Ohn No Khao Swe (Burmese Chickpea Noodle Soup)

1 lb of fresh egg noodles, blanched in boiling water
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, cubed
6 Tbsp fish sauce
1/4 cup oil
1 large onion (diced)
4 cloves garlic (peeled and grated)
1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger (peeled and grated)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 Tbsp chili flakes
1/2 cup chickpea flour or besan flour or gram flour + 1/2 cup water
6 cup chicken stock
1 1/3 cups coconut milk

GARNISHES AND CONDIMENTS:
4 hard-boiled eggs , peeled and sliced
2 green onions (thinly sliced)
1 medium onion , finely sliced
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
2 limes , quartered
1/2 cup chili flakes
1 cup fresh bean sprouts (blanch in hot water briefly if you prefer.)
12 oz (350 g) fresh egg noodles, deep-fried in oil until crispy, drained on paper towel, cooled and crumbled by hand into bite-size pieces
Fish sauce

Marinate chicken with fish sauce for at least 15 minutes. Heat oil in large pot, saute onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric for 5 minutes. Stir in chicken and chili flakes. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent chicken sticking to pot. Meanwhile, add chickpea flour to water and whisk to remove lumps.

Add chicken stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for a further 10 minutes and the chicken is cooked through. Add coconut milk and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.Stir in chickpea flour paste until the soup thickens slightly.

Arrange each garnishing item on a separate plate on the table around a central bowl of chicken and coconut chickpeas soup. To serve, take a portion of fresh noodles and a generous helping of soup, add a little of each garnishing (a dash of fish sauce if desired).

Khao Tom (Thai Congee)

PORK BALLS (MAKES ABOUT 30 SMALL BALLS)
8 oz ground pork
3 cloves of garlic finely minced
Small bunch of cilantro stems finely chopped
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp of fish sauce
1 large egg white beat until frothy

RICE SOUP
8 cups of chicken broth
1 stalk lemon grass bruised to release flavor by smashing with side of cleaver/knife
1 small slice of galangal
4 cups cooked brown rice you can use white rice if you prefer
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp of fish sauce
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
Shredded left-over chicken meat optional
4 eggs room temperature before cooking

GARNISHES:
1- inch fresh ginger peeled and thinly sliced
2 spring onions finely chopped
1 handful fresh coriander leaves

SERVE WITH:
soy sauce
3-4 red chilli (finely chopped

TO PREPARE THE DAY BEFORE:
Cook the rice using rice cooker or stove-top according to the instruction on the package. Let it cool and then store in the refrigerator until ready to be used.

Prepare the meatballs by placing the pork in a large mixing bowl followed by garlic all the way to fish sauce. Mix with your clean hands and then gradually fold in the beaten egg white and mix again and start picking up the meat and throw it back into the side of the bowl and repeat this for few times. This will make the pork balls rather bouncy.

Wet your palms and start rolling the pork into balls. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and then drop the pork balls in there, batch by batch. They will float to the surface when they are cooked. Check to make sure they are no longer pinkish. If you make this the day before, store in air-tight container in the refrigerator.

WHEN READY TO COOK
Place the eggs in a pot and cover with water. Bring water to a rolling boil and then turn off the heat and cover and let them sit for 15 minutes. Discard water and set aside.

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large pot. Add in the lemon grass and galangal and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Add in the cooked brown rice and simmer briefly. Adjust taste by seasoning with soy sauce, fish sauce, and white pepper
Discard the lemon grass and galangal pieces.

Prepare four serving bowls. Gently crack one egg in the bowl and some shredded chicken meat (if using). Laddle the hot rice soup over each bowl. Garnish with coriander leaves, spring onion, and ginger. Serve immediately with a small dish of chilies doused in soy sauce.

Asian Pork Meatball Noodle Soup

1 lb angel hair/spaghetti/ramen or Asian wheat noodles/udon noodles
4-5 stalks of baby bok choy
1/4 cup goji berries washed and drained

PORK MEATBALLS:
1 lb ground pork (preferably with some fat)
1 Tbsp corn starch
1 egg yolk
1 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

SOUP BASE
6 cups chicken broth homemade or store-bought
2 inch piece of ginger bruised with heavy object
Small pinch of sugar
Salt to taste

GARNISHES:
1 stalk green onion finely chopped
Fresh cilantro leaves
Red chili oil optional
Fried shallots crisp optional

CHILI SAUCE (OPTIONAL)
4-5 Thai bird’s eye chili finely chopped
Soy sauce

Cook the noodles to al dente and then rinse with some cold water and set aside.

Blanch the baby bok choy in a boiling water for about 5 minutes and then refreshed with some cold water and set aside.

