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Cheesy chicken enchilada soup




Cheesy chicken enchilada soup

Courtesy of Steve Yurish, Moulton’s Market
(Yurish normally makes 5-gallon batches, but this recipe has been diminuted to accommodate household use. This recipe makes about a gallon, and it freezes well.)
 
3-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons of garlic, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oregano
2 teaspoon sugar
12 ounces chicken, chopped (light and dark meat)
2 cans (15 ounces) tomato sauce
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cups kernel corn
2 cans black beans
2 cups cooked rice
4 ounces minced jalapeno (use a food processor)
8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup sour cream
2 quarts water
3 tablespoons cornstarch or flour
Fresh cilantro for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
 
Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium high heat until hot. Add onion, garlic, bell pepper. Cook two minutes until onion and pepper have softened. Add chili powder, coriander, cumin, salt, sugar and oregano. Stir constantly while cooking 1 to 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of water (reserving the remainder) and tomato sauce. Simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add chicken, corn, rice, black beans, jalapeno, diced tomatoes and remainder of water. Return to simmer. Cook 20 minutes. In small bowl, whisk cornstarch with enough cold water (a few tablespoons) to dissolve. Add liquid to simmering pot and continue to cook several minutes until soup thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in cheddar cheese until melted. Add sour cream and top with fresh chopped cilantro. 
Soup photo by Kelly Sennott.
 
Chinese dumpling soup
4 cups chicken broth
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 teaspoon sesame oil
4 slices of ginger
chopped cilantro
Pork dumplings (see recipe below)
 
Boil the chicken broth and add the ginger, sesame oil, salt and pepper. When ready to serve, throw away the ginger slices from the broth, pour into bowl and add the dumplings and chopped cilantro. Makes about four servings; add broth, oil, ginger and cilantro to accommodate how much soup you want to make. 
 
Pork dumplings
Dough
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cup cold water
 
Filling
1 pound ground pork
2 pounds cabbage
1 tablespoon minced ginger
Bunch of green onions
4 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons cooking wine
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons cooking oil
 
Dipping sauce
1 teaspoon minced red chili peppers
1 teaspoon minced ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoons of rice vinegar
 
Knead dough until smooth and divide into 60 equal-sized portions. Set aside. Cook cabbage by boiling until tender (add one tablespoon of salt); when finished, mince and squeeze out excess moisture. Mix cabbage with ground pork, green onions, soy sauce, salt, pepper, sesame oil, cooking oil, wine and ginger until well-combined. Roll out each piece of dough until thin; wrap one teaspoon of filling in each. Pinch to seal.
Bring pot of water to boil. Drop in pork dumplings and wait until water comes to a boil. Add ½ cup of cold water and wait until water comes to a second boil. Repeat the process of adding cold water after the water comes to a boil the third time. Remove dumplings after they’ve expanded. Serve in soup or with dipping sauce.
 
Butternut apple soup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 diced yellow onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Dash ground ginger
1 medium butternut squash
1 cup vegetable stock
2 chopped apples of choice
 
Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add two diced yellow onions. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of minced garlic with ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon and nutmeg and a dash of ground ginger. Stir and cook for a minute. Chop up one medium butternut squash and add that to the pot; stir. Add one cup vegetable stock. Once hot, add two chopped apples of choice. Add vegetable stock and allow to simmer until squash is tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool for several minutes. Puree in blender until smooth. Can be served hot or cold. 
 
Bridge beef and barley
(Note: This recipe makes much more than what you’d need to make at home; before making, do some math to adjust accordingly.)
 
1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
2 pounds beef loin
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups chopped Spanish onions
4 tablespoons roasted garlic
2 cups diced leeks
2 cups diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
10 roasted tomatoes
10 cups beef broth
1 cup pearled barley
16 ounces cooking red wine
 
In a large pot, sear salt- and pepper-seasoned loin until brown with cornstarch. Remove the loin. In the same pot, add chopped Spanish onions, leeks and roasted garlic. Cook for 5 minutes while adding 16 ounces of cooking red wine. Add roasted tomatoes, mustard, rosemary and remaining vegetables and beef broth and cook for a half hour. Add the meat and barley and cook for 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
 
Clam chowder
3 ounces salt pork, sliced thin
2 strips applewood-smoked bacon
3 ounces whole butter
1 medium onion, diced ¼-inch 
1 cup flour
3 red-skin potatoes (baseball size) cut to ½-inch cubes
1 51-ounce can chopped clams (strain to reserve juice)
64 ounces clam juice
16 ounces light cream
Splash heavy cream
Salt and black pepper to taste
 
