My blogging/tweeting friend and all-around favorite Indianan Kayte of Grandma's Kitchen Table chose this week's Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe, Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo. That Kayte chose this recipe didn't surprise me at all since I bet she's made it more than Ellie Krieger herself. She's tweeted many times that she's made it again, and her gang of guys has again demolished it in record time. Many of my Twitter friends have been turned on to this soup based on Kayte's recommendation. So when I saw this was her pick, I couldn't wait to make it.
Things have been rather busy of late, so I oven roasted the chicken breasts the day before I made the soup, and threw together the soup one morning before leaving for work. It's that easy to put this one together, and if you didn't have time to cook your own chicken, you'd get great results from using a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. I had everything I needed to make this one in my pantry (broadly defined to include the refrigerator and freezer), except for the orzo. Since it was Kayte (one of my favorite people), I made a special trip to the store for orzo. But this would be just as good if you used shells or orecchiette, or ditalini, or broken angel hair. I also used homemade chicken stock from the freezer, which would prove to be an aesthetic faux pas.
Ellie's recipe calls for four whole eggs in this soup, and I initially thought it would have chunks of cooked egg floating in the broth, which was a textural turn off for me, and why I never made this soup after Kayte raved about it. But no, you whisk the four beaten eggs with some heated chicken broth, and add this mixture to the soup. It made a creamy soup without the addition of cream. It's these little tricks that make me love Ellie's food.
Even though the recipe didn't call for it, I added the zest of the lemon before juicing it, because more lemon is always better. My only disappointment was my soup ended up looking like a bowl of mud since my homemade stock gave it a brownish tint. But it was the most delicious bowl of mud I've ever had and I'll definitely be making this one again. Thanks, Kayte, for turning me on to this soup!
If you'd like the recipe, you can find it in The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger, or Kayte has it here. And if you're not already visiting her regularly, you need to. She posts delicious recipes and updates on what's going on with her guys. Her son's swim team just won the Indiana State swimming and diving championship.
Now, this week's Barefoot Bloggers pick.
The name doesn't exactly scream "delicious" to me. I would have skipped it but I skipped the second recipe last month (Shrimp Scampi) because I'm allergic to shellfish. So I resolved to make the meatloaf, even if meatloaf is something I don't enjoy. Maybe it's that it's made with beef, and my love of beef ends with the cheeseburger.
So I made my individual meat loaves with ground turkey, and I halved the recipe, because a 10-11 ounce portion per person seemed a little excessive to me. I intended to make them in a muffin tin, but I found a mini loaf pan in my drawer that I'd never used. Perfect!
The most complicated part of this recipe was chopping the onions, which is to say it was super easy. I put it together and baked the little guys off before I went to work. Be careful to combine your ingredients very gently or your meatloaf will be dense. I didn't even pat them into shape, instead, I spooned the ingredients into the tins and smoothed the top a little before putting on the ketchup. Next time I'll try them with barbeque sauce or even May Ploy sauce (sweet chili sauce). I get mine at Safeway, but you can order online. Here's one link.
They reached 160 degrees in 25 minutes in my oven but yours may vary. After they cooled, I popped each in its own Ziploc bag and stuck them in the freezer. We're going to have some nice tasty dinners thanks to this easy, delicious recipe.
Many thanks to Tonya of What's On My Plate for hosting this week. She picked a real winner! If you'd like Ina's recipe, you can find it here. Here is my variation:
Individual Meat Loaves - adapted from Ina Garten
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced or put through a garlic press
3/4 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
ground pepper to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 1/4 pounds lean (not extra lean!) ground turkey
1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 - 1/2 cup ketchup, barbecue sauce or May Ploy, to taste
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, thyme, salt and pepper and saute for 2 minutes. Add garlic and saute until the onions are soft and lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and add Worcestershire, chicken broth and tomato paste. Mix to combine and set aside to cool.
Place ground turkey in a medium bowl and break into chunks with a spoon. Add cooled onion mixture, bread crumbs and egg and mix gently. Don't try to completely mix in the ingredients, you want this to be very loose and soft. Transfer to jumbo muffin tins or mini loaf pans. Depending on the size of your pans, you should get 6-8 mini meat loaves.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until an instant read thermometer inserted in the middle of a meatloaf registers 160 degrees. Serve immediately, or cool slightly before wrapping and refrigerating or freezing.