Archive | January, 2013

Speedy Soup: White Bean, Sausage & Kale

29 Jan

speedy soup

This is less of recipe- then a call to throwing together the contents of your fridge- when it is too cold and you are too cheap to buy ingredients. Here’s to hearty weekday sustenance! Jess P. I feel like you make a vegetarian version of this? with tiny pasta (which has a special name) and maybe tomato?

This is also sort of a riff on italian wedding soup– which i love– but thought that sausage was a nice shortcut to making own meatballs. But a recipe for that soup– inspired the finish- crack an egg in a swirl around. Totally fine w. out this last step- but it makes it super extra hearty.

needless to say, you can increase recipe amounts and get more experimental with add-ins and spices.

4 cups chicken stock (homemade please!) [this is what i had, and mine had a pretty high stuff to soup ration- could prob use like 6 cups of broth- if you want it more… well, brothy]

1 bunch of kale (in a moment of true laziness i bought a pre-cut version from trader joes the other day. i am embarrassed and will never do it again. it was all stalk. but yes, totally convenient. used half a bag) escarole would also be perfect. other dark green also acceptable. if i had used a real bunch of laciento kale i probs would have taken out the stem.

1 or 2 sausage link (i think mine was hot italian- any kind will do. as Rach W. pointed out- i buy the good butcher kinds- and take out of the casing and slice into semi-circles)

1 small onion (half a large), finely chopped

1 or 2 cloves garlic

pinch of red chili flakes

1- 14oz can cannellini or other white beans

optional: add some cooked tiny pasta, arborio rice, orzo [one thing to know is that if you are planning to have leftovers it can be good to keep, especially the arborio, separately from the soup- because it will suck up the stock like a sponge]

parmesan cheese

1 egg

Pour a generous glug of olive oil (tablespoon or two) and tablespoon (or two) of butter. Saute onion for a few minutes. Add garlic and chili flakes until fragrant. When onion has begun to soften, add sausage. Once looking pretty cooked (a few minutes). Add Kale and cover to cook down. Once that is ready, add beans and stock. Simmer to blend all flavors.

Before eating, can crack and egg in a swirl w. a fork. I’d personally do this with only the portion i am reheating. But not sure that is totally necessary to keep separate like that.




Scallion Pancakes!

17 Jan

scallion pancakes

These are too amazing! Now generally, I am  more of a sweet than a salty/fry person. But scallion pancakes hold a special place. Growing up, Sam & I used to order them like whoa. First from Hunan Spring then LingLings. Why bother making your own as opposed to take out? Seriously, you made your own scallion pancakes- that should be cool enough of an idea. Plus, they are surprisingly easy to make. But also- they are lighter, crispier, flakier and less greasy than the delivery  kind. I have been told– by a savvy group of young gentlemen living in Circle Square, Somerville, that these also make amazing beds for sushi pizza- a spicy tuna/avocado extravaganza.

Made it w. Sydnie’s Taiwanese stew– still my Favorite winter dish. And sautéed the daikon greens in miso butter. mmmm…

This scallion pancake recipe- comes from here. Click on link for some photo diagrams for rolling the dough.

For the Pancakes:

Makes 4 pancakes [I did ¼ of the recipe for 1 pancake]

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting work surface

1 cup boiling water

Up to 1/4 cup toasted sesame seed oil

2 cups thinly sliced scallion greens

For the Dipping Sauce:

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons Chinkiang or rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon finely sliced scallion greens

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

2 teaspoons sugar

To Cook:

1/4 cup vegetable oil [I used grapeseed oil]

Kosher salt

Place flour in bowl of food processor With processor running, slowly drizzle in about 3/4 of boiling water. Process for 15 seconds. If dough does not come together and ride around the blade, drizzle in more water a tablespoon at a time until it just comes together. Transfer to a floured work surface and knead a few times to form a smooth ball. Transfer to a bowl, cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap, and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature, or up to overnight in the fridge.

