Gryffon Ridge Spice Merchants

Soups & Stews

Tomatillo Stew with Hominy and Smoked Pork

Serves 8

1 1/2 lbs. Tomatillos, husked and halved
1 Large Onion, quartered
2 Tbsp. Ancho Chile Powder
1 Tsp. Jalapeno Chile Powder
4 Large Garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 Cup Cilantro
2 Tbsp. Oregano leaves
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
8 Cups Chicken Stock
Three 15-ounce cans of hominy, drained
1 lb. Smoked Pork Shoulder
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Finely shredded iceberg lettuce, sliced radishes, chopped green onion, diced avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips and lime wedges, for serving.

In a blender, combine the tomatillos, onion, chile powders, garlic, cilantro and oregano.  Pulse until coarsely chopped, scraping down the side.  Add 1 cup of the chicken stock and puree until smooth.  In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the tomatillo puree and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce loses some of its raw aroma, about 15 minutes. Add the remainder of the chicken stock and the hominy and bring to a simmer over moderate heat.  Add the shredded pork to the stew, season with salt and pepper and cook just until heated through.

Serve the stew in in deep bowls, passing the lettuce, radishes, onion, avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips and lime wedges at the table.

Sopa a la Criolla (Creole Soup)

Serves 6-8

1 lb. Beef cut into bite-sized pieces
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Garlic ~ Minced
2 Large Onions ~ Finely chopped
2 Tomatoes ~ Peeled and diced (or 1 14 oz. Can)
2 Tbsp. Ají Panca Chile Powder
2 Bay Leaves
2 1/2 Tbsp. Dried Oregano
1 Tsp. Rocoto Paste or Hot Chili Sauce
10 Cups Beef, Chicken, or Vegetable Stock (or water)
8 Oz. Angel Hair or Spaghetti ~ broken into 3-inch pieces
2 Cans Evaporated milk
3 Eggs ~ Beaten
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Season the beef with salt, pepper and garlic.  Heat the oil in a large soup pot over high heat and pan-fry the beef. Add the Ají Panca, onion, tomato, chili sauce, oregano, and bay leaves.  Reduce heat to medium and cook until the onion is transparent.  Add the stock, bring to a boil and add the angel hair pasta.  Cook until almost al-dente.  Add the evaporated milk and then the beaten eggs after tempering. Stir to incorporate, correct the seasoning and remove from heat.  Serve and enjoy.

Maraq (Yemeni Chicken Soup)

Serves 6 to 8

As in a pot-au-feu, the broth of this soup is served separately from the meat and vegetables. But unlike the French dish, this Yemenite one is given a brilliant turmeric hue from the spice mixture Hawayij.

6 Whole Chicken legs (about 3‚ lb), drumsticks and thighs split
3 Medium Russet (baking) Potatoes
1 Large Onion, quartered
4 Medium Carrots
1 Bunch Cilantro, tied into a bundle with kitchen string
2 1/2 Tbsp. Hawayij or to taste

Accompaniments: Hilbeh and Zhug

Put chicken and 1 tablespoon salt in a 6- to 8-quart stockpot and cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, skimming foam, 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, peel and halve potatoes.  Stir potatoes into broth along with onion, carrots, cilantro, 2‚ tablespoons Hawayij, and enough water to cover if necessary, then simmer, covered, until vegetables are very tender but not falling apart, about 1 hour.  Transfer chicken and vegetables to a platter and keep warm, covered. Discard cilantro and season broth with additional Hawayij and salt.  Serve each bowl of broth with a dollop of Hilbeh and with chicken, vegetables, and Zhug on the side.

Zhug (Yemenite Chile Garlic Sauce)

A homemade staple in the Yemeni household, this hot chile and garlic sauce becomes an ingredient itself—and may very well play a recurring role on your table.

6 oz. Fresh Jalapeño Chiles (about 6 medium), coarsely chopped
12 Garlic Cloves
1/4 Cup Water
1 Tsp. Ground Cumin
10 Black Peppercorns
1/4 Tsp. Cardamom Seeds (from a green cardamom pod)
1 Tsp. Sea Salt

Purée all ingredients in a blender, scraping down side, until smooth.

Hilbeh (Yemeni Fenugreek Condiment)

After soaking for two days, the fenugreek seeds release gelatinous properties that—when beaten—give the Hilbeh a billowy texture as delicate as whipped cream.