Garnish (optional):
6-8 Little Neck clams steamed and opened
Finely chopped tomato, green pepper and parsley
Shredded Gruyere or cheddar cheese
In heavy-bottom 24- to 32-cup stock pot, slowly render (cook the fat from) salt pork and bacon. Remove bacon when crisp, chop and reserve. Leave rendered salt pork in pot, add butter and melt together. Add onions and potatoes and sweat them over low heat with cover on pot until onions are transparent and potatoes cooked. Add flour while stirring. Cook for 5 minutes while stirring occasionally on low heat. Add 64 ounces of clam juice plus reserved juice from strained canned clams. Cook over medium heat until potatoes are soft, then add clams. Cook 5 to 10 more minutes on low heat. Add light cream and splash of heavy cream. (Sullivan recommends adding in half, then tasting before adding more.) Warm to 140 degrees and add shake of black pepper and adjust flavor with salt. Top with garnish, if desired.




Souped up
Stews, chowders and soups for the soul

01/29/15
By Kelly Sennott ksennott@hippopress.com



Whether you’re sick, cold or just tired of consuming all your veggies with salad dressing, go for soup.

Not only does it seemingly have magical healing properties — maybe because of ingredients like chicken stock, ginger, sesame oil and fresh veggies, or perhaps because it’s about 90 percent liquid — but it’s also extremely comforting.
“I think people gravitate toward soup in the winter for the same reason they gravitate toward hot chocolate,” said Ashley Belbin, a former chef at the Soup Gallery who currently works at Meals on Wheels in Concord. “The instant you put it in your mouth, there’s a warming sensation.”
So, in honor of illness recovery and seeking comfort in the middle of winter, we asked five local chefs to provide soup recipes. The chefs are a mixed batch; some grew up in traditional New England kitchens, others in Taiwanese and Guatemalan homes. Their recipes are derived from their passions, tastes and upbringings.
They also provided a few tips for beginner chefs on how to work the given recipes, and also how to tinker with them to bring out the spiciest, brightest, most savory flavors.
 
Sinus clearer-upper
What: Cheesy chicken enchilada soup
Who: Steve Yurish, Moulton’s Market, Amherst
Chef tip: It might taste better the second day.
 
Steve Yurish, co-owner of Moulton’s Market with his wife, Diane, began making cheesy chicken enchilada soup to complement an enchilada dish already popular with customers. He tweaked the ingredients, added more crushed tomatoes, chicken stock and spices and made it a regular at the market’s 10-soup “bar.”
“What you’re looking for in a good soup, basically, is fresh ingredients,” he said during a morning interview at the Amherst location. Yurish had two gigantic pots on the back kitchen’s stove. One was a butternut bisque, the other a cheesy chicken enchilada, which is like a more liquidy chili, except with chicken and rice instead of beef, and is just spicy enough to clear your sinuses.
Yurish said he’s been noticing a move toward lighter, healthier soups. They’re going for gluten-free, vegetarian and broth-based over cream-based fare. They’re also going for fewer preservatives and more fresh produce. (The base in the recipe he provided is water, but in his own kitchen, he sometimes adds a bouillon cube for saltiness.)
The soup is extremely colorful, with ingredients like peppers, beans, tomato sauce, chicken, rice, cheese and corn, and it’s got a bite, thanks to the jalapeno.
Yurish said it’s pretty adaptable. It can be served plain or with cilantro, sour cream and tortilla chips. He encourages potential soup-makers to follow the recipe the first time it’s made but to adapt it to their tastes as they see fit. In fact, if it’s not chicken you’re hankering for, he suggests replacing it with ground or shredded beef, or nothing at all. 
“I don’t think people should be afraid to tweak it to get the flavor they like, whether that be more cheese than I called for or more cilantro and less jalapeno,” he said. “If they wanted to, they could add a bit of tomato paste because they want more richness. … It’s kind of fool-proof.”
Its tomato base means it might also taste better the next day.
“Things like chili we usually try to make in advance. If you’ve ever eaten spaghetti with sauce on it the next day, there’s just something about tomato product that needs to season for a day before it comes to full flavor,” he said. 
 
