kindkit: Two cups of green tea. (Fandomless: Green tea)
[personal profile] kindkit
I spent a lot of my weekend (i.e. Wednesday and Thursday) cooking. I roasted a chicken on Wednesday and made chicken stock from the backbone--which I had cut out to roast the chicken flat--the giblets, and a bunch of accumulated chicken bones in the freezer, all simmered in a mixture of water and some commercial chicken broth. If I'd had meaty pieces of chicken I'd have left the commercial broth out, but with just bones I didn't think there'd be enough flavor otherwise.

Some of the chicken stock is in my freezer; I used the rest on Thursday to make a minestrone-ish soup. Here's what I did :

1 white onion, chopped smallish
1 rib celery, chopped smallish
1 carrot, chopped smallish
Olive oil
3 medium zucchinis/courgettes, cut into bite-size chunks
5 cloves garlic, chopped
Chicken stock
1 14 ounce/400 gram can diced tomatoes
A small sprig of rosemary in a teabag to keep the leaves from escaping into the soup
Half a small head of savoy cabbage, sliced into strips
2 medium red-skinned potatoes, cut into small dice
7 ounces or so of frozen fava beans
A few tablespoons of dried orzo pasta
A couple of handfuls of spinach

Cook the onion, celery and carrot in the oil until they're getting tender and the onion is translucent. Add the zucchini and cook until the zucchini starts to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so.

Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, and a little water if necessary. Add the rosemary, cabbage, and potato, bring almost to a boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer, and cook until the potato and cabbage are nearly tender. Taste occasionally and remove the rosemary if that flavor starts to get too strong. Add the orzo and fava beans and cook until the pasta's soft enough. Add the spinach leaves and cook just until the spinach is wilted. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with some parmesan or other Italian cheese grated over the top and a drizzle of oil.

This made a perfectly acceptable soup but it felt just a tiny bit bland. I think I was let down by my chicken stock, which wasn't strong to begin with and then got watered down by all the vegetables. Still, there's something lovely about all those veggies in a bowl, and yesterday was the sort of nice chilly autumn day when you want soup.



Also yesterday, I baked a flourless chocolate orange cake using Nigella Lawson's recipe. It's basically her clementine cake with some cocoa added. I also added a couple of ounces of melted dark chocolate, because cocoa is not chocolate and I wanted the cake to be chocolate. And since I don't have an 8 inch springform pan I used a 10 inch one and baked it for about 10 minutes less time. The result is very nice, chocolatey without being overwhelming and orangey without the bitter edge of the plain clementine cake. It does have that slightly crumbly/grainy texture of cakes made with almond meal and no flour; for me this is a feature not a bug, but not everyone agrees. (The linked recipe gives quantities in grams: US equivalents are 2 cups almond meal, 1 1/4 cups sugar, and 1/2 cup cocoa.) Oh, and don't do what I did and ignore the bit about lining the bottom of the pan (with baking parchment or silpat): the cake will indeed stick to a buttered nonstick springform pan.

on 2014-10-04 12:42 am (UTC)
executrix: (tassedegus)
Posted by [personal profile] executrix
I wonder if roasting the garlic would give a deeper flavor? And maybe some bay leaf? In my Omni days, that was a favorite for chicken soup.

It's a bit wasteful, but I for one would get some 8" aluminum foil pans at the 99 cent store and then just snip away at the top of the pan and peel off the strips.

on 2014-10-04 01:10 am (UTC)
executrix: (cakewedge)
Posted by [personal profile] executrix
I've gotten some terrific second-hand cookware (although perhaps I've had better luck at yard sales than in stores), but the springform pan is a peculiarly problematic item. I know Smitten Kitchen posts and comments usually say that *whatever* springform they have and whatever they do, the blasted thing still leaks.

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