Two Fer Day Perline in Brodo & Cucumber Salad

I live on good soup, not on fine words.

perline-in-brodoWell, after donning a long sleeve tee-shirt to wear under the thick sweatshirt and making the weekly menu/grocery lists the next logical step in Arctic weather temperatures was to make some kind of soup or in this case brodo for Mike’s favorite TJ’s little stuffed tortellini or perline pasta (perline won out-the prosciutto kind) and to make it in record time as opposed to a 2 day process, simple in the Instant pot where one can have a hearty broth done in about an hour.  The first step of course is roasting beef bones for 45 minutes in 425º oven and while waiting on that to be done gather the rest if the broth ingredients including fresh herbs.   I had a couple of small packages of chicken wings (about 12) to toss into the pot along with the bones and fresh veggies and herbs.  I’m always adding different things to beef or chicken broth, today I tossed in a package of baby Bella mushrooms to bring an extra heartiness to the broth and found cup or so of mushroom broth to finish off.  With everything in the Instant pot all you have to do is fill the pot with water to the maximum line, cover with, set vent closed and manually set for 65 minutes under high pressure.   Once the pressure comes down remove the lid, strain broth, cool before you ladle into containers then in this case chill thoroughly on the back porch in 30º degree weather and finally skim fat from the surface once the broth is chilled.  At this point you can freeze broth…wonderful results!

To go with brodo, I made our standard go to garlic bread and a Heidi Swanson cucumber salad only slightly adapted, I forgot the tofu, added more greens and let radishes, cucs and onions pickle in the dressing at least 30 minutes before adding to the greens.

Today’s broth ingredients

4 pounds of roasted soup bones
12 chicken wings
2 medium carrots
1 medium onion
2 ribs of celery
2 fresh bay leaves
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
3-4 sprigs of fresh parsley
1 teaspoon melange peppercorns
6-8 or so baby Bella mushrooms
water to fill to pot max line

Wash all the veggies and cut into chunks when ready put the roasted bones into the pot add veggies and herbs, seal the pot, set to 65 minutes under high pressure, when timer goes off allow to bring down pressure slowly.

Heidi Swanson’s Cucumber Salad slightly adapted from Near and Far, Kindle version

Recipe easily halvedheidi-swanson-salad-2

1 large 12 oz cucumber, seeded and thinly sliced
1 small red onion, or 6 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped kale or baby kale and spinach mix
12 oz extra-firm tofu, cut into ½-inch 1.2cm cubes
3 stalks lemongrass, tender center only, minced

¼ cup brown rice vinegar
¼ cup  freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons natural brown sugar or honey
Scant 1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
Scant ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ cup toasted pine nuts or toasted pepitas
1 lime, cut into wedges

Place the cucumbers, onion, radishes, kale and tofu in a large mixing bowl.

Over medium heat over, combine the lemongrass, vinegar, lemon juice, brown sugar, and salt and simmer for a couple of minutes— long enough for the sugar to dissolve. Remove from heat and whisk in the red pepper flakes. Let cool for 5 minutes and pour over the cucumber mixture. Toss gently but thoroughly and let sit for at least 15 minutes. Toss again and adjust the salt and red pepper to taste. To serve, drain off any residual liquid from the cucumber mixture; if you’re serving this salad with soba, salad greens, or grains, toss these with this liquid. Top with pine nuts and a good squeeze of lime. Serve the remaining lime wedges at the table.

Swanson, Heidi (2015-09-15). Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel (Kindle Locations 213-218). Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony. Kindle Edition.