By Kim Dannies
Happy New Year to my wonderful readers! This month marks my 250th column for the Williston Observer. With the trepidation one enjoys attending a horror film, I reread my 2003 debut column. Prepared for a cringe-worthy session, I was happy to see that the old paragraphs still conveyed my passion for the power of food to gather, heal, celebrate and inspire people.
I introduced the column with “A Gourmet is anyone who likes good food.” I still love this sentiment—on some level it includes every person I have ever met. I invited new readers “…to release your inner gourmet; you’ll find simple yet sophisticated ways to punch up your daily menus and entertainment plans.…Together we’ll make new food discoveries and techniques as easy and exciting as possible.” The original mantra for the Everyday Gourmet was (and remains) simple: “indulge your passion for food in some way, everyday. It takes just a small ‘extra’ to make an ordinary meal extraordinary.”
I have shared hundreds of chef’s tips, recipes, and food facts—I hope I am fulfilling your needs as an eater, a reader and a cook. Feel free to send me an email with your feedback and questions anytime. I believe food is a wonderful gift that people give to one other in a connected community, and the quality of that act permeates every level of our everyday lives. Here’s simple cleansing soup to start your New Year right.
New Year’s Soup
Boil 1.5 ounces of udon noodles for 5 minutes; drain and reserve in a prep bowl. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of sesame oil over the noodles and toss. Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Sauté 1 cup chopped onion for 5 minutes. Add 10 ounces sliced shiitake mushrooms; sauté 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons minced ginger, 4 minced garlic cloves, 4 cups chicken stock, 2 cups water and 3 tablespoons of soy sauce. Bring to a boil. Add 1 pound of raw chicken breast, cut into cubes. Cover, and simmer 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Season broth, to taste, with sea salt and red pepper flakes. To serve heat the broth, then turn off heat. Add 3 cups fresh spinach, 7 ounces of fresh bean sprouts, 1 cup chopped mint, and the udon noodles, cover and rest 5 minutes. Serves 8.
Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France. She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff; they have three twenty-something daughters. Archived Everyday Gourmet columns are at kimdannies.com. Kim@kimdannies.com.