Stomach-settler
What: Chinese dumpling soup
Who: Sandy Schafer, In a Pinch, Concord
Tip: Add the dumplings and cilantro just before served
 
When Sandy Schafer’s kids are sick, they can be seen slurping their mother’s homemade soup. 
Her daughter, Concord High senior LeighAnn Schafer, in fact, often walks from school to the cafe her parents own and scoops some up during senior privilege time. 
The day of this interview, Schafer made a Chinese dumpling soup, similar to that her mother and grandmother made while she was growing up in Taiwan. There are multiple reasons why people gravitate toward soup when they’re not feeling well, Schafer said, many of which are in this recipe.
One: it’s easy to absorb and digest. The Chinese dumpling dish also has ginger, which has universally been known to settle upset stomachs, and sesame oil, which in Asian fare is known as the “Queen of Oils” in health benefits.
“Not only do these two ingredients add great flavor, but they also have many added health benefits,” Schafer said. “Ginger is a commonly used ingredient in Asian cuisine. It reduces inflammation, fights against certain bacteria and promotes better overall circulation. Sesame oil helps reduce blood pressure and promotes heart health.”
But what the viewer and taster will notice most is the nature of the dumplings. They’re more like large, light raviolis filled with meat. Schafer adds the dumplings and cilantro just before serving the soup, which ensures freshness. (Also, said Schafer, the dumplings would fall apart if they were to sit in the soup for too long. For this reason, whenever Schafer makes the soup, she also serves dumplings on the side as an option.)
It’s quite different from American-style dumpling soup. This version, though maybe meatier, is lighter and healthier.
“Everything is different about it, from the filling to the dough that’s used,” said Sarah Chadwick, the In a Pinch kitchen manager. “I think a lot more work goes into the Chinese dumpling soup. Everything needs to be chopped, and everything needs to be fresh. … The dumplings are all made by hand. And I think the texture, the taste, everything is completely different on the dough. The Chinese dumpling dough is thinner.”
 
Sweet and vegan
What: Butternut apple soup
Who: Ashley Belbin of Soup Gallery, Meals on Wheels, Concord
Tip: The soup can be served hot or cold and lasts one week refrigerated.
 
Ashley Belbin made countless soup recipes during her time at the Soup Gallery, but the butternut apple holds a special place in her heart.
“Butternut soup is my favorite,” Belbin said. “It’s always been my favorite, so when I started making soup, I most wanted to [make] the best butternut soup I could.”
Belbin began as sous chef at the Soup Gallery in Concord and, before its doors closed, became head chef. Now she does personal catering under that name and, as of late, also works as a chef for Meals on Wheels, where she collaborates with health directors and nutritionists to provide delicious, healthy menus to mostly nursing homes and senior centers.
The 22-year-old is very interested in how food affects health, and many of her recipes are vegetable-heavy. She began cooking for herself while a teen vegan and vegetarian. (Her family ate meat and she didn’t; she learned how to make vegetarian-friendly meals fast.)
The recipe she provided is both sweet and savory. Its primary spices are cinnamon and nutmeg, though the apples also provide a tanginess and crispness. (She used Gala and Fuji, but it works just as well with any flavor, she said.)
“The butternut squash soup is more on the savory side, but there’s a hint of sweetness added,” Belbin said. “In a lot of soups, you’ll find classic flavors that include Italian seasoning, garlic, tomatoes — those are a lot of soup bases. But when you work with squash, most chefs, myself included, tend to lean more toward nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, so it brings that more earthy, kind of subtly sweet but also very savory flavor. So it’s different from any sort of Italian soup.”
Also important to the flavor: the onions and the type of blend. She makes it into a bisque so that every bite offers the same flavor. 
Belbin’s first interest was nutrition; she worked at a natural foods store after graduating high school, where she “absorbed so much knowledge” about how to accommodate dietary restrictions, autoimmune diseases and how to promote dietary health. She took a number of nutrition-related classes at the New Hampshire Institute of Technology but partway through found a keener interest and talent in cooking.
“I think that with my nutrition background, a lot of people kind of value my skills even a little bit more,” Belbin said.
 