Place all the ingredients for meat balls in a large mixing bowl. Stir to mix everything. Roll into balls. Place them into the refrigerator while you are preparing the soup base.

Place chicken broth and ginger in a medium to large pot. Bring to a boil and then let it gently simmer for about 15 minutes.

Add the salt, and sugar. Have a taste, it should be savory with some tangy taste. Add the meatballs and boil until the meatballs float to the top. Add the goji berries and let them cook for about 1 minute. Turn off the heat.

ASSEMBLING THE NOODLE BOWL:
Portion out the noodles into individual serving bowl. Portion out the meatballs and sprinkle of green onions, cilantro leaves.

Generously ladle the soup with some of the goji berries over the noodles. Drizzle with some chili oil if using.

Serve with some chili sauce on the side if you make some. Tuck in and enjoy! You can even serve with some black vinegar on the side if you like it extra tangy.

Green Curry Laksa

10-12 oz of laksa noodles (Rice noodles,Vietnamese Bun Bo Hue noodles, or Vietnamese tapioca noodles (Banh Canh))

GREEN CURRY PASTE FOR LAKSA:
1/4 cup dried shrimp soak in warm water until soft, about 5 minutes
2 stalks of lemongrass trim off woody ends and cut into 2-inch pieces
4 scallion trim off the bottom
4 cloves garlic peeled
2 inch fresh ginger peeled
2 Thai chili stemmed
1 handful of fresh cilantro leaves and the stems
2 Tbsp fish sauce

OTHER INGREDIENTS:
2 Tbsp cooking oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thigh cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium eggplant trim off the stem and cut into 1-inch cubes
6 cups water
6 fresh kaffir lime leaves (tear edges to release flavor)
14 oz coconut cream (you can use coconut milk for thinner consistency)

SEASONINGS:
1 tsp sugar
3 Tbsp Fish sauce or more to taste

SERVE WITH:
3 cups fresh mung bean sprouts blanch briefly in boiling water
Juice of 2 limes
Fresh basil leaves

Cook the noodles according to instruction on the package. Set aside.

MAKING THE GREEN CURRY PASTE:
Place all the ingredients for green curry paste in a food processor and process into a paste.

Preheat cooking oil in a large pot. When the pot is hot enough, add chicken pieces and stir-fry until they turn opaque, about 3-4 minutes. Add in eggplant. Stir fry for another minute. Pour in the green curry paste and kaffir lime leaves and stir to mix everything. Add in water and bring to a gentle simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the veggies are soft but not mushy.

Stir in coconut cream/milk. Add in sugar and fish sauce. Bring to just a gentle simmer, not boiling. Squeeze in lime juice. Have a taste and add more fish sauce to your taste.

ASSEMBLING:
Portion out the noodles and bean sprouts into individual serving bowls. Ladle some chicken, mushrooms, and eggplants over the noodles. Generously ladle the hot soup over the noodles and serve with fresh basil and extra lime on the side.

Pressure Cooker Mie Soo Ayam Medan (Indonesian Chicken Noodle Soup)

Rice noodles or bean thread noodles enough for 4 to 6 servings
3 lbs whole chicken
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp cooking oil
6 cups water
Salt to taste

GROUND INGREDIENTS:
5 cloves garlic (peeled and sliced)
4 shallots (peeled and thinly sliced)
8 candlenuts sub with macadamia nuts

SPICES AND HERBS:
3 Bay leaves
3 kaffir lime leaves (tear edges to release flavor)
2 stalks of Chinese celery save the leaves
5 cloves
1 medium cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp nutmeg

SERVE WITH:
2 cups mung bean sprouts (blanched)
3 hard-boiled eggs (cut into halves)
Fried shallots crisp
Fresh limes
Potato pancake
Lontong or ketupat

GREEN CHILI:
1/2 cup fresh Thai chili

If you are using rice noodles, cook them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. If using bean thread noodles, soak the noodles until soft about 15 minutes. When ready to use, just briefly cook them in boiling water for 1 minute or less.

COOKING ON INSTANT POT:
Rub the chicken some salt and pepper all over. Pour 2 cups of water into the pot. Place the chicken on top of the trivet and carefully place inside the pot. Close the lid and turn the steam release handle to seal. Press pressure cook, high pressure and set the timer for 25 minutes. When the timer is done, wait for 5 minutes and then release pressure.

While the chicken is cooking, preheat 1 Tbsp of oil in a pan and saute the ground ingredients, spices, and herbs until fragrant, about 5 minutes or so.

