Sunday, June 16, 2019

Ottolenghi's Sweet Corn Chowder with Spiced Butter for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I could eat chowder every week in the summer. There is just something about the combination of good fresh sweet corn and potatoes and the creamy base that is so satisfying, even on a warm and humid day.  I have had this Ottolenghi recipe tagged for a while now, liking the idea of a drizzle of spiced butter on top of a veggie chowder.
 

Ottolenghi says, “I call this a chowder even though it lacks the non-veggie elements of the traditional New England varieties. The pungent herb butter added at the end gives it a nice kick (for even more spice, add half a thinly sliced green chilli with the potatoes). Though spicy, it's a very comforting dish that works well as a late weekend brunch.”

 
Sweetcorn Chowder with Spiced Butter
(Serves 4)

1 large leek, cut along its centre and then cut into roughly 1cm squares (I used 2, sliced)
3/4 tsp fresh thyme leaves
3 bay leaves
1 Tbsp olive oil
30g butter
2 celery sticks, cut into 1cm slices
2 medium waxy potatoes (220g in total), peeled and cut into 1cm dice (I doubled the potatoes)
500ml good quality vegetable stock (I used about 6 cups non-chicken stock)
4 fresh corn cobs, corn shaved off (I used 5 ears of Ewa sweet corn + 5 oz frozen corn)
300ml milk (I used 1 can coconut milk)
20g fresh coriander leaves, very roughly chopped

For the spiced butter:
3/4 tsp cumin seeds
3/4 tsp coriander seeds
60g butter
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

(I added 1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper)
sea salt and white pepper

Gently sauté the leek in a large saucepan along with the thyme, bay leaves, olive oil and butter. Once soft and slightly translucent, add the celery, potato and stock. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the potato is almost totally tender. It is important not to over-cook the potato, to ensure a nice, firmish texture in the finished soup.

Remove the bay leaves and add the corn to the soup. Transfer about a half of the soup into another pan and blitz until completely smooth. Return the blended mixture to the main pot and add the milk. Simmer for two to three minutes, taste, season with salt, and remove from the heat.

For the spiced butter, grind the cumin and coriander with a pestle and mortar, place in a dry frying pan, heat up and after about 30 seconds, when you can smell the aroma of the spices, add the butter, paprika, salt and white pepper. Stir to combine, and take off the heat as soon as the butter has melted.

To serve, ladle the soup into four bowls, drizzle each with spiced butter and top with the fresh coriander leaves.


Notes/Results: Chowder that is tasty enough on its own, but raised to the sublime level with the addition of the fragrant spiced butter which adds another layer of flavor and contributes to the silkiness of the soup. It's easy to make and the west coast--almost a California or maybe Baja California vibe it gets from the oil and the cilantro make it unique and a keeper recipe. As usual, Ottolenghi is dead on with the flavors. I will happily make it again.


Speaking of a California vibe, I am linking this soup up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week's theme is our monthly Cuisine Spotlight: California. Dishes from any of our IHCC chefs with California feeling ingredients and/or a California vibe.


 Now let's have a look in the into the Souper Sundays kitchen.


Tina of Squirrel Head Manor shared a classic BLT sandwich and said, "As I mentioned earlier I wanted to hook up with a few cooking events but alas......best laid plans. One of the days we were home watching over Aja we made simple BLT sandwiches. It wasn't a cool and unique offering for Deb`s Souper Sundays event but I think I will bring it to the party after all. Obviously you don`t need a recipe for a BLT. I like to load them with fat tomato slices and use the Trader Joe`s bread. That makes such good toast!"

 
Thanks to Tina for joining me this week!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
 
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...


To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
  
 Have a happy, healthy week!
 

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Slightly Spicy (Vegan) Peanut Ramen Soup with Mushrooms and Veggies for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

The weekend after a long and crazy work week started off great, but Saturday afternoon had me running my cat, Max, to the emergency vet and spend a good part of the afternoon there as they worked to get his blood sugar stabilized. In the over six years he has been diabetic, he has never had dangerously low blood sugar and it was a scary and exhausting day for both of us. He is home today with a temporary monitoring system made for humans and I am monitoring him by the hour but thankfully it is done with a scanner and he is doing well. Anyway, I wasn't sure I was in the mood to make soup, but I had purchased the mushrooms and veggies and it's another quick and easy recipe--perfect for when you don't want to spend time in the kitchen.


The inspiration and the bones of this recipe came from this Vegan Spicy Thai Peanut Ramen from Rabbit and Wolves that I pinned a while back. I adapted the prep and ingredients a bit to suit my preferences and swapped out the green curry for red, the Thai chilies for Sriracha, and used three kinds of mushrooms, baby bok choy, red pepper and snow peas for the veggies. It was delicious.


