Chicken Vegetable Soup

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I saved the bones from the roast chicken and used them to make a rich chicken broth. I have a pasta cooking kettle, one of those huge kettles with an insert full of holes for straining water. I never make enough pasta to use it, but I do like it for making soup and in particular, for making broth. I just put all the bones, herb and mire poix i there and when the broth is done, I can lift it out and have beautifully clear broth. Since I have explained how to make broth before, I will go forward from there.

I put about 1 TBSP olive oil in the bottom of a sauce pan. I added 1/2 of a leek (chopped), 4 mushrooms (cleaned and chopped), 1 stalk of celery (chopped), some celery seed, thyme, salt and pepper and sautéed until done. Then I added 3 cups of broth, 1 chopped carrot. After 10 minutes, I added 1 chopped yellow squash, 10 brussels sprouts cleaned and cut in quarters. After about 5 minutes I added about 1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley.

This was a rich flavorful soup with a lot of chicken flavor. Very hearty and thick with vegetables in every spoonful. It made 4 large bowls of soup – each one delicious.

 

 

 

 

Pork Shoulder Steak, Pommes Maxim Aus Herbes and Zucchini Ribbon Salad

Pork Shoulder Steak, Pommes Maxim aux Herbes, Ribbon Zucchini Salad

I made the salad first since I wanted it to marinate in the lime juice to soften it just a bit. First I sliced 1 yellow squash and 2 zucchini lengthwise using a mandoline for thin 1/8th inch slices. The yellow squash was much bigger than the zucchinis so it’s really equivalent amounts. I also cut the yellow squash slices in half so they were about the same length. I slice up 1 tomato to add a bit of color and tossed in some pecans. For the marinade, I squeezed two kaffir limes, added 1 TBSP of olive oil, 3 minced cloves of garlic and about 1 tsp of cayenne. Mixed and poured over the salad. I made it in a plastic container with a tight cover which I put on and shook the salad vigorously to ensure it was all covered and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours before serving. This has a fresh, bright flavor with a dash of heat at the end. Whenever you season a salad like this with cayenne, underseason at first, because the heat grows. Funny thing! I had some salad for a tv-watching snack later in the evening and when I set the bowl down, my cat ate up all the lime/cayenne sauce. I kept expecting him to freak at the heat, but he didn’t.

For the potatoes, I trimmed off the tops and two sides to make a nice, rectangular shape that was flat for the mandoline and sliced 8 long, thin slices at about 1/4 inch. (Next time I make them I will try 1/8th). I used PAM olive oil spray and sprayed my baking sheet layed down 4 slices, sprayed them lightly, laid down some fresh tarragon leaves and another slice on top, sandwiching the tarragon between the slices of potato. I sprayed lightly with olive oil and put them in the oven to bake at 250° for 45 minutes. I turned them up to 350° for the last 10 minutes to give me some more browning. Pommes Maxim are usually made with butter, not olive oil. I tried this option to see if i could make a slightly healthier version. It still tasted delicious, but butter gives you a much nicer brown without crisping the potato quite so much.  The potatoes are also more translucent, revealing the herbs more clearly. Butter and olive oil don’t react to temperature the same way, so I assume that is why. With olive oil, it’s still tasty and delicious, but not quite as pretty, so if you want pretty, go for the butter.

To serve with it, I simply fried a nice pork shoulder blade steak, about 5 minutes on each side with a bit of salt and pepper.

Zucchini Parm Tian

A tian is simply a layered dish of thin slices of vegetables on a bed of onion and garlic that’s baked to perfection. You can pretty much use anything, though you want them to be close in baking time. For this I used

  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 onion sliced and diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 potato
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 tsp of butter
  • tarragon
I preheated the oven to 375. I washed and cut the potato into thirds and set it to boil in a pan, leaving the skin on. In a skillet I sauteed the onion in olive oil until it was traslucent, added the garlic and let it cook down until the potato was done. Meanwhile I sliced the other vegetables into 1/4 slices. When the potato was tender but not soft, I removed it and ran cold water on it and cut it into 1/4 slices which I then cut in half to make them about the size of the zucchini.
I put the onion and garlic in the bottom of a dish and then placed the vegetables in, alternating veggies. In a round pan, do it in a circle. In an oval pan, make fans of your veggies. I packed them in tight and sprinkled a bit of tarragon on top. Then I covered with a piece of parchment paper that you spread butter on very lightly and put in the oven for 20 minutes. While baking, I shredded some parmesan.
Options: You can add a little wine to the onions and also you can add some herbs. Thyme and tarragon are tasty.