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What are you cooking for V-Day? [+chicken soup]

What are you cooking for V-Day? [+chicken soup]
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  • Post #31 - February 15th, 2006, 10:34 am
    Post #31 - February 15th, 2006, 10:34 am Post #31 - February 15th, 2006, 10:34 am
    stevez wrote:
    Antonius wrote:What's 'Valentine's' day?

    :o

    Antonius


    It's a holiday celebrated since the 3rd century...even in Italy.


    As a Saint's feast day, yes.

    And of course, the Emperor had a good point.

    Roma locuta est, causa finita est.

    :P

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #32 - February 15th, 2006, 10:38 am
    Post #32 - February 15th, 2006, 10:38 am Post #32 - February 15th, 2006, 10:38 am
    To add to the food porn, here's my V-Day dinner. Two lessons learned: 1) dark sauces, dark vegetables and dark plates don't make for a great presentation; and 2) if you're dining by candlelite, photos come out better if you use a flash (which I finally figured out when we got to the appetizer).

    Amuse: foie gras over celery puree served in parmesagn cups topped with broccoli sprouts:
    Image

    Classic Caesar Salad:
    Image

    Appetizer: Nigerian eggplant stuffed with brown rice and almonds, served with a savory blueberry sauce:
    Image

    Entree: Peppered Salmon stuffed with asparagus and fennel, served over collard greens, with baked yucca chips and ajvar:
    Image

    Dessert: Flourless Mexican Chocolate Cake, topped with Zabagione and fresh raspberries:
    Image

    All accompanied by Iron Horse Wedding Cuvee (Brut)

    I think it came out okay.

    edited to note she dumped me three weeks later after five years together - maybe it wasn't such a great meal after all.
    Last edited by nr706 on February 16th, 2007, 12:41 am, edited 4 times in total.
  • Post #33 - February 15th, 2006, 12:38 pm
    Post #33 - February 15th, 2006, 12:38 pm Post #33 - February 15th, 2006, 12:38 pm
    nr706 wrote:I think it came out okay.

    Tom,

    Looks like it came out better than ok, especially the "Nigerian eggplant stiffed with brown rice and almonds, served with a savory blueberry sauce" Blueberry sauce with eggplant, who da thunk it.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #34 - February 15th, 2006, 12:42 pm
    Post #34 - February 15th, 2006, 12:42 pm Post #34 - February 15th, 2006, 12:42 pm
    So G Wiv,

    What, your grandmother didn't brown her chicken before making soup?
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  • Post #35 - February 15th, 2006, 12:55 pm
    Post #35 - February 15th, 2006, 12:55 pm Post #35 - February 15th, 2006, 12:55 pm
    Erik M. wrote:dry-aged ribeye steaks

    Erik,

    For some odd reason the picture of your steaks brought to mind Crocodile Dundee.

    "That's not a knife"
    Crocodile Dundee draws his Bowie knife

    "THAT'S a knife"

    Very nice sounding dinner overall and great looking steaks.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #36 - February 15th, 2006, 1:21 pm
    Post #36 - February 15th, 2006, 1:21 pm Post #36 - February 15th, 2006, 1:21 pm
    Mike G wrote:So G Wiv,

    What, your grandmother didn't brown her chicken before making soup?

    Mike,

    Interesting question, but no, not once in my memory has she, my mother, myself or anyone else of my acquaintance browned the chicken for 'Jewish Grandmother' style chicken soup. In fact, my use of parsnip, according to my grandmother, is pushing the envelope.

    This is not to that occasionally I don't use other root veggies, the occasional hunk of ginger or stalk of lemongrass, hell, I've been know to drizzle a little toasted sesame oil in the last 3-4 minutes of cooking. But never for a straight-up restorative, someone in the house doesn't feel well, pot of Chicken Soup.

    Speaking of slightly different Jewish style chicken soup preparations, Evil Ronnie, who is a professional chef, uses a bit of saffron to achieve perfect color and duck fat, instead of schmaltz, in his matzoth balls. I'm here to tell you that The Evil One's chicken soup with matzoth ball is absolute perfection in a bowl, certainly in the top couple of chicken soups I've ever had the pleasure of eating.

