Towse: views from the hill

March 31, 2010

A little bit about chicken … and rice noodles … and chicken noodle soup – Vietnamese and Cambodia-style

Filed under: life,recipes — Towse @ 5:28 am

I came home from my time away with yearnings for rice noodle soup from the hotel breakfast buffets — broth-based rice noodle soup with mixed veggies and lime and sriracha. *sigh*

This week I substituted canned broth for “real” broth and that was okay for a while but today I took the chicken carcass from the roast chicken we had for supper a couple nights ago, tossed in chicken wings, onion, garlic, chicken bones from the nights in between, and ginger and concocted a tasty chicken broth.

Tonight for dinner, we had the chunky bits from the broth mixed with sriracha sauce and lime juice. (I’d bagged up the broth in 2C ZipLoc bags — 2 quarts worth — and put in our teeny freezer.) Tossed in chopped onion, cilantro, and shredded cheese. Folded into hot corn tortillas with chopped lettuce and … chicken tacos!


Tomorrow’s supper will be roast chicken sprinkled with spices and herbs, with smushed up roasted garlic slathered between the meat and the skin …

The leftovers will be yet another chicken carcass for the next time I want to make a batch of chicken broth.

And so it goes. …

Update: The roasted garlic chicken tonight was FABOO. *sigh*

January 16, 2010

[RECIPE] Chicken mole for dinner last night

Filed under: life,recipes — Towse @ 1:35 am

Last night we used up the last few pieces of chicken from the rotisserie chicken I bought for the book club meeting here 04 January. That meeting was canceled because of issues with the sewer — alas — and we found ourselves with a $5 rotisserie chicken from Costco for the second time in our lives.

(Why don’t we buy rotisserie chickens more often? Is it because I think, “I can cook my own chicken! Why do I need to buy a pre-cooked chicken from Costco?” That Monday was a day of upsets, though, with several issues precluding a home-cooked meal for the bookers. Then, after all that, the sewer problems. …)

We had chicken legs &c. on Monday, January 4, for dinner. Salad. Garlic bread. Chicken again the following night or maybe two.

A week later, this Monday, we took the solid pieces of chicken off the carcass and saved them and threw the carcass and the wings into a pot and made chicken vegetable soup w/ spaetzle. Finally, we’re coming to the end of the chicken and have had … eight-plus meals out of it? Amazing. (And despite me eating chicken soup w/ spaetzle for breakfast twice since the 11th, we =still= have another serving of soup and spaetzle left as well. …)

I made mole sauce last night and popped the cooked pieces of chicken leftover from the 11th in the sauce and let them simmer a bit before serving. Delish.

Chicken Mole recipe (a snap, a cinch, easy-peasy)

Large heavy pot of a proper size to hold everything.

Add ~ 2T olive oil to the heated pan. Heat oil. Add 1 small onion, chopped. Stir around while it browns.

While it’s browning, chop 2-3 garlic cloves. Put in custard cup. Add to custard cup
2T chili powder
1t ground cumin
1/2t ground cinnamon.

When the onion is showing signs of browning, toss the garlic and spices in on top. Stir until you can smell them toasting.

Add one can diced tomatoes. (I used Hunt’s fire-roasted diced tomatoes w/ garlic)
Add a cup or so of Trader Joe’s ménage à trois peppers, chopped. (or one green pepper, chopped)
Add 10-oz chicken broth.
Add large spoonful of peanut butter (adds some bass tones to the sauce)
Add 2 oz. chocolate, broken into smaller pieces. (Bitter preferred, but if there’s no bitter in the house, any dark chocolate w/ >70% cocoa. DO NOT EVEN THINK OF USING MILK CHOCOLATE!)
Add two chipotle peppers, chopped, if you have them, or some chipotle pepper salsa if you don’t, or don’t worry about it if there’s no chipotle peppers of any sort in the house. The flavor =is= a nice addition if you have it.

Keep stirring sauce on heat until the chocolate’s melted and the peanut butter has blended in. At this point, you throw in the chicken pieces, if you are not dealing with leftover chicken.

