winter chicken soup. turmeric. spruce. citrus. ginger.magic soup.

When the new year rolls around. I am ready to eat a little cleaner. The holidays are inevitably debaucherous and while I love it and fully partake, this year I felt more than ever the need to start the year off a little lighter. I cut out wheat, dairy, sugar, caffeine and alcohol, you might ask what else is there? I asked myself that too but after ten days at this I am pleasantly surprised that I don't feel deprived at all, well, almost at all! I will admit to missing cheese. Pecorino is my Kryptonite.

 

I was recently asked to develop some recipes for Toast, one of my favorite UK companies for their blog Toast Travels. I decided to go with a warming chicken soup. I make bone broths and stocks on a regular basis and always have, maybe it came out of a  moderately Hippy upbringing along with growing up in a New England waste not want not family or perhaps it's my Southern Italian Grandmother, who like the New Englander's, carried that same credo. At any rate, no chicken carcass goes unused in this house ever! What I love most about soups and broths is that they are so damn easy and adaptable. They are most forgiving as you can add a little more of this and a little less of that and put your own twist on it. Soup is magic, and I have been playing at making soup since I first heard the folk tale Stone Soupas a child . When you give a kid a pot and a wooden spoon to play with they generally tell you they are making soup.  They do so with big sweeping gestures of the wooden spoon turning 'round in the pot andthey do so as they collect everything but the kitchen sink and throw it all into their make believe soup. As adults, we do the the same. Soup is a food we more often than not associate with comfort and childhood and home and a little bit of magic.

This one is a twist on a classic chicken soup,with copious hits of ginger, sumac, winter citrus, spruce, turmeric and chili. It is a powerful soup and will warm you to you bones.

In our house we drink this morning noon and night from December to April and often fill thermos to bring to work. 

xx

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Chicken Soup with Citrus SpruceTurmeric and Ginger

 

 

This soup is a spicy bright healing broth with notes of citrus, ginger, turmeric and chilies. This is slow cooked and should be started in the morning. 

 

 

We make this every time we roast a chicken. We never let the carcass go to waste. We often have left over meat from the roast chicken, so we deserve that to add to the finished broth.

Clean a roasted chicken carcass, reserving any bits of meat.

 

In 7 quart pot, place all the following ingredients:

1 carcass of a large roasting chicken along with any skin or scrapings from the roasting pan.

2 whole heads of garlic skin on cut in half

1 large yellow onion cut in half

2 cups coarsely chopped ginger

1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper

5 cups chopped celery (leaves and stems)

3 large carrots, scrubbed and cut into 1 inch pieces

1 cup coarsely chopped fresh turmeric 

 2 fresh halved lemons or 2 whole preserved lemons

1 satsuma orange halved

2 bunches parsley

1 bunch fresh thyme

2 dried chiles de árbol chilies 

1 teaspoon dried sumac

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons kosher salt

A dash of olive oil

 

optional

1 cup loosely packed spruce or pine (optional) spruce and pine is high in vitamin c

 

20 cups filtered water

 

Set to simmer on medium heat. When the stock comes to a boil, lower the heat and leave on a bare simmer for 7 hours.

Add more water if need be.

 

Occasionally stir the pot, and hour or so before straining I give it a good mashing with the side of a wooden spoon or a potato masher to break up all the ingredients.

 

Discard the debris and strain through a fine mesh strainer or a colander lined with cheesecloth.

 

Salt to taste.

 

Add pieces of roasted chicken, shaved celery.  Add grated pecorino if you wish.

 

 

Makes 10 cups broth.

 

images ©Andrea Gentl/Gentl and Hyers 2015

 recipes ©Hungry Ghostl 2015

snow day. amy chaplin's brownies.

So, the snowpocolypse didn't really materialize here in NYC. I am a little disappointed. I was hoping for a record to breaking storm to rival the Blizzard of 1888. I love quiet unexpected days off.  in our house on these days, there is generally something bubbling on the stove and the house is warm and cozy. Everyone sleeps in and the city wakes up  so slowly. I haven't heard one horn today which for Broome street is a minor miracle.

Mid way through my editing today, I decided to take a break to bake something. I picked up Amy Chaplin's book At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen and flipped to the sweets. A couple weeks ago my friend Nancy snuck a few of Amy's vegan chocolate apricot almond cookies into the movies.They were pure heaven. So, I and no doubt that I would find something delicious to make from her book. I am a brownie maker since way way back It was one of the first things I was allowed  to make on my own. Page 444 of the Fannie Farmer Cookbook was thoroughly smeared with chocolate and butter and the fingerprints of four children.

