Greek Chicken Soup with Egg, Lemon, and Orzo
Crispy Chicken Skin Garnish
Yep, that is a big crispy piece of chicken skin on the side of the soup bowl. This is a heartier version of the classic Greek Egg Lemon Chicken Soup, Avgolemono.
Here, the irresistible tangy pale lemon soup is chock-full of orzo (rice-shaped pasta) and shredded chicken breast. Fresh snipped dill, a good dose of pepper, a drizzle of fruity olive oil, and that crazy chicken skin take it over the top. Is crispy chicken skin the new bacon?
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Our Best Passover Menu and Tips For Serving
We’ll be hosting our 16th Annual Passover Seder and dinner on April 10th at sundown. I’ve been flying back to Chicago for the past 16 years to cook Passover dinner for family and friends at the lovely home of my brother and sister-in-law. When they married in 2001, the honor of hosting the First Night of Passover for our family was passed to them from our cousins.
OUR BEST PASSOVER MENU
Olives & Nuts
Geri’s Gefilte Fish
Vicki’s Beet Salad, Fresh Horseradish, Matzohs
Davida’s Chopped Liver with Pistachios
Hard Boiled Eggs
Homemade Chicken Soup
Herbed Matzoh Balls
Super-Tender Traditional Beef Brisket with Red Wine Tomato Sauce
Chicken Adobo with Scallion, Cilantro, Sesame Seeds
Horseradish Potato Cakes with Chives
Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Balsamic Glaze
Karen’s Chocolate Matzoh Crisp
Flourless Apple Almond Cake
Chocolate Souffle Cake
Chocolate Hazelnut Brownie Bars
Pistachio Ganache Tart
Fresh Fruit Skewers
(Click on Menu Links For Recipes)
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Chicken Soup with Exotic Saffron Matzoh Balls
I’m preparing Chicken Soup in memory of my Nana and in celebration of the Jewish New Year. And of course, my chicken soup for the High Holy Days will include matzoh balls. These saffron matzoh balls are richly-colored and exotic-tasting. The bright metallic flavor of saffron conjures up memories of foods from far away places. Their striking golden hue brings an element of surprise and beauty to the holiday table. The heady spice derived from the dried stigmas of a crocus, evokes interest and is powerfully irresistible.
I wish all of you, my family, and friends a New Year that is sweet and good. May you be inscribed in the Book of Life for a healthy, peaceful, and fulfilling year. And may this new year bring satisfaction, achievement, and happiness. L’Shana Tova!
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A Rejuvenating Korean Soup
Whole Chicken Stuffed with Sweet Rice, Pine Nuts, and Garlic
In a Broth Simmered with Ginseng, Ginger, Red Dates, and Gingko Nuts
At first it might seem counter-intuitive to serve a pot of hot steaming soup on summer’s most sweltering days. But if one considers the ingredients in samgyetang, the popular Korean ginseng chicken soup, the choice starts to make sense.
Ginseng’s properties are said to be rejuvenating and revitalizing, a booster for the libido as well as the immune system. Hot soup is said to help regulate body temperature in oppressively hot weather. The energy promoting quality of ginseng plus the soup’s rich nutrients help to regain the loss of stamina on super sultry days.
Medicinal attributes aside, I instantly fell in love with this soup. I adore the presentation, where a whole chicken fits snugly into a pot surrounded with mysterious-looking vegetables, fruit, and nuts. Sweet short-grain rice with pine nuts and garlic cooks inside the chicken, a technique I had never seen before.
After an hour of simmering, an intriguing chicken soup is served in its own pot. The sweetness of the jujubes, the earthy slightly-bitter ginseng, and the glutinous rice produce a uniquely flavored somewhat cloudy soup. Diners can place pieces of chicken, rice, and all the accompaniments into their own bowls, then ladle the hot broth over the top. Salt, pepper, and scallions are served on the side so each diner may season the soup to his liking.
Samgyetang – Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup Recipe
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Tuscan Kale Soup
Artichoke Hearts & Chicken Sausage
Chicken Broth with Flavored with Fennel Seed & Red Chile Flakes
Served with Toasted Ciabatta
Back in January, a recipe for “Italian Chicken Sausage and Artichoke Soup with Chard” in Sunset magazine caught my interest. Over the past months I’ve added onion, garlic, fennel seed, and red chile flake to the original recipe. And sometimes substitute kale for chard. My procedure is quick and easy, and the synergistic result far exceeds the expectation of boxed chicken broth and canned artichoke hearts.
In less than a half hour, this soup is on the table. I’ve served it as an everyday meal, as a starter to a rustic dinner topped with ricotta salata, and as an elegant first course. This year my Thanksgiving menu has a lighter aura, so this Tuscan Kale Soup will replace the heavier puréed soups of the past.
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Homemade Chicken Soup with Herbed Matzoh Balls
Garlic-Scented Lima Beans, Micro-Thin Carrot Slices
Fine Egg Noodles, Hand-Shredded Roasted Chicken Breast
Fresh Parsley and Dill Garnish
This soup is dedicated to my Nana. I thank her for inspiring me with a life-long passion to explore the cuisine of our heritage. Year after year, I tweak her original chicken soup recipe. This one, prepared in celebration of the High Holy Days (5772 on the Hebrew calendar) resulted in one of the best versions ever. The matzoh balls were light and fluffy, the garlic-scented lima beans added heft, the flavorful broth was beautifully clear and just barely rich. Delicate fine egg noodles and colorful carrots balanced out the dish.
My paternal Grandparents – Irving and Fanny Hirsch (front center)
Careful attention to each component is what makes it special. This soup uses two birds, one for making the broth, the other is roasted – the breast meat shredded and added just before serving. From the double-strained flavorful broth with the tiniest amount of schmaltz droplets providing a hint of richness, to the elegantly sliced carrots (I was never of fan of a floating carrot log), to the garlicky-creamy beans – I am certain my Nana would have approved.
Chicken Soup Recipe
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Saffron Matzoh Balls
Paella, Risotto alla Milanese, Bouillabaisse, Persian Pilafs, Indian Biryani dishes… make room! We can now add Matzoh Balls to the list of international foods flavored with that mysterious orange-hued spice with the bright exotic metallic flavor – SAFFRON.
Some chefs – including one of my favorites – Michel Richard, say that with saffron’s sweet power, the minute you can taste the saffron in the dish, then there is too much. I have to respectfully disagree with the Chef here, and wish I could make these Saffron Matzoh Balls for him. They are unique, intriguing, conjuring memories of foods from far away places…the saffron is assertive and compelling.
With Passover around the corner, I’m experimenting with different ways to prepare Matzoh Balls. I recently read about a recipe for Matzoh Balls Wrapped in Bacon which sounds oh so delicious but clearly, that one wouldn’t fly at our Seder…
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