Turkey Soup with Tortellini and Kale
By the third or fourth day after Thanksgiving I am about ready to look at turkey again. I buy a good-sized turkey for our crowd and we usually serve another protein like roast beef, so when I carve the bird for Thanksgiving dinner I don’t have to worry about slicing every bit of meat off the bones. The carcass usually has a good amount of meat left on it – ideal for a rich flavorful turkey stock and the eventual annual soup.
Craving pasta and greens after the holiday, cheese tortellini and lots of curly kale were the perfect ingredients for this years’ turkey soup.
Turkey Soup with Tortellini and Kale Recipe
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Refreshing Bay shrimp Ceviche, Baja-Style
The beauty of this bay shrimp ceviche is that there is no need to search out pristine, raw, expensive fresh seafood when in the mood for a refreshing light meal.
Toss Wild Pacific Coldwater Bay Shrimp with fresh squeezed lime juice. Fold in chopped vegetables, refrigerate then enjoy 15 minutes later! These little shrimp have a delicious sweet flavored meat with a medium soft texture, perfect for ceviche.
We served this dish al fresco, Baja-style. The weather’s been in the low 90°s during the day here in Vegas. Chilled ceviche with house-made chips makes a delightful poolside snack. Add a frosty cerveza and there is nothing better.
These sustainable bay shrimp are harvested from the Pacific Ocean in cold waters from San Francisco up to Canada, with most of the catch coming from along the Oregon coast. The shrimp are fully cooked, peeled, and frozen. I keep a bag in the freezer. At $15 for a 2 lb. bag from Costco, it’s a great economical protein source to use in many recipes from soups to salads to omelettes.
Baja-style is the type of ceviche served all over Baja California which includes Mexican staples such as avocado, cucumber, and tomato as opposed to a Peruvian-style ceviche which is prepared with vegetables popular in Peru, such as sweet potato and choclo. Both great, just different.
Bay Shrimp Ceviche, Baja-Style Recipe
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Mexican Matzo Ball Soup
Cilantro Matzo Balls with Toasted Coriander and Cumin
Chicken Soup with Avocado, Jalapeño, Lime, Onion, Cilantro
The holiest of Jewish holidays, Yom Kippur ends at sunset tonight. This evening we break the fast with something simultaneously traditional and nontraditional: matzo ball soup with an unexpected twist!
Mexican flavors including cilantro, coriander, and cumin bring a bright zippy freshness to our beloved soup. No soup could be better than Nana’s, but this year things are mighty different, so why not the soup? 5781, the year we served our matzo ball soup with avocado, jalapeño, and lime!
Mexican Matzo Ball Soup Recipe
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How to Bake Artisan Bread $0.68 per Loaf!
Sixty-eight cents. Yep, that is what it costs to bake a beautiful, crusty loaf of artisan style bread. Flour, yeast, and salt. These three ingredients plus water yields a masterpiece that would cost upwards of $6 at a decent bakery.
Not surprisingly, the global pandemic has spurred an interest in bread baking. Since people have extra time at home, don’t care to run out to the supermarket often, and are happy to save over $5 with every loaf…why not bake it yourself?
And not least of all, baking one’s own bread brings a sense of satisfaction, pride, and joy which is probably the best reason to bake at this challenging time.
How to Bake Artisan Bread
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Stuffed Cabbage with Mexican Crema and Walnuts
Jasmine Rice, Beef, Castelvetrano Olives, Herbs, Lemon
When I saw this recipe from Bon Appétit, I thought… I have a head of cabbage, I can make my own version without having to go to the dreaded grocery store. The result was a mighty tasty and quite striking Stuffed Cabbage made with everything on hand.
Give it a try! Use the recipe as a blueprint to incorporate what you have available. It’s actually quite fun to make the substitutions.
You’ll definitely need a cabbage, any kind will do. And long grain rice, fresh herbs, some kind of sour cream or yogurt, some nuts, an egg or two. And there you go!
The recipe is flexible; add meat or not, onion is nice but not mandatory. I like savory olives but you may like sweet raisins. Lemon is good for tart notes, but no lemon? No problem, Bon Appétit uses sumac in their recipe. No dill? Use parsley. Butter is great but olive oil would work just fine.
The recipe is easy, I did use quite a few pots and pans however. But hey, there’s plenty of time for doing dishes…
Adaptable Stuffed Cabbage Recipe
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Chicken Soup with a Big Comforting Matzo Ball
If this were a normal Passover, I would be in Chicago right now with 15 lbs. of brisket in the oven, a huge pot of chicken soup on the stovetop, plus some 100 matzo balls in production, prepping for a fabulous multi-course meal for my family and friends as I have done for the past two decades.
Since, unfortunately, this is not a normal Passover. I am in Las Vegas, not Chicago. And I’m not cooking a multi-course meal for thirty-five, I’m cooking for one. Just a nice bowl of my chicken soup with a big comforting matzo ball.
Happily, in spite of the global pandemic, we’ll still be holding our Seder and holding tight to tradition. We will all Zoom in on the internet at sundown on Wednesday to retell the Passover story of how we were slaves in Egypt before God led us to freedom with signs and wonders. Each year at Passover we go on a journey in our hearts from slavery to freedom and from sadness to joy. This year is no different in that respect.
Big Matzo Ball Recipe and Matzo Ball Secrets
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Celebrating Hanukkah, The Festival of Lights
Short Rib Kreplach and Nana’s Meat Soup
Back in 2008 I had asked my Mother about recipes from the past. She said that my Nana (my paternal grandmother) made excellent soups. I remembered her chicken soup which I still make to this day, and her delicious borscht. Mom said that she always liked Nana’s meat soup. Meat Soup, I asked? Mom said that it was just like chicken soup but with meat. She still had the recipe.
These are the ingredients my Mother had listed on the old recipe index card from notes she took while watching her mother-in-law make meat soup: short ribs, carrots, onions, parsnips, celery stalks, parsley root, dried large lima beans, and egg noodles.
In honor of Hanukkah and in remembrance of my dear mother Joyce (1933- 2013) and dear grandmother Fanny (1894-1972), I’m making Nana’s Meat Soup and adding those comforting Jewish dumplings known as kreplach, filled with tasty shredded short ribs of beef.
Short Rib Kreplach and Nana’s Meat Soup
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