Friday, January 8, 2010

Italian Wedding Soup.....Soup of the Year!

This week has been a rough week in our house for having the ickies.  Jon, Bailey, and I all have been ill with one thing or another but I'd have to give Jon the gold medal with being the sickest.  Well, the one thing that would make him feel better is the Italian Wedding Soup that he would get in the cafeteria at the stadium.  Now, I've never heard of this soup so when he asked me to find a recipe for it I was skeptical b/c I've never eaten it so how would I know what a good recipe would be.  Off to the Food Network I go and found a recipe by Giada de Laurentiis.  It had to be good, right.  I mean, it's Giada for goodness sake!

This soup was amazing!  I'm serious.  This has made the top of my list for favorite soups.  Goes to show that you have to go outside the box and try something you would never consider making before.  There's two things I would do different but that's b/c I'm trying to replicate the stadium's soup.  Next time I will cut the endive smaller and make smaller meatballs.  This time around I did add 1 cup of orzo pasta which she didn't call for but it's something that Jon really liked so I have to please the hubby! :-) 

So let's see....I'm from LA so I have the gumbo down pat, lived in TX so got my Mexican soups down pat, and now that I'm up in Boston I've got my Italian soup down pat.  Can't wait to eat supper tonight!!!

Oh and CLICK HERE to watch the video of her making it.  It actually came in hand to be able to watch her do certain steps like adding the egg at the end.  Enjoy!!!

1 small onion, grated
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 large egg
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 slice fresh white bread, crust trimmed, bread torn into small pieces
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
8 ounces ground beef *
8 ounces ground pork *
Freshly ground black pepper

12 cups low-sodium chicken broth (equals to the 3 large containers of broth.)
1 pound curly endive, coarsely chopped (1 pound of escarole would be a good substitution) **
2 large eggs
2 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the meatballs: Stir the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the cheese, beef and pork. Using 1 1/2 teaspoons for each, shape the meat mixture into 1-inch-diameter meatballs. Place on a baking sheet.

To make the soup: Bring the broth to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and curly endive and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through and the curly endive is tender, about 8 minutes. Whisk the eggs and cheese in a medium bowl to blend. Stir the soup in a circular motion. Gradually drizzle the egg mixture into the moving broth, stirring gently with a fork to form thin stands of egg, about 1 minute. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve. Finish soup with parmesan cheese if desired.

*Instead of buying two different meats, I found a "meatloaf mixture" in the meat department.  It was a pound of beef, pork, and veal.  Made it easier.
**I used escarole or also called chickory.  I just wanted to make a side note that if you are like me and never cooked with this before make sure you wash it good.  I happened to read it on another website so I paid close attention to it when I got home.  It is really dirty and the sand gets caught in the leaves.  Even with the produce department cleaning it for me it was still sandy.

Granny's Chili, Chicken Spaghetti.....What Could Be Better!

One of my BFF's from high school, Blair, gave me some fabulous recipes that are favorites in her house. 

Lets start with Granny's Chili.  This is her husband's grandmother's seriously couldn't get easier.  There are very few ingredients in this chili and you just throw it together and let it simmer on the stove for an hour or more.  I seriously kept looking at the recipe thinking, "There isn't much to this but if Blair says it's good it must be good."  Sure's wonderful!!!

2 lbs ground meat (I used turkey)
1 lg. onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper chopped
1 can tomatoes (Rotel if you like some spice)
1 can tomato paste
1 can beef broth (I used chicken broth since I used ground turkey.)
3 T chili powder
2 T oregano
1 T cumin
1 T salt
2 cans pinto beans

Brown meet. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic, saute and drain off fat. Add all other ingredients and simmer 1 hour. (Of course, the longer you simmer, the better it tastes, but in a pinch, 1 hour works great)

Now onto the chicken spaghetti.  This was really, really good.  She told me about this spaghetti she had at her supper club but said she can't seem to duplicate it and that something was missing.  On the other hand, her friend Anne has also remade the same recipe and still really liked it.  I think we figured out that it's b/c of the types of tomatoes and sauce that we used.  You see, it calls for the big can of crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce.  Both of us used the generic cans, whereas Anne bought the name brand, and you know how some things you just can't buy the "off brand"....well, this is that case.  When I opened my can of crushed tomatoes, it was sauce.  Seriously, nothing crushed about it.  The next day it was even better.  Jon actually added a little Italian seasoning to it and shredded the chicken (he's the king of adding ingredients to things that aren't supposed to be there and it drives me insane!) and it was even yummier.

Chicken Marinera
saute together:

1 cup olive oil (you can only use 1/2 cup and it'll be fine)
2 cloves minced garlic
2 cups diced onions
1/2 cup chopped parsley (fresh)
1/4 cup sweet basil (fresh)
2 tbs oregano (dried)

1 lb 12 oz can whole tomatoes, crushed
1 lb 12 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup tomato paste
bag of raw chicken strips (I used 8 chicken breasts cut into strips. Next time I'll probably shred too.)
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup sugar

Simmer for 1 or more hours.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Not So Sure About This One

Back when I was pretty faithful to my Mommy....Football Widow blog, I posted a Lobster Dip recipe that someone gave me at a 4th of July party.  At the party it was amazing!  I'm friend Monica and I would not get up from our seats because we didn't want to leave the dip.  So of course I asked for the recipe before I left.  Now that was 2008.....

Fast forward to NYE 2009.....My neighbors were coming over so I decided to make the dip.  I was so excited about it and bragged on it all day.  Once they arrived I took it out of the oven and we all dug in.  My first bite I thought to myself....Self, this doesn't taste as I remember.  So I took another bite and sure enough it wasn't too tasty.  In the meantime I see Chris, my neighbor, taking a bite and slowly eating it.  I started cracking up laughing b/c I knew what she was thinking.  We both came into agreement that the dip wasn't too good.

I'm thinking that the "1 cup of mayo" isn't correct.  That's my guessing b/c it tasted a little too creamy.  So, until I talk to my friend to get the correct recipe.....DON'T MAKE IT!!!!!  If you already had, you have my apologizes. LOL