An 80s trend with staying power, gazpacho’s quick, easy and comforting. In the positive column it’s versatile. It can be strained and served as a drink, paired with a salad for a meal, or served as a quick snack. On the negative side it’s associated with brunch.
Category Archives: Soups & Stews
Oyster mushrooms… beautiful, delicious, and possessing a hipster pretension that’s off the charts. When I saw them at the farmers market I had to have them.
But back to the pork. These mushrooms have a deep, round and light taste. Pork stew’s perfect for maximizing their goodness. The stew itself is simple and comforting, like a big hug, and the additional splash of acid from fresh lime gives it that extra push.
I grew up in New Mexico and now live in Washington, DC. How is this relevant? In New Mexico we know chile but in DC we know pork. And pork is the only thing that can go in a green chile stew. This dish itself is really easy. And, like most stews, it can be elevated to a new level by serving with a poached egg.
Every time I go to the farmers market I return home to find a little buyers’ remorse tucked in amongst those lovely special treats. This time it’s a leek. Smells great, looks impressive, and cooks up like a twine sock. It’s also mid-summer and I’m too lazy to do anything time consuming with the Hell Veggie.
Just the thing when you’re in need of a Norman Rockwell moment, tomato soup can be on the table in less than an hour. The basic ingredients are simple and can be used to make a straight up soup (you’ll want to seed and process the tomatoes to get that Campbells soup effect). The additional vegetables and spice aren’t much extra work and they bring out a pronounced set of distinct flavors.
As for the tomatoes, there’s little difference between store-bought and canned. If you want, you can substitute two 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes or tomato puree. The advantage of this is that you won’t have to deal with the peeling and mashing. I use fresh because it’s fun (I like to play with my food ).
I post a lot about cooking with boned chicken and fish. It’s great presentation and easier to eat (why else would markets sell filets and breasts?). It’s also the way cooking used to be done, because bones have all the goodness of marrow and texture of gelatin, and who wants the yummy firm stuff going to waste? So use the bones for stock.
Making stock requires a bit more organization in the kitchen. After a few times it becomes habit. And there’s no comparison between the tepid stuff you bring home from the market and a quart of fresh stock waiting in the back of the fridge. This is a basic recipe, so add whatever herbs you like, or a full bouquet garni if you want to get fancy.
There are two rules for any stew: cook aromatics first (in this case celery, carrot, onion & garlic) and use dry wine. And here’s a personal preference…. Use root vegetables for thickness instead of a roux or corn starch.
This is a basic recipe. The essentials are aromatic vegetables, stock and wine. The rest is up to your discretion. You’ll want to make more than you can eat immediately so that there’s something in the freezer for later.