Very carefully remove the chicken from instant pot and let it cool down for 10 minutes. Then cut the thighs, drumsticks, breast meat off. You are left with the carcass and wings. Put this back into instant pot. Add 6 cups of water along with the sauteed spices.

Cover the lid. Turn the steam release handle back to seal. Press pressure cooker, high pressure and set timer to 15 minutes. Release pressure immediately after the timer is up. Strain the stocks and discard the solid. Have a taste of the broth and season with salt to your taste.

Proceed to “If you choose to fry the chicken” if you want to, otherwise, shred the meat when it’s cool enough to handle.

COOKING ON STOVE-TOP:
Cut the chicken into large pieces such as thighs, drumsticks, etc. Place the chicken into the pot and add enough water to cover the chicken. Bring it to a boil and then remove from the heat. Carefully discard the water and rinse the chicken off with cold running water. Give the pot a good rinse as well.

Preheat the clean pot and then add 1 Tbsp of cooking oil, add the ground ingredients, and spices and herbs and saute until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add chicken pieces and add water, enough to submerge the chicken. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to let it simmer for the next 30 minutes or until the chicken pieces are cooked through.

When the chicken is cooked, carefully remove from the pot and place on a platter, when cool enough to handle, proceed to “If you choose to fry the chicken” if you want to, otherwise, shred the meat and discard the bones. Strain the soup and discard the rest of the vegetables. Season with salt to your taste.

IF YOU CHOOSE TO FRY THE CHICKEN:
Preheat about 1-inch of oil. Cut the chicken into large pieces and then fried the chicken briefly until golden brown. Shred the meat when it’s cool enough to handle.

MAKING GREEN CHILI:
Remove the stems from the chili. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Boil the chili for about 10 minutes. Discard water and if you have mortar and pestle, coarsely ground it or use a food processor to do so.

SERVING:
When ready to serve, portion the noodle and lontong pieces into an individual serving bowl. Add chicken meat and mung bean sprouts. Ladle the soup over. Garnish with 1/2 of the hard-boiled eggs, perkedel, celery leaves, and fried shallots crisp. Squeeze 1/2 of the fresh lime juice over each bowl. Serve with perkedel and green chili on the side.

Pressure Cooker Soto Banjar (South Kalimantan Chicken Noodle Soup)

Rice noodles or bean thread noodles enough for 4 to 6 servings
3 lbs whole chicken
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp cooking oil
6 cups water
Salt to taste

GROUND INGREDIENTS:
5 cloves garlic (peeled and sliced)
4 shallots (peeled and thinly sliced)
8 candlenuts sub with macadamia nuts

SPICES AND HERBS:
3 Bay leaves
3 kaffir lime leaves (tear edges to release flavor)
2 stalks of Chinese celery save the leaves
5 cloves
1 medium cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp nutmeg

SERVE WITH:
2 cups mung bean sprouts (blanched)
3 hard-boiled eggs (cut into halves)
Fried shallots crisp
Fresh limes

GREEN CHILI:
1/2 cup fresh Thai chili

If you are using rice noodles, cook them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. If using bean thread noodles, soak the noodles until soft about 15 minutes. When ready to use, just briefly cook them in boiling water for 1 minute or less .

COOKING ON INSTANT POT:
Rub the chicken some salt and pepper all over. Pour 2 cups of water into the pot. Place the chicken on top of the trivet and carefully place inside the pot. Close the lid and turn the steam release handle to seal. Press pressure cook, high pressure and set the timer for 25 minutes. When the timer is done, wait for 5 minutes and then release pressure
While the chicken is cooking, preheat 1 Tbsp of oil in a pan and saute the ground ingredients, spices, and herbs until fragrant, about 5 minutes or so.

Very carefully remove the chicken from instant pot and let it cool down for 10 minutes. Then cut the thighs, drumsticks, breast meat off. You are left with the carcass and wings. Put this back into instant pot. Add 6 cups of water along with the sauteed spices.

Cover the lid. Turn the steam release handle back to seal. Press pressure cooker, high pressure and set timer to 15 minutes. Release pressure immediately after the timer is up. Strain the stocks and discard the solid. Have a taste of the broth and season with salt to your taste.

Proceed to “If you choose to fry the chicken” if you want to, otherwise, shred the meat when it’s cool enough to handle.

COOKING ON STOVE-TOP:
Cut the chicken into large pieces such as thighs, drumsticks, etc. Place the chicken into the pot and add enough water to cover the chicken. Bring it to a boil and then remove from the heat. Carefully discard the water and rinse the chicken off with cold running water. Give the pot a good rinse as well.

