Thursday, May 4, 2017

Recipes by Ann Rutherford: Chicken Matzo Ball Soup; Jazz-in-a-Basket

Ann Rutherford's Chicken Matzo Ball Soup

For the soup:

1 cleaned stewing hen, weighing 4-5 lbs.
3 qts. water
1 tbsp. salt
1 whole onion
1 bay leaf
2 carrots, peeled
4 celery tops

Wash chicken thoroughly. Trim off excess fat (save for making schmaltz). Cut chicken into quarters, place in deep stock pot and cover with salted water. Cover and simmer. Add onion, bay leaf, carrots and celery tops. Simmer until chicken is tender (about 2 1/2 to 3 hours). Skim off fat. Remove chicken, serve on platter (or serve later). Strain soup and refrigerate. Remove congealed fat on surface and reheat. Taste to correct seasonings.

For the matzo balls:

3 eggs, separated
3/4 cup matzo meal
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tbsps. melted schmaltz

Beat egg whites until stiff. Beat egg yolks until lemon-colored; fold yolks into whites, then fold in matzo meal, salt and pepper. Stir in melted schmaltz; let stand 5 minutes. Drop from tablespoon into boiling chicken soup. Cook about 15 minutes (or until matzo balls are thoroughly done). Serves 8.

Thoughts: Schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) gives wonderful flavor to the matzo balls. Schmaltz can be omitted without disastrous effects. Follow recipe as given but refrigerate dough one hour before forming into balls with hands slightly dampened with cold water. Balls may take slightly longer cooking time.

Ann Rutherford's Jazz-in-a-Basket

1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms (or 1 can, 6 to 8 ozs.)
6 ribs Florida celery
3 ears Florida corn
1/3 cup onion flakes
3 tbsps. water
6 tbsps. butter (or olive oil)
2 cups sliced zucchini
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp. parsley flakes
2 tsps. salt
2 tsps. basil leaves
1/2 tsp. thyme leaves
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 cup dry red wine

Clean and slice fresh mushrooms (or drain canned mushrooms). Rinse and trim celery ribs; cut into 1-inch chunks. Cut kernels from corn (makes about 2 1/2 cups). Set vegetables aside. Rehydrate onion flakes in water for 10 minutes. In a large saucepan (or Dutch oven), melt butter (or olive oil). Add onion and saute 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute 2 minutes longer. Stir in celery and zucchini; saute 2 minutes more. Stir in corn, tomatoes, parsley, salt, basil, thyme and black pepper.

Cover and simmer 5 minutes (or until vegetables are crisp-tender). Stir in red wine. Heat only until piping hot. Arrange vegetables in a basket lined with aluminum foil. Makes a terrific side dish to serve with barbecued chicken or steak cooked over the coals. Serves 6-8.

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