Matzo Ball Soup

A good friend of mine, Rachel, taught me the trick to matzo ball soup– extra onion and dill.  A rich, heartwarming soup was amplified immensely.  Now I have my killer chicken stock, delicious matzo balls, and bright accented aromatics.

Matzo Ball Soup
(Serves 3-4)

1 (3 pound) whole chicken
3 bay leaves
2 cups diced onion
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup diced celery
1 head garlic, excess skin and top sliced off
1/2 cup packed fresh parsley (stems included)
1 package Streit’s Matzo Ball Mix
1 (32 ounce) carton chicken broth
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons minced dill
1/4 cup minced onion plus 3 tablespoons minced onion
1/2 cup peeled, sliced carrot (each slice about 1/4 inch thick)

In a large stock pot, add chicken and cover with water till water rises 2 inches above top of chicken.  Add in bay leaves, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and parsley. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 hour.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix Streit’s matzo ball mix as directed and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Strain stock into another large stock pot.  Discard onion, carrot, bay leaves, celery, garlic, and chicken carcass.  (save chicken meat for chicken salad sandwiches).  Then add extra chicken broth to homemade stock and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Once matzo ball mix has rested, add in 3 tablespoons dill and 3 tablespoons minced onion.  Mix well then divide into 8 portions and roll into balls.  Bring another stock pot of water to a boil.  Add in matzo balls and reduce to a simmer.  Cover and cook for 30 minutes (thanks Streit’s that was the perfect time).

To finish: bring chicken stock to a boil and add in remaining carrots and onion.  Cook till carrots are al dente then reduce to a simmer and add in remaining dill. (To test carrots, use a fork– just remember they will continue to cook so you want them just under where you like them).  Take a slotted spoon and add in matzo balls to chicken broth.  Serve warm with challah.  Enjoy!




Potato Leek Gruyere Soup

Potato Leek Gruyere Soup

(Makes 2 quarts)

This is a delicious soup that is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or any lunch/dinner where you are craving creamy rich soup with intense flavor.  It is a glorious mix of green leeks and full of potatoes, glorifying the Irish and ones belly, simultaneously. Chicken stock provides much of the creaminess in this soup, keeping the calories moderate and the taste divine.

6 tablespoons butter, divided

3 leeks (thoroughly washed and sliced)

salt and freshly ground pepper

2 cartons chicken stock (32 fl ounces each)

4 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

8 medium sized golden potatoes, peeled and diced

1/2 pound gruyere cheese, finely grated

4 tablespoons half and half

2 teaspoons grated horseradish

2 teaspoons Tabasco

In a large stock pot, add3 tablespoons butter and leeks and cook 4-6 minutes at medium-high heat.  Stir frequently and season with salt and pepper.  Add chicken stock, thyme, and potatoes and cook 30-40 minutes until potatoes are tender when tested with a fork.  Once potatoes are fully cooked, add gruyere and stir until melted.  Remove pan from heat.  Next, using an immersion blender or working in batches with an upright blender–puree the soup until it reaches a smooth consistency.

Return soup to pot and return to medium heat.  Finish with remaining butter, half and half, horseradish, and Tabasco.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve warm with a thick crust of sourdough bread.  Enjoy, potato leek gruyere soup!

Blond Chicken Chili


Blond Chicken Chili

(Published in Chile Pepper Magazine)

Yield: 8-10 servings * Zest Factor: Mild

For a blonde chili here’s the way to go. Seared chicken and green chiles flavor this dish making it bold, beautiful, and certainly fun (more fun-well, it’s a classic debate…let’s just say this chili is a good time gal)

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 chicken breasts (1 pound), cubed
2 tablespoons plus a dash of cumin, divided
dash of smoked paprika
dash of oregano
dash of garlic powder
dash of chili powder
dash of cayenne powder
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup tomatillo salsa (a green salsa with tomatillos included)
1 ¼ cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles
1 green bell pepper, small-dice
2 large jalapeños, minced (seeded and deveined)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon cornmeal
2 (15.5 ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained
½ cup minced cilantro

Serving suggestion:
Serve in a baked potatoes with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, pickled jalapeño slices and minced cilantro. Or in a bread bowl of your favorite spicy bun such as chipotle brioche.

In a large stock pot over medium-high heat, add olive oil and cubed chicken. Season with a dash of cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne powder, salt and pepper. Cook about 6 to 8 minutes until nicely browned. Remove chicken and save for later use.

Add minced onions and garlic cloves and sauté stirring frequently for 6 to 8 minutes being careful not to scorch the garlic. Add your tomatillo salsa, chicken broth, bay leaf, remaining cumin, and green chiles and simmer mixture for 10 minutes. Add your green pepper, minced jalapeño, tomato paste and cornmeal and simmer an additional 30
minutes. After 30 minutes add your chicken and cannellini beans. Simmer another 10 minutes and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add minced cilantro and serve chicken chili in large baked potatoes/bread bowl with grated cheddar, sour cream, jalapeño slices, and minced cilantro.