Category Archives: Main Course

Steamed Bok Choy, Mushrooms And Shallots

Use organic produce if possible

This recipe for Steamed Bok Choy, Mushrooms and Shallots is a variation of the Steamed Bok Choy and Collard Greens recipe in Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T. No ingredient is SACROSANCT in cooking . . . you can always substitute and still end up with a great dish.

 

“Double, double, toil and trouble. Fire burn and CALDRON bubble.” (Thanks to William Shakespeare and Macbeth for SAT vocab and to my brother Ross for helping me out with the quotation).

I chose to use vegetable broth this time

Chicken broth is a good ALTERNATIVE to my choice of vegetable.

The finished product is sooooo tasty and delicious

Steamed bok choy, portobello mushrooms and shallots can be served as a healthy snack, side dish, or, over rice as a main dish.

Don’t forget my kale chips for your Superbowl party!

Charis

  • SACROSANCT = sacred
  • CALDRON = large pot
  • ALTERNATIVE = substitute

Molasses Lentil Soup

Photo of red lentils, brown lentils and green lentils for molasses lentil soup post by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

We used brown lentils because that's what we had at home

 “Too many cooks spoil the broth” isn’t always the case. CAMARADERIE makes “group cook” a fun time, and no matter how experienced you are, you can always pick up some culinary tips. My Mom and I and our friends Julie and Margot made lentil soup at a recent group cook, on a cold day when none of us wanted to go out.

Photo of Margot and Charis making lentil art before cooking organic lentil soup for blog post by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t., on group cook, lentil soup and legally blonde

Margot and I made some lentil art before cooking the soup

Julie is an INTUITIVE chef who doesn’t need a cookbook to whip up a great recipe. We started with lentils and threw in ingredients she had in her kitchen that we knew would work. Margot, Julie and I assembled the ingredients and chopped away.

Photo of jennie chopping garlic for molasses lentil soup recipe by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

My Mom intensely chopping the garlic

My Mom, the only cooking-challenged member of the team, put all of her energy into chopping the garlic and then decided she would stick with taking photos.

Photo of molasses and olive oil in saucepan for lentil soup post by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

Molasses is the ingredient that makes this soup special

Julie recommended we saute the spices in olive oil and molasses to bring out their flavor before adding them to the soup. I learned that molasses adds an interesting, SUBTLE (sweet) flavor to a standard lentil soup recipe.

Photo of julie eisenberg janson and charis freiman-mendel with pot of lentil soup on cooking on for lentil soup post by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

Julie giving Charis some pointers

Photo of margot janson and helping hands working over the lentil soup pot for lentil soup post by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

Three sets of hands working on finishing touches. Margot was in charge of the lemon.

Molasses Lentil Soup recipe by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way through The S.a.T.

When you COLLABORATE in cooking, you can expand your culinary REPERTOIRE, and have lots of fun.

Charis (and Julie, Margot and Jennie)

  • CAMARADERIE = friendship
  • SUBTLE = delicate
  • INTUITIVE = instinctive
  • COLLABORATE = team up
  • REPERTOIRE = collection

Leftover Christmas Turkey Soup

Photo of tupperware leftovers in refrigerator for blog post on leftover christmas turkey soup by charis freiman-mendel author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

Tupperware wasteland or creative chef toolbox?

If you’re a foodie like me, it’s hard to stomach the idea of leftovers. Instead of looking at your fridge as a Tupperware wasteland, look at it as an opportunity to explore your creative potential. Christmas leftovers offer a BEVY of options for next day meals.

Drawing of turkey with suggestions for use as leftovers for blog post on leftover christmas turkey soup by charis freiman-mendel author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

I'm using the leftovers for soup and curried turkey salad

Don’t trash the turkey CARCASS… it’s a REPOSITORY of great flavor. Two simple ingredients, water and leftover bones and CARTILAGE, are a great place to start your “leftover Christmas turkey soup.”

