Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Turkey Stock

I love making soup in the Fall and Winter months, something about the process I find really relaxing. I always start the process by making homemade stock, whether it is chicken, turkey, pork or beef.  I like that fact that I can add whatever flavors I like and can control the salt content, also I try to avoid added chemicals and stabilizers in the canned and boxed broths.  My secret and I cannot remember who taught me this, but save your onion skins and put them into the water along with the flavorings, they give the soup a wonderful color.

Don't get me wrong I always have a few cans of various broth in my pantry for emergencies.  This weekend we made a huge Turkey Breast and after I picked the carcass clean I placed it in a large stock pot, added my flavorings and made the most gorgeous Turkey Broth.  Here is how I do it.

1 Turkey Carcass, including skin, and whatever drippings are left in the pan after roasting
4 celery sticks
4 carrots
1 Yellow onion sliced into rings (keep the outer dry skin)
Salt and peppercorns
Any other veggies you have laying around (I threw in a tomato)
Cold Water

*Place your carcass, skin and drippings into a soup pot or large pot of any kind

*Add your celery, carrots, onion skins,onion, salt, a handful of peppercorns and whatever else you wish

*Add very cold water to the cooking vessel depending on size to a few inches below the rim

*Start on high and when it starts to boil, turn it to low setting and let cook for 8 to 20 hours. (I leave mine on overnight with the lid on)

*You want it to just barely simmer, stir on occasion

After cooking strain into a large bowl, refrigerate overnight and the next morning skim the fat off the top

****The key to keeping you and your family safe is NOT to put the hot stock directly into your fridge, that can be dangerous.  I fill my sink with cold water and ice and let it cool down, then transfer to the fridge******

You are ready to use or freeze, I use either a gallon ziplock or the soup take out containers which I save for this purpose

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Fresher and Better Hot and Sour Soup

I saw this adapted recipe by Joanne Chang on Yahoo Shine one day and since hubby and I both adore Hot and Sour Soup I decided to make it.

Let me just say this is the best Hot and Sour I have made so far, it is fresher and better.  The flavors are bright and pungent and the texture is amazing.  The only change I made was using lean boneless pork chops instead of ground pork.  Give it a try you won't be disappointed!  One note, be sure and drain and squeeze excess water out of your Tofu.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, smashed and minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
4 scallions, white and green parts, minced, plus more for garnish
8 ounces ground pork
4 cups store-bought or homemade chicken stock
1 pound soft or firm tofu (not silken and not extra firm), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 or 5 medium button mushrooms, wiped clean and thinly sliced (or substitute dried, rehydrated wood ear mushrooms)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2/3 cup rice vinegar, or to taste
3 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon sesame oil, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce, or to taste
2 large eggs
White or black pepper for garnish

1. In the saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the garlic, ginger, scallions, and pork and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 minute. You want to break up the pork into smaller pieces with a spoon, but don't worry about breaking it down completely or cooking it through.

2. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Add the tofu, mushrooms, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, black pepper, sesame oil, and Sriracha sauce and bring the soup back to a simmer over medium-high heat. Taste the soup. If you want it hotter, add more Sriracha sauce; if you want it more sour, add more vinegar.

3. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until blended. With the soup at a steady simmer, slowly whisk in the eggs so they form strands. Bring the soup back to a simmer. Divide the soup among 4 to 6 bowls and garnish each with a little sesame oil, scallion, and white or black pepper. Serve immediately. (Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The soup may take on a slightly different appearance, but it will taste just the same.)

How to spatchcock a chicken or turkey!

Finishing some of Cheryl's drafts... Keeping spatchcocking simple. Using a VERY sharp cleaver or kitchen shears -- not scissors, carefu...