Chicken Soup

I’m not really fond of chicken soup, but the addition of white wine in this recipe intrigued me. The ingredients are a perfect combination of vegetables, chicken, flavorings, liquids and cream. This soup can also be served with dumplings surprisingly created by the combination of flour and cold ready-made broth. If you want a smooth soup base, then heat the broth and add it hot to the flour mixture using a whip.

Chicken Soup
adapted from the magazine Cuisine At Home

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onions
3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1/4 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup dry white wine
5-6 cups chicken broth
3 pieces chicken thighs (to make about 1 1/2 cooked shredded chicken)
1/2 cup frozen peas
8 pieces button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup baby carrots
2 tablespoons heavy cream
chopped parsely

Cover the chicken with water and boil for 15 minutes. Cool. Shred, don’t worry if it’s a little raw at the core, it will cook in the soup. Reserve the broth. I used 1 liter of ready-made chicken broth and added some of the broth from cooking my chicken to the soup.

In a Dutch oven sweat the onion, garlic, celery and herbs in olive oil, butter and about 1 teaspoon salt over medium heat for 5-8 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute.

Add the wine and stir to combine. Add some of the warm broth reserved from cooking the chicken and stir to combine. Add all of the ready-made broth and simmer for 15 minutes or until thickened. Season to taste. The bits of dough formed from adding the broth to the flour makes delicious mini dumplings.

Add chicken, carrots, peas and mushrooms. Finish with cream and parsley. Serves 4-6.

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Red Snapper in Saffron Sauce

This is my go to fish dish for small dinner parties or intimate special occasions.

Red Snapper in Saffron Sauce

1 kilo red snapper (maya-maya) or grouper (lapu-lapu) fillets
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups dry white wine
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp dried thyme leaves or 2 sprigs fresh
2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
20 black peppercorns
2 tbsp butter
40 saffron threads, steeped in half cup hot water for 10 minutes
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup cream, mixed with 1 tsp cornstarch

Gently rinse fillet under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle fillets with salt and set aside.

In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, combine the next 7 ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Put the fish in the pan, lower the heat and poach, covered, for about 6 minutes or until fish is opaque and firm to the touch. Carefully transfer fish to a warm serving dish and cover with foil to keep warm.

Incease the heat under the skillet and reduce poaching liquid to 1 cup, about 5 minutes. Strain into a small saucepan, including any liquid that has accumulated in the serving dish. Stir in saffron and mustard, simmer for 2 minutes. Whisk inthe cornstarch-cream mixture and cook until sauce has thickened slightly. Pour the sauce on the fillets and serve.

Deep Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake

Rich, dark and moist this cake was much appreciated by my two twin nephews, H, J and S. My cousin H could not wait for the cake to cool down and when I went back to the kitchen I found the cake had been hollowed out around the edges. He shamelessly blamed his two kids, but I knew better! My nephews, afterall, are only three feet high and couldn’t possibly reach over the counter. Next day I took some of the cake to brunch with the gals (the part that looked decent and untouched), after getting our dose of Pinoy food and shopping, we went to S’s place and had the cake with some red wine. I don’t know which is better, eating it warm a little after it’s come out of the oven or the next day when the flavors have had time to develop. Hard choice!

Deep Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake
adapted from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1 cup cocoa powder (pick a premiuim brand, I used Guittard)
2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream

  1. Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325˚F. Use a non-stick 10-inch bundt pan.
  2. Sift together the flours, cocoa, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Sift twice and set aside.
  3. Using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until very creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugar. Increase the speed to medium high and beat for about 4 minutes. At medium speed, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  4. Stir the vanilla into the sour cream. At low speed, add the dry ingredients tot he batter in three additions, alternating with the sour cream mixture in two additions and mixing just until blended. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  5. Bake cake for 65 to 75 minutes, until cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean (use a toothpick). Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
  6. Invert the cake onto a serving plate and cool completely.