Slightly Spicy (Vegan) Peanut Ramen Soup with Mushrooms and Veggies
Slightly Adapted from Rabbit and Wolves
(Serves About 4)

1 Tbsp coconut oil
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ginger, grated/crushed
1 Tbsp red curry paste
4 cups non-chicken low sodium veggie broth
1 red bell pepper, sliced
4 baby bok choy, coarsely chopped and stems and leaves divided
1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter
1 can coconut milk
2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce or tamari
2 Tbsp agave syrup or sweetener of choice
1 1/2 Tbsp Sriracha, or to taste
juice of 2 limes
3 cups mushrooms (I used a mix of cremini and oyster), sliced
1 1/2 cups snow peas, sliced into thirds
12 oz fresh or dried ramen noodles

To garnish: smoked or roasted peanuts, chopped if desired, enoki mushrooms, extra lime wedges

Heat the coconut oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium high. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for about 2 minutes, then stir in the curry paste and cook an additional minute, reducing the heat slightly if needed. 

Add the broth, red bell pepper and stems of the baby bok choy and bring to a boil. Place the peanut butter into a small boil and add a ladle of the hot broth, stirring until smoothly combined. Add to the soup pot along with the coconut milk, tamari, agave, and Sriracha and bring to a simmer, cooking about 10 minutes until flavors meld and veggies are softened. Add lime juice, mushrooms, snow peas and noodles and simmer for 1 to 3 minutes--depending on whether you use dried or fresh noodles.

Taste and add additional seasoning or spice as needed. Ladle into bowls and top soup with peanut and enoki mushrooms. Serve with additional lime slices is desired. Enjoy!
   

Notes/Results: Like a bowl of good peanut noodles, this is a tasty and satisfying soup. I love the lime and peanutty broth with just enough spice. The veggies retain their texture well with the bok choy stems crisp and the mushrooms slightly chewy. This soup made me happy, it's quick and easy to make and tastes great. I would definitely make it again.


 Now let's have a look in the into the Souper Sundays kitchen.


Debra of Eliot's Eats shared Cold Udon Salad with Bok Choy and Cucumbers and said, "I was recently reading the benefits of bok choy in the June edition of EatingWell. The article was aptly named “You Rock, Bok.” Bok choy is listed second on the CDC’s list of forty-one super fruits and veggies. Bok is chockful of antioxidents that protect cells, improve immune function and block cancer forming cells. It’s also high in vitamin C. I love it raw but will start incorporating it in stir fries, too.


Thanks to Debra for joining me this week!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
 
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...


To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Have a happy, healthy week!
 

Thursday, June 6, 2019

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "The Song of the Jade Lily" by Kirsty Manning, Served with a Recipe for Tea-Soaked Hard-Boiled Eggs

I am excited to be the final stop on the TLC Book Tour for the World War II novel, The Song of the Jade Lily by Kirsty Manning. Accompanying my review are some  pretty Tea-Soaked Eggs, inspired by my reading.


Publisher's Blurb: 

A gripping historical novel that tells the little-known story of Jewish refugees who fled to Shanghai during WWII.

1939: Two young girls meet in Shanghai, also known as the “Paris of the East”. Beautiful local Li and Jewish refugee Romy form a fierce friendship, but the deepening shadows of World War II fall over the women as they slip between the city’s glamorous French Concession district and the teeming streets of the Shanghai Ghetto. Yet soon the realities of war prove to be too much for these close friends as they are torn apart.

2016: Fleeing London with a broken heart, Alexandra returns to Australia to be with her grandparents, Romy and Wilhelm. Her grandfather is dying, and over the coming weeks Romy and Wilhelm begin to reveal the family mysteries they have kept secret for more than half a century. As fragments of her mother’s history finally become clear, Alexandra struggles with what she learns while more is also revealed about her grandmother’s own past in Shanghai.

After Wilhelm dies, Alexandra flies to Shanghai, determined to trace her grandparents’ past. Peeling back the layers of their hidden lives, she is forced to question what she knows about her family—and herself.

The Song of the Jade Lily is a lush, provocative, and beautiful story of friendship, motherhood, the price of love, and the power of hardship and courage that can shape us all.

Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (May 14, 2019)

My Review:

Someday I will count up the number of World War II novels I have reviewed on this blog, or even books I have just read, without doing a book tour review. It is a time in history that interests me, particularly when author's explore the war from a different perspective or teach me something new. The Song of the Jade Lily does both as it looks at the war mostly from the point of view of Romy Bernfeld, a young Jewish girl from Vienna who flees Vienna to Shanghai with her parents in 1938. I didn't know that much about Shanghai during the war and just how many European Jewish refugees (over 20,000) they took in during the war. Romy's family does not escape unscathed, one of her older brothers is killed while trying to defend a neighbor from the Germans and her other brother is shipped off to the Dachau concentration camp. On the journey to Shanghai, Romy befriends Nina, a girl her age with her own tragic losses, and later in Shanghai, Romy and her family become friends with their neighbors, the Ho family. Romy and Li Ho become fast friends, along with Li's brother Jian. The book alternates the war timeline with 2016, when Romy's granddaughter, Alexandra takes a job in Shanghai and uses the time to inquire about her past, as her late mother was adopted by Romy and her husband Wilhelm, right after the war ended.

I was a little worried about being able to finish the book with the busy couple of weeks I was having and my limited reading time, but The Song of the Jade Lily was difficult for me to put down--I was completely caught up in the story and in the sights, sounds, and smells of Shanghai in wartime and in present day and wanted to dig in every chance I got. Kirsty Manning brings the pages to vivid life--the horrors or war and the power of love and friendship. Like most WWII novels, there is much sadness in the pages, but strength and resilience too. The afterward with the author's notes on the inspiration for the book as well as the list of resources she used to research her subject was interesting too. I hope to read more from her. If you like historical fiction, WWII stories, interwoven stories and time periods, strong female characters and different perspectives, add this one to your TBR list.

-----

Author Notes: Kirsty Manning grew up in northern New South Wales, Australia. She has degrees in literature and communications and worked as an editor and publishing manager in book publishing for over a decade. A country girl with wanderlust, her travels and studies have taken her through most of Europe, the east, and west coasts of the United States as well as pockets of Asia. Kirsty’s journalism and photography specializing in lifestyle and travel regularly appear in magazines, newspapers, and online. She lives in Australia.
 
Find out more about Kirsty at her website, and connect with her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

-----

Food Inspiration:

There was so much food in The Song of the Jade Lily that I think it almost classifies as a foodie book and it was a variety of mostly Jewish, German and Austrian and Chinese dishes. I will attempt to cover just some of the mentions here as I took a few pages of notes. Mentions included the scents of frying fish, cardamom, cinnamon and star anise, noodles, congee, champagne, whiskey, afternoon tea, coffee, hot chocolate piles high with cream, fried garlic and smoked paprika, a soup of black bean paste with crushed garlic, ginger, and chives, a garden with green beans, bay, thyme, Meyer lemon and lime trees, flowering garlic and chives, peas, tomato and purple and green basil, a pesto made from coriander, glugs of olive oil, almonds, garlic and lemons, bok choy, pumpkin and water chestnut risotto, sauteed lamb kidneys with orchid stems and shiitake mushrooms, coffee and plum jam liwanzen (fried yeast pancakes), chocolate cake, Semmelknodel (German bread) dumplings with roast chicken,homemade lemonade and ginger beer, Austrian rye bread and baked treats including a brotgewurz (a German bread spice mixture that included ground caraway, fennel, anise and coriander seed, plus Chinese allspice, celery seed and cardamom), mushroom dumplings, carrot cake, Black forest cake, apricot and apple strudels, scones with raspberry jam and double cream, persimmons, crepes with egg,leek, herbs and deep-fried pastry strips for crunch, Griessnockerlsuppe (chicken and semolina dumpling soup), macarons, basi pingguo (apple, deep-fried and coated in caramel and sesame seeds), tofu and eggplant salad, cones of toasted melon, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, pickled mango, cream cakes with raspberry jam on top, baba ghanoush and hummus, baled fish, couscous and beef brisket, hot pot, pink dragon fruit, lychee and guava, pea torte, spicy prawns with lily bulbs and almond, jasmine tea-soaked chicken, cinnamon buns, orange and poppyseed cake, mapo doufu, and lychee and ginger martinis.


For my book-inspired dish, I decided to make Tea-Soaked Eggs because I have been wanting to make them for a while now and I liked that they were Romy's favorites, and the description when Alexandra and Zhang go to breakfast:

"'What is that?' asked Alexandra as they passed a narrow alleyway crowded with people lining up behind bamboo steamers stacked like circular towers. 
'That'--he pointed to a tiny hole-in-the-wall--'is breakfast.' 
Alexandra eyed the dozens of boiled eggs floating in a dark broth and recognized one of Romy's favorite dishes. At home, Romy would boil a dozen eggs, then crack them gently on the counter before dropping them into a crockpot filled with black tea. She'd add orange rind, cinnamon, star anise, five spice, cardamom, and soy sauce, and leave the eggs to soak overnight. Alexandra had loved the aromas of all the spices floating through the house, especially in winter. The next morning, Romy would scoop the eggs out with a slotted spoon and peel them to reveal a beautiful marbled pattern, each one in a slightly different hue."