[I did not use a food processor. Instead I just put flour in a bowl, and stirred w. a wooden spoon while adding water, 1/4 recipe so used 1/4 cup water. After kneaded dough for about 5 minutes until smooth. Allow to rest as above]

Divide dough into four even pieces and roll each into a smooth ball. Working one ball at a time, roll out into a disk roughly 8-inches in diameter on a lightly floured surface. Using a pastry brush, paint a very thin layer of sesame oil over the top of the disk. Roll disk up like a jelly roll, then twist roll into a tight spiral, tucking the end underneath. Flatten gently with your hand, then re-roll into an 8-inch disk.

Paint with another layer or sesame oil, sprinkle with 1/2 cup scallions, and roll up like a jelly roll again. Twist into a spiral, flatten gently, and re-roll into a 7-inch disk. Repeat steps two and three with remaining pancakes.

Combine all the sauce ingredients and set aside at room temperature.

Heat oil in an 8-inch nonstick or cast-iron over medium-high heat until shimmering and carefully slip pancake into the hot oil. Cook, shaking the pan gently until first side is an even golden brown, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip with a spatula or tongs (be careful not to splash the oil), and continue to cook, shaking pan gently, until second side is even golden brown, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Season with salt, cut into 6 wedges. Serve immediately with sauce for dipping. Repeat with remaining 3 pancakes.

Miso Soup and Ginger Pork

14 Jan

asian feast


miso soup

Miso soup- turns out- takes about 5 minutes to make. Who knew? A lot of people probably. Entire nations. First you have to make the dashi or fish stock. Then you add the miso and whatever other fixings you want. The fun thing is- this involves a trip to your local Japanese grocery- and if you look out for them- there is probably one not too far from you. [Porter Square, Williamsburg, near NYU- just to name a few]

These recipes come from Harumi’s Japanese Home Cooking. The book I bought when I got back from my trip to Japan- 2 years ago- thinking I would use all the time. And I just now- finally made the soup.


5 cups water

3 1/3 tablespoons dried fish flakes (bonito) [i bought the kind that is separated into tiny packets which is great- because this stuff is Stank!]

Heat the water and just before it comes to a boil, add the dried fish flakes and simmer for 1-2 mins over low heat. Turn off the heat and leave the fish flakes to sink to the bottom of the pan, then strain. Can freeze extra dashi.

Miso soup

3 ½ cup dashi stock

4 tablespoons awase miso paste

8 inch piece dried wakame seaweed [I used this kind that’s already in little pieces]

5 ounces soft/silken tofu

finely chopped spring onion/scallion to garnish

Heat dashi stock in saucepan. Just before it comes to a boil, add the miso and stir until completely dissolved.

Soak the seaweed in water until soft. Drain and cut into bite size pieces. Cut tofu into ½ in square pieces. Add tofu then seaweed to the soup. Heat thoroughly, taking care not to let it boil. Garnish with spring onions.


Ginger Pork  (top left of first image)

3 ½ cups bean sprouts (mung)

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons mirin

½-1 tablespoon grated ginger- to taste

2/3 lb. finely sliced pork [I cut these little chops in thin slices- horizontally- if that makes sense. And just a note- easier to slice when very cold/near frozen]

sunflower or vegetable oil for stir-frying the pork [I used grapeseed oil]

1 tablespoon oil for cooking the sprouts

¾ tablespoon sliced garlic (1 clove)

salt and pepper

Trim end off sprouts [Harumi makes a note, that yes, you might think this is not worth doing- but they look nicer and taste better so do it. Unfortunately, laziness got the best of me and I ignored her]

Mix together soy sauce, mirin and grated ginger and dip the pork into this marinade briefly just before cooking

Heat a little oil in a frying pan over med heat. Remove the pork from the marinade and add to the pan, making sure it cooks evenly and doesn’t stick together or curl up. Turn over after a couple of mins and cook until both sides are browned. Don’t leave pork for too long as it cooks surprisingly quickly- but make sure it’s cooked through

In a separate frying pan, heat a tablespoon of oil over high heat. Add sliced garlic. When aroma is released, add bean sprouts and stir-fry. Season w. salt and pepper.

Put bean sprouts onto a serving dish and lay the slices of pork on top. Pour any remaining juices from the frying pan over the pork.


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