    I'd be interested to hear from other LTHers if they brown the chicken for straight-up, nothing fancy chicken soup.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #37 - February 15th, 2006, 1:45 pm
    Post #37 - February 15th, 2006, 1:45 pm Post #37 - February 15th, 2006, 1:45 pm
    I brown the chicken for a more appetizing appearance/presentation and a crispy skin provides for better eating. Id imagine boiling or simmering a chicken without browning the skin first would give you a gummy/chewy skin...
  • Post #38 - February 15th, 2006, 1:48 pm
    Post #38 - February 15th, 2006, 1:48 pm Post #38 - February 15th, 2006, 1:48 pm
    Erik M. wrote:Image
    dry-aged ribeye steaks



    Source? :)
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #39 - February 15th, 2006, 2:12 pm
    Post #39 - February 15th, 2006, 2:12 pm Post #39 - February 15th, 2006, 2:12 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Very nice sounding dinner overall and great looking steaks.


    I followed A.B.'s direction for ribeyes to perfect result.

    It was a nice and simple meal.

    I am surely impressed by the efforts of some others here, but I do wonder if they had any energy left for V-Day busy-ness. :twisted:

    Vital Information wrote:Source? :)


    The Whole Foods in River North. $18/lb, IIRC.

    Whole Foods
    30 W Huron St.
    312.932.9600

    E.M.
  • Post #40 - February 15th, 2006, 2:34 pm
    Post #40 - February 15th, 2006, 2:34 pm Post #40 - February 15th, 2006, 2:34 pm
    G Wiv wrote:I'd be interested to hear from other LTHers if they brown the chicken for straight-up, nothing fancy chicken soup.


    Yes, for about five minutes (it won't be brown) or just long enough to get some chicken fat in the bottom of the pan so I can saute the onion in chicken fat.
  • Post #41 - February 15th, 2006, 3:01 pm
    Post #41 - February 15th, 2006, 3:01 pm Post #41 - February 15th, 2006, 3:01 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    I'd be interested to hear from other LTHers if they brown the chicken for straight-up, nothing fancy chicken soup.



    For the plain 'heal the sick' version of chicken soup I don't brown my chicken. I also don't believe my mother or grandmother does theirs that way either. For a fancier or more complicated version I'll brown from time to time.
  • Post #42 - February 17th, 2006, 11:14 pm
    Post #42 - February 17th, 2006, 11:14 pm Post #42 - February 17th, 2006, 11:14 pm
    My bubbe never browned the chicken for soup either, and so neither do I. Her recipe differs from GWiv's in a number of ways. The chicken goes into the pot first and the liquid is thoroughly skimmed (and skimmed and skimmed) before any vegetables are added. And then it cooks very slowly.

    I actually cook it a bit longer than my grandmother did, to help compensate for the fact that modern chickens aren't so tasty as the stewing hens she used to buy. When it's done, there's no flavor left in the meat -- it's all in the broth. (If I want some chicken pieces in the soup, I cheat and take the breasts out early.) It makes a very rich broth.

    Not so rich as my grandmother's first effort at chicken soup, however. She used to tell the story of how, as the youngest of four sisters, she never had much to do with the cooking until one day she was home alone with her mother, who was sick. Her bedridden mama asked her to make some chicken soup, and carefully gave her instructions on the method, which in those days started with going to the store to pick out the live hen, bringing it home and singeing out the pinfeathers, cutting it up and so on.

    My grandmother spent the day making the soup and proudly bore a brimming bowl to her mama. My great grandmother tasted it, pronounced it very good, then eagerly ate the whole bowl and asked for more.

    Bubbe looked at her wide-eyed and said, "But there isn't any more."

    It was so good because she'd used a whole stewing hen for a single bowl of soup!
  • Post #43 - February 17th, 2006, 11:44 pm
    Post #43 - February 17th, 2006, 11:44 pm Post #43 - February 17th, 2006, 11:44 pm
    LAZ,

    That is a wonderful story.

    Thanks!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #44 - February 18th, 2006, 10:55 am
    Post #44 - February 18th, 2006, 10:55 am Post #44 - February 18th, 2006, 10:55 am
    LAZ wrote:My bubbe never browned the chicken for soup either, and so neither do I. Her recipe differs from GWiv's in a number of ways.
    <snip>
    It was so good because she'd used a whole stewing hen for a single bowl of soup!

    LAZ,

    Great story!

    Retrospectively, I left out a step or two from my grandmother's recipe, for one before adding water she lets the ingredients meld for 20-30 minutes or, as she says, let them get to know each other.

