easy chicken ramen soup

This is really not a post. I mean, it is technically one but my intention isn’t to give you guys a recipe for an easy chicken ramen noodle soup… but I do go over it so keep reading, I actually included the information.

I mainly wanted to show some vital signs. I’ve been away for a bit but not for lack of interest but because I’ve been working on other related food projects which I will soon share with you all. It’s not a food truck but good guess.

Regardless of any external distractions I will return to my blog asap. I have salmon cappelletti to share with you. Also, homemade parmesan cheese… yes, it’s been in my pantry curing away for months now. I have a few more recipes I would like to talk about so anyways, stay tuned. Californians, it will eventually cool down. It has to. 

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Super Easy Garbanzo and Sausage Soup. More budget cooking!

This awesome recipe concludes my budget cooking repertoire for the weekend. I have meals to last me a couple of weeks now. If you missed my previous 2 recipes… here they are: Chicken Soup and Beet and Cole Slaw Salad. Garbanzos have been an obsession of mine since I can remember.I love them in cold salads, soups, in hummus… etc. They are so versatile and deserve a respectable place in my pantry. I only use dry garbanzos when I make them. They’re cheaper this way and last forever in case you aren’t ready to use them right away. They also have better texture than the canned stuff. Today, we’re making garbanzo and sausage soup. The total groceries cost about 30 bucks for about 8 servings. That’s super cheap and so delicious. And I can’t stress this enough… follow me on Instagram by clicking on that little Instagram thingy on the right! 🙂 Let’s go!

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 Ingredients (6-8 servings):

1 pound of dry garbanzos.
4-6 sweet or spicy pork sausage links. Sliced in rounds.
2 quarts of chicken stock or 2 chicken boullion cubes.
1 large yellow onion. Small dice.
2 Tbsp of tomato paste
1 Tbsp of minced garlic
1 tsp dry rosemary
1 tsp dry thyme
1 tbs dry coriander seeds
1 tbs chili powder
4 bay leaves.
Salt and Pepper to taste
Hot sauce to taste. I used Sriracha.

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The Sausage.

Sauté the onion and the sausages in some olive oil. Make sure the sausages are nicely golden and the onions are translucent. About 5 mins. Remove from the pot (I only use one pot for this recipe). I deep-fried them.

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The Garbanzos.

To speed things up a bit, you could soak the garbanzos overnight in water. I didn’t and that’s ok. I rinsed them in water though. Pressure cook for about 10 mins in plain water. Then release the pressure and discard the cooking water. I like doing this to remove impurities from the garbanzo skin usually those show as scum on the surface of the pot which you can ladle out too. If you don’t use a pressure cooker then simmer them in a regular pot and ladle the scum off as it surfaces or discard the cooking water in the end. Should take about 20 mins. Return the garbanzos to the pot.  Add the chicken stock or if using the bouillon cubes, add about 2 quarts of water. Add the rest of the ingredients and the sausage and the onions. Pressure cook for another 40 mins or simmer for about one hour and 20 mins or until the garbanzos are tender but not disintegrating.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can add a splash of white wine vinegar if you miss some acidity. Hot sauce also brings up the acidity. Discard the bay leaves. That’s it!

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A bit chaotic but I was making 3 recipes all at once and taking all these pictures… madness but fun! And that’s the end of my first round of budget cooking this fall. Hopefully more to come! 

Super Easy Chicken Soup! More Budget Cooking!

Super Easy Chicken Soup! More Budget Cooking! @ thatothercookingblog.com

To continue with my series of posts on quick and easy AND… inexpensive meals and budget cooking (check my beet salad recipe here), I want to talk about chicken soup. I’m from Venezuela. We eat chicken soup like 3 times a week. I’m not joking. And when sick, add 4 more days of chicken soup to our diet. We don’t use cream, actually, cream is something I don’t even remember in our fridge as a kid.  Our soups tend to be light and thickened with the starch from the root vegetables we use.  Yucca, sweet potato, yam, russet potatoes, carrots… that’s a classic combo in any Venezuelan chicken soup. All those starches help create a very delicious thick and silky base. Add the chicken collagen and the chicken fat and then you have a hell of a meal. Let’s not forget about the chicken itself.

