7 Days of the Food Network: Day 1, Giada De Laurentiis

March 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

J:  Welcome to our first Nombudsman “feature”!  I decided that a fun way to challenge myself to try some new things would be to go onto the Food Network’s website, pick seven chefs, and choose a recipe from each of them.  It’s taken me way too long to get through all of them, but I did it, finally!  Some were delicious, some were pretty good, and some, with all due respect to the chefs who created them, were things I probably wouldn’t make again.

We’re starting off with Giada De Laurentiis.  In all my evenings spent watching FN, I haven’t actually seen any of her shows, but of course she has a reputation as a fantastic Italian-American chef.  I was pretty excited to make this soup; it’s not really similar to other soups I’ve made, and is quite simple, full of fresh leafy greens.  I have to say I found it a little bland and yet a little overpowered taste-wise by the egg, and a little overpowered texture-wise by the spinach, so if I were to make this again I would probably actually add a bit more cheese, a bit more pepper, and maybe a bit less spinach to try and make it smoother, saltier, and a little more complex.  With that said, this is definitely a fun soup to make, and I imagine that if you had a youngster with a budding interest in cooking, it could be a nice dish to make together (carefully, of course!).

So, on to the recipe!

stracciatella soup

Giada De Laurentiis’s Stracciatella Soup
(recipe found here)
6 c chicken or vegetable stock (use your preference — I had chicken stock on hand so used that, but veg stock would work just as well)
2 large eggs
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 c fresh spinach, chopped into strips
Salt and pepper to taste

As you can see, the ingredients are pretty straightforward.  You might even have all of them in your kitchen/pantry right now!

chopped, grated, ready to go

Once you’ve prepped all your ingredients, pour your stock into a large saucepan and bring it to a boil.  While it is heating up, crack the eggs into a small bowl, and beat them pretty thoroughly.  Whisk the cheese, parsley, and basil into the eggs.

eggs, cheese, and herbs: how many uses for this can you think of?

When your stock reaches a boil, turn the heat down to about medium-low.  Now comes the really fun part.  Stir the stock in a clockwise (or counterclockwise, if you prefer) direction with a fork, and while you are doing this, slowly pour in the egg/cheese/herb mixture.  The tines of the fork will separate the egg into strands so that you don’t get just a glob of cooked egg (appetizing, no?).

action shot!  no but really, how cool does this look?

Keep stirring for a minute or so after you’ve finished pouring in the whole mixture, just to make sure that everything is appropriately striated.  Then add the spinach, and season with salt and pepper.

spinach! popeye would be proud

This soup soaks into bread really well, so be sure to serve it with a nice hunk of your favorite loaf.  Enjoy, and stay tuned to see who the next chef will be!

how verdant!

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