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Tag Archives: soup

Cioppino – Seafood Stew

13 Feb

Happy Valentines Day tomorrow!  I meant to give you this succulent Cioppino earlier in case you were looking for a special dinner inspiration, but better now than never.  You’ll want to save this recipe for your seafood-loving friends and family; they’ll be hard pressed to find a dinner as enjoyable as this intensely mouthwatering seafood stew.  Your peeps will adore you for cooking up this Cioppino for any special dinner.

Cioppino 1

I’ve been a seafood fan all my life.  My parents are adept at dishing up delicious sea fare, and living near the ocean most of my life sure didn’t hurt our fresh seafood consumption.  If you enjoy seafood, you already know there are very few things that parallel the awesomeness of a deeply satisfying bowl of good Cioppino.

Cioppino

We were previously under the assumption that Cioppino originated in Italy, which I gather is a common assumption.  In reality, Cioppino is considered Italian-American, as it was originated in good ol’ San Fransisco.  Cioppino is a concoction that resulted from fishermen combining their catches, creating a hearty stew with whatever good stuff was in their boats.  Catch-of-the-day stew.

Cioppino 4

I personally am supremely thankful for those fishermen who helped propel this wonderfully hearty, satisfying, and healthy stew.  It’s the perfect solution for cold weather dinners, and scrumptiously satisfying with crusty bread.  The bread is a must-have, for soaking up every drop of the light yet full-flavored broth that’s way too delectable to be wasted.

Cioppino 2

I’ve eaten Cioppino in many places, and it’s always made a little differently, depending on where you get it at.  Typically, there is a variety of shelled seafood (clams, mussels, shrimp, crab, etc.) combined with chunks of firm fish.  All swimming in an indescribably delicious warm broth.  If you can’t get certain shellfish but can get a hold of others, just sub with what is available to you.  Keep the shells on for cooking, as that is what lends the broth its amazing flavor.

Make it a date for two, or a dinner for eight.  My fave part – this phenomenal broth can be made the day before, and just add seafood the day of.  Enjoy!

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RECIPE (about 6 servings)

INGREDIENTS

2 medium onions, finely chopped
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 dried bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp table salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup light olive oil
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 yellow pepper, seeded and diced
2 TB tomato paste
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 can (28-32 oz) can whole plum tomatoes, drained and chopped.  Juices reserved.
1 cup bottled clam juice
1 cup chicken or fish broth
2 TB white sugar
20 hard shelled clams
20 shelled mussels
1 lb firm fish (ie., halibut, snapper, or salmon)
1 lb very large shrimp (16-20 count-size), deveined, shell-on
1 lb large sea scallops, muscles removed from side if attached
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, freshly chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, freshly chopped
Crusty bread for serving


DIRECTIONS

Place first seven ingredients in a large heavy pot or dutch oven over moderate heat.  Cook until onions are soft, 5 min.  Stir in celery, bell pepper, and tomato paste, cooking 1 min.  Add wine and boil until reduced by about half, 5-6 min.  Stir in tomatoes, their juices, claim juice, broth, and sugar.  Simmer covered 30 min.  Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

(At this point, broth may be cooled and placed in fridge overnight.  When ready to serve, just bring broth back to simmer and continue with recipe.)

If ready to serve:  Bring stew to simmer.  Add clams and mussels until shells just open, checking every minute and transferring opened clams/mussels to a separate bowl with tongs immediately when they open.  Remaining unopened shellfish should be tossed out.  Lightly season fish fillets, shrimp, and scallops with salt/pepper.  Add them to the stew and simmer covered 3 minutes or just until shrimp turns opaque.  If shrimp turns opaque before the fish is done, remove shrimp to prevent overcooking.

Turn off heat and leave uncovered.  Discard bay leaves.  Return all cooked shellfish back into the stew.  Add parsley.  Serve warm stew in bowls, garnishing with fresh basil.  Serve with crusty bread.

By:  Chew Out Loud, adapted by Gourmet

Wine Pairing:  A good quality dry Sauvignon Blanc or crisp Rose will go beautifully here.

Notes:  Feel free to use whatever fresh/good quality seafood is available to you.  Many people like to include crab legs.  The most important thing is not to overcook the seafood.  If I have any leftovers, sometimes I pour it over al dente pasta the next day… amazing.

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Hearty White Chicken Chili

2 Feb

I might have a new addiction to hearty foods.  I recently gave you two of our favorites: Hearty, Chunky Chili and Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup.  Maybe it’s the winter; around our neck of the freezing woods, hearty dishes are more than a mild craving.  Not to mention all the game-day celebrations, which call out for eats that would satisfy a crowd of ravenous guys.  And gals 🙂

White Chicken Chili

So, yeah, I’ll go ahead and add another one to the hearty list.  This white chicken chili hits the spot.  When the weather is cold, I love having my slow cooker filled to the brim with this goodness.

White Chicken Chili 3

Hearty white chicken chili is all that its name suggests… and more.  Chunky bites of tender white chicken, soft white beans, and sweet corn for texture.  All bathed in a mouth-watering broth.  Perfect if a chewy loaf of rustic bread  were to show up alongside of it.  Or bust out these easy sweet corn muffins…sooo YUM.