These are not your mother's brownies. They are rich and soft and decadent with dark chocolate, maple, almond butter, dates and seas salt. They happen to be gluten and dairy free.

Make them today or tonight or tomorrow, just make them soon. You won't regret it!

ALMOND BUTTER BROWNIES WITH SEA SALT

Toasted almonds, dark chocolate flakey sea salt are a divine combination . When you are in the mood for a rich chocolaty treat, these brownies really hit the spot.

 

MAKES FIFTEEN 3x2 1/2 INCH BROWNIES

EQUIPTMENT: 13x9 INCH PAN (ALSO KNOWN AS A QUARTER SHEET PAN)

 

1/2 cup packed pitted deglet moor dates (you can use medjool dates if you prefer, and if they are super moist and soft, you can skip the soaking step

1 1/2 cups whole spelt flower

3/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of almond butter

3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil plus more to oil pan

3/4 cup of maple syrup

3/4 cup of maple sugar (I did not have this so I used organic cane sugar)

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons almond milk

1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

3 1/2 ounces of dark (85%) chocolate. coarsely chopped and decided. or about 3/4 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup of toasted almonds (I used raw)

Maldon or fleur de sel or other flakey sea salt

 

Place dates in a medium bowl and cover with boiling water. let soak for 20 minutes or until softened then drain well

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line pan with parchment paper: brush paper and sides of pan lightly with oil and set aside

sift flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder, into a medium bowl; whisk toto combine and set aside.

Place almond butter, olive oil, maple syrup, almond milk, salt, vanilla, and drained dates in  food processor: blend until smooth. (it's ok. if all the dates are not blended). Pour into sifted flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until  almost combined. Reserve 2 tablespoons of chopped chocolate and stir remaining chocolate into batter. Be careful not to over mix. Transfer batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with almonds, remaining chocolate and a large pinch of Malden or fleur de sel sea salt. 

Bake for 30 minutes or until edges pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick , inserted into the center, comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. (FOR BEST RESULTS, REFRIGERATE UNTIL COMPLETELY COLD UNTIL CUTTING.) This will help to hold the brownies together. These brownies will store for three of four day in an air tight container.

 

recipe copyright amy chaplin

 

 

 

 

winter citrus coffee cake.

Winter Citrus Coffee Cake

 I have been out West on vacation this week and finally have a moment to post this cake I made during the last (and hopefully final) snowstorm of the winter in New York.

I am calling it a winter cake but you could easily substitute any other fruit for the citrus and it would be just as tasty. I am thinking strawberries in the summer. I love winter citrus. It is always a bright spot long about February when the days seem as though they might never get longer. I was inspired to make this cake while working in San Francisco this past January. In the mornings before heading to the studio we always made a stop at Tartine. One morning we decided to cheat on Tartine and try a new place calledCraftsmen & Wolves just down the block from Tartine. It has a sleeker vibe than Tartineand at first I wasn't sure about all the pastries carefully and purposefully lined up behind the glass. We ordered a scotch egg and a small coffee cake with candied citrus and espresso topping.

Needless to say they were both stellar. So this is my attempt at recreating that cake. My heart is still with Tartine, their ham and cheese croissant is out of this world. I am a savory person in the morning more so than sweet. I think that is why this cake appealed to me in the first place with it’s salty espresso top and the bitter citrus inside. If you find yourself in San Francisco, you must try both places, neither will disappoint.

Candied Citrus

I used a recipe from Martha Stewart for the candied citrus peels, as I had never made them before.

This recipe seemed straightforward and simple.

You can use any citrus you want. 

I used a variety of pink grapefruit, blood orange, bergamot lemon etc.

Scrub the citrus well to remove any residue.

2 grapefruit

2 oranges

2 lemons

1-cup sugar

With a sharp paring knife, slice off ends of grapefruits, oranges, or lemons. Following curve of fruit cut away outermost peel, leaving most of the white pith on fruit. Slice peel lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips.

In a medium pot of boiling water,  (enough to generously cover the peels) cook the peels until tender, about 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer peel to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet; spread in a single layer to dry slightly, about 15 minutes.