In either case, keep stirring and bubbling until the sauce has reduced to the thickness you’re happy with. (And the chicken is cooked, if you weren’t dealing with pre-cooked chicken.) A bit before then, I put the pieces of cooked chicken in so they’d absorb some of the flavors before serving.

Tonight I plan to cook a few boneless chicken thighs and toss them in the (leftover fr last night) mole sauce and have an encore performance.

Delish. (And easy-peasy!)
(w/ hattip to Paula Deen, whose recipe is the foundation of this one. …)

January 12, 2010

Chicken soup for dinner tonight. …

Filed under: life,recipes — Towse @ 6:44 am

Chop. Chop. Chop. Garlic. Onions. Carrots. Celery. Brown a bit in olive oil. Add bay leaves, 8C water, leftover bits of a denuded roast chicken: meaty bones, wings, whatever. All tossed into the pot. Bubble for 2hrs.

Strip the chicken off the bone and tear into shreds and add back into pot. Discard bones. Retrieve bay leaves & discard.

Add some leftover chicken salvaged from the pre-denuded roasted chicken to the pot. Taste. Add Herbes de Provence. Bring to boil then shut off.

Boil some water. Make spaetzle. Strain spaetzle. (Made four batches worth so I didn’t overwhelm the boiling water.) Add butter and toss spaetzle.

Reheat soup. Serve. (Me) : Spaetzle in the bowl, covered w/ soup. (He): Buttered spaetzle on the side. Soup in a bowl.

December 18, 2009

Last night I cooked kohlrabi for the first time.

Filed under: recipes — Tags: — Towse @ 1:31 am

Last night I cooked kohlrabi for the first time. (Gee. That reminds me of the first line of REBECCA: Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.)

ChefRussell had served it onstuponatime, iirc, and CarolP served it up at a bookgroup meeting but me? Never. Know kohlrabi?

Bought some in Chinatown. Leaves not included. Last night I searched through cookbooks for directions. None to be found. So I turned to the Web and found the utterly delightful Farmgirl Fare blog and her paean to kohlrabi. … Although I didn’t use her recipe or any other I found on the Web, she gave me permission to cook it any ol’ which-way I’d like when she wrote

Sweet and mildly flavored, kohlrabi can be braised, boiled, stuffed, sliced, scalloped, steamed, julienned, roasted, and sautéed. You can grate it into slaw, toss it into salads, slip it into soups and stews, snack on it raw with dip, and stir-fry it. You can even wrap it in foil and grill it. I’ve seen recipes where kohlrabi was covered in cream, sautéed with anchovies, stuffed into empanadas, fried into cakes, served with hollandaise sauce, and turned into a cinnamon brunch bake. This vegetable is versatile.

Sal’s Kohlrabi:
Peel two kohlrabi. Chop into thinnish chunks, about the size of the upper joint of a thumb. Throw into a Dutch oven and sauté with some bacon fat to slightly brown the veg. Add water to barely cover and top with lid. Cook until softened and most of the water is gone. Mash with residual water. (I could’ve pureed in the Cuisinart but wanted a more chunky mash.) Add a generous dollop of sour cream and seasonings and a chopped green onion. Stir.

Yum. (Served two as vegetable side dish. …)

(I also snacked on a piece or two of raw kohlrabi while I was cooking and liked it. Good addition to a veggie-and-dip platter. Kohlrabi has a texture like jicama but a more green taste. )

October 17, 2009

[URL] Handwritten Recipes

Filed under: blog,recipes,URL — Tags: — Towse @ 10:32 pm

Handwritten Recipes found tucked here and there.

[via a tweet from Forgotten Bookmarks]

October 14, 2009

[RECIPE] Not Chicken Waterzooi

Filed under: life,recipes — Towse @ 3:49 pm

Since Sunday, chimes had jangled like mad. Jets took off in the other direction from SFO’s runways to adjust for winds from the south. Clear signs our first rains of the season were coming. Cue early morning hours. Pelting rain. Creaking trees…. Wild winds. I was awakened when a heavy set of chimes ripped from its moorings and landed downhill.

