Today is our fourth May post for our Kitchen Matrix Project, named after Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix cookbook. You can read about the year-long project: here. This month, I chose the recipes and went with a Latin theme. So, we have worked with masa; we made salsa; we braised carnitas. And so on...you get the idea.
This week I chose Mexican soups, but wasn't really inspired by any of the recipes listed. Darn it. But I will try his tortilla soup and pork soup soon. Just wasn't feeling it this week. Sorry.
Albóndigas soup is a traditional Mexican soup featuring spicy meatballs offset by the fresh flavors of vegetables and herbs. This wasn't one of Bittman's recipes under 'Mexican Soups', but it's one of my family's favorites, so I'm sharing it anyway! And, yes, this has my California twist included with my butternut squash and kale!
2 C chopped celery
2 C chopped onion
2 C chopped carrots
1 C cubed butternut squash
1 T butter
2 T olive oil
1/2 chopped herbs (I used parsley, oregano, and mint)
4 C thinly sliced greens (I used kale)
8 C chicken stock
1/2 C onions, diced
1/2 C fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
1 T butter
1 t olive oil
1 C ground almonds
1 pound ground meat (I used a mixture of beef and pork)
1 T ground cumin
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
1 T fresh mint, chopped
In a large souppot, melt butter in olive oil. Add in the celery, onions, carrots, and herbs. Cook until the onions are softened and beginning to turn translucent. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil.
In the meantime, make the meatballs. Melt butter in olive oil and cook the onions and fennel until softened and beginning to caramelize, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, work together the meat, ground almonds, egg, herbs, and spices. Form teaspoon-sized meatballs and drop them into the boiling broth. Simmer for another 30 minutes or so, till the meatballs are cooked through.
If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce
To start off our Pakistani culinary adventure, I started us off with aloo tiki - potato cutlets. I'm always game for tasty street food. I found a couple of different recipes and incorporated those together for this version. Ingredients 6-8 small red potatoes, scrubbed 1 T cumin seeds 1 T fresh chopped parsley 1/2 t ground coriander 1 t minced garlic Procedure Boil the potatoes until they are tender. Drain and let cool. Mash the potatoes. Traditionally they are mashed without their skins. I left the skins on. In a small pan, toast the cumin seeds on high heat until the begin to give off an aroma and begin to darken. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate to keep them from cooking any more. Blend all of the spices into the mashed potatoes, then shape into small patties. If you wet your hands, the potato mixture won't stick to them. Heat a splash of oil in a large, flat-bottom pan. Dip each patty into beaten egg and carefully place in the oil. P
photo by D For my Spice It Up! kiddos this week, I was looking for an exotic drink to serve while we learned about saffron. I found a recipe from food historian Maricel Presilla that mimicked traditional Spanish hot chocolate from the 17th century where it was served at lavish receptions called agasajos . When I teach, I don't always get to shoot photos. Thankfully, D grabbed my camera and snapped a few. Ingredients serves 14-16 1 gallon organic whole milk 3 T dried rosebuds - or 2 t rosewater 2 t saffron threads, lightly crushed 3 T ground cinnamon 3 whole tepin chiles, crushed 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise 1 C organic granulated sugar 1 lb. bittersweet chocolate Procedure In a large soup pot that can hold a gallon plus, combine milk, dried rosebuds (or rosewater, if you are using that), saffron threads, ground cinnamon, chiles, vanilla beans, and sugar and warm over medium heat till it steams. Whisk to dissolve sugar, then lower heat an