Photo of leftover Christmas turkey soup for blog post on leftover christmas turkey soup by charis freiman-mendel author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

Hot soup and warm bread is a match made in heaven

“Leftover Christmas Turkey Soup” Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chopped, leftover vegetables (carrots, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, green beans, sweet potatoes)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 quarts turkey or vegetable broth
  • leftover turkey carcass and bones
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley
  • Optional: 2 cups dry noodles, broken into small pieces

Prep:

  • Remove all turkey meat from the carcass and bones, shred
  • Sauté onion in olive oil in a large soup pot
  • Fill the pot with broth
  • Add turkey carcass and bones, simmer on low heat for 20 minutes
  • Remove carcass and bones from broth
  • Add turkey meat to pot
  • Add 3 cups leftover vegetables
  • Optional: add 2 cups noodles
  • Simmer until the pasta is cooked, about 12 minutes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish with parsley
Photo of artisanal breads for blog post on leftover christmas turkey soup by charis freiman-mendel author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

You may have to brave the cold to get some of this bread

Warm ARTISANAL bread is the perfect vehicle for sopping up the soup. Not in the mood for next day soup? Freeze it for a cold winter day when you’re too lazy to cook.

Bon Appetit!

Charis

  • BEVY = group
  • CARCASS = remains
  • REPOSITORY = storehouse
  • CARTILAGE = flexible connective tissue
  • ARTISANAL = artistic

 

Chicken Soup Cooking Disaster

You never know when disaster will strike in the kitchen.

I’m finally home for a much needed 2 week break from school. My Mom asked me to make some chicken soup to warm us up. We shopped for ingredients at the health food store. Choate doesn’t offer organic food so this was a treat. So far, so good.

Photo of Organic Chicken Soup In Pot for blog post on chicken soup cooking disaster by charis freiman-mendel, author of "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."

Organic chicken soup

My Mom and I were catching up as I was cooking, which RETROSPECTIVELY was unfortunate.

Photo of McCormack Crushed Red Pepper Flakes for blog post on chicken soup cooking disaster by charis freiman-mendel, author of "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."

This jar was full when I started cooking the chicken soup

I was adding spices to the soup and reached for the red chili flakes. I meant to lightly sprinkle some flakes over the chicken, but accidentally flipped up the large opening of the pepper container and dumped about a half cup into the pot. I quickly tried to spoon out as much of it as possible, but it was too late. I tasted the soup to CONFIRM what I already knew: it was INEDIBLE.

Photo of chicken broth in ice cube tray to make chicken bouillon cubes by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.", for blog post on Chicken Soup Cooking disaster

Pour chicken broth into ice cube trays and freeze for future use

My Mom’s friend Julie was over and she had a great suggestion: pour half of the broth into ice cube trays, and freeze it into “boullion” cubes for future use. Take the other half of the soup and dilute it with organic vegetable broth. Thanks to Julie’s quick thinking, I pulled a save.

Photo of Leftover Chicken In Pot for blog post on chicken soup cooking disaster by charis freiman-mendel, author of "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."

Use leftover chicken to make curried chicken salad

MORAL of the story: Get creative to SALVAGE a cooking “disaster.”

SIMPLE CHICKEN SOUP RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium chicken, pre-roasted
  • 1/4 box of linguini
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 turnip
  • 1 large bunch  parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes (Careful!)
  • 2 (16 oz) boxes organic vegetable broth
  • water

Prep:

  • Chop the celery, carrots, pepper, onion and turnip into medium size chunks
  • Break up the linguini into 1 1/2″ pieces
  • Shred the parsley
  • Shred the chicken with your fingers

Cook:

  • Fill a large pot with the vegetable broth
  • Add water to fill the pot to 3/4 of the way up
  • Add all seasonings, linguini and chopped vegetables
  • Cook for 40 minutes on high
  • Reduce heat to low and add the chicken and parsley
  • Cook for 10 minutes + serve

Charis

  • RETROSPECTIVELY = looking back
  • CONFIRM = support
  • INEDIBLE = unfit to eat
  • MORAL = lesson
  • SALVAGE = rescue

Tip: There are more great recipes and useful vocab in “Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.”