Preheat the clean pot and then add 1 Tbsp of cooking oil, add the ground ingredients, and spices and herbs and saute until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add chicken pieces and add water, enough to submerge the chicken. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to let it simmer for the next 30 minutes or until the chicken pieces are cooked through.

When the chicken is cooked, carefully remove from the pot and place on a platter, when cool enough to handle, proceed to “If you choose to fry the chicken” if you want to, otherwise, shred the meat and discard the bones. Strain the soup and discard the rest of the vegetables. Season with salt to your taste.

IF YOU CHOOSE TO FRY THE CHICKEN:
Preheat about 1-inch of oil. Cut the chicken into large pieces and then fried the chicken briefly until golden brown. Shred the meat when it’s cool enough to handle.

MAKING GREEN CHILI:
Remove the stems from the chili. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Boil the chili for about 10 minutes. Discard water and if you have mortar and pestle, coarsely ground it or use a food processor to do so.

SERVING:
When ready to serve, portion the noodle and lontong pieces into an individual serving bowl. Add chicken meat and mung bean sprouts. Ladle the soup over. Garnish with 1/2 of the hard-boiled eggs, perkedel, celery leaves, and fried shallots crisp. Squeeze 1/2 of the fresh lime juice over each bowl. Serve with perkedel and green chili on the side

Pressure Cooker Soto Ayam Bening (Indonesian Chicken Noodle Soup)

INGREDIENTS:
300 gr bean thread noodles (soun)
2 Tbsp cooking oil
2 large tomatoes quartered

SOUP:
3 lbs skinless bone-in chicken thighs or drumsticks
8 cups water

GROUND INGREDIENTS:
6 shallots peeled
6 cloves garlic peeled
1 inch ginger

SPICES:
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp galangal powder

HERBS:
1 stalk lemongrass trim off the top woody end and bruise with heavy object
5 bay leaves
5 kaffir lime leaves tear edges to release flavor

SEASONINGS:
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp better than bouillon optional

SERVE WITH:
Fresh mung bean sprouts
Hard-boiled eggs or soft-boiled eggs
Juice from fresh lime
Celery leaves Finely chopped
Crispy fried shallots (Bawang goreng)

PREPARE NOODLES AND VEGGIES:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Turn off the heat and place the dried bean thread noodles inside the pot and let it soak for 10 minutes or until the noodles are soft and no longer tough when you try it. Drain off the water and rinse the noodles with cold water to stop the cooking process. Cut into shorter pieces if necessary. Set aside.

Soak the mung bean sprouts in hot water for 5 minutes and then discard water. Set aside.

COOKING WITH INSTANT POT:
Press saute. Add cooking oil. When it says “hot”. Add the ground ingredients and spices. Stir fry for about 3 minutes. Add the chicken pieces, herbs, and pour in the water, and seasonings. Stir to mix everything.

Close the lid. Turn the steam release valve to seal. Press pressure cooker, high pressure, and set timer to 25 minutes. When the timer is up, release pressure immediately and then carefully unlock the lid.

Carefully remove chicken pieces from the pot and set aside. Discard the lemongrass stalks and other leaves. Have a taste of the soup, season with more salt to your taste if needed. Place the tomatoes inside the pot. Close the lid back. The residual heat will soften the tomatoes without cooking them into a mush.

COOKING ON THE STOVE:
Preheat a large pot with cooking oil. Add the ground ingredients and spices. Stir fry for about 3 minutes. Add the chicken pieces, herbs, and pour in the water, and seasonings. Stir to mix everything. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer for the next 30 minutes or until the chicken pieces are cooked through.

Remove from the heat and carefully remove chicken pieces from the pot and set aside. Discard the lemongrass stalks and other leaves. Have a taste of the soup, season with more salt to your taste if needed. Place the tomatoes inside the pot and close the lid. The residual heat will soften the tomatoes without cooking them into a mush.

SERVING:
If you feel like it, you can pan fry the chicken briefly until it forms some layer of skin and then shred the meat. This is totally optional. Otherwise, when the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the meat.
Portion noodles into an individual serving bowl. Top with some shredded chicken meat, bean sprouts and generously ladle with hot soup. Top with halved of hard-boiled egg. Garnish with celery leaves, squirt some lime juice, and garnish with crispy fried shallots.

Bo Kho (Vietnamese Braised Beef Stew)

FOR THE MARINADE:
2 tablespoons Vietnamese fish sauce, such as Red Boat
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons Chinese 5-spice powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

FOR THE BRAISE:
3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 large shallots or 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped tomato, fresh or canned
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (from a 2-inch piece)
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass, tender center only
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon annatto powder (optional)
4 star anise pods
1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick, or substitute cassia bark
1 or 2 Serrano or Thai chiles, stem on, split lengthwise
1 1/2 pounds medium carrots, peeled, cut into 2-inch chunks
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
1 cup cilantro sprigs, for garnish
1/2 cup mint leaves, for garnish
1/2 cup small basil leaves, preferably Thai, for garnish

Make the marinade: Stir together fish sauce, sugar, ginger, 5-spice powder and pepper.

