Tag Archives: Broth

CREPES DE VOLAILLE VERSAILLAISE

DSC00434 (2).jpgCREPES DE VOLAILLE VERSAILLAISE
(Chicken Crepes with Asparagus and Mushrooms)

This classic French dish with Italian origins is a perfect main course that can be served during Spring Brunch.

Serves 8

Ingredients:
For the Filling:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups whole milk
1-1/4 cups chicken broth (See Cook’s Notes)
¼ cup chopped shallot
½ cup chopped mushrooms
2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken (See Cook’s Notes)
3 tablespoons medium-dry Sherry
1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed

For the Crepes:
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1-1/4 cups whole milk
1 whole large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted

For the Finishing Sauce:
1 large egg yolk
5 tablespoons chilled heavy cream
1 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese, for garnish

Special Equipment:
A 3-quart flameproof ceramic or enameled shallow baking dish

Directions:
TO make the filling: Heat 5 tablespoons butter in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until foam subsides. Whisk in flour and cook roux, whisking, until pale golden, about 2 minutes. Gradually add milk and broth, whisking, and bring to a boil, whisking. Reduce heat and simmer gently, whisking frequently, until veloute sauce is silky and thick, about 25 minutes. Reserve ½ cup sauce for topping.

Cook shallot in remaining tablespoon butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Stir into veloute sauce along with chicken and Sherry.

Cut tops from asparagus and set aside. Cut enough stalks into ¼-inch pieces to measure 1 cup, reserving remainder for another use. Cook tips in a saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer to a bowl of ice and cold water with a slotted spoon. Scoop out tips and drain on paper towels, then reserve for topping. Cook and drain chopped asparagus in same manner and stir into veloute sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

TO make the crepes: Sift together flour, salt, nutmeg, and pepper to taste into a bowl. Whisk together milk, whole egg, and yolk in a small bowl, then gradually whisk into flour mixture. Force batter through a fine sieve into a bowl.

Heat a dry 7-to 8-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot, and then brush very lightly with some melted butter. Spoon about 2 tablespoons batter into skillet, tilting to coat bottom. (If batter sets before skillet is coated, reduce heat slightly for next crepe.) Cook until underside is lightly browned, 6 to 10 seconds then loosen crepe with a spatula and flip. Cook until just cooked through, about 20 seconds, and transfer to a plate. Make 15 more crepes in same manner, brushing skillet with melted butter as needed and stacking crepes on a plate.

ASSEMBLE and bake the crepes: Preheat oven to 350 °F. Spread ¼ cup filling across center of 1 crepe and roll into a cylinder. Transfer, seam side down, to buttered baking dish, then assemble more crepes in same manner, fitting them snugly. Bake in middle of over 15 minutes.

MAKE the finishing sauce while the crepes a baking: Stir together yolk, 2 tablespoons cream, and reserved ½ cup sauce until smooth. Beat remaining 3 tablespoons cream with a whisk until it holds soft peaks, and then fold into yolk mixture.

Spoon the finishing sauce over crepes and broil 5 to 6 inches from heat until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Heat butter in skillet, then add reserved asparagus tips and toss until warm.

Place 2 crepes on each of 8 plates and top with asparagus tips. Garnish with Gruyere cheese and serve.

Cook’s Notes:
Fish stock or water can be used as a substitute if shellfish is being used in place of the the chicken.

About 9 ounces of chopped cooked shrimp, lobster or crab-meat can be substituted for the cooked chicken.

The filling and crepes can be made 2 days ahead and kept separately, covered and chilled in the refrigerator.

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Thai Chicken Meatballs in Lemongrass Green Curry Broth

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Spicy, tangy, and deeply savory, this dish channels my favorite things about Thai food. Traditionally made with chicken thighs, chicken breast was used for the meatballs making them feel light in calories and well  balanced with the broth.

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
1  1/2 pound ground chicken breast meat
1  1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1  1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1  1/2 teaspoon crushed dried cilantro
1  1/2 teaspoon crushed dried Thai basil
Kosher salt, to taste
1  1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh lemongrass
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup well-shaken canned coconut milk
1-1/2 cups fresh cilantro sprigs, more for garnish
1/2 cup small fresh basil leaves, more for garnish
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 1/2 cups julienne carrots

 Directions:
Add the  chicken cumin, coriander, and  salt, a to a large mixing bowl and mix well.  To form the meatballs, set a small bowl of cold water nearby and, occasionally moistening your hands, gently roll 1  1/2-ounce portions of the meat between your palms into balls; you should get 16.