    Also, she would not be caught dead using anything other than kosher capon or, at the least, kosher chicken. I think, and I have no scientific reason for this, the salt from kashering brings out subtle flavor, or maybe it's simply the additional salt, but, as Calvin Trillin might say, if I were cooking chicken soup for the Emperor of China I'd use a kosher capon.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #45 - February 18th, 2006, 11:50 am
    Post #45 - February 18th, 2006, 11:50 am Post #45 - February 18th, 2006, 11:50 am
    champagne, Cava, Aria from Seguras
    ribs, dry rubbed indirect flame roasted on the gas grill
    kabocha squash with pasilla chiles and tomatoes
    black eyed peas
    baby collards steel pan sauteed.

    The ribs were downright romantic. No apps, as we shot our wad with the once in a blue moon chopped liver (chicken) and champagne warm-up fifteen days prior on my wife's birthday. This year the chopped liver got Barbancourt 5* Haitian rum as the kicker...we were low on opened bottles of both cognac and port. Frankly, the rum was better than both.
    Chicago is my spiritual chow home
  • Post #46 - February 20th, 2006, 1:03 pm
    Post #46 - February 20th, 2006, 1:03 pm Post #46 - February 20th, 2006, 1:03 pm
    HI,

    Inspired by Gary's post and a weekend of cold weather, I made chicken soup as well. Chicken stock was made Saturday night.

    Matzo balls and egg noodles cooked fresh today. Some leftover rice and chopped chicken rounded out our version of Mish Mosh Soup.

    Image

    Yes, I know it is missing the kreplach and the barley.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #47 - February 21st, 2006, 9:27 am
    Post #47 - February 21st, 2006, 9:27 am Post #47 - February 21st, 2006, 9:27 am
    This Bubbe never browns the chicken for soup. First put the chicken in pot with lotsa water. Bring to boil and skim until stops foaming. Add carrots, parsley, celery and parsnip if available, a whole onion and lotsa salt. Chicken soup like potatoes needs a lot of salt. After cooking for an hour or more remove chicken and vegetables, strain broth. In my family the carrots are always pureed and added back to the broth giving it thickness and a nice orange color. Before blenders and processors my mother and aunt used a foley food mill for this. The other vegetables are discarded. Add whatever you like, matzo balls, (follow recipe on box of matzo meal its good), rice noodles kreplach ( I made them once now I would buy them). Enjoy.
    Paulette
  • Post #48 - February 21st, 2006, 12:39 pm
    Post #48 - February 21st, 2006, 12:39 pm Post #48 - February 21st, 2006, 12:39 pm
    Hi Paulette,

    I roughly followed Joan Nathan's recipe Chicken Soup with Loads of Vegetables from Jewish Cooking in America.

    I used the vegetables I had in the house, which included the turnips and Kohlrabi but not the rutabaga. Everyone walking through thought I was making corned beef and cabbage. The golden brown tint to the soup was from leaving the onion skins on. I wasn't quite satisfied with the condition of the stock after 2.5 hours of simmering. Instead I allowed it to simmer overnight, then strained everything in the morning.

    While I made soup yesterday for lunch. I used another quart of stock and remaining chicken to make pilaf for dinner. I have just over a quart of stock left and the chicken fat. I plan to cook the liver in the chicken fat and use the stock where needed over the next few days.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #49 - February 23rd, 2006, 1:06 am
    Post #49 - February 23rd, 2006, 1:06 am Post #49 - February 23rd, 2006, 1:06 am
    Cathy,

    That is one great looking bowl of soup! Did you happen to see the article on chicken soups in yesterday's NY Times?

    One morning, many years ago, in the basement main kitchen of Dallas' historic Adolphus Hotel, I was busy at work. There was steam everywhere and all cylinders were running on the three huge steam jacket kettles. 400 lbs of chicken bones simmering in one, as well as a large batch of brown veal stock and the soup of the day. I had been working for a few hours and was soaking wet and around the corner came the chef. I continued chopping as we exchanged pleasantries. Kevin, the chef, said, "Ronnie, you love making soup, don't you?" I answered, "Chef, I want to die making soup!" We had a good laugh, but he was so right. There's nothing I enjoy more.