More on flavor and chicken soup.

Chicken pairs really well with sweet tones. Corn and sweet potato work incredibly well. Also the carrots and the tomato paste. But too much sweetness can be overwhelming so season accordingly with salt and if needed, a splash of the vinegar of your choice to cut that sweetness Don’t use balsamic vinegar, that’s just gonna make your soup even sweeter.

Super Easy Chicken Soup! More Budget Cooking! @ thatothercookingblog.com

The best chicken stock and a trick I learned.

Nothing like making and using your own chicken stock (or any stock). Buying it at the store it’s ok but if you haven’t made your own and you try it, you will very likely agree with me. Now If you’re lucky to have a roasted chicken laying around in your fridge, then your chicken soup could take on a whole new dimension in the realm of awesomeness. Making stock with roasted chicken bones is bomb. But if you don’t have them, which is usually the case. Do not be troubled. You don’t have to roast a chicken to make chicken soup.

Here’s an awesome work around.

Most of the flavour in a roasted chicken lies in the golden skin. I deep fry the skin of my chicken until golden brown. I also deep fry the wings and the carcass after I’ve broken down my chicken into thighs, legs and breasts. This is a shortcut for flavour development but let’s get into it and go over the recipe in detail and yes this batch of… 6 meals cost me about 35 bucks in groceries. That’s just because a chicken in Vancouver costs about 20 dollars (wtf!, yeah, not as budget cooking friendly as you’d expect right?). But the cost per serving is about 5-6 bucks US. Not bad when you’re eating the most delicious soup in the world! Ok, there’s ramen too.

Ingredients (6 servings):

1 whole chicken (cut it up yourself, skin it too)
Skin. From your chicken, obviously.
1 sweet potato. Peeled and cut in rounds.
6 medium/small creamer potatoes whole.
3 corncobs. Cut up in rounds.
2 quarts of chicken stock or 2 bouillon cubes.
1 large onion. Diced.
1 large carrot. Cut up in rounds.
1/2 Tbsp tomato paste.
1/2 Tbsp minced garlic (or the whole Tbsp really)
2-4 Bay leaves.
1 tsp coriander seeds.
1 tsp dry thyme.
1 tsp chili powder.
1 tbs dry rosemary.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Splash of white vine vinegar.

Super Easy Chicken Soup! More Budget Cooking! @ thatothercookingblog.com

The chicken.

Breakdown your chicken. Don’t buy pre-cut stuff. It costs a lot more and you want to use everything anyways so get that whole chicken.  Remove the skins. Deep fry those until crispy and golden brown. Takes about 10 mins but keep an eye on them. You don’t want them to burn or develop any burnt spots. That will turn your soup bitter.  Also deep fry the wings and the back. Same rule applied.  Reserve all this stuff.

The stock.

Sauté the onions and the carrots in some olive oil until the onions are translucent. Add the chicken skins and the wings and the carcass to the pot. Add the root vegetables and the chicken stock. Add the bay leaves and the spices. Add the tomato paste. Add the garlic too.  If you’re using chicken boullion. Add a quart of water per cube. The pot should have enough liquid to cover everything, if not, add some water. Simmer until the potatoes are tender. The sweet potato will probably disintegrate by that time. That’s ok. You can time this better if you want to keep the sweet potato from going too soft. In any case, simmer for about 20 minutes. Or pressure cook for 10. Adjust your seasoning and check for acidity. Remember that white wine vinegar? splash it if necessary.

The poached stuff.  

