Matzo Ballin'

 
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RECIPE

Here is the thing about making chicken soup, it isn’t a fast process. Maybe your mom used to basically add a few bouillon cubes to water, dump in some veggies and noodles and make instant soup, which honestly tastes pretty good- but that isn’t what we are going for here. We’re going for your great-great-grandma's version. You have to be patient and just let this happen slowwwlllyyyyy.  So make it on a cold day, start it early, go about your business. 

I like a stock that is made with roasted bones the best. If you happen to make roast chickens often I highly recommend storing the bones in a zip-lock bag in the freezer and pulling them out when it’s chicken soup time.  If you don’t have bones then you can just request that the butcher cut up a chicken into 8 pieces and maybe toss in an extra back bone and neck.

What’s a matzo ball you might ask?  In a word, a dumpling.  A dumpling that really absorbs the taste of your broth and is light yet filling, flavorful yet doesn’t overpower whatever veggie lives in your soup bowl.  

NOTE- if you don’t want to make the matzo balls from scratch you can buy a box of matzo ball mix in any grocery store, add oil and eggs and proceed. 

This stock freezes really well so I always make A LOT and keep it around for the next soup.

[SERVES 8]

Ingredients:

Stock:

  • 1 chicken, cut into 8 parts (make sure the butcher gives you the back and neck)

  • 3 carrots

  • 1 onion

  • 1 parsnip

  • 2 stalks of celery ( don’t you wish you could just buy that?)

  • 1 bunch of dill

  • 1 bunch of parsley

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns

Matzo Balls (this part of the recipe is straight up stolen from Joan Nathan’s NYT matzo balls because why fix what isn’t broken?):

  • 4 large eggs

  • ¼ cup schmaltz (aka chicken fat)

  • 1 cup matzo meal (or ground matzo)

  • ¼ cup chicken broth

  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 or 2 tablespoons fresh ginger (grated)

  • 2 tablespoons parsley and dill (chopped)

  • 1.5 teaspoons salt (I recommend Jacobsen!)

  • pinch of black pepper

Directions:

Soup:

  1. Fill a BIG stock pot with water and add in the carrots, half the dill, half the parsley, onion, celery, parsnip, bay leaf, peppercorns and chicken and bring to a boil

  2. Reduce to a simmer and let it cook slowly for an hour and a half

  3. Chicken should be pretty tender, remove it and put aside

  4. Once the meat is cool enough to handle separate the meat from the bones and throw the bones back into the pot

  5. Put chicken meat in fridge

  6. Simmer for a few hours until it’s a luscious golden color (NOTE-good time to start making your matzo balls)

  7. CAREFULLY strain the liquid into another large pot and discard the soggy sad limp vegetables and bones that are left in the strainer

  8. Salt to taste (you're going to need lots of salt) and serve with the matzo balls, or reheat whenever you want

Matzo Balls:

  1. In a big ass bowl combine all the matzo ball ingredients

  2. Mix it all together and refrigerate for a few hours, if you’re in a rush, you can also put it in the freezer for a bit

  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add a tablespoon or so of salt

  4. Form the balls to be about the size of a vending machine-sized jumbo gum ball (it can be easier to form the matzo balls if your hands are wet)

  5. Carefully drop them in the water and reduce the heat to a simmer

  6. Cook for about 30 minutes and then add them to your soup

When you’re ready to serve, top the soup with some fresh ground pepper and the rest of the dill and parsley.

 

Crispy Pan Seared White Fish

 
 

RECIPE

This dish is suuuuuper easy. Take all the dry ingredients and put them all in a ziplock bag and give it a shake. Add in the fish and shake it. 

When you cook up your fish make sure to give enough room between the filets so they can properly fry. This is a versatile cooking technique that works for lots of different fish and can lean into different cuisines, depending on the spices you select. The spices outlined below are perfect for serving the fish in a fresh tortilla with a big squeeze of lime.

[SERVES 4]

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound sustainably farmed tilapia
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground onion
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • Grapeseed oil for pan (or whatever high heat oil you have)

Directions:

  1. Place all dry ingredients in ziplock bag
  2. Shake ingredients to combine
  3. Add fish into ziplock and shake the hell out of it (after you zip the bag)
  4. Heat pan over medium-high heat 
  5. Cover bottom of pan with oil (approximately 3-4 tablespoons depending on your pan) 
  6. Once the pan is sizzlin’ hot add in the fish  
  7. Cook until both sides are golden brown (about 3 minutes per side)  

Use this fish for my California Crispy Fish Tacos!

Brown Rice — That Doesn't Suck

 
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RECIPE

So some of us love brown rice and some of us just endure it cause it’s healthy.  I’ll admit that it can be a bland, gummy disaster but by following the recipe below you’ll end up with the perfect rice 98% of the time.

Remember, rice is chill in the fridge for a few days, so make extra and have that fiber hanging out for when you need it. It’s great to throw into a salad, for a quick grain bowl with or even with some over easy eggs.

 

[SERVES 4]

Ingredients:

  • A million herbs equaling approximately one cup (preferably parsley, basil, dill, chives + mint, but you can truly use whatever you’ve got)
  • 1 ½ cup short grain brown rice
  • 1 yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

  1. In a medium-sized saucepan heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil over a medium heat
  2. Once the oil is hot add the onion and sweat until it’s fragrant and translucent 
  3. Add a generous pinch of salt and then toss the onions into your blender
  4. Add the garlic, herbs, a little more salt, and the rest of the oil into said blender and blendddddd 
  5. Pour mixture back into the pan and simmer for a minute while you prepare rice  
  6. Rinse the rice and add it to the simmering onion mixture and while you're at it add another healthy pinch of salt
  7. Add the appropriate amount of water per the instructions on your bag of rice 
  8. Cook based on time per directions on said bag
  9. Remove from heat and let it sit for 10 minutes before taking off the lid
  10. Fluff with a fork, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve