Hot and Sour Soup

I’ve been dithering a bit on using that tofu but I finally managed to use up about half of the block on this Tyler Florence recipe.  I used the dried mushrooms I have in the pantry, some shiitakes I believe, but the original packaging is gone.  I keep them in a big plastic jar.  I looked for some pork to use in this thing but settled on a half chicken breast.  I think I used too much corn starch thickener because the final instruction in the recipe was to stir the soup to set up a swirling current so the egg would self-incorporate.  This was so thick that that just wasn’t going to happen so I stirred it with a spoon as the egg drizzled in.  I never get the egg right in these things.

I’ll get around to that miso soup I talked about the other day, I swear!

Mmm… ramen

Not much to this, just a basic ramen with some additions.  I tossed some dried red peppers into the chicken broth to simmer along with a few dried shiitakes.  When the mushrooms were tender I sliced them and then added the package of noodles and a few pieces of roast pork from the freezer.  There are all sorts of amendments possible with these sorts of quick dishes:  Various vegetables like carrots and broccoli, onions, bean sprouts, or water chestnuts all come immediately to mind.  Of course, chili garlic paste goes with just about anything.

Mmm… sticky chicken

I did something similar not too long ago.  The wings were cooked in a crockpot that time but that was overkill so I roasted these in a similar marinade in my trusty toaster oven.   I finished the thighs I used this time on the stove top in a non stick pan after separating the fat from the marinade and cooking juices. These spent some time in the pan over medium low heat but they never got to the sticky as glue stage.  I decided I wanted sauce more than a crusted glaze so I added some stock with a bit more soy and oyster sauces along with more grated ginger root and minced garlic.  Yummy stuff.  Made fried rice to accompany the chicken.

And one more thing!


You’ll remember me talking about the yummy puree that was made from the onions and dried chilies and added back to the chicken stock for the pozole last night.

Things didn’t go quite as smoothly as all that.  I invited Mrs J to sample the broth and she indicated displeasure by singing my beard with a small roar.  She usually controls the flame better than that.

So I ladled much of the broth into a smaller sauce pot and replaced it with fresh broth.  This left me with a fair amount of broth that was surplus but too tasty to toss away.  I simmered it for a long time as I pondered how to preserve it and it must have reduced to about a third or less when I had one of those “Aha!” moments:

I stuck that into the big freezer overnight and ended up with these:

I gathered those into a plastic freezer bag and tossed them right back into the freezer.  Mmm…these are going to taste good in any number of things.

Cornbread Stuffing Part II

I’ve got a feeling this is going to be pretty good.  I spun the cornbread for a few seconds in the food processor to get crumbs, and followed that with the half loaf of the multi-grain.  Dumped all that into a big bowl.  I’ve been looking at the broth and veggies that I cooked the necks in, seemed a shame to let that go to waste so while I had the food machine out I dumped it all in and pureed it to use as the stock to moisten the dressing.

Time to start combining the parts:

Ta Da!!



Cornbread Stuffing

At least I think it may be cornbread stuffing.  I simmered some turkey necks with some aromatics all morning.  Added a good sprinkle of dried tarragon and it has been smelling really great.  Here it is just getting started:

And after several hours simmering:

I picked all the meat off the bones.  It was all I could do not to just stuff it into my mouth it smelled so good.  It had the attention of all the dogs, you can be sure!  LOL

I was thinking this might be the basis for a gravy tomorrow but changed my mind.  I’ve been looking at cornbread dressing recipes and I think I’m going to add the neck meats to the mix.  I just pulled a skillet full of buttermilk cornbread out of the oven.  When it cools I’ll crumble it up and see how well my take on a cornbread dressing comes out.

Most all of the dressing recipes I’ve been looking at have onions and celery, and that’s it for veggies.  I want to add some bell pepper to the mix and see if that will work.

All the recipes so far call for some white bread as well as the cornbread.  I have a multi-grain French loaf baking now.  Yeah, yeah, that’s not white bread.  I’m good with that.

I’m gonna hit the publish button.  Come back soon for the finale!


Fried Rice

This was a compromise with Mrs J’s request for ham fried rice. I decided to use up the leftover soup from yesterday. Ended up nicely.  Couldn’t use the broth from the soup as is, so I strained out the meats and the veggies and set to work reducing the stock.  I wanted something with some bite in it so I threw in a few dozen whole Szechuan peppercorns and several dried red chilies.  Also added a few tablespoons each of sweet soy and dark soy sauces.  Used up the few ounces of left over store bought stir fry sauce that was getting old.  After it had reduced somewhat I thickened it with some corn starch.

I made the saffron rice this morning and had it ready to go.  All I did was warm the rice and then add the rest and plated it when everything was nice and hot.  Mrs J is not a fan of Szechuan anything so I plated hers plain with just a bit of the sauce.  Mine I ladled the sauce on heavy.


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