Cooking “Fish In Parchment” WTNH Channel 8

Cook Your Way Through The SAT: WTNH.com

Last Wednesday morning, I cooked my “fish in parchment” recipe from “Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.” with New Haven News 8 reporters Jocelyn Maminta and Teresa LaBarbera.  Jocelyn and Teresa host the “In The Kitchen” segment of the Connecticut Style program. I was invited to be on the program after my book was published in September, but I had to wait until I had a HIATUS from school. My Thanksgiving vacation was the perfect OPPORTUNITY.

I’ve spent INNUMERABLE hours watching the Food Channel, wondering what it would be like to be a chef on TV. The process of cooking has to be STREAMLINED for television. The segments are short and you have to get to the main points quickly. I got up at 5am the morning of the show to prepare all of my ingredients at home and brought them with me to the studio. The WTNH kitchen does have a working oven, so I cooked a sample of the food but I also had a finished product already prepared.

The hosts made me feel comfortable and I had so much fun chatting with them. When the segment was done, the staff DEVOURED my dish, which I think means it was pretty good! Jocelyn and Teresa invited me back to cook with them again. Next time, I’ll prepare one of my desserts. I can’t wait!

Charis

HIATUS: break
OPPORTUNITY: chance
INNUMERABLE: countless
STREAMLINED: concentrated
DEVOURED: consumed

Baton Rouge Advocate Review

Charis of "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T." map of Baton Rouge, Louisiana for post on review of book in the Baton Rouge Advocate newspaper

Cheramie Sonnier, a food editor for the Baton Rouge Advocate, just reviewed “Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.” Her team actually tested some of my recipes, which was really cool. She published my “Meal In  A Pita Pocket” and mentioned that my “Orange Tea Infused Hot Chocolate” was too chocolatey.

Recipe for "meal in a pita pocket" from "Cook your way through the S.a.T."

Cheramie’s review made me look back at my old photos and remind me of the great time I had the last time I visited Louisiana. My family traveled through Baton Rouge last March and we ate at a truck stop. Our trip was about having my brother Ross look at colleges in the south. I just focused on the food.

photo of lining up at Domilise restaurant waiting to eat po-boy sandwich in New Orleans, part of post about Baton Rouge Advocate review of "Cook Your Way Through THe S.A.T"

The sandwich was worth waiting for.

On the way to Tulane, we lined up at Domilise, a famous po-boy restaurant in New Orleans to experience an authentic taste of Louisiana. Po-boys consist of either fried chicken, fish, octopus, or other meats and seafoods that are served on a baguette with lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise, and sometimes pickles. They are a guilty pleasure and should not be eaten that often, but, if you are in the mood for one of these delicious sandwiches, Domilise is the place to go. My Mom and I split a fried oyster po-boy and it was awesome.

Thanks to Cheramie and the Baton Rouge Advocate for checking out my book and giving me some great memories.

Charis

For more recipes and vocabulary, order “Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.”

LIKE my facebook page: Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

Thekitchn.com

Fun fact blurb from Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

“Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.” was recently featured on thekitchn.com which is a beautiful website/blog about cooking.

Faith Durand, the blogger, chose my blurb about pine nut syndrome, which goes with my recipe for pesto pizza.

Thanks, Faith!

Charis

Enjoy more fun fact blurbs, vocabulary and recipes: order “Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.”

New Video Posted: Ruby’s Belizean Red Beans

I hope you enjoy this video of Ruby and me cooking the recipe which is on page 126 of “Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.” I just posted it on my youtube channel. The demo was shot over the summer and I finally finished editing it. Editing takes forever!

 

 

Here’s a copy of the fun fact blurb that goes with  the recipe (p.127 of the book):

Here’s the match test . . . try it and see how you do:

Don’t miss the bonus vocabulary word that Ross adds at the end of the video!

I’m working on editing the blooper video for this demo. It’s really funny.

Charis

For more match tests, fun fact blurbs, vocabulary and recipes, order “Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.”