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I’ve tried various white chicken chili recipes, but always return to this one as my go-to fave.  They all taste yummy, but my laziness brings me back to this great recipe, because it’s super e-a-s-y.  As in, you don’t have to cook the chicken meat separately first.  Yep, it’s true.  Just throw all the goodness into one big slow cooker and let it go.  Just let it go.  Dinnertime 🙂

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RECIPE (10-12 servings)

INGREDIENTS

4 lbs uncooked skinless, boneless chicken breast tenders, cut into chunks
3 (15 oz each) cans Northern beans, drained
2 (10.5 oz each) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
2 (15 oz each) cans corn
2 cups chicken broth
4 small onions, chopped
8 garlic cloves, minced
4 tsp oregano
2 1/2  tsp cumin
1 tsp Tobasco sauce
6 TB flour
salt and pepper to taste
Shredded cheddar for garnish, optional

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients (except salt/pepper) into large slow cooker.  Mix well to incorporate.  Cover and cook on low for about 4 hours or until chicken is no longer pink and onions are soft.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Turn slow cooker to “warm” setting, and keep warm until ready to serve.  If desired, garnish with shredded cheddar.  Serve with bread, chips, or corn muffins.

Source:  Chew Out Loud (adapted from an old recipe by my sweet friend Ashley)

Notes:  If you want to thicken your chili further after cooking, mix in 1 TB of flour at a time until desired thickness is achieved and let it cook another 30 min or so.  If you want to thin it out, simply add more chicken broth until desired consistency.

Hearty Turkey/Chicken Noodle Soup

21 Nov Turkey/Chicken Noodle Soup

Every year, the festive holiday season makes it easier to make peace with the fact that the days are getting much shorter and nippier.  Despite being a cold weather wimp, I still love the holiday season.  From the pretty lights popping up on neighbors’ homes and in stores, to the beckoning aroma of warm spices everywhere…this time of year is truly beautiful.

Turkey/Chicken Noodle Soup

This Thanksgiving and Christmas also marks the first year our youngest child, now age 3, comprehends the meaning behind the holidays and participates wholly in the festivities.  He can join his older siblings in counting his own blessings this Thanksgiving, no prompts needed.  In fact, he may try to present a lengthy monologue at the dinner table.  In which case, some prompting will be needed.

Turkey/Chicken Noodle Soup

With Thanksgiving nearly upon us, Hubby has a very big bird resting in a savory brine at this very moment.  The kids are excited for the hourly countdown to their favorite kind of turkey feast with all the trimmings (and for their 4-day weekend off school.)    I am thankful to have the opportunity to make a delicious mess in the kitchen with my favorite people in the whole world.

Turkey/Chicken Noodle Soup

One of our favorite things to do with leftover turkey (or chicken) and its great carcass is to save it!  Keep that turkey carcass after your holiday meal, even if you aren’t planning to do anything with it for a few days.  You can wrap it up and freeze it until you’re ready to use it.  Then, on a chilly, stay-home kind of day, take those poultry bones out and make the best broth ever.  Ever.

Turkey/Chicken Noodle Soup

All the flavor from the carcass and turkey/chicken meat get super concentrated into the broth with a long, slow simmer.  It does take time to get that deeply flavorful broth.  Once the broth has reduced enough, your patience will be rewarded with the tastiest broth you’ve had.   From there, it’s all game.  😉  Add your favorite veggies, favorite noodles, and throw in the leftover turkey or chicken meat.

This is one of those healthy meals my kids devour faster than french fries.  They gobble this up with such comical speed that I have videotaped their noodle-soup-eating-frenzy for future viewing.

Enjoy this most comforting of comfort foods.  Happy Thanksgiving!  🙂

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RECIPE
(This recipe is one of approximates, so the amounts given are flexible.  Just don’t skimp on simmer time.)

INGREDIENTS

For the broth:
1 TB olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and coined
4 stalks celery, washed and sliced thin
2 onions, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 roasted turkey/chicken carcass, with leftover meat attached

For the noodle soup:
leftover cooked turkey or chicken meat, shredded
1 lb carrots, peeled and coined
5-6 stalks celery, washed and sliced thin
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
noodles of your choice
fine salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS

For the Broth:  Put olive oil, onions, carrots, celery, and garlic in a very large stock pot. Saute on medium high until vegetables are soft.  Add turkey/chicken carcass, bay leaves, and peppercorns.  Add enough water to just cover entire carcass.  (Broth will be reduced down to half.  If you are using a chicken and want more broth, just add more water to begin with, knowing you’ll end up with half that amount.)

Bring stock pot to boil.  Turn heat to low, and simmer uncovered until liquid is reduced to half its original amount (approx. 2-3 hours, or however long it takes to reduce to half)  Once liquid is reduced to half, set aside carcass and skim oil or impurities off top of broth.  Strain the broth into the pot you want to use for the noodle soup.

For the Noodle Soup: Season strained broth with salt and pepper to taste.  Add carrots, celery, onions, and garlic.  Bring to boil. Cook until veggies are very tender.  Meanwhile, cook noodles in well-salted water in separate pot.  Drain noodles (do not rinse), and add to broth.  Add all leftover shredded meat, including meat collected from the carcass.

If needed, season with more salt/pepper to taste.  Enjoy!

Source:  Chew Out Loud

* Note:  This recipe is written for utilizing leftover roasted chicken or turkey.  If you want to make chicken noodle soup with an uncooked chicken, just make the broth with the whole chicken instead of the carcass only.  Remove giblets first.  When the chicken meat is cooked through, remove the chicken and separate the meat from the carcass.  Return the carcass to the broth and finish simmering.  Shred the meat and continue with recipe.

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