Thursday, March 12, 2009

Runner's Up (We had a Tie!)

(Elizabeth Kratz with Jeffrey Nathan)

"Hungarian Sweet and Spicy Chicken Soup"
Elizabeth Kratz
Bergenfield, NJ

Elizabeth Book Kratz, 34, from Bergenfield, NJ, has been a congressional staffer, a journalist and a magazine editor. She works as a freelance writer and editor, but as an amateur 'kosher foodie' and wine aficionado, her (now, not so secret) dream is to be a cookbook author. Born and raised in Southern California and taught to cook by her mother Ruth, Liz is happiest when she's making big messes in the kitchen. She loves to bring fresh, healthy and modern twists to her favorite Eastern European Jewish recipes. Like her ancestors, Liz cooks best when she doesn't measure her ingredients, so everything she brings to the table is always original and delicious. Liz's best taste-tester and the inspiration for her soup recipe is her husband Alexander, who was born in Vienna to Hungarian parents, and therefore considers pepper to be one of the four food groups.


four large skinless chicken legs
four small skinless chicken thighs
three large carrots, unpeeled, whole
two small turnips, unpeeled and cut in half
two small onions, uncut, wtth skins on
five large stalks celery, uncut
one large uncut leek
one small bunch fresh dill
one small bunch fresh italian parsley
one teaspoon celery salt
two tablespoons garlic powder
one teaspoon dried marjoram
one tablespoon onion powder
one half to one tablespoon table salt (season to taste)
one teaspoon black pepper
one teaspoon Hungarian paprika
one pinch cayenne pepper
one half bag Manishewitz brand wide noodles
one bunch fresh chives, finely chopped

Combine all ingredients except for the noodles and fresh chives in a large pot with water above the contents by at least one inch. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for approximately two hours, with at least the first hour without a lid on the pot. Remove the chicken parts with a slotted spoon and debone then, returning choice bits to the soup. Remove carrots and slice, returning them to the soup. Taste the soup and correct seasoning if necessary. Add uncooked noodles to the simmering soup as late as possible before serving (at least a half hour). Garnish with chopped chives. Serves six, with enough for seconds.


"Mamma's Chicken Soup"

Wolfgang Hanau
West Palm Beach, FL

Originally from Bavaria, Wolfgang, a US citizen, lives in West Palm Beach, Florida and has traveled extensively throughout his life. He and his wife Diana, who is from the Dominican Republic, are highly conscious of eating foods free of artificial preservatives and chemicals. Wolfgang ssees it as our "possibility to preserve all the natural resources" we have been blessed with. As Wolfgang explores the world, he comes up with creative recipes inspired by regional cuisines."

As to Wolfgang's interests, they are investments and charitable contributions to those who need help: regardless of their ethnic background, race or nationality.
"We all were born to help those who are less fortunate , bringing education and understanding of our purpose in life to everybody"

Hobbies: Clasical music, literature, painting, writing, tennis, running, gardening.

1 large broiler 4 1/2- 5 lbs, cut into 8 pieces
12 cups water, or just enough to cover chicken and vegetables
4 stalks celery with their leaves, cleaned
4 carrots, peeled but left whole
2 parsnips, peeled
2 Kohlrabi, peeled
2 leeks or substitute with a large onion, if leeks are not available
1/2 bunch parsley, leave stems on
1 bunch dill, stems included
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons white pepper
2 cloves garlic, peeled, but left whole

