my ricotta if it comes store bought, makes it easier to spread or drop.  But my big discovery is to grate most or all of your mozzarella, which can be evenly distributed.  This will keep you from having that moment when you accidentally sliced it too thick and don’t have enough to cover the top.  Oops!  Been there done that! And who ever thought of cottage cheese as a substitute for ricotta should be shot.  Don’t do it ever! You are not doing yourself or your guests any favors.

Then there is the debate on the noodles.  Fully cook, don’t cook, cook partially.  What do you do?  Ive done all three.  I prefer to cook them al dente so they finish with the flavors of the sauce.  Also cook and extra one or two just in case one rips.  If not then have fun eating it while the lasagna cooks.

Once you have done all this, simply put it in the oven at 350 till golden bubbly, about 30-45 minutes and when done, let it stand for about 15 minutes and serve.   What could be more perfect and easy then that?

*if you think you need more sauce, always add another can of tomatoes, medium or large depending on how saucy you want your lasagna.  Or add another dollop of paste to thicken.*

Chicken Barley and Vegetable Soup

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I wasn’t going to do another chicken soup post, diagnosis but after requests for this recipe and some thought, diagnosis I realized that this is different then the last chicken soup I wrote about.  While I was writing, for sale I wondered how many versions of chicken soup must be out there?  I have at least 3 to 4 myself.   I will post more as they get remade or made for the first time.  Until then, here is another addition to the cannon of probably the most American soup out there.  I give you, my other chicken soup, which I will officially call; Chicken, barley and vegetable soup.

Chicken, Barley and Vegetable Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 lg onion or 3 small
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 ribs of celery
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 cup cooked barley
  • 2-3 bay leafs (1 or 2 if big)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • Couple sprigs of Savory
  • 1 Tablespoon of garlic chives chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
Instructions
  1. Chop onion, separate into thirds or if you have three small onions keep separated
  2. Peel and chop carrots
  3. Chop celery and zucchini.
  4. Open corn and drain liquid
  5. Sautée ⅓ or one of the small onions in olive oil, salt and pepper
  6. Salt and pepper both breasts in same pan as onions, on medium high heat place breasts skin side down
  7. Cook for a couple minutes, or until you get a good sear.
  8. Flip breasts over cover and cook on low till done.
  9. Check every once in a while to make sure they don't burn
  10. Meanwhile cook barley according to directions, minus 5-10 minutes - it will fully cook later when you add it to the rest of the soup.
  11. Once chicken is done set on a plate to cool
  12. You should have some good drippings left in the pan.
  13. Add another third of onions and a handful of carrots and celery and sautée
  14. When onion is translucent add this to your stock pot, along with broth and veggies
  15. When chicken has cooled off tear from bones (using the skin is up to you, I love it).
  16. Add chicken and barley to soup.
  17. Add savory and garlic chives to soup
  18. Bring to boil then lower to a slow simmer for about 10 minutes or until veggies are how you like and barley is done.

 

Good for What Ails You

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What Ails You Chicken Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 chicken
  • 1 bouquets garnis
  • 3-4 quarts of water (enough to submerge a chicken)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 ribs of celery
  • 3 carrots
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, diagnosis peeled and chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Take out bag of innards from chicken
  2. Rinse the chicken and take any extra feathers off
  3. Place in pot with water
  4. Add salt, information pills pepper, garlic and bouquets garnis
  5. Bring to boil, then lower heat to medium
  6. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes
  7. Meanwhile peel and cut carrots into ¼" slices, set aside
  8. Chop celery and onion, set aside
  9. When chicken is done remove and let stand and cool
  10. While chicken is cooling off put veggies in the broth
  11. Bring to boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes
  12. When chicken is ready to handle, peel the skin, chop it up and set aside
  13. Strip chicken of all meat, tear into desired size pieces, set aside.
  14. Add chicken and skin when veggies are done.
  15. Bring soup back to a slow simmer and serve.
Notes
You can add rice, noodles, or barley, just make sure you cook these before adding them. I like to cook them just under the desired time so they finish in the soup. Bouquets Garnis is Oregano, Thyme and Savory wrapped up in Bay Leaves tied with kitchen string. I use this in all my stocks and soups. It is a great time saver and adds the perfect amount of flavor. You can make these yourself or get them at http://www.oliviersandco.com/ or at one of their stores.

