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Thursday, December 15, 2011

“Soup Seminar, Part XIX: Creamy Artichoke and Crushed Hazelnut Soup and Matzo Ball Soup—the Perfect Accompaniments for Christmas Dinner”


The Grateful Dead’s one-hundred-and-sixth album, “To Terrapin: Hartford ’77—Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, CT, May 28, 1977,” was released on April 07, 2009 and was another great edition of the Retrospective Live Album Series! We love it and think you will, too, so go out and buy it by using the handy link to Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retailer and get it now! You won’t be disappointed!  Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day.



HOLIDAY SEASON 2011


                                                                            
Here's the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 372 days to go until the End of Days, the End of Time, Armageddon, and the End of the Mayan Calendar!  Everybody, beware!





                                                                                     

                                                   STINKBUG 2011


                                                                                   


Bea O’Malley

END Commentary 12-16-2011

Copyright © 2011 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 1,760.



CULINARY POLITICS



ELEMENTALNEWSOFTHEDAY.BLOGSPOT.COM-STINKBUG—THE HEADLINES

Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Friday, December 16, 2011 by Bea O’Malley

SOUP SEMINAR, PT XIX—CREAMY ARTICHOKE AND CRUSHED HAZELNUT SOUP AND MATZO BALL SOUP

Soup Seminar, Part XIX: Creamy Artichoke and Crushed Hazelnut Soup and Matzo Ball Soup—the Perfect Accompaniments for Christmas Dinner



Bakersfield, CA, 12-16-2011 F: Boy oh, boy! It’s Friday and that means but two more days to go and it’s all over and done. Christmas is but eleven days away and I do hope that everyone will be able to have a nice holiday this year as the economy is a frightening thing for me.  It makes us work under employers we might not like but the prospects of finding and holding work is dim in today’s world. I have never seen an economic situation like the one we currently have and it is not only alarming, it’s scary.  I have my kids to worry about and even though they all have jobs, I have no idea if they’ll have them from one week to the next.  Fortunately for them (and me), they all have institutional jobs working for the state in hospitals and in prisons and that will hopefully be enough to protect them. I mean, if one is unfortunate enough to be laid off at this time of the year, the chances of finding employment are slim-to-none and you know? This is the time of year when people get canned the most.  It’s not because the employers are being hateful or mean, it’s because it’s the end of the year and it’s time to clear the taxes which isn’t any consolation for those booted out the door.  This president needs to do something and he needs to do it soon.

Today, we are going to make some holiday soups that will enliven your dinner table when the holiday presents itself in the next 10-11 days or so.  Soup is a marvelous accompaniment to a stylish dinner in the colder months as it serves as a precursor to what’s to come and prepares the diners to expect more.  What I am presenting today—a Creamy Artichoke Soup with Hazelnuts and Matzo Ball Soup—are going to fulfill that need and create a lot of excitement at the table. Both of these are old family recipes and have never been shared with anyone outside the family so you will all be the first!

CREAMY ARTICHOKE AND CRUSHED HAZELNUT SOUP


Yield:  4-6 servings / Mis-en-place: about 60 minutes:


Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
4
Each
Large artichokes

6
Cups
Chicken broth
See recipe
1.25
Ounces
Hazelnuts (Filberts), shelled and roasted

.25
Cup
Uncooked, long-grained white rice

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

.75
Cup
Heavy cream

3/8
Cup
Dry sack sherry

.125
Cup
Freshly minced parsley
Rinsed



Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! Remove the leaves and stems from the artichokes.  Clean and scoop out each choke, leaving only the bottoms.  Poach them for one hour in simmering water and then drain.  At the same time, prepare your chicken broth using the secondary formula attached to this recipe.

2.      While this is going on, spread the nuts onto a sheet pan sprayed with PAM or some such other food release spray and bake in a 250°F standard oven for about 10 minutes OR until the nuts are a beautiful, golden-brown hue; when they’re done, remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

3.      Crush the nuts in a food processor and then add them to the broth along with the uncooked rice.  Simmer the soup for about 30 minutes and then puree it and pass it through a fine-meshed sieve into a clean soup pot to remove pieces of nuts and the strings from the artichokes. 

