Chinese Bone Broth with Asian Pears

I’m really trying to get hyped up for Chinese New Year.  Aside from some flowers I brought into the home, CNY lacks its usual red & gold luster, feeling more like the dreary snowy Monday that is New York today.  BUT in an effort to stay true to CNY traditions of 除舊迎新 “out with the old (crap) and in with the good”, I’m going to refrain from talking about the absolute insanity of work in January, my forever cold, and my wistful thoughts of childhood past. Continue reading

Oxtail Stew with Celery Root Mash

Happy 2016!!!!! 2015 went by in a flash, and with Preston’s hard work finally culminating to his start-up’s private Beta test in December, my year end workload, and trying our best to partake in the holidays, the past month completely vanished on us.  Luckily I had the last minute wisdom to take off the final week of 2015. No fancy plans, but staying home just to get ahead of life is such luxury.
Speaking of getting ahead of life and setting 2016 off to a great start, cooking must be involved since much of staying alive involves eating – fortunately and unfortunately. Continue reading

Thanksgiving Sandwich- Zouras Edition

There are many great things about marrying someone from a totally different culture, especially when it comes to the holidays.  Since our traditional holidays rarely overlap, Preston and I get to celebrate a variety of events basically all year round, show each other our traditions, and best of all, not deal with spousal splitting of the holidays! Luxurious.

After a surprisingly pleasant train ride and eerily relaxing meal time at Newark airport, a very Texas Thanksgiving week at the Pesek household came into full swing with turkey, stuffing, traditional fixins, dad’s ribs, mom’s (and sis’s!) pies and cookies, free flowing libations, burgers, hot dogs… Continue reading

Back to Basics: Homemade Chicken Stock

Hem… what’s the story this month? Travel, travel, & more travel!  Granted, it’s been mostly the good kind of travel that involves family & friends – the kind where you don’t mind cramming yourself for 3 hours in a $150 Spirit Airlines seat that doesn’t recline. I take that back, Spirit Airlines still sucks balls.  Good or bad travel aside my body just can’t take abuse like it used to (I believe the scientific term is “gettin’ old”).  Here is my current list of travel “must-do’s”: Continue reading

Smokin’ Chipotle Corn Soup

Oh my cob!  I was at the farmer’s market this past weekend and was devastated by the dwindling supply of plump corn.  Folks, corn season is quickly coming to an end (and dare I say… so is summer?), gahhhhh! Naturally, we need to celebrate this quintessential summer treat and this summer’s bounty with another soup recipe (duh).

CHOW’s Chipotle Corn Soup recipe brings in just the right amount of spice and smokiness to highlight the sweetness of the star ingredient. I served this with a simple tomato, cucumber salad with sliced grilled chicken. UM UM UMMM!

Chipotle Corn Soup with Grilled Chicken Salad

Chipotle Corn Soup with Grilled Chicken Salad

I took out the scallions in this recipe so I can use leftover avocados to garnish the dish.  I regretted that decision.  The creaminess and taste of the avocado was lost in the soup.  So I’m posting the original recipes here with scallions, with notes and modifications. Lastly, straining the mixture made for a super silky soup, but hubby likes the grittiness of the corn puree, so we left his bowl unstrained and it was still tasty!

INGREDIENTS

– 8 ears white or yellow corn, shucked <I used 5 big ears of bi-color corn>

– 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)

– 1 teaspoon minced chipotles in adobo sauce

– 2 teaspoons kosher salt

– Freshly ground black pepper

– 6 scallions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)

– 1 1/2 cups whole milk

– 1 1/2 cups water

INSTRUCTIONS:
– Remove the corn kernels from the cobs.
– Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Add the chipotles, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, a pinch of black pepper, and about two-thirds of the scallions. (Set aside the remaining scallions to use as a garnish.) Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened, about 3 minutes.
– Add the corn kernels, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, milk, and water and stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the flavors have melded and the corn kernels are crisp yet tender (not mushy), about 15 minutes.
– <Skip this step if you like the grittiness of corn> Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large, heatproof bowl. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth. Pour the blended soup through the strainer, pressing on the solids with a rubber spatula; discard the solids.
– Stir in the reserved 1/2 cup corn kernels. Season with salt and pepper as needed. If serving chilled, refrigerate the soup until cold, at least 3 hours. Garnish with the remaining scallions and serve.