2 Tbsp. plus 2 Tsp. Fenugreek Seeds
1/2 Cup Packed Cilantro
1 1/4 Cups very cold Water, divided
1/2 Tsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 1/2 Tsp. Zhug
1/2 Tsp. Sea Salt

Soak fenugreek seeds in water to cover, replacing water every few hours for the first day and then just once or twice a day, at least 2 days total.  Drain fenugreek and blend with cilantro and 1/4 cup cold water in a blender until ground to a foamy pale-green paste, scraping down side if necessary, 1 to 2 minutes (add more water if needed).   Transfer paste to a stand mixer with 1/4 cup cold water and beat at high speed until mixture is doubled and holds soft peaks (like whipped cream), about 10 minutes.

Add 1/4 cup cold water and beat 5 minutes more.  Repeat 2 times.  At low speed, beat in lemon juice, Zhug, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt until just incorporated.

Persian Beef Stew

1/4 Cup Olive oil
2 Large Onions, chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 lbs. Lean Beef (or lamb), Cut into 1-inch cubes
2 Large Tomatoes, seeded and chopped (22 oz. Can)
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Tsp. Sea Salt
2 Cups Beef Stock
1 lb. Green Beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Tbsp. Persian Blend
1 Tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Tbsp. Ground Coriander
1/4 Tsp. Ground Cloves
1/4 Tsp. Nutmeg

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onions and garlic and sauté until onions are tender. Add beef and cook until beef is brown on all sides.  Add tomatoes, cilantro, salt and Persian Blend.  Cook and stir 1 minute.  Add stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cover.  Simmer over low heat for 1 1/2 hours.  Add green beans and cook another 15 minutes.  Garnish with additional fresh cilantro and serve over hot Basmati rice.

Mulligatawny Soup

Serves 4

1 Tbsp. Ghee (clarified butter)
1 large onion, chopped
6 Garlic Clove, minced
2 Tsp. Fresh Ginger Root, grated
2 Green Chiles, chopped
1/4 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp. Ground Cloves
2 Tsp. Coriander Powder
1 1/2 Tsp. Cumin Powder
1 Tsp. Turmeric Powder
4 Green Cardamom Pods, bruised
1 Tbsp. Curry Leaves, chopped
1 Carrot, chopped
2 Stalks of Celery, chopped
1 Apple – peeled, cored, and chopped
1 Large Potato, peeled and diced
1 Cup Masoor dal (red lentils), rinsed and drained
8 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
1 Tbsp. tamarind concentrate
1 Tbsp. Lemon juice
2 Cups Coconut milk
2 Tbsp. Cilantro, chopped
1 Bunch Chard or Kale, chopped

Heat ghee or vegetable oil in large pan (use low heat); cook onion, garlic, ginger, chilies, spices and curry leaves, stirring, until onion is browned lightly and mixture is fragrant.

Add carrot, celery, apple, potato, dal, and chicken stock to pan; simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes or until vegetables are just tender. Discard cardamom pods

Blend or process soup mixture, in batches, until pureed. An immersion blender works really well for this. Be extremely careful if pureeing hot liquids in a blender.  Return the pureed liquid to the pan. Add tamarind, lemon juice, coconut milk, cilantro, and chard. Cook while stirring until everything is heated through and the chard begins to wilt.

This actually gets even better if it is allowed to sit overnight before serving.

Cool Cucumber Soup

Makes 1 Quart

4 Medium Cucumbers ~ Peeled, De-seeded & Chopped
1 Clove Garlic ~ Minced
1/2 Small Jalapeno ~ Roasted, Peeled, De-seeded & Chopped (More if you like)
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Juice of 1/2 Lime
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tsp. Sea Salt
1/2 Tsp. White Pepper
1 Red Bell Pepper ~ Roasted, Peeled, De-seeded & Julienned
1 Tsp. Fresh Cilantro

Place cucumbers, garlic, jalapeno, lemon and lime juice, into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.  Add extra virgin olive oil and sufficient water and blend until it reaches a soup consistency.  This may require 1/2 a cup or more of water.  Add sea salt and white pepper and blend to incorporate.  Refrigerate for at least one hour to allow flavors to mingle.  Prior to serving, briefly process in blender, pour into bowls, and top with julienned red pepper and minced cilantro.