    At the club, we serve chicken soup every day of the week. It's a three day process, although you can do it in two if necessary. Here is the recipe for the broth:

    Day 1: We put 240# of chicken breast bones in the steam kettle with the spigot left open. Cold water is run over the bones for about thirty minutes to remove any blood. We cover the bones with water and add about 80# of rough cut onion and celery, and finish with Italian parsley, thyme, a few bay leaves, and white peppercorns. We bring to a strong simmer and let cook for two or three hours, skimming constantly. Strain and chill as quickly as possible.

    Day 2: Take 24 fresh stewing hens, remove the livers, and place in the pot. Rinse again with cold water. Cover with the chilled chicken stock from day one and again bring to a strong simmer, skimming frequently. Cook for about three hours, or until every drop of flavor has been extracted from the hens. Strain the stock and again chill as quickly as possible. (We us the hen meat in our employee cafeteria for pot pie, enchiladas, a la king, etc...)

    Day 3: We grind ten pounds of boneless chicken breast with more mirepoix and lightly whip ninety egg whites. In that same steam kettle, we start with the 40 gallons of chilled double stock, and then add the chicken/veg/egg mixture (the raft), for clarification, whipping constantly as it heats up, and watch carefully that the mixture doesn't boil as it rises to the top of the kettle. We season with salt, white pepper, sugar, and saffron for color, and simmer for about an hour before straining through wet cheesecloth and again chilling quickly in an ice water bath.

    This process is reperted twice a week, and yields 40 gallons.

    :twisted:
  • Post #50 - February 23rd, 2006, 7:34 am
    Post #50 - February 23rd, 2006, 7:34 am Post #50 - February 23rd, 2006, 7:34 am
    Evil Ronnie wrote:This process is reperted twice a week, and yields 40 gallons.

    Evil,

    And that my friend, your three day, three step process including "the raft" and saffron, is what separates the professional chef from the amateur cook.

    I've had Evil's chicken soup, it's a dream and it, along with crispy rice noodles from 'Little' Three Happiness and a Tommy Burger (Rampart/Beverly) would be part of my 'death row' meal.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #51 - February 23rd, 2006, 7:54 am
    Post #51 - February 23rd, 2006, 7:54 am Post #51 - February 23rd, 2006, 7:54 am
    Hi,

    Thanks for the advice on how you make your soup.

    Long ago I used the egg whites to clarify the soup, largely because I had neglected it, and found it a great method for picking up particulate. The addition of ground breast meat has to really improve the flavor.

    Next time I made stock, I will begin with all the chicken backbones trimmed out before smoking. I will then add the whole chicken.

    The reason I simmered all night was because it had simmered too low during the evening. The carrots still had some resistance, which seemed to indicate to me they had not yet given their all for the soup. I figured if the carrots hadn't, then surely the chicken hadn't either. In the morning, they had definitely given it their all. Just by lifting the chicken out of the pot, the skeleton began to collapse.

    As always, it is great to have your input!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #52 - February 14th, 2007, 1:56 pm
    Post #52 - February 14th, 2007, 1:56 pm Post #52 - February 14th, 2007, 1:56 pm
    What are you cooking for V-Day 2007?

    I started out with the idea of making something from Paula Wolfert's Southwestern France book.

    Then my downstairs fridge's freezer stopped working right. A fact I discovered when I found I had a large quantity of half-defrosted meat.

    We've been working through it ever since. A few things, like that half bag of Costco fish sticks, went to the great compost heap in the sky. But one item in particular I would have been sorry to lose: five pounds of ground, naturally raised pork.

    In no time I was making homemade sausage, for the first time since, well, my first time. The first 2-1/2 pounds became the andouille in the Charcuterie book, despite Ronnie Suburban saying it didn't seem much like classic andouille. But whatever it was, it tasted good when I tested a little of it; the rest went in the freezer, pending some Cajun meal in the near future.

    But what to do with the other 2-1/2 lbs.? I consulted with both G Wiv and Bruce about possible ideas, and finally wound up improvising a sort of French sausage with herbes de provence, a splash of cognac, and so on.

