Monday, January 29, 2007

Progress and Wonderful Soup Recipe

A complete repeat of the chart has been knit.. And it’s looking good!
This image show an important detail of the pattern.

The diamonds are made up from a pair of fibonocci numbers, in this case, 5 and 8.
There are 8 right leaning chains, and 5 left leaning chains.

The left leaning chains are made from a set double twisted stitches, and the right leaning chain of a single set of twisted stitches.

In some place, this results in 3 twists in a row, (a double set of left leaning, and a single right leaning chain. But when the chains actually cross (the center of the X) there are only 2 twisted stitches. Learning (understanding) when there are only 2, and when there are 3 is the only hard part to the pattern.
(And it looks a whole lot better than my previous attempt!)

I left a window open yesterday, so I woke to a chilly morning; my solution is soup. I am going to be making a big pot of onion soup.. Not French onion soup, (that I also like) but my fusion style onion soup.

Its half oriental, half western. The soup is the basis for my “Fusion Chicken”
The soup is general meat free, but made with chicken broth.
I suppose if you wanted a vegetarian version, you could substitute vegetable broth, (or just use water) It’s pretty low fat, but very flavorful, (and cheap to make too!)

Fusion Onion Soup/Fusion Chicken

3 lbs. of onions, thinly sliced--I use yellow onions, but white onions would work.
Crystallized ginger*(slivered) (2 to 3 large slices)
Juice of 1 lemon (2 tablespoons)
1 can of chicken broth (14 to 15 ounce can)
+ 1 can of water (and a bit more)
2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
Black pepper (to taste)
(6 to 8 chicken cutlets)

In a large, deep fry pan (or dutch oven) begin to cook onions over low heat.
The onions should exude their juice, (and become soupy) not brown. (This called 'sweating'!)

Continue cooking with out stirring, till all onion liquid begins to dry up.
At this point onions will begin to brown.
Stir ever 10 minutes or so, as needed, till onions begin to get darker (dark brown) then, stir more frequently.
The volume of onions will have been reduced to about 1 cup of solids.

At this point add the ginger, (sugar bits and all) and continue sautéing.
Onions will become mahogany black, they will be dry, almost crisp, and be less than a cup in volume (from starting, to this point, might take about 1½ to 2 hours)

Add liquids, and some black pepper (to taste)
Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the onions will have re-hydrated. Add more water to bring volume back up to about 1 quart.
The onions will be tender and limp- and will returned to a golden brown color, the broth will be very dark brown.

(If you want Fusion Chicken, you can poach the chicken breasts in the soup at this point.
--but I don't always. I also use the soup as a gravy for grilled chicken breasts.)

Check the seasoning. Add salt, or more soy sauce, if needed or desired. I think the soy sauce provides enough salt. (If the onions were very sweet, and the soup is too sweet, add more lemon juice.)
Soup is done

For Fusion Chicken
If you have poached chicken in the soup, remove and set aside.
Pour some (or all) of the liquid/onion mixture into a blender, and puree for a few seconds.
(or if you have one, puree with an immersion blender)
You can puree all of it, or most of it. You can return mixture to pan and slightly thicken with a corn starch and water mixture, if desired, (I like the gravy ‘souper’ and don’t thicken it)
Serve chicken and ‘gravy’ over rice or fine noodles, with bright colored vegetables; whole baby carrots, fresh snow peas, lightly steamed broccoli, or other vegetable of your choice. I like the contrast of White rice, black gravy, and bright vegetables on the plate. The flavors are good too, the ginger, lemon and soy sauce are a great blend with onions.

Traditional French onion soup is made in a very similar way, (sans ginger, soy, and lemon) with beef broth (not chicken) and then served with toasted bread and cheese.

It is common to add a scant teaspoon of sugar to finish caramelizing the onions, too, with French onion soup. ( French onion soup would also require salt!)

*I use sliced crystallized ginger (found in with baking goods and dried fruit)
I use several large slices. Crystallized ginger is much milder than fresh ginger, so don’t be afraid to use a lot. You can also use crystallized ginger from spice section (these are small nuggets of ginger, not slices) but they are much more expensive!

You could also use a small knob of fresh ginger, slivered, and a scant teaspoon of sugar. The sugar really helps with the final carmelization of the onions.

Fresh ginger has a sharper, more pronounced flavor-- don’t use to much or it will over power the onions!
This recipe freezes and doubles very well.


sulu-design said...

YUM! I'm so glad to see you're going down the recipe posting route - my favorite! Sounds delicious... perhaps you should whip up a batch for your knitting group!

zippiknits.....sometimes said...

Ane, double YUM! Wow, that is a great soup recipe. Thanks, oh woman of many talents. :-)