Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Egg-Drop Corn Soup

Chicken stock:
a chicken carcass or equivalent
1 onion
1/2 bulb garlic
2 stalks celery
8-10 cups water
kosher salt

yield: 4-6 cups stock

3 ears corn
1 t grated ginger
1 T soy sauce
2 T cornstarch
4 green onions
2 eggs, lightly beaten

There's a grocery store nearby that has chicken leg quarters on "permanent special" if you buy 3 kilos or more. So every couple of weeks I go buy 3 kilos. I roast them or BBQ them or pan-fry them in a batch, and then I have a week's worth of lunch if I'm too lazy to whip something else up. And that leaves me with a big pile of bones. I give one or two to the kitten who makes the most amaaaazing moaning sound of pleasure as he destroys them. The rest get frozen until I need some stock. And then I do like so:

Put the chicken carcass, onion, celery, and garlic in a large pot with 8-10 cups of water. The vegetation is just for flavoring and will be strained out, so there's no need to chop it finely. I just cut the onion and garlic cloves in half and break the celery into pieces small enough to fit. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, all day - 6 hours, minimum.

If you keep the simmer at the proper level over the cooking time the liquid will reduce to 4-6 cups. When it reaches that point, remove from heat and strain. VoilĂ , chicken stock. Salt very lightly, not to taste - you'll be adding soy sauce in a minute.

Put the stock back on the fire. Add the freshly-cut-off kernels of three ears of corn, 1T soy sauce, and 1 t freshly-grated ginger. A Microplane® fine grater works best for this. (It's only recently that I learned that Microplane was a brand name. Duh.) Simmer 30 minutes until the corn is tender.

Raise the heat slightly until the soup is at a low boil. Put 1 T of cornstarch in a small mise-en-place bowl or ramekin. Skim off a couple tablespoons of the soup and mix it into a slurry, then stir it back in to the soup.

While the soup thickens, coarsely slice 2 green onions and lightly beat 2 eggs. While stirring the soup slowly, drizzle in the eggs so they feather as they cook in the hot liquid. Remove from heat, salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped green onions.

Hmmm, the corn kind of overwhelms the egg flavors in these proportions. Maybe use less corn next time. And I don't like my soup to be thickened a lot so others may wish to use more cornstarch than I did.

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