Chicken meat  is best when cooked in very gentle heat. This is why we haven’t added it to the pot yet. I like to poach the meat in the chicken stock. I add the legs and thighs first because they require longer and hotter to cook. Add the corn as well. Corn cooks super fast. Simmer for about 10 mins. Add the chicken breasts and cook for about 5 mins. Remove the pot from the heat and allow to rest. I use a thermometer to make sure the chicken is cooked to the proper core temperature or above. No raw chicken guys. Juicy chicken breasts isn’t easy and requires practice or a thermometer, maybe even both.  They are done around 60C. For nicer more shreddable meat. Cook to 62C. Anything above that… welcome to dry chicken hell. Ask Ramsey.

Super Easy Chicken Soup! More Budget Cooking! @ thatothercookingblog.com

Follow me on Instagram! or any of my other social channels like facebook, pinterest or twitter! And if you know of any great chicken soup recipes of your own, please share them with us in the comment section!

Also, what do you think about batch cooking and economy and budget cooking? is that something you’d like to read more about? I’m game. 

Split Pea Soup : Ham Hock Stock : A Perfect Lunch Break

Split Pea Soup

I finally found some time to cook for the week. I love making soups. They are relatively simple to make and can be stored very conveniently. I used to eat lunch out everyday at work which was expensive. Recently (a few years ago) I started looking for a way to save money on food so I started cooking at home and bringing food to work. I also noticed how much healthier my diet became. This is basically how I  got really interested in cooking and shortly after I started this blog. Here is one of my all time favorite soups to make/eat, along with lentil soup. Split Pea Soup, cooked in a stock made with smoked ham hocks which are the fatty, gelatinous “knuckles” located  at the extreme shank end of the leg bone and the associated skin, fat, tendons, and bit of muscle. Pretty flavorful stuff! Still here…? Let’s do this!:

 

Split Pea Soup

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1 pound of dry split peas

Stock:

2 smoked ham hocks

1/2 an onion

1 medium carrot

some thyme sprigs

Kosher salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

To finish:

about 20 parsley leaves

a bit of cream, about 1/4 of a cup

Garnish:

Baby basil leaves and parsley leaves

olive oil and sherry wine vinegar drops

 

 

Split Pea Soup

This soups is very easy to make. I use my pressure cooker to make the stock that will eventually be used to cook the peas in. For the stock, place the stock ingredients in the pressure cooker and cover with just enough water. I don’t bother chopping anything, but you can if you like, just chop the stuff really coarsely though. Pressure cook at 15psi for 2 hours. Depressurize cooker and remove solids. You can discard all the solids using a strainer. The flavor has been extracted by now and it’s all in that rich stock. I also degrease the stock, using a spoon, I remove most of the fat sitting at the top of the pyrex beaker (I strained the stock into that so I could see the layer of fat and how deep it was). Return the stock to the pressure cooker and add the peas. You could soak the peas before cooking, overnight for example. This will speed up their cooking quite a bit but they won’t absorb as much stock since they have already absorbed water, but this is ok, we’re gonna blend the final soup anyway, so this doesn’t really matter that much. Even without soaking, dry peas will cook in about 30 minutes without pressure cooking them, and about 10 if doing so. Skim off any impurities that raise to the top. That foamy gritty stuff that looks like soap has should be removed as much as possible but don’t lose sleep over it. One final note here. I didn’t use pressure, just the cooker vessel so there is less stuff to clean in the end. I do anything in my power to reduce the number of gear I need to make anything. It is less mess in the end, and easier to clean as you go! 

Split Pea Soup

Use a blender or an immersion blender (which I really prefer, it is a lot easier to clean and no risk of a split pea soup eruption when not using the blender carefully) Add the cream and the parsley leaves. You could add a couple of basil leaves as well. Blend until silky smooth and you can see the little green specs of parsley and basil finely chopped. Add water if soup is too thick or cook a little longer to reduce the water content. Adjust final seasoning. Plate, add the garnishes and done! This is a simple soup that delivers great flavor!

Split Pea Soup

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoyed this quick post on making split pea soup, the same soup I’m actually eating as I finish typing this post on my lunch break! Cheers!!!!!!