How to Make a 10 Minute Dashi Broth

 

dashi_bowlWhat is Dashi? Dashi is a very simple broth that is  one of the cornerstones of Japanese cooking. It is made with kombu (dried kelp), and bonito fish flakes. The results produce an amazing flavorful clear broth. One that has the taste and smell of a fresh salty ocean. Dashi is so flavorful it activates the Umami taste receptors of our tongues and because of that Dashi and will enhance any  of your dishes without taking center stage in flavor. Great flavor enhancer for picky eaters.

Dashi is definitely a professional chef’s secret weapon in the kitchen. 

 

Ingredients:

4 cups filtered water

2-3 inch piece of kombu

1/2- 3/4 cup loosely packed dried bonito flakes

Special Equipment:

Mesh strainer

Cheesecloth

 

Method:

In a small 1 quart saucepan, over medium heat combine 3 cups of the water and kombu. Bring to a boil. Remove the kombu from the water just before it comes to a full boil. Do not allow the kombu to boil. ( Your broth will result in a bitter flavor and also become cloudy if kombu is allowed to boil )

Once the kombu is removed, add the bonito flakes and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for an additional 1 minute. Remove the pan from heat, and allow the bonito flakes to steep in the pan for an additional 5 minutes, or overnight for a deep rich flavorful broth.

Strain the bonito flakes into a cheese cloth lined, mesh strainer. Add the additional 1 cup of filtered water. Use, or store in an air tight jar in the fridge up to a week.

Use as you would broth or stock to enhance all your soups and stews. Freeze in ice cube trays to use for an immediate pan sauce.

Freeze up to 1 month. Makes approximately 4 cups.

 

PHOTO CREDIT : The Humble Bean 

 

30 Minute Creamy Homemade Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons!


You’ll Need:


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large yellow onion, sliced

1 large carrot, peeled and chopped in 1/2 inch pieces 

1-2 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves

1/2 cup fresh flat leaf Italian parsley leaves 

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 (28 oz ) cans good quality peeled and chopped organic tomatoes

2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock) 

1/2 cup heavy cream, plain Greek yogurt or your favorite nut milk

10-12 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped 

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper 

Grilled cheese cut into croutons 

For the grilled cheese

8 slices of your favorite bread, crusts removed 

8-12 Tablespoons softened butter 

8 slices of sharp Tillimock cheddar cheese for grilled cheese 

Here’s How
:
In a heavy bottomed 6-8 quart stockpot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. 

Add the onions and carrots. Sauté for 3-5 minutes until onions are beginning to turn golden brown and caramelized. 

Add the garlic, oregano and fresh chopped parsley and cook an additional 1 -2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes with their juice and the chicken stock. Bring to a low simmer. Cook uncovered, for 12 -15 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add fresh basil to last minute of cook time. 

While soup is cooking make grilled cheese sammies. Cut into croutons, set aside. 

Using an immersion blender or carefully transfer soup to a blender to puree soup. 

Return to heat add cream. Re-adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Do it boil after adding cream. 

Serve piping hot garnished with grilled cheese croutons. 

Ooh La Lah! Quickie French Onion Soup!

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If you are anything like me – you’re always short on time, but big on flavor. Well, then…this recipe is perfect for you! One of my families favs. They think I’ve been cooking up a storm all day. Shhhhh!  I get this soup made in about 30- 40 minutes- enjoy! 

Ingredients: 

1/2 c unsalted butter

2 T olive oil

4 large onions, sliced thin

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 bay leaves

2 fresh thyme sprigs

Salt & black pepper

1 cup good quality red wine, about 1/2 bottle ( optional )

4 T. flour

2 quarts beef broth

1 sweet baguette, sliced in 1 inch diagonal slices

1/2 pound grated Gruyere ( or your favorite swiss )

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine for garnish ( optional )

Method:

In a 8-10 quart stock pot over medium heat, melt the butter and oil. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are deep brown and caramelized. 10-15 minutes.

Add the wine, bring to a boil- reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Remove the herbs, discard.

Dust the onions with the flour, stir. Reduce heat to medium low so the flour doesn’t burn, and cook the flour about 5 mins. Add the beef broth slowly while staring to avoid and lumping. Return the soup back to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Toast sliced baguettes in toaster or under the broiler in the oven until nicely brown.(remember to toast both sides of bread if using the oven ) Rub each piece of toasted baguette with additional fresh cut piece of garlic ( optional, for additional flavor ). Set aside.

When ready to serve, pre heat the oven to broil.  Place the soup bowls into a high sided roasting pan and ladle the onion soup into bowls. Top each bowl with 2 slices of the toasted bread, and top with a handful of grated Gruyere cheese. Sprinkle fresh parsley on top of the cheese. ( optional ) Place in the oven to toast the bread and melt the cheese.