Over medium-high heat in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or a heavy bottom pot, heat the oil until shimmering.  Add half of the meatballs, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, undisturbed, until browned on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and brown the other side, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate, and repeat with the remaining meatballs.

Add the shallots, jalapeño, lemongrass and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the pot; cook, stirring, until the shallots soften, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Stir in half of the cilantro and the basil, and remove from the heat. Using an immersion blender or working in batches with a regular blender, purée the mixture. Return to the pot if using a regular blender. Add the meatballs, lime juice, sugar, and fish sauce. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the meatballs cook through (165°F), 15 to 20 minutes, adding the carrots during the last minute or two to cook until crisp-tender.

Divide the meatballs, carrots, and broth among bowls. Garnish with the remaining cilantro and basil leaves and serve.

All photographs and content are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!

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Brown Chicken Stock

This stock so rich and savory, that it will make your soups and gravies taste so amazing. It will take a little bit work in the kitchen, but it is so worth it. It is also budget friendly allowing you to save up bones in a freezer bag in the freezer for weeks or months until you will have enough to make a stock. This stock recipe is also a great way to use the backs or necks from whole chickens.

Makes About 12 Cups

Ingredients:
8 cups water
2 diced carrots
1 stalk celery
2 red onions, sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/2 pounds chicken bones
1 head garlic, peeled and halved
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 Tablespoon cracked black peppercorns

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 450 ° F   ( or 220 °  C).

Arrange the chicken bones on a baking sheet. Roast for about 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until well browned.

Heat the olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery and carrots; cook and stir until browned. If they scorch, just add a bit of water and scrape up all the bits.

Add the roasted chicken bones to the pot, and fill with enough water to cover the bones by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, and add the garlic, thyme, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to low, and simmer uncovered for 2 hours. Add more water if needed.

Strain out all of the solids from the broth, drain off the fat, and refrigerate. You can also remove the fat after it has chilled. The stock will be thick. Use full strength for soups and gravies, or dilute with water for a milder flavor.

If not using immediately, allow the stock to cool and place in freezer bags for long term storage in the freezer.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

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The origins of tortilla soup may be a mystery, but its intriguing  roasted flavors has long made it a favorite soup in my seasonal menu rotation.

Throughout my travels in Central America, I discovered that tortilla soup it’s self is not as ubiquitous throughout Mexico. The soup appears to have originated from  the home kitchens found in the very the center, around Mexico City.

As with any dish, there are a million and one ways to prepare it. Stock, meat, vegetables and spices vary according to region and period. The common thread for all recipes is the inclusion of crisp tortillas, Tortillas provide the grain component, commonly found in soups throughout the world. European soup grain equivalents are pasta, rice, barley, and dumplings. Food historians generally tell us soup is ancient. It is consumed by all segments of society. Recipes have been shared, imported, adopted and adapted whenever peoples of divergent cuisines meet. This explains why many of the ingredients listed in traditional Mexican Tortilla Soup are from the Old World. Tortillas are generally the most common food found throughout Central America.Except for the tomatoes, the other ingredients chicken, beef, onions, oil, spinach, salt, pepper and cheese are “Old World” foods introduced to Mexico by Spanish settlers. The use of tortillas, in this soup recipe, more likely descends from European practice of adding crisped bread to soup (think croutons & crackers) rather than ancient Mayan/Aztec  food customs.

The best guess any one can estimate the arrival of tortilla soup in the Unties States in or around  southern California, probably points to  Encarnacion Pinedo’s 1898 California cookbook “El Cocinero Espanol“. A version of the  dish also appears in “Elena’s Famous Mexican and Spanish Recipes,” first  published by Elena Zelayeta (1893-1974)  in San Francisco in 1944.

Most Americans became familiar with the dish after dining at Zona Rosa, a popular nightlife and restaurant district in Mexico City. Fonda El Refugio started serving authentic interior and coastal Mexican cooking to tourists in the 1960s.

