We like Chicken Marsala so much that we made a variant of it tonight. This has boneless skinless thighs dredged in seasoned flour and then browned in olive oil. Remove the chicken and deglaze with the Marsala wine, scrape the bottom with a flat wooden spatula to break the nice browned bits up. Add a cup and a half of chicken stock to it and bring to a simmer. Add the browned chicken back and cover. I used butter kneaded with flour to thicken the gravy before serving. The couscous was from a box mix, this one was flavored with dried mushrooms. I squeezed lemon juice over my chicken and liked it well enough, optional.
We don’t eat much couscous, but it is being stocked regularly and we may step up the pace. I see from the Wiki that we had the instant variety which is quick and easy. I may browse the International Grocery next town over for the regular stuff.
I had a yen for lo mein after seeing some pictured at another site. That one was beef and broccoli and we were going to do the same but got side tracked. Chicken works for me. I thawed shrimp but decided to go with those another time. I’ve found good Asian recipes at Rasa Malaysia and used their recipe for this one. A few minor tweaks, maybe.We paid a visit to the International Grocery this morning and brought back some noodles and sauces. These noodles say they are Cantonese style and I will take their word for it. I thought they were egg noodles from their color but they are wheat based. I cooked up three of the bundles for this but that was at least one too many. Leftovers!I bought the tamari and some more sesame oil along with the noodles. I had the sweet soy sauce already and was thinking tamari was about the same thing but it’s not, exactly. Tamari is about halfway between regular light soy sauce and the syrupy sweet soy sauce. Tamari is thicker and darker than light soy, not as salty, the sweet soy sauce is pretty thick, like molasses. In a day or two I will try the same basic recipe with shrimp and another style of Chinese wheat noodle.
Broccoli-Cheese Soup Photo by JeffreyW
I had decided to put together soup for the recipe exchange tonight and in my email this morning there was a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen for Broccoli-Cheese soup. I’m posting it here because even though I’ve linked to it, you may not be able to get to it because their recipes often go behind a pay wall pretty quickly.
Then while I was searching to see if JeffreyW had a nice photo to go with it, I found the recipe he used by Emeril. Since I’m always up for anything Emeril, I’m posting that one, too. I don’t do broccoli, so you’ll have to trust JeffreyW, Emeril and the experts at America’s Test Kitchen on this one.
First up Emeril Lagasse:
Broccoli-Cheese Soup with Croutons
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 cup yellow onions or sliced leeks (white parts only, well rinsed)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- Pinch nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups chicken stock or canned, low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 (16-ounce) package frozen broccoli, thawed and separated
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups shredded medium Cheddar
- Croutons, for garnish
In a medium pot, melt the 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme cook, stirring, until fragrant, for 20 seconds. Add the flour and cook, stirring until the mixture is well blended and smells fragrant, 2 minutes. Slowly add the chicken stock, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring, until tender, for 10 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and puree with a hand-held immersion blender. (Alternatively, in batches, puree in a blender or food processor and return to the pot.)
Add the cream and bring to bare simmer to heat through. Add the cheese and cook over low heat, stirring, until melted. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons cold butter, stirring to blend.
Remove from the heat and ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle croutons over the top of the soup and serve immediately.
If you click on Emeril’s name above, there’s also a recipe for the croutons.
And from America’s Test Kitchen, a cream-free rendition:
We were after a soup with pure broccoli flavor that wasn’t hiding behind the cream or the cheese. Overcooked broccoli has a sulfurous flavor, but we discovered when we cooked our broccoli beyond the point of just overcooked—for a full hour—those sulfur-containing compounds broke down, leaving behind intense, nutty broccoli. Its texture was fairly soft, but that was perfect for use in a soup. Adding baking soda to the pot sped up the process, shortening the broccoli’s cooking time to a mere 20 minutes. A little spinach lent bright green color to the soup without taking over the flavor. After adding cheddar and Parmesan, we had a soup so full of flavor and richness that it didn’t even need the cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 pounds broccoli, florets roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces, stems trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1- 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Table salt
- 3–4 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (see note)
- 2 ounces baby spinach (2 loosely packed cups)
- 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (3/4 cup)
- 1-1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated fine (about 3/4 cup),plus extra for serving
- Ground black pepper
1. Heat butter in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add broccoli, onion, garlic, dry mustard, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Add 1 cup water and baking soda. Bring to simmer, cover, and cook until broccoli is very soft, about 20 minutes, stirring once during cooking.
2. Add broth and 2 cups water and increase heat to medium-high. When mixture begins to simmer, stir in spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer half of soup to blender, add cheddar and Parmesan, and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer soup to medium bowl and repeat with remaining soup. Return soup to Dutch oven, place over medium heat and bring to simmer. Adjust consistency of soup with up to 1 cup water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, passing extra Parmesan separately.
I’ve posted a few of the ATK recipes, ones I’ve tried and really liked. If you sign up for their emails, they send some great ideas.
Stay tuned….recipe exchange coming up later…