Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ellie Krieger's new cookbook

There's a wonderful show on the Food Network called, "Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger." Next time you're watching Ina or Rachel or Paula, stay tuned for Ellie, because she breathe of fresh air. She educates without sounding condesending and lets everyone know that cooking healthy doesn't mean tasteless and unappealing food. I think her recipes allow the natural flavors of whole foods to jump out while they do their job and nourish our bodies with much needed nutrients. I'm a big fan of her philosphy and show. Can you tell? So, when I heard she had a new book out, I actually pre-paid to get it as soon as it came out (I've only done this once before and that was Harry Potter!)

Imagine how giddy I was when the postman dropped this on my doorstep yesterday. I've already taken out some chicken breasts from the freezer this morning and I'm planning on trying her Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo this evening. Dear hubby, if you're reading, I promise I'll get some nice chunky whole grain bread to serve with this soup.

Here's the recipe for now and add my comments later this evening:

Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo by Ellie Krieger

4 t olive oil
8 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into small chunks
pinch of salt, plus more to taste
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 stalks of celery, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium carrot, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 t chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 t dried
6 cups of low sodium chicken broth
1 cup orzo, preferably whole wheat
2 large eggs
3 T fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat 2 t of the oil in a soup put over med- high heat. Season the chicken with salt, add to the pot and cook, stirring a few times until just cooked through. About 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a side dish and set aside.

Add the remaining 2 t oil to the pot. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and thyme and cook, stirring over med-high heat until the vegetables are tender. About 5 minutes. Add 5 cups of the broth and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and let simmer until tender. About 8 minutes. Turn the heat down to low to keep the soup hot but not boiling.

Warm the remaining 1 cup broth in a small saucepan until it is hot but not boiling. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Gradually whisk the lemon juice into the eggs. Then gradually add the hot broth to the egg-lemon mixture, whisking all the while. Add the mixture to the soup, stirring well until the soup is thickened. Do not let the soup come to a boil. Add the cooked chicken to the soup. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Before I tie the apron on and start this seemingly easy and tasty recipe, I just wanted to thank all of my new friends who have visited my blog recently. It was an amazing day yesterday when I saw my number of visitors increase every minute. I love to cook and I adore talking about it. Thank you so much for giving me a forum to do so. If you have the time, please leave a comment and let me know a little about yourself and be sure to share your recent kitchen adventures.

We just finished our dinner of this marvelous spin on chicken soup. Here are my thoughts:

  • You are going to love how easy this is to make. Everything on this list is present in my freezer, fridge and pantry at all times - so yay, no trip to the grocery store tonight. I'm the girl who decorates her house with vases full of lemons or limes when I run out of recipes for their zest and juice.
  • The lemon juice and egg mix Ellie suggests in this recipe is a Greek way to thicken soups. It's called avgolemono. I love that name, don't you? Avgolemono. It's important to heed the recipe's instructions for this part. The reason you add the lemon juice and eggs to a separate dish of chicken broth is so the mixture can adjust to the heat before going in the soup on the stove. This is to prevent the eggs from scrambling.
  • My husband and I thought this soup with very tasty. But like most soups, we expect it to be even better tomorrow. We finished off the dinner with a dessert of clementines.
  • More thoughts on Ellie's new book tomorrow. I'm taking it to bed to read before going to sleep. Does anyone else do this? Read cookbooks outside the kitchen?


Josie said...

Karen- I am really excited to hear how you like this cookbook. I have been tempted by it. I love Ellie Krieger since she reminded me I could eat smoked salmon and cream cheese again and still be healthy!! (She had a show about a brunch and did a riff on bagels with lox.)
Anyway, I post as "avariell" on the CLBB and my foodblog is if you are curious to learn more about me!
Please keep reviewing recipes from this book - I will maybe justify buying it soon ;)

sharon said...

hey karen! thanks for popping into my lj and saying hi. your blog is great. i turned it into an lj feed so i can keep up with it! and congrats to you on wedding too (also belated - probably much moreso)!

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Anonymous said...

Yes, I have three of her cookbooks and love them!