In Southern California, tortilla soup has been in seasonal rotation on the Cafe Verde menu at the  Ojai Valley Inn & Spa since  longer

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, 2015
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, 2015

than anyone on the staff can remember. And  the soup started to appear in haute versions in other restaurants in the 1980s, when regional Southwestern flavors were championed by chefs such as John Sedlar.

As  the recipes evolved with time, Tortilla Soup, has come to be composed of  a tomato and chicken-broth based recipe topped with tortillas, is more closely aligned with authentic Mexican cuisine.

Although some will argue that authentic tortilla soup possesses certain characteristics, there’s no wrong way to make it. At its most fundamental, tortilla soup. Cooks may add what they wish-from bits of chicken and avocado to elegant squash blossoms and vegetables, especially tomatoes. Some purists insist that epazote, a Mexican herb, also is an essential ingredient.

Mrs.  Zelayeta,  was the doyenne of Mexican cooking in California, and in reviewing her recipe, below,  you will see it  is a simple combination of broth, tomato puree and tortilla strips, to which she added mint leaves.


content“Sopa de Tortilla (Tortilla Soup)”

4 tortillas
1/4 cup oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup tomato puree
3 quarts broth, chicken or beef
1 teaspoon cilantro (coriander)
Sprig mint leaves
Grated cheese

Cut tortillas into strips about the size of macaroni. Fry tortillas in oil until crisp, then rmove from pan and drain on absobent paper. Place in pot and add boiloing broth wich has been prepared in the following manner: Fry onion and tomato puree in the oil which was used in frying the tortillas. Add stock. Mash the cilantro, add a little broth, and strain into the stock Cook half an hour, adding the mint leaves during the last 10 minutes. Serve with grated cheese. Serves 6.”
Elena’s Famous Mexican and Spanish Recipes, Elena Zelayeta [Dettners Printing House:San Francisco] 1944 (p. 16)

Jaime Martin del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu of La Casita Mexicana in Bell, near Los Angeles riff on a classic central Mexican version by pureeing guajillo chiles along with tomatoes. They grind fried tortillas with the mixture too, which amplifies the corn flavor.

The version once served by Carlos Haro of Casablanca Restaurant in Venice, California was adapted from a recipe by cookbook author Alicia Gironella De’Angeli of Mexico City,  used roasted vegetables and chicken stock, lightly thickened with beans, is the base, then chopped cilantro, fried tortilla strips and raw onion are added to the broth, along with a garnish of cool queso fresco and crunchy roasted chiles.

I have also found that other  great versions of the simple soup was composed of spicy chiles, ground tortillas and roasted vegetables topped with crisp tortilla strips and cool strands of sour cream.

In my version of the soup, I added some roasted chicken to give it a little more body to it. If you do not have the time to roast a chicken, picking up a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket works great in a pinch.


Serves 4

Ingredients:
4-6  Roma tomatoes
1/2 large white onion, peeled
2 dried ancho chiles
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 cup tomato juice
3 cups chicken stock
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground dried ancho chiles, or more to taste
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded

Tortilla Strips:
Vegetable oil, for shallow frying
6 corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips

Garnishes:
Mexican sour cream or regular sour cream
2 avocados, peeled and diced into 1/2- inch cubes or slices
Queso fresco or mild feta, crumbled
Fresh cilantro. chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with foil. Lay tomatoes, garlic and onion on the foil Put baking sheet in oven and allow peppers to roast for 20 minutes. Remove baking sheet. Using tongs, tomatoes and onions a half turn, then place back in the oven for another 20 minutes. Turn off the oven and then add the chiles and them for a few seconds. Allow the vegetables to cool. Chop the onion and garlic.

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic cloves and saute over medium-low heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon. Add the onion, chiles, white pepper, cumin, paprika, oregano and cooked chicken. Cook for 10 minutes.

Add the tomato juice and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.

For the tortilla strips: In a medium, heavy skillet, pour enough oil to reach a depth of 1/2 inch. Heat over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add the tortilla strips in batches and fry until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.

To serve, ladle the soup into 4 individual serving bowls. Serve with sour cream, avocados, cheese, tortilla strips, cilantro and lime wedges on the side.

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Cook’s Note:
Look for ground dried ancho chiles ,sometimes labeled pasillo, in the spice section of selected markets, especially in Latino markets.