Put beef in a large bowl, add marinade and massage into meat. Let marinate for at least 15 minutes, or longer if time permits (may be wrapped and refrigerated overnight if desired).

Put oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, fry the beef cubes in small batches, taking care not to crowd them, until nicely browned. When all beef is browned, return chunks to pot. Add shallots, stir to combine and continue cooking for 4 to 5 minutes, or until softened.

Add tomato, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, salt and annatto, if using, and stir well to coat, then add star anise, cinnamon and chile. Cover with 4 cups water and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer, cover with lid ajar and cook for about 1 hour 15 minutes, or until fork-tender.

Add carrots to pot and cook 15 minutes more. Skim fat from surface of broth as necessary (or refrigerate overnight and remove congealed fat before reheating).

To serve, ladle into individual bowls. Garnish with scallions, cilantro, mint and basil.

Pressure Cooker Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

3 pounds beef shank, cut into 2-inch chunks
2 tablespoons oil
A 2-inch piece of ginger, smashed
6 cloves garlic, smashed
3 scallions, cut into 2-inch segments
1 onion, cut into wedges
1 tomato, cut into wedges
4 dried chilies, ripped in half
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons spicy bean paste (douban jiang)
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup Shaoxing wine
Chinese aromatic herbs packet (lu bao) — do yourself a favor and hunt down the pre-packaged version; if you can’t access it though, see below for ingredients to create your own spice sachet).
Fresh white noodles
A small handful of bok choy for each serving
Cilantro, finely chopped
Scallions, finely chopped
Pickled mustard greens to taste

To create your own spice sachet, tie up the following ingredients in cheesecloth:
4 star anise
1 small cinnamon stick
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon five spice powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Boil enough water in a pot to boil all of your beef. Once the water is boiling, add the beef. Let it come back up to a boil, and boil for 1 minute. Strain in a colander and rinse thoroughly with fresh water to remove any impurities.

Next, in your instant pot, turn on the saute setting. Add the oil, crushed ginger, garlic, scallions, and onions in that order. Stir to lightly caramelize. Let the onion turn translucent. Add the tomato and dried chilies.

Next, add the meat to the pot. Then add the tomato paste, spicy bean paste, sugar, soy sauce, and Shaoxing wine, and mix thoroughly.

Pour 8 cups of water into the instant pot. Add the spice packet. The instant pot should be filled to the 10-cup line; it shouldn’t be more than ? of the way full per safety instructions. Our instant pot is the largest size (8 quarts); if yours is smaller, you can halve the recipe accordingly.
Close the lid of the instant pot, and make sure you have your vent set so it is not venting. Cook for 100 minutes on the aromatic meat stew setting. If you don’t have an instant pot, you can use a regular pot on the stove, but instead, cook the soup on a low simmer for 3-4 hours.
When the instant pot timer is up, carefully release the pressure valve (wear an oven mitt, so you don’t scald yourself!). Boil some noodles per package instructions, and in the last minute or two of the noodles cooking, throw your bok choy in and blanch until just tender.

Serve each bowl of Taiwanese beef noodle soup with a serving of noodles, a few stalks of bok choy, and generous sprinklings of finely minced cilantro, scallions, and Chinese pickled mustard greens. Pro tip, buy the pre-seasoned spicy mustard greens and you can use them straight out of the package. If you are using the non-spicy version (from a can, for example), chop and saute with a little oil, a few chopped dried red chilies, and a pinch of sugar.

New England Clam Chowder

8 pounds cherrystone clams, scrubbed
1 tbsp unsalted butter
8 ounces bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 celery stalks, minced
1 large onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups heavy cream
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
Chopped fresh chives
Oyster crackers or Vermont Common Crackers

Bring clams and 4 cups water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Cook until clams just open, 8-10 minutes (discard any that do not open). Using a large slotted spoon, transfer clams to a large rimmed baking sheet; set broth aside. Let clams cool slightly, then pull meat from shells; discard shells.

Chop clams into bite-size pieces. Strain broth through a fine-mesh sieve set over a large bowl. Add water if needed to measure 6 cups. DO AHEAD: Clams and broth can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and chill.

Melt butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon begins to brown, about 8 minutes.

Add celery, onion, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add reserved broth (or 6 cups bottled clam juice), potatoes, thyme, and bay leaf.