    So my Valentine's dinner, oddly enough, will be a little slice of Hot Doug's at home-- homemade encased meats on a bun with fancy mustard and cheeses. But you know, as important as it may be to share Valentine's Day with your spouse/s.o./whatever, there are always others I like to spread the love to, too. For instance, G Wiv. I'm not saying I want to give him chocolates and flowers-- just something little, like, say, an opening for jokes that will keep him busy for hours. If only I could think of something to do with Valentine's Day and the meal I'm preparing that would offer him hours of amusement. But what could there possibly be about prepping my homemade sausage on Valentine's Day that would give him that gift?
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  • Post #53 - February 14th, 2007, 2:03 pm
    Post #53 - February 14th, 2007, 2:03 pm Post #53 - February 14th, 2007, 2:03 pm
    Me, I'm making a pot roast with root veg, because nothing says Love like a slab of slow-cooked beef, tubers...and a decent Bordeaux.

    MikeG, not sure if the pork you're referring to is from Bruce's journey south last year, but we finally used his pork stew meat last night in a pozole. It was excellent.
    Last edited by David Hammond on February 14th, 2007, 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #54 - February 14th, 2007, 2:09 pm
    Post #54 - February 14th, 2007, 2:09 pm Post #54 - February 14th, 2007, 2:09 pm
    Japanese curry with apple and beef

    (and potato/carrot/onion)
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie
  • Post #55 - February 14th, 2007, 2:27 pm
    Post #55 - February 14th, 2007, 2:27 pm Post #55 - February 14th, 2007, 2:27 pm
    Looks like a carryout pizza from Salerno's.

    We're very romantic :)
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #56 - February 14th, 2007, 3:19 pm
    Post #56 - February 14th, 2007, 3:19 pm Post #56 - February 14th, 2007, 3:19 pm
    We're going very simple this year. Steaks on the grill (dry aged form F&O), topped with seared scallops (also from F&O), baked potatoes and homemade chocolate cake.


    edited because I forgot about the scallops
    Last edited by stevez on February 14th, 2007, 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #57 - February 14th, 2007, 3:25 pm
    Post #57 - February 14th, 2007, 3:25 pm Post #57 - February 14th, 2007, 3:25 pm
    Tonight's dinner is simple and fun:

    Oysters from Dirk's--Kumamotos, Virginicas and Malpaques
    Seared "dry pack" scallops with cider, brown butter and sage served over braised sweet potatoes
    Sauteed Cavolo Nero
    Rosemary "no knead" bread from the NY Times Bittman article

    Champagne

    Moon Pies for dessert (a family favorite!)

    Happy Valentine's Day everyone.

    purplestar
  • Post #58 - February 14th, 2007, 3:27 pm
    Post #58 - February 14th, 2007, 3:27 pm Post #58 - February 14th, 2007, 3:27 pm
    purplestar wrote:Sauteed Cavolo Nero

    Ooh, where did you find the cavolo nero?

    Kristen
  • Post #59 - February 14th, 2007, 4:44 pm
    Post #59 - February 14th, 2007, 4:44 pm Post #59 - February 14th, 2007, 4:44 pm
    V-Day Dinner

    Couple of pounds of Prince Edward Island mussels steamed with white wine, shallots, little garlic and finished with (way too much) butter and flat leaf parsley.

    Thin slice garlic rubbed pan toasted bread, made from day-old D'Amato's, for dunking in mussel broth.

    Baked potato topped w/ butter and crema*.

    Baked asparagus. (Just a simple foil pack with a little shallot, lemon and butter)

    4.5-lb lobster w/clarified butter. Tail for the wife, her favorite part, claws for me, roe and tomalley to the fastest fork. Lobster and mussels from Dirk's.

    Dessert from Vanille Patisserie.

    Rose champagne.

    Happy V-Day all.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    *I'm now wishing I had popped for some salmon roe, $5 an ounce at Dirk's, to accent the crema.

    Vanille Patisserie
    2229 N. Clybourn
    Chicago, IL 60614
    773-868-4574

    Dirk's
    2070 N. Clybourn Ave
    Chicago, IL. 60614
    773-404-3475
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #60 - February 14th, 2007, 6:41 pm
    Post #60 - February 14th, 2007, 6:41 pm Post #60 - February 14th, 2007, 6:41 pm
    Kristen-

    I usually can find the Cavolo Nero at Whole Foods, although I have been lucky enough to find it at Stanley's every once in a while.

    That said, I love to get it from Kinnickinnick Farm at the Green City or Evanston farmers markets all summer and fall. Whole Foods is just the fallback position.

    Happy Valentine's!

    purplestar

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