Wash chicken pieces well and remove any feathers. Pull away any excessive fat . Do not remove the skin, it adds flavor to the soup. Place chicken in a 8-10 qt. soup kettle and add 12 cups cold water. Wash celery and cut each stalk in half crosswise and add to pot. Cut each carrot in half crosswise and then cut down in the middle add these to the pot. Cut the parsnips and Kohlrabi in half lengthwise and add these to the pot. Trim the ends of the leeks , cut in half lengthwise and wash carefully under running cold water, separating the layers to remove all the sand. Cut leeks in half crosswise and add to the pot. Wash parsley and dill and add to pot along with a little salt and pepper and garlic cloves. (Leave the final adjusting in seasoning after the soup is finished.)
Bring to boil and immediately lower heat to a simmer. (The key words to cooking soup is "simmer gently". A violent boil will make your soup cloudy.)Cook for 10 minutes and skim away the scum that forms on the top. Continue to simmer gently for 1 hour longer.
Skim away any fat that has risen to the surface
of the soup or degrease the broth in a degreasing pitcher. Of course if you have the time, you can simply chill the soup until the fat congeals and remove it that way.
There are several ways you can serve the chicken soup. My mother would remove the greens and vegetables and the chicken pieces. The soup would be strained to a clear broth and served as its own course with the noodles, Matzo balls or Kreplach (see separate recipe.) The soup greens would be transformed into delicious latkes and served as a side dish along with the boiled chicken.
I like to serve everything together in a large bowl, the broth the veggies, the chicken and throw in a couple of kreplach. I call it "Chicken in a Pot" and there is nothing like it for curing colds, tummy aches or just for a plain bad day.

Kreplach (Jewish Noodles)
It's not hard to make, but takes a little bit of time and you can make them ahead of time.

The dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional flour for rolling out the dough.
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons water.Making a hole in to the middle of the flour in a large bowl, pour in the beaten eggs, salt and water. Mix with a wooden spoon until dough holds together, then remove dough to a well floured board and kneed until it feels smooth and satiny. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
Making the Kreplach:
Divide the dough into two parts. Cover 1 part and set aside. Roll out the other dough on a well-floured board until it is about 1/8 " thin.Cut the dough into 3-inch squares. Place about 3 2 teaspoons of chopped, pureed vegetables in center of each square. Fold into a triangle and seal by pinching the sides closed with your fingertips. It helps to keep your hands lightly floured. Place kreplach onto a floured tray and cover to keep from drying out. In a pot with lightly salted water with a few drops of oil.Cook the kreplach , a layer at a time, 10-12 minutes Remove the noodles with a slotted spoon. Serve them with the soup, if desired.

And the other fabulous finalists:

"Eat This You’ll Feel Better Classic Chicken Noodle Soup"
Diane Nemitz

One roasting hen or capon (about 4 lb.)
3 large carrots, roughly chopped
3 celery ribs, roughly chopped
one onion studded with 4 whole cloves
thyme sprigs, sage stem, oregano stem, parsley stems (fresh preferred) tied together
6 whole peppercorns
1 teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)
To add later:
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced carrots
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1/4 cup minced parsley leaves
1 parsnip, thinly sliced
1 lb. fine egg noodles, cooked.

In large stockpot, add chicken, carrots, celery, onion, herbs, peppercorn, salt. Cover with cold water about one inch over chicken. (one and a half to two gallons) Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for one hour. Strain broth, discarding vegetables and herbs. Allow chicken to cool until easy to handle.
Return broth to pot with sliced carrots, celery, parsley and parsnip. Continue to simmer. When chicken is cool, shred meat and add to soup. Now, you want the broth to cook down a little, but not too much. You may have to cover the pot until the vegetables are tender, so you are left with one gallon of soup.
To serve, scoop noodles into bowl, ladle soup on top.

Note: Real chicken soup isn’t a quick, flash in the pan. It requires long, patient, loving care.

“Delicious Chicken Soup with Barley and Mushrooms”
Jackie Gregston

1 chicken (2-3 lbs.), cut up
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 quarts chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup medium barley
1 pint fresh sliced mushrooms

In a large stock pot, brown chicken pieces in vegetable oil for several minutes, turning over to brown both sides. Then add broth and spices. Turn heat down to a simmer and cover; cook until chicken is tender, about an hour. Remove from heat, remove the chicken from the broth and skin and bone chicken. Cool broth and cool and skim off the fat. Can be made ahead up to this point and refrigerated.

Return chicken (cut into bite-size pieces) and add vegetables and barley. (not mushrooms) Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer about 30 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook ten more minutes. Remove bay leaves before serving.

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