Bring chowder base to a simmer; cook until potatoes are tender, 20-25 minutes.

Stir cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl to form a slurry. Stir slurry into chowder base; return to a boil to thicken. DO AHEAD: Base can be made 1 day ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Keep clams chilled. Bring base to a simmer before continuing.

Remove base from heat. Discard bay leaf. Stir in reserved clams (or two 10-ounce cans baby clams) and cream. Season with salt, if needed (clams’ brininess varies), and pepper.

Divide chowder among bowls. Garnish with chives and oyster crackers.

From Bon Appetit

Matzo Ball Soup

Chicken stock

1 4–5-lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 pound chicken wings, necks, and/or backs
2 large yellow onions, unpeeled, quartered
6 celery stalks, cut into 1″ pieces
4 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1” pieces
1 large parsnip, peeled, cut into 1” pieces
1 large shallot, quartered
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon black peppercorns

Matzo ball Mixture

3 large eggs, beaten to blend
3/4 cup matzo meal
1/4 cup schmaltz (chicken fat), melted
3 tablespoons club soda
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Assembly

2 small carrots, peeled, sliced 1/4 thick on a diagonal
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill
Coarsely ground fresh black pepper

Bring all ingredients and 12 cups cold water to a boil in a very large (at least 12-qt.) stockpot. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until chicken breasts are cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Transfer breasts to a plate (remaining chicken parts are strictly for stock). Let breasts cool slightly, then remove meat and return bones to stock. Shred meat. Let cool, tightly wrap, and chill.

Continue to simmer stock, skimming surface occasionally, until reduced by one-third, about 2 hours. Strain chicken stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large saucepan (or airtight container, if not using right away); discard solids. You should have about 8 cups.

DO AHEAD: Stock can be made 2 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Keep reserved chicken meat chilled.
Matzo Ball mixture

Mix eggs, matzo meal, schmaltz, club soda, and salt in a medium bowl (mixture will resemble wet sand; it will firm up as it rests). Cover and chill at least 2 hours.

DO AHEAD: Mixture can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.
assembly

Bring chicken stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Add carrots; season with salt. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender, 5–7 minutes. Remove from heat, add reserved breast meat, and cover. Set soup aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Scoop out 2-tablespoonful portions matzo ball mixture and, using wet hands, gently roll into balls.

Add matzo balls to water and reduce heat so water is at a gentle simmer (too much bouncing around will break them up). Cover pot and cook matzo balls until cooked through and starting to sink, 20–25 minutes.

DO AHEAD: Using a slotted spoon, transfer matzo balls to bowls. Ladle soup over, top with dill, and season with pepper.

From Bon Appetit.

Carne en su Jugo

6 SLICES HIGH-QUALITY BACON, diced
1 POUND LEAN BEEF such as sirloin tip or top round, cut against the grain into ¼-inch-thick slices and chopped (see note)
4 CUPS BEEF BROTH
2 CHIPOTLE CHILES IN ADOBO
SALT AND FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER
2 CUPS DRAINED, COOKED FLOR DE MAYO BEANS
CILANTRO LEAVES for serving
LIME WEDGES for serving
FINELY CHOPPED GREEN ONIONS, white and pale green parts, for serving

In a medium, heavy skillet over medium heat, sauté the bacon until all the fat is rendered and the bacon is brown but not crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel–lined plate.

Add the beef to the skillet and sauté until brown, turning often with tongs, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the beef to a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot.

In a blender, combine 1 cup of the beef broth and the chiles in adobo and blend until smooth. Add to the beef and pour in the remaining beef broth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the meat is tender and the flavors are blended, about 20 minutes.

In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the beans. Ladle them into warmed bowls. Ladle the meat with its broth over the beans.

Top with the bacon and cilantro leaves.

Pass the lime wedges and green onions at the table.

Note: It is easier to slice the meat thinly if you freeze it for about 20 minutes. Substitution Note: Any creamy pintolike bean is great here. Try Anasazi, flor de junio, or Rio Zape.

Basic Black Beans

1 POUND BLACK VALENTINE BEANS, soaked
2 TABLESPOONS SAFFLOWER or GRAPESEED OIL
1 SMALL WHITE ONION, chopped
2 GARLIC CLOVES, finely chopped
1/2 MEDIUM GREEN BELL PEPPER, seeded and chopped
1 JALAPEÑO CHILE, CHOPPED
2 TABLESPOONS CIDER VINEGAR
1/4 CUP FRESH CILANTRO LEAVES
1/4 TEASPOON SPANISH SMOKED PAPRIKA
SALT AND FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER

Put the beans and their soaking water in a stockpot and add more cold water if needed to cover the beans by at least 1 inch. Bring to a rapid boil and cook for 5 minutes.