Image01052013152900 chickensoupstuff

Chicken broth and chicken soup are said to be good for what ails you.  So with the Flu being particularly bad this year, and Jason being struck down by it, I decided to make chicken soup.  Years ago I got a tip from a mother from Catalan Spain.  She said to boil a chicken with one or two cloves of garlic.   Strip the chicken of it’s meat and put back in the pot.  Then serve.  She also pointed out that the skin must be in there also.  It supposedly has healing properties.   Being one who does not argue with mothers, especially when they come from my ancestral homeland,  I nodded my head and said yes ma’am.  Of course I asked if I should add anything else?  Salt and pepper, nothing else was her short but firm answer.  Keep it simple, it’s what the body needs.  Well, if you know me, then you know I can’t help but tinker with a recipe.   I have added a few things, like bouquets garnis, onions, celery, carrots  etc.  I’ve also been known to throw in some ginger, barley, rice, cilantro and even alphabet noodles.   Now I understand the reasoning for keeping it simple, it makes sense, and I have made it that way and it is very good.  What I find when I am asked to make chicken soup  is that everyone has something special they like in it.  This last time was the alphabet noodles.  Whether you like it simple or complex, there is one thing that does seem to cure or at least make being sick bearable, that’s homemade chicken soup.  I feel the most important healing thing about making this soup isn’t just fresh ingredients, but the care that comes with it.  Maybe that’s what the healing properties are.

On a Sunday Afternoon

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What did you do this last Sunday?  Jason went camping and I stayed at home to learn computer stuff.  Sounds boring doesn’t it?  Not really.  I expanded my brain with knowledge and did some, physician (a long time coming) slow cooking.  I made chicken stock and pinto bean soup.  It may not sound like much but both are long, but relatively easy tasks.  I had the makings for stock sitting in the freezer for way too long and finally had the time to make it.  There’s a reason most people buy their stock from a store.   That’s not to say I don’t like homemade stock, quite the opposite.  I love it!  But don’t always have the time to make it.  Another issue is I don’t cook mine as long as some people, or chefs, simply because I’m too impatient.  That’s probably why my stock is very strong and usually cloudy.   I did come across an article on how to make a quick chicken stock and can’t wait to try it.  I will let you know how it turns out.  If it’s as good as it looks then I may never buy chicken stock again!!!  Hahaha, not likely, but maybe I will make more at home.

Now, what did I do with that chicken stock you ask?  I made cauliflower soup!!!  I took six cups of stock, a couple ribs of celery, two carrot’s, a medium onion and a head of cauliflower chopped them up and put them on the stove to simmer for 20 minutes(after bringing it to a boil) and next thing you know lunch was served!

One of the other things I did  was make Pinto Bean Soup.  This is something I had learned from my grandparents.  It was my grandfathers favorite soup and my father’s least favorite.  I first got to taste this hearty goodness when we were living with my grandparents one winter when I was young.  I remember paying attention to how it was made but not really understanding what I was seeing.  It all happened so fast.   My biggest memory is that when it’s done you must add pepper and very finely minced onion.  Something my grandfather took pride in doing.  My father always said it was tasteless soup.  I beg to differ.  The earthiness of the beans and the cloudy stock made smokey from the bacon and the tender cooked onions melt in your mouth, while the fresh onions provide a nice crisp sweet freshness that is to me, pure heaven.  I don’t have the exact recipe just what my father told me as he finally made it one day, after months of begging.   He made it from memory and since he only made it once I had to learn quick.  It’s a very simple soup and there really is no measuring, which is probably where I get my cooking method from.   I’ve asked lots of friends and family about this soup and how they make it.  Everyone seems to make it mostly the same way, soak the beans overnight then rinse them, put back in the slow cooker and cook for several hours.  Some of the other ingredients people added were bacon, onions,  celery, carrots, garlic, a ham hawk or what ever there mother/grandmother use to use to get it just right.  My version is simple with bacon, onion and garlic.   I like to make a couple times so I have  it  on hand all winter for those long cold days and evenings.  Not a bad way to spend a Sunday.