Friday, April 8, 2011

More Italian Simplicity

Spotted this recipe in the paper* the other day, it's by Karen Martini, head chef at various Sydney and Melbourne eateries and TV presenter on Better Homes and Gardens here in Australia.

I've adapted it to suit what is available out here in country New South Wales.  Like most of her recipes, it is pretty easy: the method involves making a delicious chicken broth, then adding chicken balls and noodles with garden peas and italian parsley for freshness.  I would serve this with a crisp white wine, somefing like an early drinking Hunter Semillon, or if you are in the Northern Hemisphere, a crisp dry white wine from your local area..

Mushroom, Chicken Ball, Pea and Noodle Soup

The stock

using a leftover roast chicken carcass and bones, simmer in about 2 litres of fresh water with an onion, carrot, celery, coupla parsley stalks, 2 bay leaves, a couple of peppercorns and 1tsp sea salt.
u can halve the carrots and onion and chop the celery into large pieces.  U can use a packaged chicken stock instead, but this soup really needs a good freshly made stock.  It tastes so much better then cardboard and msg.  Simmer the stock for about 45minutes, thats all, turn off stick a lid on it and go out for a while. The house will be smelling devine when u return.

Drain the stock thru a seive, into a clean saucepan, and bring back to the boil, simmer and skim any skum off the top (this helps clear the stock, stockmakers usually do this sort of thing)

The chickenmeatballs
salt/pepper
olive oil
2 or 3 french shallots (√©schallots)  little brown onions
2 or 3 thyme sprigs, or 1tsp dried thyme
4 buttom mushrooms, or swiss brown mushrooms sliced and diced or
30g dried porcini mushrooms revitalised in a little boiling water  & dice them up
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
500g minced chicken or u can mince your own in the food processor, just don't overwork it or u will get rubber.
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Fry up the french shallots, thyme, garlic and mushies in the olive oil. Let it cool for 5 minutes
Combine all the ingredients and make into small meatballs about 3cm round. use water on your hands to shape and make round.

To make the finished dish:

Put a good handful of broken spaghetti into the simmering stock and cook for 6 minutes, stirring
Add the chicken balls and cook for 5 minutes
Add 2 eggs (adds richness, cheap protein,  and thickens it), juice of 1 lemon, check seasoning and add roughly torn parsley leaves,  and a good handful of frozen peas. Give it a stir and leave for 5 minutes to rest while u cut up some bread and chat with your friends.


* as seen in Sunday Life magazine

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