Food is important. Good food is essential. Here are some things recently cooked up in my kitchen that I thought were worth sharing.
Gianni's "Fra Diavolo" Red Clam Sauce
This was delicious. How delicious? We found ourselves eating out of the Tupperware container and none of it made it to the fridge.
Ingredients (amounts estimated)
1 can Progresso White Clam Sauce
2 TBSP Capers
1 cup Artichoke hearts
1/2 cup Silver Palate Fra Diavolo Sauce
1 cup Chicken Stock
1 cup White Wine
2 cans Chopped Clams
1 TBSP Pine Nuts
1 TBSP Italian Seasonings (I had a tube of it in my fridge)
2 cloves garlic sliced thin
This was a recipe that evolved over the course of a couple of hours. I started with the olive oil and garlic and sauteed until golden. Then added the Progresso clam sauce and white wine and simmered for about 15 minutes. Then the chicken stock, Arrabiata sauce, clams, pepper flakes, artichoke hearts and seasonings. After cooking down to the proper consistency I added the capers and slightly toasted pine nuts. I don't usually use pre-made clam or pasta sauce, but I had them in the cupboard just in case a quick meal was needed.
The kids were away on a ski weekend so I thought I would make something to warm them up when they came over for dinner.
Most soups are not particularly flavorful, and many just seem salty. So my goal was to give this soup some "heart" by adding garlic, curry, Reggiano Parmesan cheese and a little Old Bay seasoning. I used a chicken stock available at Persimmon Provisions, and a Rotisserie Chicken from the the local Shaws.
Ingredients (amounts estimated)
- 3 TBSP Olive Oil
- 3/4 cup chopped carrot
- 3/4 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup Spanish onion
- 2 garlic cloves sliced
- 4 Cups Chicken stock
- 2 TBSP Thyme (I used fresh)
- 2 TBSP chopped Parsley
- 1 TBSP Curry
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder (optional)
- 1 Tsp Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 Small Rotisserie Chicken
- 1 End Rind Reggiano Parmesan Cheese
- Wide noodles in a quantity that works for you
This soup comes together pretty quickly once you cut everything up and arrange "mise en place".
Once you have your ingredients set up, put the onions, garlic and oil in a large pan or pot over medium heat and saute until the onions are translucent, and garlic has become golden.
Add the celery and carrots and cook for just a few minutes at most, they are not to be cooked through. Add the stock, thyme, curry, parsley and Reggiano rind and cook on low heat until the flavors have combined. I would guess no more than 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut up the rotisserie chicken however you like. I use white and dark meat, and like it in shredded strips rather than cut up cubes. It is probably a couple of cups of meat but use as much as you feel is right for your taste. Add it to the pot.
In a separate pot cook the egg noodles until they are 3.4's of the way cooked through in salted water. (I made my own noodles which is great but the dried kind would work just as well, maybe better as it may hold up better over time.) Drain and add them to your soup. Add the garlic powder and then adjust your seasoning until it works for you.
There is fair amount of taste adjusting that went on. I tend to go easy on the stronger flavored ingredients until the soup is nearly finished. I added a little more Old Bay, curry powder, and finally some garlic powder because I like lot of flavor in my soups, but you may want less.