In a medium saucepan, bring 1-cup sugar and 1 cup water to a boil over high, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add peel and boil until it turns translucent and syrup thickens, 8 to 10 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer peel to wire rack, separating the pieces as needed. (As always with boiling sugar, BE CAREFUL!)

While the candied citrus is cooling make the batter.

WINTER CITRUS COFFEE CAKE WITH ESPRESSO TOPPING

2 cups all purpose white flour

1/2-teaspoon kosher salt

1-teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon of baking soda

Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl and set aside

In another bowl mix the wet ingredients.

1/2 stick of softened butter 

1/2-cup crème fraise

2 eggs

1-cup sugar

The juice of half a grapefruit ( if your batter seems at all dry add the juice of the other half)

Mix on low speed until combined

Add

The 2 cups of candied citrus peel and gently mix in by hand.

 Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet until just combined.

Use a 9 inch round cake pan or 9 inch a cast iron skillet

Grease the pan or skillet

Place 1/2 batter the batter in the pan or skillet

Spoon some of the topping over the batter

Add rest of batter

Spoon remaining topping over the batter

Topping

1/2 stick butter

1-cup flour

1/2-cup dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons of espresso fine grind

1/4-teaspoon fleur de sel

Combine all ingredients for the topping in a bowl and mix by hand with your fingers until the topping has the texture of cornmeal. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes; or until done.

The beautiful ceramics used in this story are from West Coast artist Jessica Niello. I picked them up in San Francisco at The Perish Trust.

soup for dinner. dragon carrot broth.

It has been so long since I posted here.  I have had only sporadic moments for the blog as of late. The days are turning into weeks and then months so quickly. I have been busy with some great projects and leave for Nepal on Sunday for work. 

 I have been working on a cookbook this week and sampling every delicious bite that has come my way, so tonight, I just wanted a really simple soup or broth for dinner.

I decided to recreate a broth I made accidentally around thanksgiving when I boiled some dragon carrots until they were soft, and then set them aside for a pie. After boiling the carrots, what was left in the pot was so colorful and clear I just had to taste it. I expected it to taste little of carrots but was pleasantly surprised when it was so flavorful and sweet!

 It was nothing more than carrots and water. Instead of discarding the carrot water I decided to grate a little ginger into it. Suddenly I had a clean, simple, tasty soup.

This is how the dragon carrot broth came to be.

So tonight, it was dragon carrot broth again and it was just as warming and lovely as the first time I made it.

x

winter salads

In these darker days of winter I am prone to eat heavier foods. I adore winter stews, braised meats and rich pastas but lately walking the streets of China Town I have been really inspired by the winter fruits and vegetables lining the street side markets. This led me to experiment with some new winter salads. The salads are really fresh, clean and simple and a welcome reprieve after my holiday binge. I tend to use cookbooks for inspiration and then improvise with ingredients. I am not posting the recipes for these yet as I have to work out the ratios. They are fairly simple and easy to work out but I will post soon.

One flavor combination I used comes from Terry Walters of Clean Start. We photographed her book Clean Start a year or so ago and I fell in love with many of her recipes. The maple lime dressing is from one of Terry's recipes. I love the combination of sweet maple and the and tart lime. I always add a little Bhutanese red pepper to it for a little kick. I used it on the Apple and Endive salad with mint but you can use it on just about anything. I took those same elements and added buttermilk and cumin seed to it for the dressing for Grapefruit Breakfast salad. I also used the combination of maple and lime for the Crazy Rainbow Carrot salad but added shaved ginger. I love taking a flavor combination and using it in different ways. 

 

Maple Lime dressing inspired by Terry Walter's 

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons of maple syrup

The juice of one whole lime ( more if the lime is not juicy!)

 

  Warning! This dressing is addictive!

 

 

 winter salad inspiration

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 asian pear and persimmon salad with celery leaf and blood orange dressing

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blood orange over radish micro greens with shallots and white pine salt. meyer lemon walnut oil dressing

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three radish chop salad with chopped, celery, celery leaf and parsley with japanese apple cider vinegar and  a spicy extra virgin olive oil

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 three radish chop salad

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organic fuji apple and endive salad with maple lime dressing and bhutanese red pepper

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crazy rainbow carrot ginger salad with maple lime and cilantro

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pink grapefruit breakfast salad with maple lime buttermilk dressing with cumin seed 

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sauteed hen of the woods with fermented black garlic over chopped parsley salad with bergamont lemon and olive oil.