Un-matzo Ball Soup

Having been a resident of LA’s Westside for a good portion of my life, you could say I was influenced by a healthy dose of Jewish culture. No, really, it was awesome because you could totally walk down the street and think “Hmmm, gefilte or sushi for lunch today?” And stop at places that did BOTH. So I was totally excited when cim invited us to her Hanukkah dinner my first year living in Finland. She was all, “You can make something!” and I was like, “Sweet! I’m gonna make matzo balls!” Because I had (still do, actually) a serious …

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Pike Cioppino and Lilies of the Valley

Nothing too in-depth today, just wanted to share a couple of photos. Yesterday was a pretty good day. We had the boy’s family over for dinner and I made my favorite cioppino with whatever seafood I could scrounge from the supermarket. Which ended up being a pound of frozen mussels (smaller than the kiwis I’m used to but still tasty), a pound of frozen shrimp (the wee kind, sadly, which shrunk even further in the stew), and a pound of fresh northern pike. It’s a great fish for stews of this kind, with mild white meat, though it is a …

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Chunky Chicken Noodle Soup

The boy’s mom caught a summer cold (ugh, aren’t they the worst?) this past week, so it was time to bust out the chicken noodle soup. I went and searched this blog, certain that I’d written it down already for easy access, only to discover that it wasn’t here! Very much an oversight, since it’s a recipe that I want to keep at my fingertips and also have available for friends (I’m looking at you, Keva) who might be in need of the non-canned variety. So yes, this is the chicken noodle that I usually make when somebody is ailing. …

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Argentinian Red Shrimp Bisque

One of the classic ways to use shellfish stock is in a nice, hearty bisque. The subject of which is usually lobster, crab, or any of the “fancier” shellfish. Which is a shame, because shrimp come in many, many forms and some of them are just as tasty as lobster. For example, we are quite smitten with the Argentinian Red Shrimp that Trader Joe’s sees fit to stock in their flash frozen section every once in a while. They’re plump, sweet, and more on the langostine/lobstery side of things than a shrimp should be. Plus, they’re much easier on the …

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Basic Shellfish Stock

You might have noticed that I go through a lot of shellfish in my day-to-day preparations. In quite a few of the previous posts, I’ve also mentioned that you want to save the shells and/or carcass remnants of consumed critters for stock. I suppose now would be as good a time as any to show how I usually make that stock. Shellfish stock is awesome. It’s great as a soup and sauce base, it adds flavor to rice and pasta, and can be used in place of water to give anything you’re cooking a quick boost. I always have a …

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Chicken and Dumplingless Stew

I discovered a nice little backlog of half-finished posts while setting up the computer, so am going to put them up now in lieu of newer stuff. Mostly because my current kitchen still has gaping equipment holes and won’t be suitable for making anything more than small portions of store-bought pasta for another week or so. And because it makes me kinda happy to see my old beat-up stuff in these photos, most of which didn’t make the journey over with us. Chicken and dumplingless stew. Because sometimes, you’re not in the mood for chewy lumps of dough in your …

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Southern California Cioppino

The very first time I encountered cioppino was at a high-end restaurant — the sort of place that was located on the top floor of a very tall building and frequented by people in evening wear headed to the opera — and it had soaring menu prices to match. Despite the dent left in my pocketbook, it became an instant addiction. I have since ordered it at several different restaurants with varying levels of affordability and quality, but it has never disappointed my seafood cravings. Like most people in recent times, however, we’ve started cutting back on eating out in …

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