Reduce the heat so that the beans are barely simmering and cook until the beans are nearly soft, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a medium, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, warm the safflower oil. Add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, and chile and sauté until the vegetables are very aromatic and beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the vinegar, cilantro, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste and continue to cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes.

(Skip this step if making Moros y Cristos.) Scoop 1 cup of the beans from the pot and add to the skillet. Using a potato masher, mash the beans with the sofrito.

Add sofrito to the pot of simmering beans and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer until the beans are tender and flavorful, 30 to 40 minutes.

Basic Borracho Beans

Ingredients

4 cups cooked pinto, Rio Sape, red Appaloosa, or Anasazi beans, in their broth
1 bottle lager beer
2 slices high-quality bacon, diced
1/2 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 to 4 Serrano chiles, seeded if desired and chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Corn tortillas, warmed, for serving
Lime wedges for serving

In a stockpot over medium heat, warm the beans and their broth. Add the beer and simmer to cook off some of the beer, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small heavy skillet over medium heat, sauté the bacon until the fat is nearly rendered and the bacon is brown, about 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat in the pot. Add the onion, garlic, and chiles, and sauté over medium heat until soft and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cooked bacon.

Add the mixture to the beans, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the flavors are blended, about 10 minutes.

Serve the beans with warm tortillas and lime wedges.

Adapted from Rancho Gordo (omits mushrooms)

Basic Pot Beans

1 TABLESPOON LARD or EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
1/2 MEDIUM WHITE or RED ONION, chopped
2 GARLIC CLOVES, smashed
1 POUND BEANS OF YOUR CHOICE, soaked (page 21)
SALT
4 KEY LIMES, cut in half, for serving
FINELY CHOPPED WHITE or RED ONION, for serving
1/4 CUP CHOPPED FRESH CILANTRO for serving

In a stock pot, over medium heat, warm the lard.

Add the onion and garlic and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 10 minutes.

Add the beans and their soaking water. Add more cold water if needed to cover the beans by at least 1 inch.

Raise the heat to high, bring to a rapid boil, and cook for 5 minutes.

Reduce the heat so that the beans are barely simmering and cook, partially covered, until the beans are soft, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Season the beans judiciously with salt, keeping in mind that it takes time for the beans to absorb the salt.

Ladle the beans into warmed bowls.

Diners top their servings with a squeeze of key lime, a spoonful of chopped onions, and a sprinkling of cilantro.

Poblano Soup

4 whole poblano peppers, roasted and peeled
2 tablespoons butter
1 whole white onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
16 ounces corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1 teaspoon Mexican Oregano
2 whole serrano peppers, finely chopped
2 whole waxy potatoes, cubed
6 cups chicken broth (preferably homemade)
Salt and pepper

Cut the poblanos into 1/3-inch strips and set aside.

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or heavy pot and sauté the onion and garlic over medium-low heat until golden and soft.

Add the corn, oregano, serranos, poblanos, and potatoes and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, making sure everything is coated with the butter and onion mixture.

Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, place in bowls and squeeze with fresh lime.

Options and Variations:

If you’re really in a rush, you can omit the potatoes. Cook until the corn is heated through.

If you feel like having a thicker soup, take a cup of the mixture and blend it and then add it back to the pot.

Caldo Tlepeno (Mexican Chickpeas, Chicken, and Chipotles)

Serves 4–6

1 cup dried Garbanzo Beans
1/2 white onion, minced
2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, roughly chopped, with seeds and sauce
1 cup chopped tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon good-quality lard or olive oil
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup peeled and sliced carrots
2 small zucchini, sliced
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
Avocado cubes for garnish
Lime wedges for serving

Cook the garbanzo beans. Drain, then set aside.

In a blender, combine the onion, chipotle chiles, tomatoes, and garlic and puree until smooth.

In a stockpot or large saucepan, heat the lard over medium heat. Add the pureed vegetables and fry, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Pour in the broth, bring just to a simmer, and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes.

Add the garbanzos, carrots, and zucchini and continue to simmer until the carrots and zucchini are barely cooked, about 8 minutes.

Add the chicken and continue to simmer until the vegetables are just cooked and the chicken and garbanzos are heated through.

Ladle the soup into warmed individual bowls, garnish with avocado, and serve immediately. Pass the lime wedges at the table.