I sat next to the windows yesterday, watching the storm beating down. The wind sometimes blew the rain sideways. The parrots were in hiding.

A supper of stew seemed in order. I had no beef suitable for stewing in the house, so I opted for chicken. I was going to make Gentse Waterzooi, which his nibs adores, but had no leeks and no intention of leaving the house to pick up ingredients.

Here is what we wound up with for supper last night.

[RECIPE] Not Chicken Waterzooi

6 chunks of boneless chicken thighs cut into large pieces
2 large carrots, cut into chunks. (Next time I’ll shred them as is more proper for Waterzooi, but I was being lazy yesterday.)
half a large yellow onion, chopped
leftover grilled strips of trumpet mushroom and onion from the Bixby weekend

Toss into a crock pot with 1 1/2C chicken broth, parsley, mixed herb seasoning.

Let burble for several hours until the chicken and carrots are tender. Add as much frozen O’Brien hashbrown potatoes as you’d like to the mix. Cook until the potatoes are tender.

Serve in large soup bowls.

No added heavy whipping cream. No thickeners beyond the natural thickening talents of carrots and potatoes.


April 23, 2009

The classic Alice B. Toklas recipe

Filed under: books,food,history,recipes,writers,writing — Towse @ 9:46 pm

I found a good home for my softcover edition of The ALICE B. TOKLAS COOKBOOK. I have an older, hardcover, first edition that I intend to keep but, really, there aren’t many differences ‘twixt these two.

One difference, the newer edition has a foreword by MFK Fisher.

One other crucial difference, for those of us who spent our young adult years in the sixties and seventies, this edition contains the recipe that (for legal reasons) the publisher could not include in the first edition. Yes, the recipe for Haschich Fudge — no, not brownies … fudge, even though the talk was always of Alice B. Toklas brownies.

The Haschich Fudge recipe is not a Toklas original, but rather came to Toklas from painter and film-maker Brion Gysin, according to the notes.

Haschich Fudge (which anyone could whip up on a rainy day)

This is the food of Paradise — of Baudelaire’s Artificial Paradises: it might provide an entertaining refreshment for a Ladies’ Bridge Club or a chapter meeting of the DAR. In Morocco it is thought to be good for warding off the common cold in damp winter weather and is, indeed, more effective if taken with large quantities of mint tea. Euphoria and brilliant storms of laughter; ecstatic reveries and extensions of one’s personality on several simultaneous planes are to be complacently expected. Almost anything Saint Theresa did, you can do better if you can bear to be ravished by ‘un évanouissement reveillé.’

Take 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns, 1 whole nutmeg, 4 average sticks of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of coriander. These should be pulverised in a mortar. About a handful each of stoned dates, dried figs, shelled almonds and peanuts: chop these and mix them together. A bunch of canibus sativa [sic] can be pulverised. This along with the spices should be dusted over the mixed fruit and nuts, kneaded together. About a cup of sugar dissolved in a big pat of butter. Rolled into a cake and cut into pieces or made into balls about the size of a walnut, it should be eaten with care. Two pieces are quite sufficient.

Obtaining the canibus may present certain difficulties, but the variety known as canibus sativa grows as a common weed, often unrecognised, everywhere in Europe, Asia and parts of Africa; besides being cultivated as a crop for the manufacture of rope. In the Americas, while often discouraged, its cousin, called canibus indica, has been observed even in city window boxes. It should be picked and dried as soon as it has gone to seed and while the plant is still green.

Now that I’ve saved the recipe (although for what reason I don’t know), I can pass the copy of the later edition on to someone who will give it a good home.

January 12, 2009

/ RECIPE / A different way with brussels sprouts – not Kosher

Filed under: recipes — Tags: — Towse @ 11:22 pm

(1) Trim brussels sprouts’ stem ends. Shake in water and shake water off. Toss into covered dish and microwave, just enough to cook, don’t let them get soft and soggy. I usually cook for four minutes and then use a fork to pierce the sprouts to see how they’re doing. Keep cooking until they’re as done as you like them.

