Fall is here and certain flavors are starting to be used in everything from coffee to dish soap. Yes, I am speaking about the omnipresent Pumpkin Spice. It is everywhere.
But it is not here. Nope. Not happening on this blog.
But I know Fall is about so many other flavors.
I love chestnuts. When I lived in NYC and the chestnut roasters would set up on the street corner, the smell would entice me like no other. Except the smell of those sugared cashews and almonds, which would bring me to my knees. But, I digress.
Chestnuts are available now already steamed and peeled, packed in jars and vacuum sealed bags. It could not be easier to use chestnuts in your everyday life, not just for that Thanksgiving stuffing. I buy them all the time, but you haven’t seen a lot of recipes using chestnuts because I tend to eat them straight out of the container. By the time I come up with a recipe to try, I have already eaten them all! sigh. . .
Chestnuts are generally a seasonal item. but if you buy the jarred or vacuum sealed bags they will last for many months. Stock up when you see them. That way, when you want to make this soup in the Spring, you are ready!
When it comes to soups, I love mine chunky. Sure, a velvety Potato Leek Soup, or a Spicy Carrot-Sweet Potato Soup have their place, and are welcome on my dinner table. But I do love a soup with pieces of meat and vegetable floating around in the bowl, like this Hatch Chile Meatball Soup.
My last post was a recipe for a Hatch chile infused chicken stock, which was made specifically for this soup. Fresh Hatch chiles were used to flavor the stock with a slightly spicy and herbal note, and the meatballs use Hatch chile powder for another layer of flavor.
This meatball recipe makes more than you will need for this soup, but they are really tasty on their own. I cooked up some of the batch in BBQ sauce, and baking or sautéing them in bacon fat is also a great way to cook them. I mean, really, anything sautéed in bacon fat is wonderful.
I wax poetic, but really, how can you not love a bowl of chewy noodles, unctuous broth, healthy greens and succulent meat? Not to mention a soft boiled egg, which when opened oozes a golden yolk , the texture like that of smooth custard.
The list of toppings for ramen is endless, so you can choose to add what you want i your ramen. While attending an event at Melissa’s Produce, they were kind enough to let us take a variety of samples. I took some lovely petite choy sum, which is a Chinese Flowering Cabbage. Bok choy is another type of cabbage you may be familiar with. Feel free to use bok choy, or napa cabbage or even Chinese broccoli. What ever green vegetables you have on hand will be good in a bowl of ramen. Except brussels sprouts. I mean, really.
Change the broth from chicken to a long simmered pork bone broth, or a fast fish stock. Shiitake mushrooms make a lovely vegetable stock.
The only constant needed for this recipe is good ramen noodles. I like a brand of straight ramen noodles that come already portioned out for you. If you cannot find them, you may substitute with curly chuka soba ramen. Check your local Asian grocery stores if you have one in your area.
Ramen should be a fast and easy, a dinner that can come together in about 15 minutes. A big bowl of comfort that when eaten properly means you are making a lot of loud slurping sounds. And don’t forget to belch.
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So. . . good things have been coming my way lately. I feel very lucky, though I have worked long and hard to get here. Now, along with my being a contributor to Zester Daily I have become a contributor to Mom.me!
I hear you all saying “Yeah and what does that have to do with me?” It means more original recipes and food related posts from me, and more recipes from some of the best food blogs on the web! Win-win, if you ask me.
Kabocha squash, also known as Japanese pumpkin, is my favorite winter squash. Ever since they became readily available in local supermarkets I have been enjoying them.
But as much as I love them, it took my family a minute to jump on the kabocha bandwagon.
One Thanksgiving, about five or six years ago, I decided to add a kabocha squash recipe to my dinner. Every year I used to cook Thanksgiving dinner for my family and extended family. This is usually very traditional fare, featuring turkey, dressing, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, green salad, maybe a Jell-O mold fixed by my mother, and rolls. My sister would always make the candied yams and sweet potato pie, and bring them over.
Interested in bringing slightly healthier fare to my Thanksgiving table, I wanted another option to balance the buttery sugary overload of the candied yams.
To find out my family’s reaction to my kabocha squash recipe, and to get the recipe for Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup with Kale please click here.
This soup would be a stand out on your holiday table, or just may become a staple on your dinner table.