Red (or Black) Beans and Rice

1 pound dried beans, such as Red Nightfall or Sangre de Toro
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 small green pepper, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 fresh jalapeño, finely chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
10 1/2-ounce can chicken broth
1 cup red wine
3 cups of water
1 bay leaf
1 pound smoked ham hocks
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups hot white rice

Chopped scallions for garnish

Wash beans well and sort through them, removing any pebbles or impurities. Place beans in a pot, cover with water and soak overnight.

When ready to cook, drain beans and set aside.

Sauté onion, green pepper, celery, garlic and jalapeño in oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat, uncovered, until soft (about 10 minutes).

Add beans to the pot, along with chicken broth, red wine, water, bay leaf, ham hocks, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and taste to adjust seasoning.

Simmer, covered, for 2 hours, stirring frequently.
Remove ham hocks after 2 hours. Continue to simmer beans for another 30 minutes, or until the liquid in the beans has a thick, creamy consistency.

As soon as the ham hocks are cool enough to work with, remove all meat from the bones, and shred it. Return meat to the beans.

Divide the hot rice among 4 wide, shallow serving bowls. Pour 1 1/2 cups of the bean mixture over the rice in each bowl; you’ll have a little bean mixture left over.

Garnish with scallions and serve immediately.

You can also replace the red beans with a firm, creamy bean like Midnight Black Bean.

If you wish to add andouille, tasso or chicken to this recipe, to make it meatier still . . . go right ahead!

Red Beans and Rice

1 lb. Rancho Gordo Sangre de Toro Beans
2 tbs. cooking oil (we like grapeseed or vegetable)
1 large onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 large carrot, grated
2 ribs celery, diced
5 large garlic cloves, diced
3 tsp. smoked paprika
1 smoked ham hock or 3/4 lb. smoked ham, diced (optional)
2 dried bay leaves
3 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
A few dashes Worcestershire sauce
Balsamic vinegar, to taste (we used about two big dashes)
A few dashes of Hot sauce (optional)
Salt, to taste (if you can, get Smoked Sea Salt — adds a nice smoky flavor)

Cooked white rice for serving

Pickled onions, for garnish (optional)

Fresh chives and parsley, chopped for garnish

You can soak the beans overnight if you’d like OR, for day-of: cover the beans with water in a big pot and bring to a rolling boil. Boil the beans for about an hour, until the beans are tender but not falling apart. Sometimes it takes longer, depending on the age of the beans. Do NOT add salt yet (this slows the cooking process).

When the beans are nearly tender, pour your cooking oil into a pan and sauté the onions, celery, bell pepper, and carrot until fragrant (about 2-3 mins). Add the garlic and smoked paprika, then sauté for another few minutes, stirring occasionally.

Drain the beans, then add the sautéed vegetables to the beans. Add the ham hock (if using), thyme, bay leaves, Worcestershire, balsamic, hot sauce, and just enough water (or veggie stock) to cover.

Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer.

Stirring occasionally, cook for at least 2 hours, or until it’s nice and creamy. The longer you cook it, the better it gets!

Do one final salt check — add a bit more if it needs it.
Pour mixture over cooked white rice and top with pickled onions (if using) and fresh chopped herbs. Serve with good local bread and a glass (or three) of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Citing Two Old Dogs.

Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta Fazool)

1/4 pound diced Apple Smoked Bacon (optional) (we like Hobbs)
1 tablespoon good quality olive oil, (3-4 tablespoons if not using bacon)
1/2 cup finely diced sweet onion
1/4 cup finely diced celery
1/4 cup finely diced carrot
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
3/4 cup diced Roma tomatoes or canned crushed tomatoes with juice
1/2 pound Royal Corona or Cassoulet beans, soaked 6-8 hours
4 cups homemade chicken stock or your favorite canned chicken stock
6-8 cups water if necessary
1/2 teaspoon Mexican Oregano or 1 tablespoon fresh oregano chopped
1 cup pasta (your choice shape such as little tubes or broken papardelli noodles
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Da Vero Lemon Olive Oil to drizzle
Vella Dry Jack to grate to taste over the “fazool”

In a large heavy bottom soup pot, sauté bacon until browned. Remove bacon from pot with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Discard all but about 1-2 tablespoons bacon fat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil (or start with 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil if you are not using bacon).

Over medium heat, sauté onions, celery, carrots, and garlic until soft and onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add tomatoes, beans, stock, oregano, and return bacon to the pot. Simmer over medium heat until beans are tender, about 1 hour (cooking time may vary depending on freshness of beans). You may add water if necessary.

Add pasta and continue cooking until al dente. Remove from heat, stir in the parsley and allow the “fazool” to stand for 10 minutes before serving, to concentrate the flavors. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve: Drizzle individual bowls with lemon olive oil, and sprinkle grated cheese on top.