Like a hearty stew
What: Beef and barley soup
Who: Fernando Barrios, Bridge Cafe, Manchester
Tip: Cook the meat very slowly
 
Fernando Barrios from the Bridge Cafe says his beef and barley soup is more like a stew. But it’s not, which is nice; not only does it take less time to cook than a stew (a bit more than an hour).
“The barley thickens it up a bit and makes it almost like a stew,” he said at the cafe a few weekends ago. “It’s really good and easy to make. … But the way I like to do it, is I cook it really slowly. … I braise and pan-fry my meat with a bit of cornstarch and the house seasoning. … It comes out demi-glace in flavor.”
Each ingredient, he explained, adds to the flavor; the carrots add just a little bit of sweetness, and the barley provides thickness. The tomatoes, which he roasts a day and a half before they go into the soup, also add sweetness. The result is a thick, hearty entree whose dominant colors are red and orange.
Barrios says he has about 200 recipes in his head. He makes all the soups for the Bridge, which change on a daily basis depending on demand. (The cafe will receive requests from customers every week, both in person and through email.)
Barrios has been a chef at the cafe about four years now, but he learned to cook in Guatemala City, where he grew up. He worked in his uncle’s restaurant kitchen starting at age 12 and studied at a Guatemalan cooking school. He moved to the United States about 15 years ago, first to California and then to New Hampshire, which is where his mother lives as well.
“It was hard for me because of the language. But I think it took like seven to eight months [to adjust]. Then I started doing what I like. This is what I like — it’s like a sport to me,” Barrios said. “This is what I live for, cooking.”
 
Mom’s recipe
What: Traditional New England clam chowder
Who: John Sullivan, Yankee Chef, Milford
Tip: Re-use the clam juice you get when you drain the clams
 
The ingredients in John Sullivan’s clam chowder are the same staple items that used to be in his mother’s pantry growing up in southern New Hampshire: potatoes, salt pork, clams, onions, butter and cream/milk. 
“If you helped in the kitchen when your mom or grandmother were cooking, you probably noticed they had a few basic staples around all the time,” he said. “Fish was inexpensive and readily available, and so often times, that’s what they served. … Clams were plentiful as well. … They didn’t go shopping at Whole Foods to buy these special ingredients. It’s part of what they had in their pantry.”
Sullivan, who’s run Yankee Chef in Milford for about 13 years now, has twice won the Chili Chowder Cook Off in Amherst, and so was hesitant to reveal the secrets to his award-winning seafood chowder. The recipe he provided is the one his mom taught him through his years of assisting her in the kitchen.
“We had a big family. There were eight of us. Around the afternoon, I’d say, ‘Hey ma, when’s supper going to be ready? I’m hungry.’ She’d say to me, ‘Well, pick up that potato peeler over there, and see that 5-pound bag of potatoes over there? If you’d peel those and get them on the stove, then you could probably eat a lot quicker,’” Sullivan said during an interview at the restaurant shortly after the store’s closing on a Tuesday afternoon. 
On the cover of Sullivan’s menu is a photo of his inspirations, his aunt Hazel and mother Ella, who he said could make “something out of nothing.” There wasn’t much money growing up, but they never went hungry. 
“I cook from my hands,” Sullivan said. “I look at what’s around me and I put things together. It’s like looking in your pantry or fridge while trying to figure out what you’re going to have for supper without looking in a book for a recipe and going to the store for it. … The stuff I have on a regular basis is what I use in making soups and specials.”
Though the chowder recipe is very old — most Irish Catholic families, he said, might recognize the technique and ingredients — he offered a few expert tips. First, he drains and rinses the clams beforehand, which is part of how he collects his clam juice. 
You also want to use the “freshest ingredients possible,” Sullivan said (canned clams were in the recipe, but if possible, get the fresh stuff; he gets much of his produce from his cousins’ farms and the fish from Boston). Also, cook so you’re not taking away from the “natural, delicate flavors” of the seafood. 
“Anything I’d add to the chowder would serve as a complement to the seafood, and not something that would mask it,” he said.
Butter, for example, is a great complement. Another is cream, and another, dill. Different, perhaps, in this recipe is his use of salt pork, which he renders at a very low temperature in a heavy-bottomed pan. 
“It’s not unusual in that it’s been done for centuries here in New England, but I’d say it’s probably unique in character, as far as ingredients go, to New England, where we have clams in abundance,” Sullivan said. “It makes the chowder savory. … Bacon seems to be experiencing a real renaissance lately. [Salt pork] is fatty, unsmoked bacon, so it’s like bacon’s bad cousin who has been left behind. It was a staple item, but now bacon has come to the forefront and is shining all over the place.”
His final tip for beginner chefs: practice.
“I’m a self-taught foodie,” Sullivan said. “It’s pretty much my life. Just when I think I’ve seen all the techniques out there, I do more research and reading and find someone’s doing something else. … Practice and try to remember what you do. Maybe if you’re more organized than me, you’ll write these things down. And then you’ll look at it, and maybe you’ll make a little change, and then you’ll test the results and go forward from there.” 





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