(2) While the brussels sprouts are cooking, take two or three strips of bacon. Cut them into small pieces. Toss them in a frying pan and cook until crisp. Take the bacon bits out of the pan and pour the bacon fat into the refrigerator dish you keep full of bacon fat down on the next to the bottom shelf in the ‘frig.

You do have a bacon fat dish in your ‘frig, right? How else do you cook your eggs in the morning, mon? How do you fry your leftover noodles? What do you add to the pan for some added flavor when you fry chicken? What do you use when you’re making fried mush? SAVE YOUR BACON FAT.

(3) Throw a couple large spoonfuls of sour cream into the frying pan, which should still have teeny bits of bacon stuck to its bottom. Stir around until the sour cream warms up and thins and the bacon bits stuck on the bottom of the frying pan get mixed in.

(4) Add horseradish to taste — make sure you can at least taste the horseradish in the sour cream sauce.

(5) Add the crispy bacon bits.

(6) Either toss the cooked brussels sprouts into the pan and stir until the sauce is evenly distributed

Or serve the brussels sprouts and add the horseradish-sourcream-bacon sauce on top or to the side.

Trust me.

December 23, 2008

Warm Sticky Toffee Pudding – David Lebovitz

Filed under: blog,food,recipes — Towse @ 2:33 am

Warm Sticky Toffee Pudding – David Lebovitz

Sounds delightful. His nibs isn’t a huge date fan, however.

David Lebovitz’ site and blog are full of foodie gems. Worth perusing.

We were discussing mincemeat over at Debbie Ohi’s facebook. I favor meat & suet homemade mincemeat with apples & brandy & sultanas, &c. Others tout a no-meat-only-fruit mincemeat. Lebovitz has a dandy meatless mincemeat.

Costco chicken from the roasting spit = redux

Filed under: food,life,recipes — Towse @ 12:32 am

Used the breast meat I’d set aside on Friday night for dinner last night: THREE GINGER CHICKEN

Roux made w/ flour and 2T butter.

Add chicken broth (canned … sorry for the purists who might blanche at the thought), madeira, cream. Use hand blender to get any lumps out of the sauce.

Add white meat sliced into finger sized pieces. Toss in ginger powder, chopped up candied ginger, minced fresh ginger. (I added a lot of each. I love ginger.)

Heat through and let sit while flavors mellow.

Serve hot with steamed rice and green beans, zapped in the microwave.

We still have three or so servings of chicken pot pie in the frig. Dinner tonight is either chicken pot pie with added mushrooms browned with garlic and butter (must use up mushrooms) or we’ll save the pot pie for another day and laze around tonight with white wine, crackers and Boccalone coppa di testa.

Update: Dinner tonight was chicken pot pie.

Didn’t feel terribly hungry after lunch: salmon over a [deconstructed] rock shrimp hash on a bed of pesto. Delish. Shared dessert was a poached pear with what appeared to be whipped cream. But it wasn’t. The “cream” was bleu cheese whipped with cream into a light-ish froth. Sublime. Delish as well.

Tonight when the clock rolled round to 7:30/8:00 I still wasn’t hungry. Didn’t feel like adding mushrooms browned with garlic and butter to the pot pie. Still full from lunch. Luckily, his nibs was of a similar mind.

Light supper.

We’ll figure out what to do with the mushrooms that need to be eaten. (Mushroom omelet for breakfast tomorrow?)

Tomorrow evening we’re off to a short-notice spontaneous year-end HOLIDAYS! house-gathering/dinner with friends. Attendees include old friends from twenty-plus years back. Half of the host couple is a sib of the twenty-years-back friend and her family. Really nice that we wound up so close to them, geographically.

Gathering will include new friends and neighbors too. Children we haven’t seen in years. Not children anymore.

Looking forward to it. Sweet. This is why we try not to overbook at the year-end holidays.

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