4.      Bring the soup to a simmer and blend in the cream and sherry and season to taste with the Kosher Salt and Pepper.  Allow the soup to perk along and then prepare to serve it.  Garnish each soup cup with a few flakes of freshly minced parsley.

This is an elegant holiday soup that everyone can enjoy and savor.  Soups in November and December need to be memorable affairs so that when your friends, family, and neighbors return to their homes, they talk only about the quality of your foodservice. Keep this one handy as you will be using it time and time again.

Now, this might seem to be somewhat surprising to all of you but I have Jewish family members and this is where the next soup comes from:

(#526 A) MATZO BALL SOUP


Yield:  about 1.5 quarts / Mis-en-place: 60 minutes:


Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
2
Quarts
Chicken Stock

2.25
Teaspoons
Chicken Base

1
Cup
Mirepoix vegetables (celery, carrots, onions, and leeks)

.25
#
Cooked and diced chicken breast meat

1.5
Teaspoons
Kosher salt

.125
Teaspoon
White pepper

3/8
Teaspoon
Granulated garlic

.125
Teaspoon
Poultry seasoning

3/8
Teaspoon
Freshly minced parsley

.125
Teaspoon
Egg shade food color

The Matzo Ball Dough:
6
Each
Large AAA eggs, separated
See steps #6-7
1
Teaspoon
Kosher salt

1
Cup
Matzo meal

The Garnish:
Hungarian Paprika

Freshly minced parsley flakes
Rinsed



Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! Have a separate pot on the stove with hot water to which you’ve added a tablespoon of kosher salt—this will be for the matzo balls. 

2.      Combine the chicken stock, chicken base and the mirepoix vegetables together in a large saucepot and bring to a boil.  When it is, keep it there for about 5 minutes and then add the chicken meat and lower the heat.

3.      Combine the seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic, and poultry seasoning) together in a bowl and then blend in a little bit of the broth in the pot, just enough to moisten the seasonings and to make a paste.  Add a little more liquid and then pour it through a fine-meshed sieve into the soup pot.  Force through anything that won’t freely go through the sieve by applying pressure to the top while scraping the bottom of the mesh with a spoon or knife so that it pulls them through into the soup.  The purpose of this is to PREVENT the formation of spice blobs that will not taste GOOD when the diner happens to bite on one.  Do your best to break them up and to disperse them.

4.      Lower the heat and add the parsley flakes followed by the Matzo balls—allow them to puff up.  Then, the soup is ready to serve so transfer it to a soup tureen and sprinkle some paprika atop it to give it a bit of color.

5.      Always chill leftovers as quickly as possible to below 45°F.  Place leftover soup in a pan no higher than 2-inches and stir frequently as it sits atop a wire rack.  As soon as it’s cool, transfer to a sanitized storage container and cover with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate.  Use the soup within 1-2 days at the most.

6.      Matzo Ball preparation: beat the egg whites until stiff using a sanitized mixing bowl and whip attachment.  Beat the yolks in a separate bowl until light and airy and then blend them, the salt, and the matzo meal in, mixing well.

7.      Make balls out of the matzo meal dough that are about 2-3” in diameter and then drop them into the boiling, salted water pot and cook for about half-an-hour.  When time’s up, transfer them to the soup pot where they’ll finish cooking and will puff up.

This is the classic that everyone knows and loves so what could be better than making it from scratch and wowing everybody? This is what you do and since soup is generally a way to dispose of leftovers, this is an excellent way to rid yourself of leftover poultry meat, noodles or rice, and even some vegetables.

KOSHER SALT AND PEPPER SEASONING


1. Yield: One cup of seasoning:


Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
1
Cup
Kosher salt

1.5
Tablespoon
Coarse black pepper

.5
Teaspoon
Hungarian paprika

.5
Teaspoon
Dry parsley flakes




Method:

1.      Combine together and store in an airtight container.

This is a good basic, salt-and-pepper seasoning that you will find many uses for.