 

Time saving note: Sliced and toasted Baguettes can be made ahead during the day and set aside until meal time. It is ok if they begin to stale, they will reconstitute in the soup.

 

Turkey Pho Gà! A play on a classic. Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup.


The morning after. Feeling abundant due to the over indulgence of the holiday and looking for something different to do with your leftover Turkey? Make something light and delicious– a spin on the classic Vietnamese chicken noodle soup! 

The trick to delicious Pho gà is to add a little of each garnish as you eat your way through the bowl, not to dump them in all at once. You will want the herbs to maintain their fragrance, and the bean sprouts to stay crunchy in the soup — good Pho gà is all about aroma and texture. If you add too much – too soon, you’ll end up with wilted, over cooked herbs and limp soft sprouts– which will totally defeat the whole purpose behind the classic dish. 

The other trick to this dish is really good quality stock! Don’t skimp. People painstakingly skim the stock while cooking the chicken for Pho Ga –just to gain a clean clear broth. 

In Hanoi, you’ll find everyone enjoying delicious Pho – anytime of day. Breakfast, lunch or dinner! Pho to Vietnamese is the equivalent of Bugers to Americans– But better!

Ingredients:

1 pound cooked turkey, about 4 cups, shredded

6 whole scallions

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeked and crushed

1 tablespoon kosher salt

3 quarts good quality chicken stock

Fish sauce, for seasoning

1 (16-ounce) package dried rice vermicelli, cooked according to manufactures directions

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

1 bunch cilantro, chopped 

Garnishes 

1 bunch Thai basil sprigs
4 cups Mung bean sprouts

4 Limes, cut into wedges

4 Jalapeño chiles, stemmed and thinly sliced into rings

Method:

In a large heavy bottomed stock pot on high heat combine the scallions ginger, stock, and fish sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for about 35 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add additional fish sauce to season. Add turkey, turn off heat and set aside. (Do not serve the cooked scallions and ginger from this pot)

Prepare the soups garnish and arrange the basil, mung sprouts, lime wedges, and jalapeño slices on a serving platter.

Divide the prepared rice noodles evenly among warmed soup bowls. Top each bowl with about 1/2-3/4 cup of the shredded turkey, then divide the chopped scallions and chopped cilantro evenly among the bowls. 

Ladle the hot stock over the top, dividing it evenly. Serve immediately, accompanied with the platter of garnishes.

French Onion Soup, from an Italian Nona’s Kitchen! 

Ingredients

4-6 Tablespoons unsalted cold butter, divided

12 yellow onions. Peeled and sliced in 1/4 inch rings

1 Tablespoons good quality olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 -1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

6-8 cups the best quality, low-sodium beef broth

1 large bay leave

4 sprigs of fresh thyme

4 sprigs of fresh flat leaf parsley, bundled  

1 large fresh baked loaf of French bread

4 garlic cloves- cleaned. 2 minced very fine / 2 cut in half-lengthwise

4-6 teaspoons good quality Sherry

4-6 ounces Gruyère cheese

Method

In a large Dutch oven, or 6-8 quart stock pot-melt 4 Tablespoons of the butter over medium heat with the olive oil. Add the onions. 

Sauté onions until they are soften stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. 

Add the salt, black pepper and finely minced garlic. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally-until onions are turning a deep brown and beginning to caramelize. ( Reduce heat slightly if onions seem to be browning too quickly – onions contain a large amount of sugar– and sugar can quickly burn over high heat.)

 Cook an additional 20 minutes until all onions are a deep rich chocolate brown. 

Add one cup of stock to the pot and quickly deglaze the bottom of the pan by stirring and scraping, making sure to release all the delicious flavors that are stuck on the bottom. Add the remaining beef stock. 

Tie the thyme, bay leave and fresh parsley into a bundle with twine. Add the herb bundle to the pot. 

Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer. Cook uncovered, until broth is reduced, thickened and flavorful- about 20 minutes. 

Remove from heat and whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons cold butter. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Heat the broiler. Cut a 1/2-inch slice of French bread for every serving of soup.

Place bread slices on a rimmed and lined baking sheet- toast bread slices in the oven until crisp, but not too brown. About 1 -2 minutes per side.

Remove from the oven and generously rub one side of each piece of toasted bread with a fresh raw cut garlic clove. Set aside.

Place oven safe bowls, or large soufflé ramekins on the rimmed baking sheet, add 1/2 teaspoon of sherry to the bottom of each, and ladle soup on top. Top each serving of soup with garlic-rubbed toast. Divide cheese among the bowls, covering the bread and some of the soup.

Carefully transfer baking sheet to oven and broil until cheese is melted and bubbling, 5 to 8 minutes. 

Serve hot.