Sunday, December 12, 2010

Nella's Chicken Soup

Organic chicken breast
whole onion
couple cloves of garlic
couple stalks of celery
a couple of green zucchini
a couple of yellow zucchini
2 c. or so of baby carrots
1 fresh tomato
olive oil
1 or 2 chicken bouillon (reduce the salt if you use the bouillon)

Chicken meatballs:
ground chicken breast
1 or 2 c. of parmigiano cheese
4 eggs
1 c. of bread crumbs
finely cut onion (1/4)
finely cut garlic
some fresh parsley finely cut
salt to taste

any type of pastina, ditalini, orzo, acini di pepe, cut spaghettini or

• Wash, peel and cut all vegetables
• Place in a large food processor along with the onion and garlic.
• Make a nice creamy paste of all the vegetable and add to olive oil in a large stock pot
• When the vegetables seem golden add washed chicken breasts and a lot of water to cover the pot, I usually make enough in a very large pot that holds a couple of gallons, of course the ingredients will be in a larger amount
• Let the soup cook until the chicken is fully cooked and a nice oily surface appears

For the meatballs (optional)
• I mix the chicken with all the ingredients, if it is too soft I add more bread
crumbs. Sometimes if I make too much I will freeze some of the mixture
• I make very small/tiny meat balls and I add them to the soup and voilaŹ¼ it is as simple as that, the children love the small sizes and we actually count in Italian how many chicken meatballs they have in their bowl :)
• Add the pasta and cook until done

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound sausage, such as kielbasa or andouille, sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced OR 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice, rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 to 4 dashes hot sauce, optional (recommended: Tabasco)
  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp, deveined
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • Lemon wedges
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add the kielbasa and saute for 8 to 10 minutes, until browned. Remove the kielbasa to a bowl, and set aside. Add the butter, onion, celery and peppers to the same pot and saute for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the tomato, garlic, jalapeno or cayenne, oregano, thyme, and tomato paste and cook until all the vegetables and herbs are blended well. Add the stock and bring to a rolling boil. Stir in the rice, and add the sausage, bay leaves, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Return to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add the shrimp, and stir well. Cover the pot, remove it from the heat and allow the jambalaya to steam for 15 minutes before serving.

Garnish with the scallions, parsley, and a dash of hot sauce, if desired. Serve with lemon wedges.

Makes 4 servings
Adapted from the Food Network