As I mentioned to you all yesterday and all of my companions before me; I have had a great time today and as always enjoy my opportunities to write for the Elemental News of the Day. We urge our readership to write to us and leave comments and if there are any of you, who would care to write an article for us, please get in touch via Magnolia Hilltop Brewers, P.O. Box 20669, Bakersfield, CA 93390-0669.  We obviously don’t pay anything but you will be given a full byline and that’s worth its weight in gold.  We want as many people who want to write to be able to do so and we believe that by presenting a forum for our fellow chefs, we are doing something for our beloved industry.  We love diversity and hope to add new and different authors to our pantheon of chefs, food and beverage directors, and culinary professionals.  Come on and join us, it’ll be fun! Expect that when all of us have run through our cycle, we will be introducing some brand-new talent or so I’m told.

Please remember to avoid doing business with AARC Technology in Bakersfield, CA.  These people don’t care about the small customer anymore but instead put all of their attentions onto their corporate customers. It’s sad to not remember why one has the success they do or from where it came.

I am elated as my time here at the END is almost up and that means, I will be off for Christmas! I cannot think of a better deal: working the week before a holiday and then being off for the next three months at least.  That is the good thing about Stinkbug: once he decides something, he decides it and we all just follow along.  I do hope that I will be able to write about the NFL once more but this year, it’s almost over and done and for that, I’m grateful.  Perhaps, I’ll begin writing about sports once Los Angeles has a NFL team within its borders—that would be great! Imagine: the second largest city of the nation doesn’t have a football team, something is wrong with that picture.  I want an expansion team, not steal somebody else’s .  Anyhow—all we ask of you, dear readers, is that you please leave some comments and/or become a follower and why not spend some money and purchase an album by the Grateful Dead and/or buy a cookbook from Amazon.com.  We are allied with them and are pleased to market their merchandise! See you next time around! Bye!    

Thanks, my friends!

Bea

Bea O’Malley
American Culinary Federation, Inc, Certified Cook, Mixologist, and Foodserver


This is me back in the 1980’s when I was working at a restaurant in Wasco, CA, my hometown.  I joined the Chefs de Cuisine of Greater Bakersfield, ACF, not long after it was chartered and am still a member even though the chapter is no longer in operation.  I began working in foodservice in the late 1960’s, moved from Wasco, CA, to Monterey, CA, and then returned to my hometown in 2004.  I have been a foodserver, a Mixologist, and also am a Certified Cook.  I am equally at home in both the kitchen and behind the bar (and on the floor, too). My passions are numerous and my favorite is working in the bakery whenever I’ve had a chance.

---30---

END Commentary for Friday, December 16, 2011 by Bea O’Malley.



Please note that everyone who writes for the Elemental News of the Day is their own person entitled to their own opinions, attitudes, and insanity so does not necessarily speak for all of us.  Thanks, Stinkbug.

REFERENCES:

This original essay was authored by the one-and-only Bea O’Malley



Recipes created by Bea O’Malley on December 22, 1972 in Wasco, CA.

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END OF THE YEAR STINKBUG


                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

This is #1074 an 8” x 10" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, “Story Time." It's among her more beautiful works and is available for sale. You can see much more of her work at her Website, located at http://www.beverlycarrick.com or at Brian Carrick's Facebook page. At her Website, you will see not only more original oil paintings but also lithographs, giclees, prints, miniatures, photographs, and even her award-winning instructional video entitled, "Painting the Southwest with Beverly Carrick." Beverly has been painting for more than 60 years and is known around the world. Her work hangs in private and public galleries and is followed by a great many fans that circle the globe. We urge you to go to her Website NOW and view her work. It's possible that you will find something you like and will want to buy it for yourself, a friend, a loved one, or a neighbor! You will not be disappointed so please: do yourself a favor and go there IMMEDIATELY! Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day!

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