Recipe:

I basically followed the recipe above from the book, along with a glance at this Food52 article for slow cooker timing. I decided to use some of my Lapsang Souchong tea to see what the smoky flavor did with the eggs. Since I didn't have orange rind on hand, I put a couple of pieces of lemon peel into the mix.


Notes/Results: I was expecting a more dramatic mosaic pattern on my eggs. Although I do find the shells quite vibrant and gorgeous, the eggs were lighter in color than I thought they would be. Also, although I took my eggs out of the fridge about 20 minutes before boiling and they were fairly fresh, most of the bottoms were flat. Oh well, the taste was better than they looked. I liked how the smoky flavor of the Lapsang Souchong I used combined with the aromatic spices and soy sauce. They are a little bit rubbery in texture, but the flavor made up for that. I would make them again.


I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.


Note: A review copy of "The Song of the Jade Lily" was provided to me by the author and the publisher, Harper Collins, via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.  
 
You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.

 

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Rick Bayless's Quick Pozole: Made Vegan with Jackfruit for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Although I eat soup in warm weather pretty much all-year-round, summer is when I don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen and when I look for fast and easy recipes like this Quick Pozole from Rick Bayless. A good example of pantry and fridge cooking that is very low effort for big flavor. 


Since I don't eat meat and poultry (and wanted a featured ingredient that starts with "j"--see my I Heart Cooking Clubs mention below) I decided to replace the shredded cooked chicken in the soup with canned jackfruit, shredded and cooked with taco spices. It adds an extra step to the soup, but still, I was out of the kitchen in 20 minutes or so, with a bowl of delicious soup.


Quick Pozole
Slightly Adapted from RickBayless.com
(Serves 4)

1 (29-oz) can hominy
2 1/2 cups chicken broth (I used low-sodium veggie broth)
8 oz red chile enchilada sauce (I used Rick's Frontera brand)
2 cups coarsely shredded cooked chicken (I used 1 can jackfruit)

1/2 small head green cabbage (preferably Savoy), thinly sliced (I used a cabbage salad mix)
1 tsp oregano
2 radishes, thinly sliced
1 lime, cut into wedges

(I added cilantro and pickled jalapeno) 

In a medium (4-quart) saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the hominy (with its canning liquid), the broth  and the enchilada sauce. Bring to a boil. Stir in the shredded chicken. Simmer about 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls, garnish with cabbage, oregano, radishes and lime.


Deb's Note: I rinsed my canned jackfruit well, drained it, shredded it with my fingers and sauteed it with olive oil in taco seasoning before adding it to the soup. 


Notes/Results: Another quick and low-effort soup that has excellent flavor making it perfect for summer cooking. The jackfruit gives the texture of shredded chicken and the hominy is chewy and delicious. I added the pickled jalapenos on top--the 'tamed' ones add just enough spice and they went well with the crisp cabbage and radish slices. Very tasty and almost too easy to make. I will happily make it again. 


Linking up with I Heart Cooking Clubs where this coming week the theme is June Starts with J--recipes from our past 19 featured chefs that feature ingredients that start with J (in this case jackfruit and jalapenos).


Now let's have a look in the into the Souper Sundays kitchen.


Angela of Mean Green Chef is back with Romaine Blue Cheese Salad. She says, "Romaine Blue Cheese Wedge Salad a refreshing, easy summer dinner or side dish that comes together in a snap bring a fork and knife or chop it all up and devour in minutes! I’ve always had a love affair with the wedge salad, maybe the explosive combo of blue cheese, bacon and a rich balsamic reduction, plus the fact that it’s so fast to make. Slice off the perfect bite and savor the sharp, smoky, sweet flavors all in one distinct mouthful. Simple in execution and so complex in flavor, it’s salad Zen! "



Tina of Squirrel Head Manor shares Lemon, Oregano, Bacon, Mushroom Chicken Soup and says, "Just last Wednesday I posted about an easy chicken meal - Lemon Oregano Chicken.  With leftovers I made a lovely soup. But I am getting ahead of myself here.  This is a combo of leftovers from two very different meals that blended into a tasty soup. ... I added a bit of broth to this to thin slightly but it was treat as a thicker soup. What does Rachel Ray call this consistency? I think she says Stoup. This was definitely stoup."
 
 
Thanks Angela and Tina for joining in this week!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
 
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...


To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Have a happy, healthy week!