Kharcho (Georgian Soup with Herbs & Walnuts)

Serves 6 – 8

2 Lbs. of lean Beef or Lamb ~ Cut into 1/2 -inch cubes
2 Quarts of Beef, Chicken, or Vegetable Stock
2 Tsp. Khmeli Suneli
2 Bay leaves
2 Sprigs of parsley
1/4 Tsp. of Black Peppercorns
3 Large Onions ~ Peeled
2 Tbsp. of butter
1/4 Cup of uncooked rice
1 1/2 Tsp. Sea Salt
2 Oz. Dried Apricots
1/4 Cup of boiling water
1 Cup Walnuts
3 Tbsp. Lemon juice
2 Garlic cloves ~ Peeled and minced
1/ 2 Tsp. of Cayenne
1/ 2 Tsp of Paprika
3 Tbsp. Minced fresh herbs (Cilantro, Parsley and Dill)
1/2 Tsp Freshly Ground Pepper

In a large pot bring the stock to a boil, add the bay leaves, parsley, peppercorns, and meat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Strain, reserving the meat.  Return the broth to boil, add the rice and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, finely chop the onions and cook in butter until soft but not brown. Add them to the soup along with salt. Cook 10 minutes more, or until the rice is done.  Pour boiling water over the apricots and allow to sit until cool.  Puree the apricots with their water and the walnuts.  (Use additional water if necessary to make a smooth paste.  Add the lemon juice.  Return the meat to the pot.  Stir in the freshly ground pepper, garlic, cayenne, paprika, Khmeli Suneli and apricot puree.  Simmer for 20 minutes more.  Stir in the fresh herbs and let the soup stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Tunisian Vegetable Stew

Serves 8

3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Large Onions – Cut into Small Wedges
3 Garlic Cloves – Sliced
2-3 Tsp. Harissa
1/2 Tsp. Paprika
1 Tsp. Ground Cumin
1/2 Tsp. Ground Ginger
1 Stick Cinnamon ~ 2.75”
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Orange ~ Zest and Juice
4 Carrots ~ Cut into Matchsticks
1 lb. Okra ~ Cut into 1 inch slices unless small
1 lb. Winter Squash (Hubbard, Butternut, etc.) ~ Cubed
1 lb. Rutabaga or Turnip ~ Cubed
2 15 oz. Cans Diced Tomatoes or Fresh
2 15 oz. Cans Chickpeas ~ Drained
32 oz Vegetable stock
3 Tbsp. Tomato Puree
4 Tbsp. Honey
8 oz. Prunes ~ Halved
2 Tbsp. Fresh Cilantro ~ Chopped

Heat the Oil in a large pot and sauté the Onions over a medium heat until they soften and are beginning to develop color.  Add the Garlic, Paprika, Cumin, Ginger, and Cinnamon stick and cook for another 2 minutes stirring constantly.  Add the Orange zest and juice, Harissa, Carrots, Okra, Squash, Turnips, Tomatoes, Stock, and tomato puree.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes.  Add Honey,Chickpeas and Prunes.  Simmer for additional 15 minutes.  Remove Cinnamon stick and add Cilantro. Correct seasoning with Salt and Pepper.  Serve with Cous-Cous, Flat breads, and additional Harissa.

Afghan Inspired Stew

Serves 4 – 8

1.5 lbs. Lamb, Goat, or Chicken – cubed
1/4 Cup Olive oil
1 Large Onion – Chopped
4 Cloves Garlic – Minced
3 Cups Spinach – Chopped
1 15 oz. Can Chick Peas or White Beans
1 Large Carrot – 1/4 inch dice
4 Cups Chicken stock (or water)
3 Tbsp. Cilantro – Chopped
2-3 Tbsp Afghan Seasoning
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a large heavy pan, add onion and fry gently until transparent. Increase heat, add garlic and meat cubes and fry, stirring often, until juices evaporate and meat begins to brown. Add chicken stock, Afghan Seasoning, chick peas, and carrot. Bring to a slow simmer and reduce heat. Cover pan and simmer gently for 1-1 1/2 hours until meat is tender. Time depends on the cut of meat used. Add spinach and cilantro and cook for further 10-15 minutes. Serve with Rice.

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